St. Patty's Day is tomorrow, and as an Irish lady myself, I thought I'd pick out my five favorite Irish wedding traditions and wedding blessings for Picks on Paper Wednesday. But first, I couldn't resist taking the opportunity to celebrate all things green and lovely with an inspiration board.
Picks on Paper Wednesday - Irish Wedding Traditions
A culture heavy in tradition, there are many sweet Irish blessings that may be easily integrated into your wedding ceremony.
"May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children's children,
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward."
"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields."
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips,
a twinkle from your eye.
And when eternity beckons,
at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you
with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.
May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands.
And today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts."
"May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you."
"May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future Be no worse than the happiest day of your past."
According to Irish tradition, the chime of a bell is thought ward off evil spirits, restore harmony and serve as a reminder of the wedding vows a couple has taken. Giving a bell as a gift, distributing bells to your guests to ring as you walk down the aisle together and as "kissing bells" to ring at the reception in lieu of clinking glasses.
Traditionally, Irish brides wear a wreath of wildflowers in their hair, in addition to holding a floral bouquet. In Wales, brides will sometimes carry myrtle, symbolizing love and marriage, and then give each of their bridesmaids a sprig of myrtle to plant at home after the wedding. Irish tradition says that if the bridesmaid's planted myrtle grows, the bridesmaid would marry within the year.
Irish lucky charms include a horseshoe (turned up so the luck won't run out) and a special hanky that a bride carries on her wedding day, and is later turned into a christening bonnet for the couple's first baby. So sweet, right?!
I still have the Claddagh ring my husband gave me when we were dating, and it's incredibly special to me. You've probably seen these before, but the Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring given as a token of love. The ring was first produced in the 17th century, and named after the Irish fishing village of Claddagh.
How you wear the ring also has significance. When worn on the right ring finger with the heart pointing toward the fingertip, the wearer is free of any attachment, and when turned around, the wearer is considered taken. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger, it means the person is either engaged or married.