How to have an Irish wedding (a real one…)

No Gravatar

Before I begin, let me make this fairly plain. My husband and I are already married. We got married at a lovely, small civil ceremony in front of a judge and 2 witnesses in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico in October of 2009. By the time we attend our “Irish wedding” this weekend, we will have been married for 15 months.

So why have another wedding in Ireland? Well, for one and most importantly, my husband is, in fact, Irish. From Dublin, to be exact. And despite the fact that, now, he is rather annoyed at the process of actually planning a real wedding, from the get-go, he did want to have a spiritual ceremony in his home parish with his family there. It’s a Catholic thing. And an Irish thing (despite the fact that he is not a particularly standard version of either).

Photo by Matt Murphy

Irish Catholic weddings tend to be big and traditional

I get that, and I wanted the same, so we began planning.

But here’s the thing, and this is something that anyone considering marrying an Irish man (or woman for that matter) should consider: Irish people take weddings very seriously. Even if your intended spouse is not particularly bothered about all the nuptial hoopla, chances are, his family will be.

Read on for how to plan your Irish wedding…

And so it goes. I am not a traditional person, neither is the husby. That’s probably why we got married in front of a judge and two witnesses to begin with. But his family, it seems, is taking this whole thing very seriously. And perhaps they have a right to. They weren’t at the first one, after all.

I’ve learned a few things during this process. And so, here are my tips for planning the wedding of a lifetime to your Paddy Beloved.

1) The wedding part of an Irish wedding is a very formal affair. Most Irish people opt to get married in the home church of the bride, and the Catholic church is traditional and strict about the affairs of the marriage rite. If you were hoping to walk down the aisle to anything other than a hymn or classical song performed by a guitarist or string trio, you can think otherwise.

2) The reception part of an Irish wedding is a big party in a hotel ballroom. We strayed from this, mostly because we wanted a small to-do with good food and great drink. That’s why we decided to host our reception at The Brazen Head, one of our favorite pubs in Dublin.

Photo by Matt Murphy

Most Irish weddings involve lots of dancing and even more drinking

Page 1 of 2 | Next page