Want to infuse your wedding celebrations with some Irish magic? Many Irish wedding traditions are easy to incorporate into your big day in the USA, and a nod to your heritage makes your celebration distinctly yours. You can use a romantic Irish motif such as the Claddagh symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty or one of the Celtic knot designs such as the trinity knot that symbolizes eternity for everything, from your invitations to you cake design, but you can also take it a step further. Take your cake, for example. Traditional Irish wedding cakes are not fluffy and light; they are a heavier, fruit-filled cake. If a white dress isn’t your style, you can still go with a traditional color. For generations, blue was the traditional color for wedding dresses in Ireland.

You can even use Irish wedding traditions to help you pick a date for the big day. June weddings are a relatively new thing in Ireland. When this was a mostly agricultural society, June was far too busy a time for a wedding. Shrovetide, the weeks between Epiphany in early January and Shrove Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) at the start of Lent, was the big wedding season.

Along the route from home to the church, the bride and her party kept a sharp watch for cuckoo birds, which heralded good luck on a wedding day. The harp is the national symbol of Ireland, and it also creates a soft, gentle and very Irish mood for the bride’s entrance. A couple looking for a Celtic alternative to a standard religious ceremony could use the pre-Christian Irish tradition of hand-fasting in their ceremony. In this ritual, the couple’s hands are gently bound together with ribbon to symbolize their commitment.

Choosing the Perfect Irish Engagement and Wedding Rings

While a million details from your wedding day will stay in your heart, one will stay on your finger, a gorgeous reminder of your love and commitment on good days and hard days. There’s nothing wrong with a plain gold band, but you can opt for a ring that is stunning and rich in symbolism and heritage. ShanOre Irish Handcrafted Jewelry has a dazzling range of gold and white gold wedding bands and engagement rings featuring traditional Irish motifs such as the Claddagh and the trinity knot.

When you are choosing an engagement ring and wedding bands, you need to consider three critical things: 1. Quality, 2. Beauty/Meaning and 3. Price. Remember, this is something you are planning to wear every day for the rest of your life. You want to love it every time you look at it, and you want it to stand up to daily wear and last. And of course, you don’t want to start your married life deeply in debt for a ring! Weddings are expensive enough.

ShanOre has been designing and crafting distinctive Irish jewelry in Dublin for 35 years. A family-owned and run business, ShanOre has picked up many awards over the years from the North American Celtic Trade Association. Even their packaging has won awards! Better still, you can buy online and still see the process of their gorgeous men's and ladies wedding rings being designed and made in gold on their website. Recently ShanOre has begun using dazzling Swarovski crystals in their fashion jewelry designs, including their bridal party jewelry. ShanOre’s staff pride themselves on looking after every detail with personal concern, from the craftsmanship and artistry of their jewelry to the satisfaction of every customer.

All of ShanOre’s iconic designs use ancient symbolism and are inspired by our deep and interesting history. The Claddagh design for example has an ancient and interesting love story of kidnap, slavery, escape and royal connections whereas the traditional Trinity symbol can simply mean Past, present and future or an unending Celtic knot design symbolizing an eternal union. ShanOre’s collections have become strong favorites with lovers of Celtic, Irish and fashionable jewelry around the globe. With well over 150 resellers in North America you can find a retail store near you. These contemporary pieces are designed, produced and hall marked in Dublin, Ireland.

Log onto the Shanore website to sign up for your free Celtic Wedding Planning Guide booklet and find out more tips.