Morning folks! Hope this week is shaping up and moving along nicely for you all! Today we are sharing part two of 2People1Life’s 41st wedding that was held in Ireland earlier this year (in case you missed it, here’s part one). One of the first questions I asked Lisa when I finally got to meet her on the eve of their Irish wedding was how they do it… keep getting married over and over! I was actually quite shocked when she didn’t say, “well sometimes it’s a nightmare!” and although I can’t remember her exact words, she had a gigantic smile on her face and I knew that there wasn’t anything else she would rather be doing than marrying Alex over and over and over again. It was by far one of the most emotional, heartfelt ceremonies I have ever witnessed and it was a privilege to be part of it.
Lisa gave her version of wedding number 41 yesterday and even though we have posted about wedding traditions before, we figured we should recap on them as this wedding was based completely around old Irish wedding traditions and customs. So we will start with the fun part… the Blue Wedding Dress
THE BLUE WEDDING DRESS
Traditionally, before white became the universal symbol for virginity, the Irish bride used to wear a blue wedding dress as in ancient times, the colour was a symbol of purity. We had a bit of a panic situation with Lisa’s blue wedding dress. We had a custom tulle dress and cardigan made in the States especially for Lisa but on the Saturday before the Tuesday wedding, I checked the tracking code to find out that it had been returned to sender… in Phoenix! Needless to say, I was in a bit of a flap. That Saturday also happened to be my grandmother’s 1 year anniversary mass and I was due to go to Galway that afternoon with my family. I had about 1.5 hours to find a replacement so I hopped into my car at 8am, raced into the city and sat in a café with my head between my hands. The shops weren’t even open! Trying to make best use of my time, I googled “blue tulle dress” and to my surprise, a beautiful, beautiful blue dressed popped up on Polyvore. It said that it came from H&M and I immediately became disheartened as I realised that it was very likely that it was probably in stock 4 seasons ago. The café I was in on Grafton Street was right beside a H&M store and as soon as the doors opened, I hurried in to show the super lovely sales assistant my phone before asking her if by any small tiny little chance, she knew when the dress had been in season (thinking I’d just scour the internet if it wasn’t too old!). I nearly fell over when she said, “actually… I have one on hold for a bride who never came in to try it on last night. It’s a size 8. Would you like to see it?!” I have no doubt that my grandmother was looking down on me that morning… I cried a little.
Even though it was nice and sunny, it was still freezing cold and we wanted Lisa in a blue dress, not a blue Lisa in a dress. So we paired our miracle find with a light cardigan that I sewed one of my handmade embellishments onto. Later, when it got even colder, we wrapped Lisa in a gold knit jumper that I had bought for myself in French Connection. It looked better on her.
Audrey from Upstyle Junkie literally did magic tricks when it came to braiding Lisa’s hair. Irish brides often wore their hair in braids with ribbon or lace as braided hair was an ancient Irish symbol of feminine power and luck. Wanting to be in keeping with Irish wedding traditions, Audrey and I decided that we were going to have to grow Lisa’s hair, and fast and so Audrey being the expert that she is, managed to find the perfect hair piece to weave through Lisa’s own.
Many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair as opposed to a veil and although the wonderful Jill from Wild whipped up a wildflower storm, we ended up pairing it back and using a wreath of olive branches.
Handfasting is another ancient Irish wedding tradition where the groom and his bride join hands so that their right hand is to the other right hand and their left is joined to the others left. The celebrant then wraps a ribbon around the wrists, over the top of one and under and around the other creating the infinity symbol. This is typically how Irish couples entered into a marriage union before religious ceremonies became the norm and this practice also gave way to the expression “tying the knot”. Dara Molloy performed the handfasting ceremony for Alex and Lisa on the beach in Doonbeg.
THE MAGIC HANKY
This charming Irish custom symbolises fertility and usually the bride incorporates it into her dress, carries it with the bouquet or carries it in her sleeve. Once the wedding is over, the bride uses the handkerchief to make a christening bonnet for her first-born child. We had two handkerchiefs for Alex and Lisa but instead of wearing it in her dress, we presented them as a wedding gift for one another.
You might have noticed a lot of bells featuring in Alex and Lisa’s wedding photos but there is another Irish wedding tradition behind this. The giving of a bell as a wedding gift is another old tradition as the chime of the bell is said to keep away evil spirits and remind the newly married couple of their wedding vows. To congratulate Alex and Lisa after their wedding, we set up a table of bells outside Doonbeg and at their wedding table so each of us rang the newly married couple in to their reception.
The Claddagh ring is the traditional Irish wedding ring and the symbol is a heart topped with a crown and held between two hands on either side. The hand represents faith, the crown honour and the heart, love. It was only fitting that Alex and Lisa exchanged Claddagh rings at their Irish wedding and we picked up pretty ones in Meadows and Byrne.
Don’t those cakes look absolutely divine? Cloudberry Bakery are honestly, the most amazing cake and treat bakers in the universe! Fact! And the paper goods? Who else other than Farrell and Chase could design such pretty things? If you liked this, check out Part 3, the movie… trust me, you will need a tissue!
Couple; 2People1Life | Photography; Poppies and Me | Planning; Fly Away Bride | Styling; House of Hannah | Videography; Show and Tell | Venue; The Lodge at Doonbeg | Celebrant; Dara Molloy | Flowers; http://wild.ie/ | Stationary; Farrell and Chase | Hair; Upstyle Junkie | Make Up; Kerry Make-Up Artist | Cakes; Cloudberry Bakery | Menswear; Salingers and Miss Daisy Blue | Blue Wedding Dress; H&M