The wonderful world of Irish wedding traditions
There is one wedding Irish tradition that states: 'Marry in May and Rue The Day' while another states: 'Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.'
When I told my daughter about this Irish superstition, she changed her wedding date so that she'd be married in April!
What began as a search for Irish traditions and customs that she could incorporate into her celebration ended up as an incredible pile of notes that eventually took on a life of its own. Long after her wedding, I was still obsessed with delving into history and folklore, looking for everything I could find on how weddings were celebrated in Ireland long ago.
The Irish Wedding Album CD - Click Here Ireland's Greatest Love Songs CD - Click Here I am convinced that if couples make the effort, they can have a totally Irish celebration from beginning to end - even to the pre-wedding parties. There's one quaint custom where the groom was invited to the bride's house right before the wedding and they cooked a goose in his honor. It was called Aitin' the gander it has to be where we get the expression 'his goose is cooked!' We threw one of these dinner parties for my daughter and everyone had a great time. (The apple-potato stuffing has become a family favorite!).
There are so many other traditions, customs and just an incredible amount of folklore to draw upon, that it would be remiss to be of Irish descent and not take advantage of all the possibilities. Here are just a few ideas culled from what eventually has become a 200-plus page book called 'The Traditional Irish Wedding' and it is now available in the United States and will be released in Ireland this spring. As complete as I could make it, the book covers attire, decor, menus, recipes, music, toasts, vows, and perhaps of most value, a resource listing that will help you find everything from Irish wedding gowns and tiaras to sheet music for a Celtic Mass.
Here are some more:
* Bunratty Meade is a honey wine that's served at the Bunratty Castle medieval banquet. It's from a recipe based on the oldest drink in Ireland and if you've never tasted it, it's well worth trying. In the old days, it was consumed at weddings because it was thought that it promoted virility. (If a baby was born nine months after the wedding, it was attributed to the mead!) Couples also drank it from special goblets for a full month following the wedding, which is supposedly where we get the word honeymoon. This was to protect the couple from the fairies coming to spirit the bride away.
* Lucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won't run out). You can get porcelain horseshoes which most Irish brides carry these days, or one made of fabric which is worn on the wrist.