(Vocus) September 25, 2009
If one is planning a themed wedding there could be nothing more special than by giving it a Celtic flavour. Whether choosing to have the guests wearing full dress kilts, with a rousing pipe band or the gentle tunes of the harp it is sure to be a wedding to remember.
There are many simple and elegant ways to introduce one or all three of the Celtic nations into the special day. Each has its own traditions that will provide a romantic, natural old world feeling when combining them.
The wedding rings are one of the potent symbols of marriage. Celtic wedding ring styles include beautiful golden knots, traditional trinity rings , ancient Gaelic script rings, the Irish Claddagh, or warrior rings. The more lines that are incorporated into the ring the greater the protection from evil. Having a traditional inscription on the inside in either Gaelic or Welsh will be a treasure for years to come.
It is easy to obtain Irish, Scottish or Welsh tartan these days and there are many manufacturers producing lovely tartan dresses, kilts, plaid vests or waistcoats and ties. Ladies can also find tartan gowns, garters, sashes, and skirts. Ribbon is also available in various tartans to use for decorating and party favours.
Musical accompaniment is guaranteed to make guests feel they are in the Highlands, on an Irish moor or walking through a misty Mid Wales valley. Obviously a large venue will be needed if a pipe band or a male voice choir is chosen but smaller locations could quite easily accommodate a single piper, Welsh harpist or traditional Irish folk band with a Uillean pipes and a bodhran drum.
All Celtic celebrations concentrate on nature. Flowers always play a part of the wedding day. Each of the Celtic nations has their own individual floral tributes which can be woven into a bouquet, corsage or centre pieces. One could include the subtle purples and blues of the Scottish heathers, the vibrant greens of clovers or the brilliant yellows in daffodils. Also within traditional mythology the bride tends to have small flowers woven into her hair or dress to ward off evil spirits. Various herbs can be worn in the hair as a sign of fidelity. Sprigs of shamrock or white heather are added to bouquets and dresses for good luck. Lavender is often added to ensure a lasting union. Even opting for a wreath of wild flowers instead of a wedding veil adds a Celtic touch. Have the flower girl throw clovers or daffodil petals down the aisle. In Wales, it is customary for the bride to pull myrtle from her bouquet to give to her bridesmaids to plant. If it blooms, the bridesmaid will soon be married.
These days it has become common to place wedding favours on the tables for guests. Here too simple gifts with a Celtic feel can add to the sense of the occasion. Celtic wedding favours could include small carved love spoons or toffees wrapped together and tied with a tartan bow. Irish tradition has a small box with the couple’s name on and a piece of wedding cake inside, each laced with a lucky charm, button, pea or coin, each having its own special meaning. Irish four leaf clover is available in both seeds or resin so each guest can take the luck of the Irish home with them.
One can really have fun with the invitations and printed place settings. Why not give each table a Welsh or Gaelic place name, use a traditional Celtic style type face on the place settings to give the wedding party a real connection to the Isles. The wedding invitations too could include Celtic knot designs, like those found in many religious scripts from the early Christian periods. They could feature bold patterns and colourful images, the trademark of all things Celtic.
The Scots, Welsh and Irish are all well known talkers, poets and story tellers. There are many famous pieces of poetry that could be included in the day to recite or have printed on place mats to enhance the charm of the occasion.
The wedding feast is always a memorable part of the day’s celebrations and what better way to have a themed ceremony than by choosing a traditional Celtic meal. Have a starter of broth or rarebit, main course including Scottish beef, salmon or Welsh lamb and to finish a dessert of fresh woodland fruits and berries, followed by Irish coffee.
During the evening’s entertainment, advise the DJ to bring along a number of contemporary groups to continue the theme. Modern bands like U2, Stereophonics, The Proclaimers, and Travers, even Tom Jones, all renowned, proud Celts and are certain to get the guests dancing the night away.
Whatever elements are included in one's wedding giving it that unique Celtic feel, there are many intriguing, traditional and novel ideas. After all, the Celts have been making a show of getting married for centuries now.