Wedding Practices in Ireland

Weddings are associated with a number of Irish customs. A common one is to involve shamrocks, horseshoes and crosses in the marital flowers and on the adornments. These are regarded as lucky characters and it is customary to have a wedge in the home so that fate never runs over. Bells are frequently used in wedding ceremonies as a sign of good fortune. Once it was common for brides to carry a horseshoe, available side up, down the aisle to ensure that their luck never ran out.

Another wonderful wedding icon is the Claddagh ring. It promises to be filled with love, friendship, and commitment in the soul. When a person becomes engaged and later married, it is flipped over to the left hand and is put on the right hand when they are single. The point of the heart is facing south until the person is married. The ring is a family heirloom that has been passed down through the generations of the family’s women, making it a very special ring with great significance.

Traditionally, a dowry was given to a bride from her family on her wedding day. Although it could come in all shapes and sizes, it was typically goods and money to help her start a new life. Although it is not as prevalent today, some brides will still receive a dowry from their parents to give them the start they need for their marriage.

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