The guide to the perfect Celtic wedding
HIRE: Irish dancers to perform at the reception.
EAT: Irish Wedding Cake. A custom dating back to ancient Rome to signify your willingness to share all things, the bride and groom must share a piece of cake. The rest of the cake was crumbled over the bride's head to guarantee that she would produce many children. Guest scramble for "lucky" crumbs that fell to the floor. You can go with this tradition, but if cake crumbs in professionally-styled hair is not appealing to the bride, you can stick with the evolved tradition of cutting the cake in slices... Here's a great Irish Wedding Cake recipe.
DRINK: Bunratty Meade, a honey wine drank in courts in ancient Ireland. The wine is said to bring virility and fertility, and it was a custom for the bride and groom to drink it for one full moon after their wedding - hence the term "honeymoon." Your wedding guests can toast you with a glass of meade as you depart the ceremony for your honeymoon.
TOAST: The person who introduced you. This is done to honor Ireland's matchmaking tradition.
GIVE: Harvest knots as favors. To signify devotion, young people in Ireland would give harvest knots made of straw to their love interest, worn on a man's lapel or in a woman's hair. Tie harvest knots out of straw (here's a step-by-step guide: http://www.mrsmurphys.com/Irish%20Wedding%20Traditions.htm) and decorate them with small flowers or bells to give to guests as favors. Attach a scroll explaining the significance.
INVITE: The "strawboys" to your wedding reception. A peculiar Irish wedding tradition was for youths wearing cone-shaped straw hats and masks to arrive at the wedding dance where the leader claimed the right to dance with the bride. They wore straw suits resembling many-layered hula skirts, or white shirts and petticoats decorated with colored ribbons. At the party's end, the strawboys burned their costumes in a huge bonfire. Reenact this scene for a truly traditional Irish wedding.
RECEIVE: traditional Irish gifts. On your registry, be sure to ask for the following: salt and pepper shakers, so your home will never be without food, wine glasses or tall toasting flutes, so your home will never be without plenty to drink and a candlestick holder, so your home will always have light.