Traditional and Modern Wedding Traditions to Bring Irish Luck

Traditional and Modern Wedding Traditions to Bring Irish Luck

St Patrick's Day good luck celebrations finds us enjoying time with family and friends, and of course that’s at the heart of any good wedding - to be surrounded by those you love. So here we look at how to bring “the luck of the Irish” into your wedding planning and bring good luck and love into your wedding day.

Six Pence in the Shoe

Its not just the Irish who are superstitious when it comes to warding off evil spirits.  A sixpence was given to the bride, often by the men in ancient times, where she would place it inside her shoe on her wedding day. Nowadays some wedding couples glue a sixpence into their shoes to a nod to the tradition.  Fingers cross it brings them all the wealth, joy for their future ahead.

Carrying a Horseshoe

Like the sixpence, this is another symbol to bring luck to the newlyweds.   While years ago a real iron horseshoe was given, nowadays there are a variety of horseshoe jewellery or charms.   Some can be hung over doors, or sewn into bunting, or carried by one of the wedding couple or simply sewed into the wedding dress or suit.  But don’t forget the horseshoe must be facing upwards, so the luck doesn’t fall out.

Want to learn more interesting facts wedding superstitions, click here

Handfasting, Hand-tying or ‘Tying the Knot’

A Celebrant led ceremony can include this old Celtic tradition where the couple’s hands are bound together, which is where the phrase“tying of the knot” comes from.   Originally Irish wedding ceremonies would have handfasting representing the couple’s union together.  Today this tradition is still popular and can be performed in the ancient spiritual way into the entire ceremony or weaved into a modern wedding ceremony, giving a nod to those traditions.   It can be used during the Lunasa Irish Festival, where love knots can be exchanged between couples who want to marry.


We may all associate Ireland with Guinness, commonly known as the ‘Black Stuff’ but in truth its understood that Guinness is actually an extremely deep ruby red in colour.

But lets look at how to bring luck into the wedding celebrating with some toasts:-

Raise an Irish Wedding Toast With Mead

We commonly associate raising a glass to the newly weds at their wedding, as a good luck message to the happy couple, during the wedding reception.   Lets face it, its part of the Irish culture to ensure a good wish comes true, by raising a glass and drinking together.  Weddings throughout the ages are known to have music, dancing and lots of toasts to ensure the wedding breakfast and reception went well into the late hours of the night with joyous merriment.

Traditionally Irish wedding toasts are made drinking mead which is honey wine, ideal drink to wish the couple luck on their life together.

For your guide to one liner Irish toasts to bring good luck during your wedding speech, click here

Modern Alternative Good Luck Drinks

So if Guinness or Mead doesn’t wet your whistle, consider these green drink options to celebrate with:

1.     Green Beer - just add drops of green colouring to lemonade

2.     Sour apple cocktail

3.     Elderflower Gin #cocktails

4.     Mojito - dont forget the mint leaves

5.     Green Smoothie

6.     Baileys Irish Float - why not add pistachio ice cream

You dont have to limit these scrummy drinks to the wedding reception, ask a Celebrant to include making a cocktail during your wedding ceremony, symbolising the blending of you both when they mix those chosen ingredients together!

Traditional Irish Wedding Cake

Traditionally Irish wedding cakes were fruit cakes.  As in many cultures, often the couple will keep one of the layers for use at the christening of the couple’s first child. (just remove the icing, and pop the fruit cake in the freezer, then have it re-iced!)   How about a fruitcake made with honey and soaked in Irish whiskey topped with a sweet frosted iced glaze?

If wedding cake is not your taste, then fancy some green jelly? Spice it up by adding shots of whiskey into the jelly ingredients may bring some fun, but do remember to let your guests know in case they don’t indulge in alcohol.

Wedding Irish Blessing Readings

And of course, no Irish wedding wouldn’t be complete without words of advice.   How about:

A Blessing. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.

For your guide to over 200 readings and poems from traditional, modern, romantic, funny, for friendship, to those ideal for children to read, click here

30 years in Events

Having organised events over the years, they are always different and nowadays its joyous to bring personality into them whilst keeping our favourite traditions (or nod to them!)

For me, what makes a good celebration is how everyone connects together as family and friends.  Whether an event looks like a simplistic affair, often it means that behind the scenes there’s been a complex creativity to make it so!  Ive pulled off many occasions, each one an honour, whether that’s planning the event or as a celebrant writing and conduct a unique ceremony, so if you want help in sharing your love, please do connect with me.

Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise is the creative director of her UK award winning business, Amanda-Louise Knight Weddings Proposals & Events. She provides advice to modern couples who want unforgettable weddings that set the tone about their celebrations and love.

Amanda-Louise is a current celebrant, and has been involved in the events industry for over 30 years. Her love for logistics, she is wedding and marriage proposal planner in the South West of England. A dog lover herself, she is owner of Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone Service ensuring furry babies are included or cared for by her team.

She is mentor to other celebrants and venue consultant to her corporate business clients dedicating her time to helping them grow their own businesses.

And it all starts with making a date with Amanda-Louise!

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst its intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with any advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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