Giving Irish wedding gifts, as with so many wedding customs in Ireland, is steeped in magical folklore and old-fashioned Irish superstition.
Deciding what gift to give your friends on their big day will be easier once you learn about a few of Ireland’s traditional wedding gifts and what they signify.
Whether the bell be made of pewter, brass, porcelain, or crystal, it will ward off the evil spirits that may be lurking to trip up the newlyweds.
Also known as a “make-up bell” or “wedding bell”, it helps the Bride and Groom stay ever-mindful of their wedding vows and the love they shared on their wedding day. So whenever they are upset with each other one of them can ring the bell instead of walking away.
The Magic Hanky
There is a wonderful Irish wedding custom for the bride to carry a “magic” hanky on her wedding day.
After the nuptials, she keeps it in a special place saves it for her firstborn’s christening, to dry her baby’s face. A variation of this Irish wedding tradition is for the hanky to be converted into a christening bonnet, then converted back into a hanky for that child’s wedding day.
The Wedding Coin
Another old Irish wedding tradition is for the Groom to give his Bride a coin after they exchange rings, as a symbol of prosperity. This custom originated back when the Groom would pay money to the Bride’s family to bring them good fortune and joy.
A modern interpretation of this custom is for the Bride and Groom to exchange coins. They say if the coins touch each other during the exchange, the Bride and Groom will be blessed with many children.
The Lucky Horseshoe
The horseshoe has always been associated with good luck in Irish folklore. Brides traditionally carry a horseshoe with them on their wedding day for good luck.
After they set up their home together, the horseshoe is hung over their front door to continue to ward off evil and despair. Just remember, if you give the couple a horseshoe, give it to them with the “U” facing up – this way it stops the luck from draining out!
Other good luck charms that make great Irish wedding gifts include:
- Salt and Pepper Shakers
So their home will never be without food.
- Wine Glasses
So they will always have plenty to drink.
- Candlestick Holders
So their home will always have light.
Giving gifts is an important part of the culture of hospitality in Ireland. So if you have been invited to an Irish wedding, it’s important to choose your wedding gifts wisely. Hopefully some of these traditional Irish wedding gifts have given you some ideas.