Celtic weddings very often present a deeply romantic and rather mystical-like affair. Indeed, Celts have an extremely close relationship with nature which is why the majority of Celtic couples choose to tie the knot during summer in a summer solstice wedding. Indeed, in Celtic culture, the summer solstice normally happens around the end of June and is normally centered around the arrival of sun and warmth. The summer solstice is thought to represent joy and courage, fertility, marriage, wealth and overall bliss in their new life.
There are, of course, several ways to throw a summer solstice wedding. While some couples go all the way and include every Celtic tradition from the Handfasting to the Unity Candle ceremony, others decide to keep things rather toned down by going for a nature-infused wedding instead of indulging in the different rituals. If you’re one of the couples who doesn’t mind going the extra mile, however, don’t forget that it might not be a bad idea to travel to exotic and mystical places where the summer solstice is usually celebrated. Stonehenge, for example, is an extremely popular venue for summer solstice weddings, especially at the crack of dawn. Waterfalls, lakesides or mountains are other fantastic options.
Another element that’s nearly always present in most Celtic summer solstice weddings are the various nature-infused touches. Of course holding the wedding in the great outdoors is a great way to do that: your backyard, the beach or even a local park are great venues for these types of ceremonies. However, another much easier way to add a nature-infused touch is through your accessories. For instance, a very thick flower crown, paired with a matching bridal bouquet will instantly bring an alluringly mystical look to your outfit, while keeping in line with the summer solstice theme. Since this ceremony is also supposed to celebrate the sun, try to go for yellow flowers for a more sunkissed look.
Bridal shops are brimming with floaty Celtic dresses to enhance your overall look. Trumpet sleeves, gathered bodices and lace trimmings are all fantastic options for the Celtic bride. It’s also important to pay particular attention to the overall décor and accents. For example, since it’ll be summer, your guests are probably going to be quite thirsty. So, as a special touch, why don’t you serve some refreshing cold drinks right in antique-looking bottles with straws? Don’t hesitate to go for typical Celtic meals such as scones, corned beef and cabbage, iced Irish coffee and the likes.
One of the most romantic celebrations, Celtic weddings are always brimming with love, nature and a deep sense of calmness and serenity. So, if you’re planning on having this type of celebration, scroll down to familiarize yourself with some of the most romantic wedding traditions that you should absolutely adopt on your own special day.
Outdoors wedding venue
It is extremely, extremely rare to find a Celtic wedding held in a stuffy indoors area. On the contrary, Celtic weddings are reputed for the sort of scenic sceneries that provide a deeply romantic backdrop for the ceremony. Couples should therefore take the extra time to look for the most striking outdoors venue that they can book.
However, if you want a church wedding, it’s not a bad idea to select a church or chapel in the countryside. This way, you’ll be able to have your church wedding while making the most out of nature’s gorgeous offerings.
Celtic Wedding Dress
Unlike contemporary ball gowns or Princess-like frocks, Celtic wedding dresses have a classic look to them. Indeed, brides will very rarely find a Celt-like frock that looks modern. Indeed, these dresses are often rooted in tradition, which may explain why they all look so ultra-glamorous. Admittedly, though, original Celtic dresses might be quite hard to find these days so don’t be afraid to customize. For example, when shopping for your wedding dress, be sure to look out for old-fashioned trumpet sleeves, floaty cuts and gathered bodices. Brides should also select soft and non-shimmery materials like lace, silk, organza and gauze.
Ceremonies and Rings
Celt couples usually indulge in two exquisitely sentimental traditions during their weddings. Some brides and grooms, for example, chose to go for the ancient Handfasting ceremony. This basically entails the couple holding hands while the priest binds their wrists together with a ribbon or chain. Symbolically, a handfasting ceremony concludes the wedding and joins two spirits as one.
Another very popular tradition in Celtic weddings is the Unity Candle ceremony. Not unlike the handfasting tradition, the lighting of the unity candle happens at the very end of the wedding, after the vows. In some families, the bride and the groom each takes a candles and lights another bigger one together to symbolize their union. In other families, however, the couple’s parents stand behind their children and hold their arms while they’re lighting the unity candle to represent the joining of two families.
And then of course, there’s the typical Celtic knot ring. This is a highly romantic and sentimental piece of jewelry that has been especially crafted to represent an everlasting knot. While these rings are usually crafted for women, more and more jewelers are designing masculine-looking Celtic knot rings for men.
With the numerous similarities between the Bohemian and Celtic cultures, it should come as no surprise that more and more couples are opting for a Bohemian-Celtic theme for their special day. This is particularly suited to exotic, free-spirit couples who would like to have more freedom in planning every single step of their wedding. Boho-Celt unions certainly represent everything that’s fun and natural.
To hold a successful Bohemian-Celtic wedding, it’s quite important to select the adequate location. A library or a lavishly furnished space will certainly not do the trick here. Bohos and Celts are all about nature and natural touches, which is why it’s best to host the actual ceremony outdoors, even if you’re renting a hall for the reception. Think large green spaces such as parks, botanical gardens or maybe even a wide, spacious backyard. An extremely romantic touch would be to get married right in the middle of a lavender or flower field- two locations that will provide absolutely stunning backdrops in pictures. Try to look into vineyards as well: these usually offer special wedding packages that are tailored to your budget and personal needs.
Also, it wouldn’t be a Bohemian-Celtic wedding without the proper outfits. Long, billowy dresses made of lace or gauze will beautify just about any Boho-Celt bride. Bear in mind that gauzes and laces should remain the fabric of your choice and this is the time when you have to give the traditional satins, cottons or taffetas a miss. Don’t hesitate to go for lacey accessories such as a lace crown, chocker necklace or even a handcrafted lace crown to complement your exotic look. As far as the wedding cake goes, the sky’s the limit. You may either go for a typical white wedding cake or opt for one in the form of the traditional Celtic knot. If you really want to be different, however, think about skipping the wedding cake in favor of something more exotic like a flan?
Since Bohos and Celts have a special affinity with nature, it’s not a bad idea to include a few green touches to your outfits as well. And of course, there’s no reason why you should don typical wedding attires. The entire point of this theme is to dare to be different, something which both the bride and groom should embrace. Scents are also going to play a huge role in your Bohemian-Celtic wedding, which is why you should also invest in pumpkin, honey, molasses, chocolate or even coffee-scented candles to scatter around the reception area.
Firmly rooted in the balance and power of nature, Celtic weddings are extremely romantic and project an almost mystical feel on the ceremony. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be Irish or even believe in the Celtic faith in order to throw such a ceremony. Indeed, all you need is a beautiful, airy green space- preferably a forest- and a firm knowledge of the traditions that usually accompany Celtic theme weddings.
The one important thing to bear in mind is that you should stick to the proper color palette. Indeed, bright pinks and vivid reds are certainly not going to do it. Don’t forget that Celtic cultures are very focused on nature which means that your wedding will have to be centered a deep, forest green hue.
If you’re hesitant about slipping into a green wedding dress, don’t panic. You can very easily bring some green touches to your outfit by donning some emerald jewelry. A typical look for Celtic brides is a long, flowing gown with bell sleeves, emerald earrings and a matching emerald chain around the forehead. Some Celtic brides choose to skip the forehead chain in favor of a flower crown.
Celtic weddings are also quite focused on hand fasting ceremonies; a tradition during which the priest ties the hands of the bride and groom together to symbolize an ever-lasting relationship. By this token, make sure to select the proper fabric for the hand fasting ceremony: deep gold, silver or green are the most typical colors for these rituals.
Some Celtic couples also choose to engage in the burning of the unity candle, whereby both the bride and the groom light one candle at the same time to symbolize their union. If you want to perform this deeply romantic gesture at your wedding, it’s important to get a proper Celtic candle that’s tall and large enough to be visible to all the guests.
As far as the reception goes, Celtic culture is also reputed for its highly sophisticated and elegant banquets. So, if you can afford it, try to go for long, banquet-like tables and chairs for your guests to feast on. Don’t neglect the wedding cake either: a white, ivory or green cake with Celt-like symbols engraved all over it will most certainly bring a pronounced Celtic feel to your special day.
Nature is very important in Celtic weddings. They have faith that the soul lives inside and outside a person. The soul can be discerned in the sun, the waters, the rocks, the trees. People and the world are entwined and knotted to the earth’s spirit.
Celtic weddings are significant and meaningful. Their conviction regarding marriage is something momentous, they don’t take marriage lightly – marriage is believed to be a coming together of two souls, two minds and two hearts. Couples can take Celtic beliefs, traditions and symbols and feature them in their wedding ceremonies.
If you’re thinking of a Celtic wedding, find a venue near a lake or a river – they believed the Celtic gods favor marriages near a water source. After the ceremony, the guests are given small pebbles and cast them into the water while making a wish for the happiness of the newlyweds.
Most modern wedding traditions are actually Celtic in nature. A bride must wear something old to signify connection to family, something new for fortune, something borrowed to represent friendship, something blue for luck, and a penny in her shoe, of course to have a financially well off union.
But the Celtic wedding attire is really unique on its own. Colored bridal gowns and plaid kilts for men. The bridal entourage can even wear plaid. If you want a traditional Celtic wedding, pair the plaids in soft hues of greens and other pastels. If you’re getting married in winter, go for deep burgundy and navy blues and dark greens – these colors are great for a plaid-themed attire.
Make sure your bouquet comes with a spray of shamrock to make it truly Celtic. Look for wild flowers found in the area, bells of Ireland, heather and hydrangea are perfect choices for a Celtic wedding bouquet.
The Celtic wedding cake is an arrangement of light and dark layers. The topmost tier is normally made of heavy plum or fruitcake iced with marzipan or white icing. Couples usually keep the top layer of their wedding cake and serve it on their first anniversary or during their first born’s christening.
The best part of a Celtic wedding is the blessing that the priest pronounces after the ceremony – it’s a wonderful prayer that anyone can share with someone special…
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields.
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.