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Irish Wedding Superstitions & Traditions

September 14, 2010

Past Irish Superstitions:

In 18th and 19th century Ireland, it was believed that if the sun shone on the bride, it would bring good luck to the couple. Also to hear a cuckoo or to see three magpies on the morning of the wedding was thought to be lucky.

A few more interesting ones are as follows:

  •  After the wedding ceremony, a man and not a woman was the first to wish joy to the new bride
  • The earrings worn on the wedding day would bring luck & happiness ever after
  • It was considered lucky to tear your wedding dress accidentally on your wedding day
  • If a happily married woman put the veil on you, it brought luck, however it was unlucky to put on your own veil
  • If you looked at the sun when you left the house for your wedding, your children would be beautiful

Banns of Marriage:

Banns of marriage were required in areas under British rule which meant announcing your intention to marry in church for 3 Sundays prior to the wedding. This prevented people from marrying in haste as well as giving  anyone who might object time to do so. It is still a legal requirement to give 3 months notice to the registrar in Ireland.

Silver Sixpence:

The placing of a silver sixpence in the bride’s left shoe represented her future wealth – this was not just to bring the bride financial wealth but also to bring a wealth of happiness and joy throughout her married life. Perhaps a 10 cent coin could now be worn in place of a sixpence!

Blowing of Car Horns:

An ancient practice in some parts of Ireland was to fire rifles into the air as the couple pass to salute the bride but in recent times, blowing the horns of the cars in the procession from the church has replaced this.


The Irish wording for honeymoon is “mi na meala” which translates as “the month of honey”. It was customary for the newlywed couple in spend a month together drinking honey wine which is known as “mead” and was consumed at wedding because it was thought to promote virility. At the end of the month, the bride was usually pregnant!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 15, 2010 7:18 am

    Blowing of the horns I love that. I reckon the whole world should know when I marry. Or you. More fun that way, blowing the horns, that is.

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