The month of March since 1991 has been proclaimed as Irish American Heritage month to recognize the contributions that Irish Immigrants and their relatives have played in the formation of our country. There are roughly about 33.3 million Americans—10.5% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2013 Census. This compares with a population of 6.4 million on the island of Ireland, who knew?
Now with so many Irish Americans now living in the United States there are some Irish Wedding traditions as well. A few of them are the Claddagh Ring, an Irish Wedding Toast, Bagpipes and Kilts and an Irish Feast.
The Claddagh Ring handed down from mother to daughter and is used both as the betrothal and wedding ring. It is worn with the crowns facing inward, toward the wrist, on betrothal, and outward, toward the nail, upon marriage. It’s still used as a wedding ring today.
An Irish wedding toast consist of the wedding party gathers around the bride and groom. All fill their glasses with mead and the newly wedded couple recites an Irish toast: “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.” The guests respond: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”
Lots of big Irish families have family members who are in pipe bands so it’s common for them to play their bagpipes at the weddings. Most pipers wear Celtic kilts — plaid skirts that their ancestors wore in medieval times. Who doesn’t like a man wearing a kilt?
Ah yes let’s not forget the best part of a wedding celebration….the feast, an Irish feast.
The traditional Irish menu which is Irish soda bread, corned beef, and cabbage it’s really something you would typically crave, but when cooked right and served up at a big wedding, it’s delicious. Don’t forget the traditional Irish wedding cake, a fruitcake filled with almonds, raisins, cherries, and spice and laced with brandy or bourbon.
Quebec Place at Fairmount is the perfect setting for your Irish wedding celebration. Call us today to schedule a tour and speak with our event planner to really make your special day one to remember.