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Customs and Traditions

Irish or Italian Traditions?

My fiance and I thought it would be fun to mix a little of our heritage into the ceremony and/or reception. He is partly Irish, and I am partly Italian. Does anyone know of any neat little wedding traditions within these cultures?
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Re: Irish or Italian Traditions?

  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    edited June 2010
    Irish traditions: have a small horsehoe with you (sewn into dress, tied to bouquet, etc.), wedding party shouldn't wear green (you do not want to risk the fairies showing up and causing trouble), claddaugh rings - you can also order wedding invitaitons with the claddaugh and/or celtic knots.  Ringing bells, Irish Wedding Blessing read during ceremony.  Have fruit incorporated into the cake (traditional wedding cake is a fruit cake). 

    Also if bagpipers aren't your thing, Irish musicians play beautiful Irish aires at wedding ceremonies.  You can also contact your local Irish American club to see if a few step dancers would be willing to perform at your reception.  You could do this during dinner.  They would also be abel to put you in touch with local Irish musicians.
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  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    Also, if you want to involve the wedding party, see if the local Irish American club will let you take a few lessons in caeli dancing.  It's basically two different steps strung together in different patterns - very easy to learn.  For some of the dances you need as few as four people.  For others (Seige of Ennis comes to mind) you'd need about sixteen people to get it going.
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  • The girls in my bridal party are going to an Irish festival the week before the wedding to take advantage of the ceili lessons!  We are also using Irish songs during the mass, and even have a fiddler for mass. 
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  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_irish-italian-traditions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:9f4c9da5-8265-4e90-8548-c9b181e92b2dPost:76bc28aa-a7ac-449a-8033-de076cb1ff7b">Re: Irish or Italian Traditions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]The girls in my bridal party are going to an Irish festival the week before the wedding to take advantage of the ceili lessons!  We are also using Irish songs during the mass, and even have a fiddler for mass. 
    Posted by ellen73[/QUOTE]

    The Irish Cultural Festival?  I'm jealous.  This is the first year I won't be going (moved from Cleveland after living there for 10 years.)
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  • yep!  That's the one.   It's conveniently scheduled the week before my wedding (almost the weekend OF the wedding- we originally wanted the 23rd... but we liked the 30th better the more we thought about it).
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  • Just be careful about what you're calling Irish.  The kilt and the tartans it's made of are by family in Scotland, and by county in Ireland, and probably originated in Scotland.  The bagpipes, while originally middle Eastern, are now largely Scottish. 
    And The Knot board for Irish brides has it all mixed up, so please don't believe that.
    I don't know about what the  caeli the pp has described, maybe that's Irish Gaelic, but in Scott's Gaelic, a Ceiligh, (pronounced Kay-lee), is sort of a big ole dance party, not a particular pattern of dance. 

    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • Hehe, thanks for all of the Irish traditions - but I'm the Italian one! Any suggestions for Italian traditions?
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  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_irish-italian-traditions?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:9f4c9da5-8265-4e90-8548-c9b181e92b2dPost:7856bb89-3df0-48cf-b375-e2b396201ac9">Re: Irish or Italian Traditions?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just be careful about what you're calling Irish.  The kilt and the tartans it's made of are by family in Scotland, and by county in Ireland, and probably originated in Scotland.  The bagpipes, while originally middle Eastern, are now largely Scottish.  And The Knot board for Irish brides has it all mixed up, so please don't believe that. I don't know about what the  caeli the pp has described, maybe that's Irish Gaelic, but in Scott's Gaelic, a Ceiligh, (pronounced Kay-lee), is sort of a big ole dance party, not a particular pattern of dance. 
    Posted by handfast4me[/QUOTE]

    Go to a St. Partick's parade or Irish festival.  Bagpipes have become part of the Irish culture.  Ceili (spelled it wrong before) is a dance but it is also the name of a group of individuals dances, and yes, they have a set pattern, and yes it is Irish.
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  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    Sorry if it came off as sensitive.  I was just trying to correct her statement that ceili is not a pattern dance and tossed in the bagpipes refernce on top of it.
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    AKA GoodLuckBear14
  • FI's dad is Italian so we are also looking for Italian traditions to incorporate.  When I asked potential wedding planners about Italian traditions the things that came up are wearing green the evening before the wedding and releasing doves at the end of the ceremony.  I think Italians also do almonds as wedding favors, but I don't remember for sure. 

    One thing we plan on doing is having a reading in Italian at the wedding but that isn't really a cultural thing.  It is something we are doing to honor and include family who will be traveling from Italy.

    I'm hoping to get more ideas from an aunt when we go to Italy in November!
  • TIdh--I never said you were wrong, I just said that I didn't know about what you described or mentioned, but that in Scott's Gaelic it was a totally different thing.  We have Scottish Highland Dancing, and then Scottish Country Dancing, the latter of which is usually done in couples at the Scottish Dances, called a Ceiligh.  A lot of people don't understand that Scott's Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are two completely different languages. 


    Dang, re-read the post if you think I said you were wrong. 

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  • I've been to a Ceili in Ireland, as well as a Ceiligh in Scotland... and they are basically the same exact thing.  Set dances, etc.  The one is Scotland was part of a work conference- so they had people to teach us, and also called things out more like an American square dance.   Irish Ceilis were more of a watch and learn kinda thing.

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  • Thanks, heidi1068!
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  • We are incorporating some Irish Traditions into our wedding:

    1. Giving FI's a Celtic Cross with the Celtic Knot or Claudaugh in center.
    2. Irish Blessing before Recessional.
    3. Dried Clovers mixed with other blooms for the petals scattered in the aisle.
    4. One of our colors is a traditional Irish wedding color, light blue.
    5. Bagpiper who will be playing traditional Irish music for the Recessional and part of cocktail hour.

  • I know that it's a Sicilian tradition (and I belive a general Italian one as well) to give out candied almonds wrapped in tulle at the reception. 
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  • Handfasting ("tying the knot") is an Irish tradition.
  • My fiance and I are both part Italian. One Italian tradition that is common in our families is giving Jordan Almonds called "bomboniere" as favors. In Italian culture it's traditionally five almonds wrapped in tulle. There's a sweet poem that we plan to attach to the favors that sort of explains their meaning for those guests not in the know:
    Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
    To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.
    Five wishes for the new husband and wife --
    Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!

  • The Irish wedding coin is another tradition.  The groom gives a blessed coin to his wife at the altar.  She keeps it and gives it to her (youngest or eldest) son to give his bride on his wedding day.
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  • If you are giving a speech you could end with a popular Irish toast such as:

    "May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward."
  • scarletb79scarletb79 member
    First Comment
    edited July 2010
    Hi,

    I am Italian, I live in Italy (regard to "Connecticut" in my profile Italy wasn't one of the available options when I registered to this site so I had to choose a state), I’ve been to Ireland several times (for leisure and work) and I’m about to marry an Irish-Italian boy so feel free to make any question you want.

    I have never heard about wearing green the evening before the wedding and releasing doves at the end of the ceremony in Italy. These might be traditions belonging to regions others than mine but no one I know has ever experienced these. I’m not sure I’m in time to give you suggestions but an idea could be a “serenata” performed a few days before the wedding by the groom-to-be. Not all the guys here are willing to sing (or have other people to sing)  for their fiancées, though.

    A very nice Italian tradition that if you want something Italian for your wedding I think you should opt for are “confetti” and “bomboniere”.

    “Confetti” (pronounced somewhat like “con-fai-ttee”, the stress is in bold) are sugared almonds, white for weddings, put in odd number (usually five) inside a small sacket (usually made of tulle) and given not only to the invitees but also to your neighbours, vendors, work colleagues. That is, it’s a nice thought that you want to share with people you care of, even if you can’t afford (or you don’t want) to invite them at your wedding. At the bottom of the sacket there is a little folded card with the first names of the bride and groom and with the date of the wedding (I'm not sure about the place). Before, and sometimes still now , “confetti” were available to the wedding guests in a tray with a spoon, while using sachets is a way to let everyone taste them and do it more hygenically avoiding dust. It’s said that they bring good luck to the people who receives them and to the people who eat them. If you’re interested in them I can give you further informations.

    “Bomboniere” are favors, gifts given out on special occasions, in this case a wedding, to the guests. While a sachet of “confetti” should be given to every single person, “bomboniere” (pronounced “bom-bon-nee-a-rray”, the stress is in bold) should be given to every couple or family invited at the wedding reception (we sometimes say one per envelope but it depends) and to anyone who buys you a present, even if he/she was not invited. “Bomboniere” are always accompanied by “confetti”. In Italy wedding “witnesses” (2 or 4) receive “bomboniere” which are more precious than the ones for the other guests. If I can give you a suggestion take your time to choose a nice item since it would become a keepsake of your special day.

    A beautiful Italian dress is another option. Plus, if you could get to Italy before the wedding you could get Italian 18 kt gold wedding bands.

    Then you could include some Italian food at your wedding reception, even something simple. In this case you could ask your caterer if they could arrange something either Italian and Irish. The first Irish (food) thing that comes to my mind is slices of Irish soda bread spread with salted butter and smoked salmon. Very simple and very Irish!!! Perfect at, or before, the start of the meal (it depends on how they are going to manage it). And if you would like your wedding to have something Irish don’t forget to include something with claddagh and shamrocks!!!

    We have also horsehoe in Italy, I'm not sure if we use it for weddings, but it's considered quite pagan here.

    You have plenty of choice. Wink

     

    It's very nice of you honoring your and your fiancé's ancestors, I'm sure you're a thoughtful person.

  • NJSLNJSL member
    10 Comments
    I might be a little late to the party on this one, but here's mine:  One italian tradition that's alive and well in western Pennsylvania (where we're getting married) is the cookie table.  Traditionally the family of the bride baked all the cookies for the table, but we've asked FI's family to help and I've heard of some brides buying the cookies.

    I've heard that the tradition goes back to when the bride's family couldn't afford a  cake for the wedding so the family created a bountiful cookie table in it's place.  Some even created stacks of cookies to resemble a stacked cake.
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