Irish Wedding Traditions
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The Walk to Church
In the late 1800's and early 1900's, an Irish couple would walk to the church together for the Wedding Ceremony. Along the way, friends and relatives would throw rise, pots and pans, brushes and other household goods at the couple during their walk. Bridal showers have replaced this practice today.
Instead of an exchange of rings, the couple's hands were bound by a garland of lowers or garlic, representing their intention to create a union that could not be dissolved.
Jumping the Broom
This predates the similar Afro-American custom by hundreds of years. It represents a sweeping away of their former lives as individuals.
The Claddagh Ring
Used as a wedding ring, the original was created by Richard Joyce, a master goldsmith, 400 years in a village called Claddagh, that overlooks Galway Bay. The ring is a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship.
Worn on the right hand with the heart facing inward means the wearer's heart is unoccupied (the person is single). Worn on the right hand facing outward, it means that a love is being considered, and worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward it signifies engagement or marriage.
The groom is lifted in a chair to celebrate his marriage. The married couple is presented with a horseshoe that is displayed with the open ends upward in their home for luck in their future together.
Traditional Irish toasts are very popular to this day.
Fruitcake is the traditional Irish wedding cake.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
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