POPSUGAR Celebrity

16 Ways to Give Your Big Day the Luck O' the Irish

Mar 17 2016 - 11:00am

We're all about green beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns, but there's a lot more to Irish tradition than the commercialized side of St. Patrick's Day — especially when it comes to Irish wedding [1] traditions. You don't have to be an Irish bride-to-be to appreciate these sentimental Irish and Celtic traditions, which have inspired some of our most well-known big phrases like "tying the knot" and "honeymoon." See how you can add a little luck o' the Irish to your wedding now!

The Claddagh Ring

Be sure to don a Claddagh ring, which is a traditional Irish wedding [2] ring typically passed down from mother to daughter that symbolizes love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). And long before Facebook, how you wore this ring was how you'd tell the relationship status of someone: on the right hand with the heart facing outward is single, on the right hand with the heart facing inward is in a relationship, on the left hand with the heart facing outward is engaged, and on the left hand with the heart facing inward is married.

Celtic Pebble Toss

After the wedding [3], have your guests participate in the Celtic pebble toss, an ode to ancient seaside marriages meant to appease the gods. Have your guests cast small stones into the water and make a wish for the happy couple's future.


Have a kilt-wearing bagpipe player play a tune or two during the ceremony and you're sure to have some guests getting their jig on.


Bind yourself, literally, to your husband by participating in the Celtic wedding [4] tradition of handfasting — where we get the phrase "tying the knot." It involves tying or binding the right hands of the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony.


While we typically associate Celtic kilts with Scotland, the Irish have their own claim to the plaid man skirts — and they don them for special occasions. If your groom isn't feeling the kilt, have your ring bearer walk the aisle in one instead.


If you're looking for a twist on the traditional wedding [5] booze, go with mead [6]! Also called "honey wine," this ancient alcoholic beverage is produced by fermenting honey and water, and it's where we get the term honeymoon. In Irish, "mi na meala" means the month of honey, referring to the month after the wedding when the newlyweds celebrate their marriage by drinking mead. Another fun way to incorporate this Irish wedding tradition is by brewing it yourself and gifting it as favors (along with a note about the history).


Treat your guests to a pint of Guinness topped off with shamrocks for some Irish good times. Slàinte!

Lacy Hanky

Irish lace is a big part of bridal fashion in Ireland. Carry a little bit of the tradition with an Irish lace hanky.

Irish Dancing

For an unexpected form of reception entertainment, hire Irish step dancers to get the party going!

Celtic Oathing Stone

Incorporate a Celtic oathing stone (with your wedding [7] date engraved on it like this one [8]) in your ceremony. This Celtic tradition involves holding a river stone while you say your vows so that they will be "set in stone."

Think Green

To really show your Irish pride, go green! Dress your bridesmaids in the grassy shade and add golden touches for a nod to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!


Besides mead, another way to include the honey or "meala" tradition is by gifting small jars of honey as wedding [9] favors.

Bells of Ireland

Include some green Bells of Ireland in your bouquets to add a little Irish flair to your florals.

Coat of Arms

Join your two families with a joint crest that you debut at the wedding [10].

The After

Take part in the Irish tradition of "the after" by having an afterparty with your close friends and family at a pub the day after the wedding [11].

Sweet Ending

The traditional Irish wedding [12] cake is actually a fruitcake filled with nuts and dried fruit that's soaked in brandy or bourbon. According to the custom, the cake is served as wedding favors and the single female guests are supposed to put the cake under their pillow and hope for a man. If fruitcake isn't your thing, serve some Guinness-infused cupcakes [13] instead!

Source URL