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Irish Weddings

The Irish have many grand old Irish Wedding customs.  Irish Weddings are also a big fun party.  Wedding customs vary according to your ancestral status  such as Weddings, Irish Peasant Weddings and elegant Dublin Georgian weddings.   These types of fun gatherings  strengthened the family ties.  All family members helped the young couple with planning and bringing food and drink to the wedding

Many years ago, the bride was carried over the threshold by her beloved.  A horse brought her to the wedding.  Her close friends and family followed closely behind.  Her future mate also rode to the wedding on a stallion.  They would meet on the road and proceed to the church. A dozen bridesmaids and a few men closely trailed the happy couple.

One of the lesser known customs was referred to as “Handfasting.”  This signifies the commitment of the couple to each other.  The commitment of the couple became official to the town.  The future couple used the Celtic rite to declare their commitment to spend the rest of their lives as a couple and to state their love and affection for each other.

Handfasting is quite an unusual ceremony with their wrists tied to each other rope or twine.  They hold all four hands together.  The rope is tied around the wrists in an infinity symbol.  This could be where the term “tying the knot together” originated.   The couple speaks love to each other and the party begins.

Religion is extremely important to most Irishmen.  In ancient Ireland, the Banns were always read in the church for three Sundays allowing both parties the opportunity to really consider their future marriage.  This also allowed those who knew them best, the time to “speak now or forever hold your peace.”  In Ireland today, you can get married three months after receiving your wedding license. 

Customary Irish wedding food starts with soda bread or Irish brown bread.  Leek soup is also very popular before the main course.  The main course would have to include a potato dish and choice of main course would usually include salmon, shepherds’ pie or beef stew. 

No wedding would be complete without a wedding cake.  The Irish wedding cake combines fruits, nuts and alcohol into a tasty blend.  And of course a cup of Irish coffee would accompany the cake.

The Irish were an advanced society which understood that every marriage was not “made in heaven.”   There were rules to ensure that the children were looked after properly, and the goods acquired by the couple were equitably divided between them.

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