Celtic Wedding Traditions That Reflect On Symbolism

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10 Celtic Wedding Traditions That Reflect On Symbolism

When it comes to a Celtic wedding and their wedding traditions and symbols, the Celts are very steep in their history. Whether it’s the jewelry they wear, the attire, as in the kilt, or the old traditional “Something Old, Something New” a Celtic wedding remains a unique era of history. Here are 10 Celtic wedding traditions and some of their symbolism.

The Kilt makes its mark
If you’re looking to have your wedding with a more Celtic essence, then have the males in the wedding adorned in authentic kilts. For a kilt ensemble that is fully formal, the dress attire would include the tartan kilt itself, a fur or a leather sporran, a Prince Charlie jacket and the vest, as well as the flashes and kilt socks. For the shirt, it usually includes a tuxedo shirt and black bow tie. For a less formal outfit, go with a button-down Oxford shirt, along with a tweed day or Argyle jacket and a tartan tie.

Luck of the Irish Horseshoe
In modern days, we often see the horseshoe as a good luck symbol. Therefore, it is not surprising to find a horseshoe tucked inside the bride’s bouquet of flowers or sown into the wedding gown itself. The Celts held their horses and other livestock in high regard, which also is led to be associated to the horseshoe.
Something Old, Something….
We’ve all heard the saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” In Ireland, the color blue is thought of as a lucky color. Something borrowed, if borrowed from a good friend, symbolizes true friendship. A handkerchief for the bride is the something new and it’s for good luck, while something old is the connected to the family.
Lucky Lavender
Lavender is an ancient symbol that the Celts believed in, as they saw it as a symbol of love, devotion and loyalty; perhaps a little luck as well. The lavender is placed in the bride’s flower bouquet.
Hand-Fasting Weddings
A wedding ceremony that is known as hand-fasting, involves the couple standing together in a circle that is formed by their wedding guests. There is no clergy involved during this timeless wedding tradition, and with their hands tied together with a strip of cloth or a cord, the couple makes their pledges to one another. Originally hand-fasting was looked at as a trial marriage that is under contract for a year and one day. If the union does not work out, they just go their separate ways.
Light up the Unity Candle
To symbolize the bringing together of two families, the bride and groom often light the unity candle during the wedding ceremony. The two taper candles are located on the outside of the main candle and it represents the two families. The center candle represents the unity of the new family that has been newly formed.
The Irish Tossings
Two simple traditions include the tossing of items to the guests as a way to bring the couple prosperity and good luck. For the adults, usually they will toss a handful of coins, while they toss individually wrapped candies to the children. This also symbolizes the guests will not go without over the years.
Pebble Tossing
In ancient times, the Celtic gods believed that couples marrying should be done near some form of water. Perhaps it will take place near a river, a lake or even a holy well. Wedding guests were then encouraged to toss small stones that were provided to them into the water as they make a wish for the future happiness of the new couple.
The Passing of the Quaich
The Quaich Cup, also known as the Loving Cup, is a two-handled cup that was known to be used during wedding receptions as to symbolize the new married couple’s sense of sharing. The cup is presented by using both hands and the receiver accepts it using both hands. The long tradition of the Quaich is still in use today, joining families and friends together either at a Celtic wedding or at the reception.
Marriage Bell in the home
One Celtic wedding tradition involves a young couple receiving a bell as one of their wedding gifts. The purpose is to place the bell out in the open within their home, that way if the couple has a disagreement or an argument one of them could ring the bell which will bring an end to the situation. A Truce is welcomed and no one has to admit any guilt; it is simply dropped and forgotten.