Photo by Jonas Peterson

How to Incorporate Irish Culture into Your Wedding


March 17, 2023
Words by Olivia Buckley International
Photos courtesy of various

Ireland is a beautiful country known for its rolling hills, vibrant culture, and rich history. Couples travel from all over the world come to Ireland to tie the knot. If you’re planning a wedding in Ireland, you may be wondering how to incorporate Irish culture into your big day. Olivia Buckley International is the wedding planning agency behind Ireland’s most enchanting celebrations. Welcoming clients from all across the globe, from Singapore to California, Olivia Buckley International has mastered the art of entwining Irish culture into destination wedding celebrations. This St. Patrick Day’s, explore the ways you can infuse your wedding with Irish charm and create an unforgettable experience on the Emerald Isle.

Photo by Jonas Peterson

Irish Wedding Ceremony

Irish wedding ceremonies are steeped in tradition and are often characterized by their deep sense of spirituality and community. Handfasting is a beautiful, traditional Celtic ritual in which the bride and groom’s hands are bound together with a ribbon or cord, symbolizing their commitment to each other. This ritual is the origin of the wedding phrase ‘tie the knot’. Known as the land of Saints & Scholars, Ireland is home to some of the world’s most prolific writers. You have a library of romantic musings to inspire your wedding vows or to include during your ceremony as readings and blessings.

Photo by Craig & Eva Sanders

Irish Flowers

Ireland is the land of fifty shades of green. Lush landscapes and verdant beauty are why Ireland is recognized worldwide as the Emerald Isle. The ethereal wilderness of Ireland can serve as a beautiful inspiration for your wedding design. You can embrace moss, fern and laurel to create a natural base for your floral design. Irish wildflowers can be a beautiful and meaningful way to honor the country’s native beauty. Wildflowers are often associated with love, happiness, and beauty, making them a perfect addition to any wedding celebration. In Irish folklore, certain flowers also have specific meanings, such as the shamrock representing good luck and the bluebell symbolizing constancy and humility. You could add a subtle spray of shamrock to your bouquet or emphasize bluebells in a cascading floral installation.   

Photo by Jonas Peterson

Irish Food & Drink

Ireland has a rich culinary tradition that features a variety of dishes and ingredients that reflect the country’s history, culture, and geography. The country is known for its fresh seafood, grass-fed beef, lamb, and rich dairy products such as butter and cheese. Embrace the cuisine throughout your celebration. Host an Atlantic Seafood Bar during your Drinks Reception, followed by a succulent Fillet of Beef for dinner, concluded with a rich Guinness Wedding Cake, complemented by a shot of Baby Guinness (a delicious blend of coffee liqueur and Bailey’s).

Ireland is famous for its beer, particularly stout, which is exemplified by Guinness. The country also produces world-famous whiskeys, so indulging in a whiskey bar or experience may quench the thirst of many of your guests seeking an authentic Irish tipple.

Photo by Petar Jurica

Irish Music & Dancing

Irish music and dancing are high-energy and dynamic ways of inviting Irish culture into your celebration. The intricate footwork and choreography of Irish dance can be both impressive and entertaining to watch, and guests may even be inspired to join in and try some steps themselves. The harp is a beautiful instrument to embrace during your wedding ceremony or drinks reception, while the bódhran and the fiddle can amplify the tempo of the evening celebrations.

Photo by Jonas Peterson

Irish Themed Parties

If you are hosting a multi-day event or are interested in hosting a quirky wedding celebration, you can embrace the mythology and folklore of Ireland. Ireland has many fascinating stories, from the famous leprechauns to the mysterious faeries, Tir na nOg to the Children of Lir. You can use the settings of these stories as inspiration for your wedding design, recreating fantasies in enchanted forests and lakeside utopias.

Traditional Irish Clothing

Traditional Irish wedding clothes add a unique and distinct cultural element to the wedding. It brings authenticity and personalization to the celebration. A tweed suit is a distinctive and sharp option that adds a touch of Irish to the groom’s wardrobe. Tweed has been used for centuries in Ireland and is now a classic look, which provides great warmth and a vintage appeal. For brides seeking a traditional wedding dress, you may consider lace. Irish lace-making is a revered skill and form of artistry in Ireland. Naturally, lace became the staple fabric for Irish brides. But the original Irish wedding dress wasn’t defined by fabric, but by color. The traditional Irish bride wore a blue wedding dress. Blue was a symbol of purity in ancient times but was replaced in the 20th century by the white gown. While quite uncommon in modern weddings, a blue wedding dress is a unique, traditional option for brides who wish to include ‘something blue’ in a surprising manner. 

Photo by Jonas Peterson

Welcome Gifts

Irish welcome gifts can be a great way to show appreciation and gratitude to your wedding guests who have traveled a distance to celebrate your wedding. The gifts can also serve as a representation of some ofreasons you love and chose Ireland for your wedding destination. Irish regions vary in specialties so consider the location of your wedding celebration when choosing your wedding favors. If you are hosting your celebration in Tipperary, you may choose to create a gift basket with the renowned Cashel Blue Cheese, rhubarb chutney and artisan crackers that they can enjoy throughout their stay. A celebration in Kerry may warrant a gift of Kenmare Lace. In Galway, an Atlantic Seaweed Skincare set by VOYA may help rejuvenate your guests after their travels. While Ireland is a small country, the regions offer diverse and localized products. Celebrating the locale with authentic products is a distinctive and beautiful way to honor your chosen wedding location.

Welcoming the local culture into your Irish wedding celebration can add a unique and meaningful touch to your special day. By honoring the heritage, infusing the day with symbolism and tradition, engaging in cultural exchange, and creating a festive atmosphere, you can create a wedding experience that is both memorable and deeply personal. Whether you are Irish yourself or simply love Irish culture, including Irish elements in your wedding can be a great way to celebrate your love and create a day that is truly unforgettable.

Photo by Jonas Peterson

Photo by Craig & Eva Sanders

About the brand: Olivia Buckley International is Ireland’s leading wedding planner and master behind some of Europe’s most exciting celebrations. With the flair to reimagine any style, genre, era, space or location, Olivia Buckley International combines their client’s personality and taste to create an immersive, unforgettable wedding celebration. The premium wedding agency has created the most diverse and coveted event portfolio in Ireland, imagining beyond what we see in front of us and seeking potential in the most inconceivable spaces to create ultimate event experiences. Olivia Buckley International embraces the possibilities of using indigenous materials, working with local craftsmanship and creative artistry, combined with cutting-edge technology, to design a world where every stimulus is awakened.

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