• Northeast Ohio's Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide for Over 20 Years!

  • Welcome to Today’s Bride

  • Categories

  • Blog Archive

  • Top Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 13 other followers

  • Tweets from Today’s Bride

Irish Wedding Traditions

By: Rafi Michael

There is one wedding Irish tradition that states: ‘Marry in May and Rue the Day’ while another states: ‘Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man’.

When I told my daughter about this Irish superstition, she changed her wedding date so that she’d be married in April!

What began as a search for Irish traditions and customs that she could incorporate into her celebration ended up as an incredible pile of notes that eventually took on a life of its own. Long after her wedding, I was still obsessed with delving into history and folklore, looking for everything I could find on how weddings were celebrated in Ireland long ago.

I am convinced that if couples make the effort, they can have a totally Irish celebration from beginning to end – even to the pre-wedding parties. There’s one quaint custom where the groom was invited to the bride’s house right before the wedding and they cooked a goose in his honor.

It was called Aitin’ the gander – it has to be where we get the expression ‘his goose is cooked!’ We threw one of these dinner parties for my daughter and everyone had a great time. (The apple-potato stuffing has become a family favorite!).

There are so many other traditions, customs and just an incredible amount of folklore to draw upon, that it would be remiss to be of Irish descent and not take advantage of all the possibilities.

Here are just a few ideas culled from what eventually has become a 200-plus page book called ‘The Traditional Irish Wedding’ and it is now available in the United States and will be released in Ireland this spring. As complete as I could make it, the book covers attire, decor, menus, recipes, music, toasts, vows, and perhaps of most value, a resource listing that will help you find everything from Irish wedding gowns and tiaras to sheet music for a Celtic Mass.

Here are some more:

* Bunratty Meade is a honey wine that’s served at the Bunratty Castle medieval banquet. It’s from a recipe based on the oldest drink in Ireland and if you’ve never tasted it, it’s well worth trying. In the old days, it was consumed at weddings because it was thought that it promoted virility. (If a baby was born nine months after the wedding, it was attributed to the mead!) Couples also drank it from special goblets for a full month following the wedding, which is supposedly where we get the word honeymoon. This was to protect the couple from the fairies coming to spirit the bride away.

* Lucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won’t run out). You can get porcelain horseshoes which most Irish brides carry these days, or one made of fabric which is worn on the wrist.

* Magic Hanky. This charming custom involves having the bride carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. With a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your child can carry on his/her wedding day.

* Make-up bells. The chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony if a couple is fighting, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows. Giving a bell as a gift has become an Irish tradition. You could also have your greeters hand out tiny bells to your guests to ring as you process. (You might want to let them know when they’re supposed to be rung – perhaps mention it in your program along with an explanation of the custom). Guests could also ring their little bells at the reception in lieu of clinking glasses.

* Irish Dancers. Consider hiring a group of Irish dancers to hand out your programs before the ceremony. Dressed in their full regalia, it would add a wonderful touch of pageantry and color. They could also dance at the reception later. We did this at my daughter’s reception and it was a major hit.

* Music. There’s so much wonderful Irish music available, you’ll have no problems in finding appropriate selections for both the ceremony and the reception. The difficulty will be in deciding which pieces to play!

* Readings: My daughter had the following Irish wedding vow on the front of her program:

By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me. As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me. As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart, may thy presence be with me, oh one that I love, ’til death comes to part us asunder.

On the back of the program, she had this old Irish proverb: Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and just be my friend.

* The Irish Wedding Song. Very popular at contemporary Irish weddings. We had two friends sing this at my daughter’s reception while the newlyweds cut the cake. (Afterwards I thought we should have had the lyrics typed up and placed on the tables so that everyone could join in).

* Flowers. In the old days, many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair; they also carried them in bouquets. For my daughter’s wedding, our florist designed gorgeous bouquets that included a flower called Bells of Ireland. In Wales, brides carried live myrtle and gave a sprig to each bridesmaid which they planted. If it grew, the bridesmaid would marry within the year. If you’re planning a more general Celtic celebration, this might be worth considering.

* Ancient custom: In the old days, couples ate salt and oatmeal at the beginning of their reception: Each of them took three mouthfuls as a protection against the power of the evil eye. Also, when a couple is dancing, the bride can’t take both feet off the floor because the fairies will get the upper hand. Fairies love beautiful things and one of their favorites is a bride. There’s many an Irish legend about brides being spirited away by the little people! For the same reason, it’s bad luck for a bride to wear green. I’ve also heard that it’s bad luck for anyone to wear green at an Irish wedding – but I think it really only applies to the bride. It’s also bad luck for a bride or the groom to sing at their own wedding.

Portents and omens:

* A fine day meant good luck, especially if the sun shone on the bride. If you’re a Roman Catholic, one way to make certain that it won’t rain is to put a statue of the Infant of Prague outside the church before your ceremony.

* It was unlucky to marry on a Saturday.

* Those who married in harvest would spend all their lives gathering

* A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride, never a woman

*It was lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning, or to see three magpies

* To meet a funeral on the road meant bad luck and if there was a funeral procession planned for that day, the wedding party always took a different road

* The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church

* It was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day

*A bride and groom should never wash their hands in the same sink at the same time-it’s courting disaster if they do

* It was said to be lucky if you married during a ‘growing moon and a flowing tide’

* When leaving the church, someone must throw an old shoe over the bride’s head so she will have good luck

* If the bride’s mother-in-law breaks a piece of wedding cake on the bride’s head as she enters the house after the ceremony, they will be friends for life.

Many other customs are interspersed throughout the book, e.g. (from the reception section) the top tier of your wedding cake should be an Irish whiskey cake which is saved for the christening of your first baby. I’ve also heard of another custom which just came to my attention and will be included in the next edition: a bottle of champagne is saved from the reception so that it can be used to ‘wet the baby’s head’ at the christening.

In finally making this book a reality, my hope is that when he says to you ‘would you like to be buried with my people’, or you say to him ‘would you like to hang your washing next to mine’, you’ll say yes, and then use the suggestions to help you plan an Irish celebration reflective of your roots and as romantic as your heritage.

And for all engaged couples and their families in the midst of pre-wedding chaos, I raise a parting glass: May all your joys be pure joy and all your pain champagne.

More information on Traditional Irish Weddings can be found here

About the Author

Toronto Weddings Photographers Wedding Photography & Video Productions Toronto we specialize in individually tailored Wedding Photography, Videos and DVD’s, offering an experienced, highly professional and affordable service.

(ArticlesBase SC #189454)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Irish Wedding Traditions

St. Patrick’s Day Themed Wedding

March 17th is quickly approaching and with it the classic green beer of St. Patrick’s Day. Green has traditionally been associated with spring and new growth so it is a very appropriate color for your wedding and celebrating your new growth as a couple. Here are some ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day themed wedding.

David's Bridal

When you are picking colors for your wedding, green may not be on the top of your list. But, when you are planning a St. Patrick’s Day wedding, green is the best color to use for this theme. The plus side is that there are so many different shades of green to pick from a shamrock green to a dark, hunter green, so finding a shade that looks great on everyone in your bridal party shouldn’t be a problem. You may even want to mix it up and use a bunch of different shades of green that compliment each other.   For a more formal wedding, green bridesmaid dresses would be lovely, especially if you incorporated traditional Irish elements like gold ribbons in their hair or bouquets. Shamrocks would make festive boutonnières for the groom and his men. Or if you prefer a more casual affair, perhaps you could dress as Irish fairies and leprechauns with airy gowns, green jackets, and buckled top hats.

When you are choosing a design for your wedding invitations, you may want to go with a Celtic knot or cross as the focal point of the design. You could also incorporate the Celtic knot or cross into the rest of your ceremony maybe in a wax seal for your programs, or as the decoration for your wedding cake. You may be able to find some napkin holders that have a symbol of the knot or cross on them. However, you choose to use it, it is definitely one of those extra little details that will pull everything together.

When selecting the music for your ceremony, some traditional Irish music would be a perfect touch to your special day. Not only is Irish music romantic and beautiful, but also its instrumental ballads will add just the right touch to take your St. Patrick’s Day wedding from clash to class.

Irish wedding blessings are similar to Irish readings. Some can be shortened versions of Irish readings. Blessings can be said at any time throughout the traditional Irish wedding day. Sometimes the mother of the bride or groom will say a short blessing before the ceremony in the privacy of family and friends.

A friend or family member may include a blessing in a toast or speech after the wedding. Frequently, the couple chooses an Irish wedding blessing to include on their wedding program or a small card that guests receive upon entering the church.

When choosing the foods for your reception, don’t feel like you have to go all out with the green food coloring. Why not take a different approach and serve traditional Irish dishes such as Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, coddle, bread pudding, and soda bread. Of course, no Irish wedding celebration would be complete without the Guiness!

When you are decorating you could use greenery, white Christmas lights, and candles. This is sure to set the right mood for your ceremony and reception. Don’t be afraid to use colors like white and yellow to help contrast the green, and to incorporate those colors into your floral arrangements. Maybe you and your groom could stand in front of a huge Celtic cross wrapped in greenery and Christmas lights while you say your vows? Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to get creative and do some research to pull lots of ideas from traditional Irish weddings.

Wedding favor ideas for a St. Patrick’s day wedding easily come to mind. Gold foil coins in small caldrons or tulle bags are a simple yet fitting favor. Or in keeping with the idea of the “luck of the Irish” you could “give guests a lucky, rabbit foot’s key chain.” Small clay pots spray painted gold with shamrock or clover seeds are another clever idea. Or if you prefer you could give your guests a rainbow – a bag of colorful jelly beans, mints, or M&Ms.  Another great idea for wedding favors would be to purchase some potted four-leaf clovers and put your names and wedding date on the side to give to your guests as they leave. This is something they can take home and plant and it symbolizes your growing love for each other.

Consider Celtic-style wedding bands.  They are used by some people claiming Irish or Scottish descent. This style of wedding band will often be engraved or embossed with a Celtic knot design, which is meant to symbolize oneness and continuity. Sometimes a Claddagh design is also used to symbolize fidelity.

There is also the Celtic Knot.  The ancient Celts based their artwork on geometric shapes, and it is estimated that there are eight basic pattern types. Although the exact meaning of Celtic Knotwork is not known, the patterns are commonly considered as representations of the way that life interconnects in an endless cycle.

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. May the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts  ~an Irish Blessing

Today’s Bride Announces 2010-2011 Bridal Show Schedule

CLEVELAND OCTOBER 2010 SHOW
Sun, Oct 17, 2010
Embassy Suites, Independence
5800 Rockside Woods Blvd., Independence, OH
Doors Open:  10am – 4pm
Fashion Shows: 11:30am, 1:00pm, & 2:30pm

AKRON/CANTON OCTOBER 2010 SHOW
Sun, Oct. 24, 2010
Sheraton Suites
1989 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Doors open: 10 – 4pm.
Fashion Shows: 11:30am, 1:00pm, & 2:30pm

Each event has OVER 80 Exhibitors, Henri’s Discount Gown Showroom, Battle of the Grooms, Make-Over Bride, Prizes, Discounts, and Giveaways!  Each attending bride will receive a current copy Today’s Bride Magazine (while supplies last)
$10 Admission.  Purchase Tickets online at http://www.todaysbride.com at 50% off!

AKRON/CANTON JANUARY 2011 SHOW
Sun, January 9, 2011
John S. Knight Center, Akron, OH
77 E. Mill St., Akron, OH
Doors open: 10 – 5pm.

Fashion Shows: 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm, American Commodore Tuxedo Dancers, latest fashions in Bridal gowns, Veils, Mother-of dresses, Bridesmaids dresses and more!

Over 150 Wedding Professionals to help you plan your BIG day!  Henri’s Discount Gown Showroom, Gallery of Reception Table Ideas, Gallery of Wedding Cakes, Portrait Gallery, Prizes, Discounts, and so much more!  Each attending bride will receive a current copy Today’s Bride Magazine (while supplies last).
$10 admission.  Purchase tickets at 50% off by registering at www.todaysbride.com

CLEVELAND JANUARY 2010 SHOW – Now 2 Days!
Sat. & Sun, January 15 & 16, 2011
I-X Center, Cleveland, OH
One I-X Center Dr., Cleveland, OH
Doors open: 1/16/11 from 4-8pm
1/15/11 from 10 – 5pm.

Fashion Shows on Sunday:  11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm, American Commodore Tuxedo Dancers, latest fashions in Bridal gowns, Veils, Mother-of dresses, Bridesmaids dresses and more!

Over 200 Wedding Professionals to help you plan your BIG day!  Henri’s Discount Gown Showroom, Gallery of Reception Table Ideas, Gallery of Wedding Cakes, Portrait Gallery, Prizes, Discounts, and so much more!  Each attending bride will receive a current copy Today’s Bride Magazine (while supplies last)
$8 parking, $10 Admission. Purchase Tickets at 50% off online at www.todaysbride.com.

Experienced Wedding Planner Can Save You Valuable Time & Money

An Experienced Wedding Planner Can Save You Valuable Time & Money, All the While Making Your Dreams Come True

As couples begin thinking about their wedding, they are often overwhelmed deciding how much to spend, where to obtain specialized services, and how to choose vendors. These worries can mount as quickly as the cost of the wedding does. And after the euphoria wears off and the reality settles in, it’s shocking to discover of how much preparation is involved in planning a wedding.

Faced with decisions about everything from invitation wording to planning their honeymoon, combined with full-time careers and limited time to devote to planning details, couples often find they want the help of a professional wedding planner.

Not long ago, a wedding coordinator was thought of as a luxury, only considered practical for couples with unlimited budgets. Now wedding planners are nearly essential to a well planned affair, having become indispensable today to many brides and grooms who find their services well worth the investment.

A wedding consultant guides you through the planning process and the wedding day itself, assisting in whatever capacity you need. He or she can help you refine your ideas, connect you to the appropriate vendors, advise you on proper etiquette, and suggest ways to use your budget wisely.

Read more about Wedding Consultants and Planners HERE

For a list of wedding planners & consultants in the Greater Cleveland and Akron/Canton areas, visit our website

Brides-to-be…What to do After the Bridal Show

Ok, so you went to the bridal show and talked to a lot of people, picked up a lot of literature, saw great fashions shows with the latest in wedding and bridesmaid gown design, awesome wedding cake ideas and so much that you are getting dizzy.  Hold on!  We made it happen, we will help you through it!  Great organization, follow through and planning can turn piles of brochures into a well thought out and perfect wedding day. 

1) Dump & Categorize

Dump your bag out and separate the brochures by category; DJs, cake companies, photographers, bands/live music, flowers, reception halls, etc.  Once you’ve done that, take each pile and pull out the company, or companies,  you actually had the opportunity to talk to.  These will be the first people to review.  From that group, chose one to three companies from each category, paying attention to any coupon or show pricing deadlines, that made the biggest impression on you when you spoke, i.e. personality of the representative, overall look of their booth – samples, photos, etc – and any offers they presented.  These will be the first people you want to consider for your wedding.

2) Contact them

Now that you’ve narrowed it down, the next step is to contact them and set up an appointment to talk about what you’re looking for, what your budget is for that particular service, availability on your date, etc.  The one thing we do not recommend is just calling up a company and asking what they charge.  That doesn’t give you a true idea of what that company can offer you.  Here’s something to think about, just because a company may LOOK expensive, i.e. high quality ads, brochures, booth displays, etc. doesn’t mean they are expensive, that they aren’t willing to work within your budget.  You’d be surprised how many companies can offer you their best work and still won’t break the bank.  Give them a chance. 

3)Research what you need to ask

After you set the appointment, print out  a copy of our wedding
planner  http://www.todaysbrideonline.com/planning_tools.phtml.  It contains great information and just about every question you should ask.   You may want to check out their website too.  Many companies will list their services and possibly a price list.  But don’t let that be the end of your research.  A true measure of a company is not necessarily what they look like online or what their brochure look like, it’s the people and how they interact with you.  Which brings us to the next step…

3)Get to know them personally

While talking with the vendor, make sure everything they will do for you will be written in the contract and that every aspect is covered.  Yes, they know what they need to do, but you need to know too!  They do this for a living and it’s second nature to them.  What you might assume will be included, often times is not and could be an issue later on down the line.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for it in writing!

4)  Time to Make a Choice

You’ve “interviewed” your top choices. Now comes the hard part, choosing that one company that will make your day perfect.  Review all of the information you collected when you spoke.  Take into consideration the personality of the person you spoke to, the atmosphere of where you met, any testimonials or recommendations from others that have used their service, etc and the choice should be obvious.

5) File It Away

Once you have made your final decisions and booked your wedding professionals, don’t throw away your research!  File it away for a future use.  You never know when you’ll need the services of a company you talked to or received literature from but didn’t use. 

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life and the companies you choose to help you celebrate play a big role in making it perfect.  Follow your heart, after all, it brought you to this point and hasn’t been wrong yet.

Money Can’t Buy Love: Northeast Ohio weddings still going strong despite economic downturn

We are not claiming to be the original source of this post: View full post on wedding « WordPress.com Tag Feed

by Jennifer Boresz on January 20, 2010

Weddings tend to boom during decade years.

Who knew?

My fiancé, Brian, and I sure didn’t plan to get married in 2010 for any particular reason. It’s just the way things worked out. But bridal vendors throughout Northeast Ohio are hoping others will also choose this decade year to plan their big day. It would give their businesses a boost, following a not-so-great 2009.

It seems that just about everyone has been impacted by the struggling economy. Even though some couples in 2009 worked within a budget to throw the weddings of their dreams, others decided to postpone their big days. A decrease in wedding funds may delay plans, but bridal vendors can count on one thing: People will still continue to fall in love and get married.

This Friday night (January 22, 2009)  at 8:30 on NEOtropolis, we’ll talk about the economic impact of Northeast Ohio weddings. If you think about it, just one wedding — one single day — touches many different vendors. By having your wedding here in the region, instead of a “destination wedding” out of the state or even the country, you’re actually helping the local economy.

According to the Wedding Report through the Bridal Association of America, the average U.S. wedding cost more than $30,000 in 2009! (Now I’m not saying everyone pays that much, but can you imagine the impact thousands of weddings have on Northeast Ohio businesses each year?)

Here are some interesting statistics from the same 2009 study that I thought you might enjoy:

17 months = average engagement time

169 = average number of guests

26 = average age of bride

28 = average age of groom

2,326,485 = numbers of weddings in the United States (a 2.37 percent increase from 2008)

I’m proud to say that since Brian and I are both native Northeast Ohio residents, we are using all local vendors for our June wedding. We’re even incorporating elements from the Lake Erie shore into our centerpieces and decor to reflect the region we love.

What about you? Are you a bride or groom who is planning a wedding? Will it take place in the region? Or, if you’ve been to a wedding recently, did you notice that it was less extravagant due to the economy? What stood out? And who are your favorite Northeast Ohio vendors?

——–

See Today’s Bride’s own Jim Frericks and Jennifer Fyffe discuss the outlook for the Northeast Ohio bridal industry on this episode of NEOtropolis.

NEOtropolis Episode 112: The Business of Brides{{desc}}

via Episode 112: The Business of Brides.

January is Bridal Show Month!

January is a very busy month for bridal show producers, including Today’s Bride.  We are the largest Bridal Show producer in Northeast Ohio for over 20 years, bringing newly engaged couples hundreds of wedding professionals all in one place!  It’s one-stop-shopping for all your bridal needs.

This Sunday, January 17th will be our largest show of the season at the IX Center in Cleveland.  Over 200 wedding professionals will be on hand, from florists to teeth whitening, Bridal gowns in Henri’s gown showroom to photobooths that will add additional craziness and fun to your reception.  It’s all here!  Beautiful fashions shows highlighting this seasons most sought-after gowns will be at 11:00, 12:30, 2:00 & 3:30pm, brought to you by Henri’s Cloud Nine with fashions from Henri’s, Expressions Bridal, David’s Bridal, Dora’s Bridal & Formal and more!  For the Mother-of, beautiful gowns from Peneventures will also be featured.  Don’t forget to check out the American Commodore Tuxedo dancers showing off the latest in formal attire for the groom too!  They are sure to rock the show!

Doors will be open from 10am to 5pm.  Admission at the door is $10 but you can get a $3 off coupon or buy tickets online for 50% off by pre-registering at www.todaysbride.com.  Parking is $8.

To help you prepare for the show, check out our bridal survival guid by clicking here.  Come to the show excited and prepared!