February 14 is fast approaching and we can already hear stories of engagement rings buried in desserts and dropped in champagne glasses. That’s why we’re sharing a few proposal ideas for Valentine’s Day, because really, there’s nothing romantic about the …
St Patrick’s Day Wedding Ideas & Inspiration
With it being St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, we’re waiting with bated breath for that first glorious sip of the black stuff. But what if you’d like to have your wedding on St Patrick’s Day, or at least plan your big day with an Irish theme? Here are some ideas from Ailish, wedding planner at Keep Calm and Marry On.
The color associated most with St. Patrick’s Day is, of course, green, the color of the lucky shamrock. However, according to Irish folklore, green was avoided at weddings to keep the fairies from causing mischief! Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways to honor your Irish heritage and traditions with an Irish theme, however…and we’re not talking leprechauns and rainbows, although a pot of gold wouldn’t be sniffed at to help the budget! Having an Irish theme shouldn’t be tacky or plastic, garish or insulting but really good craic!*
*Craic is a Gaelic word roughly translates as “fun.” The often heard expression “ceoil agus craic,” means “music and fun” and throw in a bucket load of Guinness and whiskey and you’ll be guaranteed “good craic!”
Color – You don’t have to shout the vibrant ‘Kelly Green’. A more sophisticated color palette with tonal greens is much more elegant for a wedding.
Dates – Traditionally December 31st is one of the luckiest day to wed, as is the month of April, with the traditional saying “’Marry in May and rue the day; marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.”
Food – For a truly Irish wedding breakfast feast on wild Irish Salmon and soda bread, Irish beef or lamb for main and Baileys cheesecake for dessert…yum, yum!
Music - Music is central to any Irish celebration, family members would “ceileidh” (a traditional Gaelic social gathering) in their friends and neighbors houses – someone would start playing a flute, another would pick up a fiddle and before you know it a session is in full swing until the wee hours. If you’re worried about spending on a band, you can be guaranteed it will make the Irish themed wedding spectacular, and well worth every penny! Visit The Hanna Sisters for some authentic music (and beautiful looking) Irish singers!
Attire - The groom could sport an Irish kilt, depending on the family color, to fit in with the theme. The bride could wear a dress by an Irish designer, such as the beautiful and popular Sharon Hoey. If the wedding dress is accidentally torn on the day it is said to bring good luck.
Confetti – Could be renamed ‘fairy dust’ for the day and colored green. You could use fresh green rose petals or shamrocks to celebrate the newly married couple.
Cake - Shape the cake as a shamrock in tiers. Traditionally, the Irish wedding cake is a dense whiskey-based fruit cake with several layers.
The luck of the Irish –Well there certainly isn’t a luckier nation, or one that enjoys themselves more, than the Irish. No need for any lucky sixpences here!
Image from The Flower Lounge
Flowers – Keep flowers simple and modern but in keeping with your Irish theme. Work with beautiful ivory cala lilies, white or cream roses, sweet peas, tiny lily-of-the-valley, green parrot tulips and white ranunculus.
Handfasting – This tradition is central to the Irish ceremony. In ancient times lovers were united together as they “tied the knot”.
Lucky horseshoe – Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck.
Dancing – An Irish wedding or party isn’t complete without some traditional Irish dancing. It doesn’t have to be on a level with Riverdance or Lord of the Dance – contact your local Irish social club and you can bet they’ll have a school of Irish dancing. They’re great to have during the interval, after the meal, or along with the band start the evening celebrations.
Favors – Irish Wildflower seeds in pretty green mesh or hessian bags make for lovely favors. Or have miniature bottles of whiskey, brandy or Baileys personally labeled.
Cocktail Hour – Forget the sickly green food coloring and sweeteners and opt for a tastier, more sophisticated Irish Flag cocktail. This light and fresh cocktail consists of fresh basil and oranges (gold) in keeping with the colors of the Irish flag. Or try The Irish Complex, a blend of vermouth, orange liqueur and whiskey, a smooth twist on a Manhattan.
The Cladagh – The hands of the ancient Cladagh signify friendship, the crown, loyalty, and the heart, love. Incorporate the Cladagh into your wedding, perhaps on your stationery or as a pin on your bouquet or button-hole.
Emerald – Bridesmaids look stunning in emerald or the bride could wear an emerald sash, a stunning emerald necklace. Alternatively, have the precious stone added to a beautiful Cladagh ring, earrings or cuff links.
Lace – Lace is an integral material in Irish weddings and the bride could wear it on her dress or have her garter made from lace. The famous Carrickmacross Lace, as worn by Princess Diana on her wedding day to Prince Charles, and most recently by Kate Middleton to Prince William, will make your wedding a truly regal affair.
Bagpipes/Uilleann Pipes – There’s no grander entrance for a bride and groom than the accompaniment of pipes. As the newlywed couple enter the wedding breakfast via the red carpet, the King and Queen for the day will take to their thrones to the sound of the majestic Uillean pipes. You could save this for a surprise!
Location - You could opt for an outdoor wedding, in the middle of a luscious green field. Or you could actually plan your wedding in Ireland.
Legal - All legal marriages in Ireland are generally recognized internationally, including United States and Canada, UK and rest of Europe. A law was recently passed that alleviates any residency requirements for legal marriages, either civil or religious. Although the couple must meet the registrar no less than five days before the marriage and sign a declaration in his or her presence that there is no impediment to the said marriage. For more information visit www.groireland.ie.
If you’re planning a wedding in Ireland, then you must visit www.discoverireland.com for ideas and information to help you map out and plan your route.
And so, to leave you with an Old Irish Wedding Blessing that you may like to use:
“Irish Wedding Blessing May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon the fields. May the light of friendship guide your paths together. May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home. May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, A twinkle from your eye. And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love, May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days. May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands. And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts. Amen.”