All across the world, rings are a symbol of everlasting love and commitment. And in Ireland, that’s no different. Many Celtic jewelry designs represent the same core values: love, strength, family, and friendship — all things that are affirmed through marriage. From the Celtic Trinity Knot to the traditional Shamrock and Claddagh ring, there are many beautiful ways you can incorporate Celtic jewelry into your wedding. Not only do these Celtic designs symbolize the core parts of marriage, but they’re also a great way to display your proud Irish heritage.
If you’re engaged and interested in incorporating Celtic jewelry into your big day, we’ve got you covered. Below, we will take a look at various Irish wedding traditions, what the most common Celtic symbols signify and why they are important for your big day.
Irish Wedding Traditions
Ireland is home to many beautiful wedding traditions. One of the most common involves embroidering a Celtic symbol, such as a Shamrock, cross, or knot onto the bride’s wedding dress or for her to wear a blue gown instead of white. While the color blue may seem wild in other parts of the world, in Ireland, it was a symbol of purity over white for many, many years. While it may not be as common to wear now, the color blue is still an incredibly popular color to include in your color scheme (in addition to green). In addition to embroidering a traditional Irish symbol into their wedding gown, it’s common for many brides to carry a linen handkerchief embroidered with shamrocks. In Irish culture, this handkerchief is sewn into the couple’s first-born child’s christening bonnet.
Another common wedding tradition comes in the form of what’s known as handfasting. During the wedding ceremony, the officiant will tie a cord or piece of ribbon around the couple’s hands as they exchange vows. This literal interpretation of tying the knot represents the couple’s unity to get through whatever life throws at them.
Another common wedding Irish tradition includes the ringing of bells as the newly married couple walks down the aisle. This was believed to ward off evil spirits that could potentially harm the couple in their new life. If you’re planning a wedding, these bells also make great wedding favors for your guests!
What Do Celtic Rings Symbolize?
One of the most notable parts of an Irish wedding is the exchanging of Claddagh rings. Introduced back in the 1700s, the Claddagh ring is meant to signify the phrase, “Let Love and Friendship Reign.” It’s not just the sentiment that makes a Claddagh ring beautiful. These traditional Celtic rings are designed with two hands holding a heart in the center. This heart is topped with a crown, aka, “letting love and friendship reign.” The hands on this ring represent friendship, with the crown representing loyalty and the heart, of course, representing love. They are a beautiful tradition in Irish culture and in Irish weddings that are extremely popular to wear and exchange on your big day.
The Claddagh ring is a very important symbol of a relationship, as they represent the many stages of courtship, all the way through marriage. For example, if you are single and looking for love, you will wear your Claddagh ring on your right ring finger with the heart facing outward. If your heart is taken, you will turn the heart inward. Once you become engaged, you will switch the Claddagh ring to your left ring finger and turn the heart outward. Once you’re married, you can switch the heart inward. Many Irish couples decide to get these Claddagh rings engraved with an Irish phrase of their choosing, such as “With these hands, I give you my heart and crown it with my love.”
Importance of Celtic Jewelry
Celtic jewelry is important because it symbolizes our beautiful Irish heritage. Celtic jewelry dates back all the way to 2000BC to 500 AD when craftsmen started to design Celtic symbols with gold and silver. Celtic jewelry is known for being designed with three, whether they be three leaves, stones, knots, corners, etc. This is because the Celts believed that all-important things appear in threes. This is why the Trinity Knot, for weddings, can represent the couple’s relationship, as well as the parents’ bond with their child. Likewise, a Trinity Knot is also representative of the couple’s relationship, including their past, present, and future together. Claddagh rings, for example, are also commonly passed from the mothers to their daughters for their wedding in Irish culture, further cementing the familial values often found in Celtic jewelry.
Jewelry tends to develop a special meaning because it’s associated with a special event. For example, an ordinary, gold wedding band becomes symbolic of the day a couple commits themselves to one another. But with Celtic jewelry, the significance is present long before it’s ever slid on the bride or groom’s fingers. Designs such as the Trinity Knot and Claddagh ring represent the transitional moments of your life and your relationship, all the while carrying Ireland’s interesting history.
Whether you’re getting married in the beautiful Emerald Isle or not, wearing Celtic jewelry to your wedding is a terrific way to pay homage to your Irish heritage.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and your relationship. It is a symbol of your love and commitment to one another, and the Celtic designs available at Celtic DNA Jewelry can help you honor your Celtic heritage. Many of our timeless designs incorporate landscapes and other elements of nature. Our current collection features a variety of Celtic-inspired designs such as the Tree of Life, round Celtic Cross, Cross of Cong, Claddagh rings, and countless others. Whether you’re in the market to buy a timeless ring for your soon-to-be spouse or the perfect ring to propose with or a necklace to celebrate an anniversary, we have the selection for you. You can browse our collection here. All of our designs are handcrafted in Ireland, and we also offer free shipping on all orders.