Most everyone loves claiming Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day. And why not? It’s a day of shamrocks, leprechauns, fun and libations; and with a bit of luck o’ the Irish, you can plan a beautiful and fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day wedding. There are many Irish wedding traditions and superstitions you can take inspiration from for your wedding to round out your St. Patrick’s Day theme. When Irish eyes are smiling; you’ll be sure to create the wedding of your dreams.
Your Bridal Look
For the Emerald-Isle bridal look, go for a braided up-do with a wreath in your hair. According to Irish superstition the wreath should have lavender woven into it to ward off evil spirits. The bride should wear a porcelain or lace horseshoe on the wrist – and be sure to keep the horseshoe pointed up like a “U” to ensure good luck! If the horseshoe turns down, your luck will run out! Go with a lace gown rather than satin or another fabric and use the same or similar lace for the traditional Celtic hand-fasting to “tie the knot”.
For the Groom
Should the groom have Irish blood; a kilt in the typical Irish tradition is the way to go. A tartan from the county from which his family hails would be a nod to tradition, but if family history is a bit muddled, go with the Irish Diaspora tartan or the All Ireland tartan as these are more generic Irish kilts and keeps with the wedding theme. Getting traditional Irish garb stateside can be a challenge so cast the net wide to find a specialty shop. While the internet can be a good source; buying items sight unseen can be a source of worry for some.
The Irish are known for the ‘gift of gab’ and their wonderful Irish blessings and proverbs. You can look to traditional sayings for most any situation. Here is a variation of an Irish marriage blessing:
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.
Get creative with ways you can use an Irish blessing on your wedding day. Maybe your invitations can include a blessing with typical Celtic design work. Or, you could have the blessing read by the best man during his speech.
Irish Décor and Fun
Quintessential Irish décor include the Claddagh ring, Celtic cross designs, shamrocks and pots of gold. Use the Claddagh ring as your wedding bands as they symbolize love, loyalty and friendship when worn with the point of the heart facing your wrist. To include other symbols on your wedding day consider hurricanes of various heights with green glass marbles at the bottom and candles in some and copper pennies or pebbles spray painted gold with floating candles to symbolize pots of gold in others. You could use Irish lace on your tables and lucky horseshoes for your table numbers. Terracotta pots with shamrocks growing in them scattered about your tables make a sweet touch. For your floral design you can include green Bells of Ireland and English lavender to symbolize love and devotion. The harp is the national emblem of Ireland, so hire a harpist to play traditional Irish music before your ceremony begins. For your recessional consider a bagpiper to lead the wedding party out of the ceremony site.
And speaking of ceremony sites – if you are having a D.C. area wedding there are two St. Patrick’s Churches in the city; St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on 10th Street, and an Episcopalian church on Whitehaven Parkway NW. The Phoenix Park Hotel on North Capitol Street NW, steps away from the Capitol Building is designed to look like an Irish country estate and the landmark Dubliner Pub is right around the corner. What a fun way to celebrate!
Food & Drink
Corned beef, cabbage, potato soup and soda bread are typical Irish foods that everyone knows and loves. Most people think of green beer when they think of St. Patrick’s Day; and for a bit of whimsy go ahead and serve some. Be sure to serve Irish whiskey during the cocktail hour and Irish coffee with dessert. Also, as the Irish superstition goes, be sure to serve honey wine and or mead to ensure fertility! Sláinte!
Written by Jennifer Armstrong, Blogger, Perfect Planning Events