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to wish the couple good luck. Think
happy traffic jam, with everyone smil-
ing and waving.
Among other traditions, one has
the bride tie white ribbons into her
bouquet, then give them to guests
as they leave the church. The guests
tie them onto their cars—it used to
be on their antennas; on newer cars,
maybe it’s rearview mirrors?—to
mark them as part of the wedding
procession. Another custom is for
the bride’s family to save their pennies to buy her wedding shoes.
Celtic weddings often have a
strong religious element, but there are
also secular traditions couples enjoy.
These include following the classic
wedding calendar, “handfasting,” and
wearing a special style of wedding
According to ireland-information.
com, traditional beliefs about when
one should get married are summed
up in this old wedding song
“Marry when the year is new, always loving, kind, and true. / When February birds
do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate.
/ If you wed when March winds blow, joy
and sorrow both you’ll know. / Marry in
April when you can, joy for maiden and for
Linda A. Baldi-Perry
President of Spa Niagara®
6932 Williams Road
Niagara Falls, New York
in skincar e
man. / Marry in the month of May, you
will surely rue the day. / Marry when June
roses blow, over land and sea you’ll go. /
They who in July do wed, must labor always
for their bread. / Whoever wed in August
be, many a change are sure to see. / Marry
in September’s shine, your living will be rich
and fine. / If in October you do marry, love
will come but riches tarry. / If you wed in
bleak November, only joy will come, remember. / When December’s rain fall fast, marry and true love will last.” (One wonders
if discounts are available in March,
May, July, and October.)
“Handfasting” is an ancient Celtic
tradition that literally binds the couple’s hands, and is likely where we get
the term “tying the knot.” “It is similar to an engagement, a time when
both parties decide if they really wish
to commit. In modern times, the tradition occurs on the actual wedding
day, although in centuries past, the
ceremony acted as a kind of temporary marriage,” says the website.
During the Middle Ages, Ireland
was ruled by “Brehon Law,” and
handfasting was a “proper form of
marriage.” Later, when the act of
marriage became more formal, handfasting transitioned to a symbolic ceremony.
Claddagh rings—depicting two
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