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Irish wedding traditions and superstitions

Lucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won't run out). Magic Hanky. This charming custom involves having the bride carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. With a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your child can carry on his/her wedding day.

Bells. The chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony if a couple is fighting, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows.

Flowers. In the old days, many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair; they also carried them in bouquets.

Ancient custom: In the old days, couples ate salt and oatmeal at the beginning of their reception: Each of them took three mouthfuls as a protection against the power of the evil eye. Also, when a couple is dancing, the bride can't take both feet off the floor because the fairies will get the upper hand. Fairies love beautiful things and one of their favorites is a bride. It's also bad luck for anyone to wear green at an Irish wedding, and it's also bad luck for a bride or the groom to sing at their own wedding.

A fine day meant good luck, especially if the sun shone on the bride. If you're a Roman Catholic, one way to make certain that it won't rain is to put a statue of the Infant of Prague outside the church before your ceremony.

It was unlucky to marry on a Saturday.

Those who married in harvest would spend all their lives gathering

A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride, never a woman

It is lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning, or to see three magpies

To meet a funeral on the road meant bad luck and if there was a funeral procession planned for that day, the wedding party always took a different road

The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church

It was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day

A bride and groom should never wash their hands in the same sink at the same timeóit's courting disaster if they do

It was said to be lucky if you married during a 'growing moon and a flowing tide'

When leaving the church, someone must throw an old shoe over the bride's head so she will have good luck

If the bride's mother-in-law breaks a piece of wedding cake on the bride's head as she enters the house after the ceremony, they will be friends for life.

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