Are you planning to celebrate your Irish heritage by having an Irish-themed wedding celebration? This is a great way to plan a wedding that is both unique and full of elements that are personally meaningful to you, and perhaps to many of your guests as well. Take a look at some tips that will help you plan the perfect Irish wedding reception.
A traditional Irish wedding feast is a potluck held at a bride's house. If you're planning an informal wedding, organizing a potluck wedding dinner can be fun and a great way to save a little cash on the menu. However, if you're planning a more formal wedding, you probably won't want to ask your guests to bring the food. Ask your caterer to help you plan a menu that includes traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread.
The traditional Irish wedding cake is nuts, cherries, spices, and raisins, soaked in brandy and covered with white icing. The really interesting thing is the cake-cutting tradition. The bride's sister or closest friend is supposed to be the one to make the first cut – while the groomsmen hold the cake over the seated bride's head.
There are several ways you can go when planning the music for an Irish-themed reception. You may want to incorporate bagpipes – although the instrument is often associated with Scotland, bagpipe music has Celtic roots, and an accomplished player can provide terrific entertainment.
Of course, you may want to skip the bagpipes in favor of an Irish band. Make sure that you include some traditional famous Irish folk songs in the playlist, like "My Wild Irish Rose" and "The Irish Wedding Dance." If you're feeling brave and want to learn before your wedding day (or if you're already trained in Irish dancing) you and your other half could try performing a traditional Irish set dance for your first dance.
There are many ways to incorporate your Irish heritage into your reception hall decorations. Horseshoes are a good place to start. The bride is supposed to wear or carry a horseshoe on her wedding day for good luck – typically it's a charm on a necklace, a porcelain horseshoe sewn into the dress, or a decorative horseshoe added to the wedding bouquet. You can share some good luck with your wedding guests by adding horseshoes to the flower arrangements on the table, or using horseshoe-shaped place card holders.
Speaking of flowers, why not use Irish plants like shamrocks, myrtle, or bells of Ireland (also called shell flowers) for your arrangements? Blue iris is another good choice, especially if you're using blue as one of your wedding colors. Though you may think of colors like green and gold first, blue is considered a lucky color for a wedding in Ireland. In fact, at one time, Irish brides wore blue wedding dresses instead of white.
With a little attention to detail, your Irish wedding will be a huge success. It will be a day that you and your guests never forget.