It’s wedding season, and we all know what that means! Time to ward off some evil spirits, even though we’re not sure why. Luckily, many Irish wedding traditions are packed with curse-fighting benefits, so adding a few of these to any wedding ceremony will help you start your marriage curse-free.
If you’re reading this, you’re either Irish, planning a wedding, or both. As a bride, the last thing you want to worry about right now is evil spirits wrecking your big day. And if you weren’t lucky enough to grow up with an Irish Catholic grandma like mine, I have you covered. Here are four romantic wedding traditions you can use to fend off evil and ensure a happy marriage, the Irish way.
1. Assemble Your Bridesmaids
In previous centuries, bridesmaids wore bridal dresses and veils in the hope of confusing evil spirits looking to curse you on your wedding day. A bridesmaid’s job is to absorb the evil directed at you, thereby ensuring you have a happy marriage.
It’s said that if a woman is a bridesmaid three times before being a bride herself, she’s absorbed too much evil, and will never find true love. Thus, we get the saying, thrice a bridesmaid, never a bride. Unless, of course, she’s a bridesmaid another four times. As long as she’s in seven different weddings, she’s in the clear, the curse will be broken, and she can find love again.
Another Irish superstition is if a bridesmaid stumbles or falls on her way down the aisle, she will never marry. So be kind to your bridesmaids! They are putting a lot on the line for you. Maybe don’t make them wear heels.
2. Get Yourself a Wedding Veil
Being cast the evil eye is a genuine concern to an Irish woman, especially on her wedding day. Wearing a veil obscures your face from jealous spirits (and possibly your in-laws). If they can’t see you, they can’t curse you, allowing you to make it down the aisle totally curse-free.
It’s also Irish tradition that a happily married woman, often the mother of the bride, be the one to place the veil. This not only protects you from spirits looking to ruin your wedding day but also ensures a happy marriage like hers for the newlyweds.
3. No Green at an Irish Wedding
Ah, the color of the fairies. Up until relatively recently, green was seen as an unlucky color to the Irish. Irish tradition says anyone who comes to your wedding wearing green can bring with them ill-wishes or bad luck. It’s entirely possible, they’re even doing it on purpose.
It’s also essential everyone stays green-free at your wedding, lest you insult the fairies. They are secretive, fickle creatures, who can bring fortune just as quickly as they can disaster. Some have been known to steal children. So, if you’re worried about spirits or curses ruining your wedding ceremony, remember no green. You never want to offend an Irish fairy, especially on your wedding day.
4. Irish Wedding Bells
It’s common to see bells everywhere at an Irish wedding, not only because they are great for keeping evil spirits at bay but also because they can spread the news of wedding bliss far and wide. The Irish often give them as wedding gifts, and some brides even include small ones in their wedding bouquets.
Historically, bells were often baptized and christened by the church, turning their chimes holy. You know what evil spirits hate more than Jesus? You guessed it! Noises that remind them of Jesus.
Something fun you can do at your wedding is to give bells to all of your guests and have them ring them when the priest (or officiant, just don’t tell my grandma) says- you may now kiss the bride. Ringing bells protects you from evil at the moment of your union and also happens to be a great photo opportunity for your wedding book.
If you need more ideas to fend off evil, throwing rice is thought to feed the evil spirits and keep them at bay. However, it isn’t great for birds to eat. If you need added protection against evil spirits, try bribing them instead by throwing handfuls of coins at your wedding guests. Sprinkling whiskey on the ground at your reception is also said to help. Oh! And make sure your husband carries you over the threshold of your home- don’t want any evil following you in there, now do we?
Does your family have any cultural or quirky wedding traditions? Please share them in the comments below. And congrats to all the beautiful brides out there, Irish or not!