Irish Wedding Traditions


Everyone wants his or her wedding day to go smoothly and many people want luck to shine down on their day. Irish weddings are based around luck and love. You two can have an Irish wedding by following these Irish wedding traditions to ensure your day is filled with love, happiness and luck.

14 Traditions for Irish Wedding


The Wedding Dress

If you want to follow traditions, make sure you choose Irish lace. Irish laces looks stunning but if this is too expensive for you, try to incorporate it within your wedding dress accessories. Add something blue if you can for some Irish luck.


The Kilts

Celtic kilts are a necessary for an Irish traditional wedding. The whole attire consists of a tartan kilt, a Prince Charlie jacket,a vest top, leather or fur sporran and long kilt socks.


The Bride’s Hair

Every bride wants her hair to look special. Why not try and have an Irish traditional braid in your hair? This will look fabulous, feminine as well as symbolise power and luck.


The Location

For any wedding, the location is very important. An Irish wedding tradition is to get married at a location filled with significance and nature, witnessed by friends and loved ones.


The Flowers

It is the norm to embellish the venue, where the wedding celebration is, with lots of plants and flowers. The flowers must be local grown and ideally include the flowers that are associated with Ireland, such as Bells of Ireland. For the bride, traditionally she would carry wildflowers. Add some English lavender, which symbolises love and devotion.


The Music

From early times to the 19th century, the harp was a national symbol of Ireland. It would be perfect to have a harpist before your ceremony to entertain your guests. The harp was a national symbol to Ireland. Have a DJ who can play Irish music or a live band. You may consider having bagpipes when you exit your ceremony.


The Ring

Many people heard of the Claddagh ring as it’s one of the most well-known Irish wedding traditions. This ring tends to be passed down from mother to daughter, maybe before the bride is engaged. The Claddagh ring represents friendship, love and loyalty.


Hand Fasting

Hand fasting is an ancient Celtic tradition. It is a way to symbolise being together and the phrase “tying the knot” comes from an old Irish tradition. The hands of the Bride and Groom are tied together often with a brightly coloured ribbon.


The Bell

The bells are an old Irish superstition that warns off hateful spirits. Nowadays, the bride tends to wear a charm bracelet with tiny bells on.


The Horsehoe

The horseshoe is similar to the bells, it warns off cruel and malicious spirits, so make sure you have one at your wedding.


The Dance

Dancing is one of the Irish traditions that you need to include. It shows Ireland’s art and culture and is very enjoyable. Over the past few years, it has become popular due to the show "Riverdance".


The Wedding Feast

The wedding food and drink must include plenty of Guinness, Jameson and Bailey’s Irish Cream.


The Blessing and Toast

The best way to keep to Irish wedding traditions with speeches is to ask the father of the bride to read out an Irish blessing. And in Irish traditions, it’s common to do a group toast, so the couple would be showered with love and blessings.


The Wedding Gift

As the bells warn off any negativity and bad vibes, this is a great Irish traditional wedding gift. Other gifts also include Irish linen or lace, Celtic knots, and shamrocks.

Irish Wedding Superstitions

1. It’s believed that to hear a cuckoo on your wedding morning brings good luck.

2. Look around on your way to the church, if you can see three magpies, it’s believed that you and your partner are lucky.

3. When the bride leaves the church, a wedding guest must throw a shoe over her head so she has good luck.

4. If you marry on a growing moon and a flowing tide day, you’ll be lucky.

5. If a cup or a glass is broken on your wedding day, it will bring bad luck.

6. Do not marry on a Saturday, because it is unlucky and this is also one of the Irish wedding traditions.

7. When washing your hands, make sure your groom does not wash his hands in the same sink at the same time. This will bring disaster.

8. When the wedding party leaves the church for the reception, make sure they take the longest way to the venue.

9. For good luck, a man should be first to wish joy and happiness to the bride, not a woman.

10. The bride’s mother-in-law should break a piece of wedding cake on the bride’s head when she goes into the house after the ceremony. If this happens, they will be friends for life.