Irish Wedding Books

Irish Wedding Traditions: Using Your Irish Heritage to Create the Perfect Wedding by Shannon McMahon-Lichte

The Traditional Irish Wedding by Bridget Haggerty

Pósadh and Bainis: Guide to the Traditional Irish Wedding by Conrad Jay Bladey

irish wedding book

The Irish Wedding Book by Kim McGuire

Irish Love and Wedding Customs by Kim McGuire

Irish Wedding Traditions

The Grushie is an old custom found in many of the Celtic countries. The groom tosses a handful of coins into the crowd after the ceremony. It is believed to bring good luck to the newly married couple.

When to Marry. There is plenty of conflicting information with respect to the best time of year for marriages. Up until fairly recently, marriages were unheard of during Lent, the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

According to the old Celtic calendar, which corresponds with the natural cycle of the year, marriages were ill-advised during the "dark half" of the year, commencing on November 1 and continuing until Beltaine or May Day. While much of the literature tends to see the feast of Beltaine as an auspicious time for a wedding, conflicting sources claim that even though May Day and Beltaine are wonderful times for finding a mate or "courting," the earth was often considered to be to "in flux" to bolster such a strong commitment of vows. Lughnasadh, another very important day on the old calendar and falling on August 1st, was considered by many to be the most auspicious day of the year for weddings. However, any time during the "light" half of the year (May 1 to October 31) was considered an acceptable time to marry.

Instead of elaborate veils and large cascading bouquets of roses, Irish brides favor a wreath of wildflowers in their hair and bouquets of herbs and wildflowers to match.

When the Irish Make Up Bells ring, not only are the evil spirits being kept away, but harmony is being restored to the union. A traditional Irish wedding gift, when makeup bells ring out, a truce is to be called. All arguments between the Happy Couple must end, and never be brought up again. A make up bell could be glass, crystal, wood or metal such as silver or even gold by special order. They can be worn or ornamental. Just keep them close by! Complete with silken spun cord for hanging or wearing. Smallest one has silver bead chain.

irsh lucky horseshoeMany Irish brides carry a small porcelain horseshoe in their wedding bouquets for good luck. Years ago brides used to carry the real thing, but in this day and age that's a little cumbersome. Some brides wear a bracelet with a horseshoe charm or carry a lace handkerchief with a horseshoe embroidered into it. The horseshoe is always carried upside down so the luck doesn't run out.

The magic hanky  is another wonderful Irish wedding tradition. The bride will carry or wear a handkerchief on her wedding day. After her first child is born, she will sew that handkerchief into a baby's bonnet. It is hoped that if the baby is a girl, she will take the stitches out when it's her turn to get married and carry the same handkerchief down the aisle thus repeating the process and creating a wonderful heirloom.

The Irish bride must be sure to keep both feet on the floor while dancing. If she doesn't, the fairies might get the upper hand.

On the morning of the wedding, the happy couple will each take three spoonfuls of oatmeal and salt. This protects them against evil.

The Vow: An Irish Wedding Celebration by Druidstone, Aine Minogue CD

Irish Wedding Party by Various Artists CD

Irish Wedding Songs by Various Artists (CD)

Irish Blessings by Ashley Shannon

Irish Blessings by Kitty Nash