3 Things that only happen at an Irish wedding

Irish Wedding

Irish weddings are truly the best in the world!

There’s something uniquely magical about the celebrations and that’s usually because there’s often a level of spontaneous fun that creates guaranteed talking points afterwards - whether people want to remember them or not!

So what are those little things that distinguish an Irish wedding?

Child of Prague Statue
Child of Prague Statue

Sightings of a Statue in the Garden
Visitors to Ireland are often baffled by Irish people’s obsession with the weather and the constant conversations about rain. They end up even more fascinated when they see a statue of the Child of Prague placed in the bride’s garden the night before, usually under a hedge or bush, which is said to ward off the rain and bad weather! So what’s the story with Ireland’s devotion to the Child of Prague? This statue of the child Jesus in decorative clothing, dressed as a king was introduced to Ireland by a bishop in the 18th century during Penal times. It’s said that placing it in your garden before the wedding guarantees you will have glorious sunshine on the day. This is a superstition that has continued even in these less pious times.

The ‘Afters’
Again the ‘Afters’ is a tradition that has remained popular in Ireland and this is basically due to crowd control as often numbers of friends and family can become unwieldy and it can be hard to find space for everybody if it’s a sit down affair. The ‘Afters’ is the wedding after party for people who weren’t invited to the earlier wedding ceremony but are guests that the couple still want to join them in the celebrations. Unlike other countries where the larger gathering is often for finger food first and then smaller numbers later for a sit down dinner, in Ireland it’s done in reverse. Guests to the ‘Afters’ often arrive late in the evening and there is food served to them again around 11pm or midnight - anything from Tayto crisps to cocktail sausages can appear, as the drinking and dancing continues.  

Ho Ro the Rattlin’ Bog
Any good Irish wedding always ends with a sing song. Hearing barstool renditions at 5am of ‘Ho Ro the Rattlin’ Bog’ means that it’s likely the bash has been a big success. The plaintive sound of ‘Spancil Hill’ or the rousing ‘Galway Girl’ are two other popular regulars. From ‘The Fields of Athenry’ to ‘The Auld Triangle’ to ‘The Rare Ould Times’, there’s no singsong like an Irish wedding singsong!

Along with these three traditions, if you find that guests have cleared the dance floor to sing along to U2’s hits or perform some sort of version of Riverdance, you’ll know you’re at a quintessentially Irish wedding!
Posted on September 16, 2022