Irish Wedding Gifts
Couples may choose an Irish wedding to celebrate their heritage or because they are drawn to the romance and the centuries-old traditions. Some of the traditions, such as the Celtic Wedding Vow, which speaks of a marriage of equals in which neither possesses nor commands the other, aptly fits today's attitudes. A wedding gift that reflects Irish tradition would be a cherished and meaningful reminder of the ceremony.
While the traditional Irish blessing is not part of an Irish wedding, it is displayed in many Irish homes. The Belleek Irish Blessing Plate beautifully combines a number of Irish motifs, all in shades of green on a white background. The edging on the plate is sprinkled with shamrocks and is shaped to recall the graceful curves and strings of the Irish harp. The blessing seems bestowed upon the Irish scene below it:
"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May rains fall soft upon your fields
And the sun shine warm upon your face;
Until we meet again."
Belleek China represents a tradition of Irish craftsmanship. Each piece is created in County Fermanagh, Ireland using techniques that have been handed down for generations.
If you would prefer Irish Gifts that truly are part of Irish wedding traditions, consider giving Galway Crystal wine glasses or a candlestick holder.
The set of two Irish Crystal Claddagh Flutes ensures, according to Irish tradition, that the couple will always have plenty to drink. The Irish Mullingar Pewter Claddagh Unity Candlestick Holder ensures that the couple's home will always have light.
The Claddagh symbol on these gifts refers to a romantic, 300-year-old legend from the fishing village of Claddagh, Ireland, which is near Galway. On the week that he was to be married, a young man named Richard Joyce went out on a fishing boat that was captured by pirates. Richard and the crew were sold into slavery in Algeria, where Richard was purchased by a wealthy Moorish goldsmith. When Richard showed promise at the craft, the goldsmith began to train the boy. In time, Richard became a master craftsman, but in all that time, Richard never forgot the girl he was to marry. From his thoughts of her and hope for their love, he created the first Claddagh ring. The hands holding the heart represented their friendship and love and the crown above the heart represented his own loyalty and fidelity and his hope that he had hers. In 1698, William III achieved an agreement that freed all of his subjects who were being held as slaves. In the hope that Richard would stay in Algiers, the goldsmith offered him half of his wealth and the hand of his only daughter in marriage. Richard, however, still hoped to reunite with his true love and set sail for home. The legend ends happily, for Richard did indeed have the loyalty and fidelity of his one true love. She had waited for him. He presented her with the first Claddagh ring as they were finally married. The Claddagh symbol is the perfect design for wedding gifts and is used in many Irish Gifts today.
The wine glasses, etched with the Claddagh design, come in a Galway Crystal gift box.
The Claddagh symbol on the center base of the candlestick unites it with two gracefully curved arms. The base provides a solid home for a pillar candle while the arms hold slender tapers. The design, which measures nine inches in width, echoes the story of the legend's separated lovers reunited by the strength of their faithful love. The internationally acclaimed Mullingar Pewter Company of Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland, handcrafted this candlestick. The high standards of design and artisanship of the company are an Irish tradition 800 years old, older than the legend of the Claddagh ring.
While, again, the Belleek Cashel Clock is not connected to Irish wedding traditions, its name connects it to Irish history and legend. The Rock of Cashel is also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock. When St. Peter banished Satan from a cave in Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel, the rock is supposed to have landed at Cashel in County Tipperary. Tradition claims that St. Peter converted the King of Munster to Christianity on this site in the fifth century. The site was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years.
Any of these gifts and many other on ExclusivelyIrish.com are thoughtfully connected to Irish traditions and legends, perfectly commemorates an Irish wedding.