Wedding Traditions #2

Ever wondered where the expression “tying the knot” came from?  It originates from an ancient Ireland Celtic tradition called ‘Handfasting’.  During the ceremony the couples clasped hands are wound with ribbon, rope or cord to symbolise their agreement to spend their lives together.

One of the most recognisable symbols of Ireland associated with Weddings is the Claddagh Ring.  The ring is worn facing outwards before and turned to face inwards after the Wedding to indicate that the wearer is taken forever!

It was actually traditional for an Irish bride to wear blue which was thought to be the symbol of purity.  The custom of wearing white was not popularised until Victorian times.

Bells were very popular at Irish Weddings as they were said to keep evil spirits away and to remind the couple of their vows. Ways to incorporate this is for the bride to wear a bracelet with bells on or to hand out bells for guests to ring at the end of the ceremony.

We also love this traditional Irish toast.  The newly married couple recite the toast: “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.” The guests respond: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”

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