Celtic themed weddings complete with dress, decor, and specific ceremonial practices have become popular as they allow couples to hold unique weddings that celebrate their marriage, incorporating images, history, and symbolism with which they identify.
The body of art work, custom, & history known as “Celtic” is a broad survey of the traditions of many locales & time periods, primarily Ireland, Scotland, & Brittany. The most often seen nod to the time & place of this culture is the recent resurgence of Celtic knot work in artwork and fashion. Celtic knots, though often said to represent distinct ideas depending on the shape & style of knot, are in fact simply the art (not the language) of the Celts & are therefore difficult to codify with clear definitions. However, the themes of everlasting love and loyalty can generally apply to all of these designs, & some have interpretations more backed by research and discovery than others.
Many mainstream wedding ceremony traditions that are commonly practiced in the modern world grew out of Celtic marriage ceremony customs (or, often, the way that religious officials who arrived much later attempted to rein in local beliefs); Celtic wedding ceremonies always involved a party & feast as part of the celebration, for example, and the term “tying the knot” comes from the literal practice of “handfasting”, in which the hands of the couple were ceremonially tied together by the officiant to seal either a partnership or engagement. The term “bride” itself is a derivative of “Brigid”, one of many Celtic deities later changed into human saints by the Catholic church in order to lure converts.
Even modern marriage ceremonies that don’t follow the full Celtic wedding ceremony theme can enjoy integrating a bit of this history. By far the most widely used way to do this is choosing and exchanging themed marriage ceremony bands like Celtic love knot rings or similar styles. The intricate designs and lovely symbolism of a Celtic knot band can add just the right meaningful detail to your wedding day day.
The clothing of the couple and wedding party can also follow or reflect these ideas of cultural history, with touches like using the family’s tartan for couples of Scottish descent, incorporating the wedding spoon tradition for couples of Welsh heritage, and Celtic knot or claddagh embroidery for those with irish ancestry.
Whether you choose to go all-out with historically accurate clothing, vows, and menus or just add in a few modified versions of these old practices that hold special meaning for you, Celtic motifs can make your wedding a day to remember for all in attendance.