Our Jecular Wedding: Infusing an Irish Flair

As I’ve mentioned before, Mr. Elk’s parents are fresh-off-the-boat Irish immigrants who moved here in their 20s. (Note—gratuitous personal photos of our trip to Ireland)

No I am not pregnant, and no, Mr. Elk does not have an amputated right arm—TERRIBLE photo.

When we first got engaged, I knew I wanted to incorporate some Irish traditions into the wedding so that both of our cultures would be expressed, and I immediately asked his parents if there were any Irish wedding traditions we could use. His mom’s response: “The only Irish tradition I know is getting drunk.” His dad didn’t really have anything to add, either. Not too helpful…

Flash forward almost a year, and I have scoured the internet for actual traditions. I came up with two that I completely love and definitely want to incorporate:

1. Hand Fasting. Our hands will be tied together (hopefully with gorgeous ribbon as in this picture), and our officiant will speak of our hands being those that will take care of and love each other the rest of our lives. LOVE THIS IDEA!

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Larissa Cleveland

2. Pebble Toss. Apparently, in ancient times, Celtic couples were married near bodies of water. Their guests were given small stones to toss into the water and make a wish for the newlywed couple. This fits PERFECTLY with our outdoor wedding on an inlet of the bay! I plan on putting out a pretty bowl filled with pebbles, along with an explanation of the tradition.

I feel these two additions to our wedding (plus the obvious supply of booze—including plenty of beer) definitely add that Irish flair that I was looking for!

Unfortunately, 10 months after I first asked for input and got nothing from my soon-to-be in-laws, Mr. Elk’s dad has decided he does in fact have a request for the wedding. The other day Mr. Elk let me know that his father would like us to play Irish music. OK, I can deal with some Irish music during cocktail hour, or during dinner. But no. He wants it during the reception…for people to dance to.

We are only having eight Irish people at this wedding, max. I want the reception to be a party! I want people dancing and having fun, and I can’t help but feel like this is totally going to ruin that mood and break up the vibe. ARGH…I guess it’s not as bad as the electric slide, requested by Mr. Elk’s mom at his brother’s wedding (which will be on our DO NOT PLAY REGARDLESS OF WHO SAYS IT’S OK list).

Any suggestions on how to make this work?


Mrs. Elk

City: Syracuse/Long Island
Wedding Date:
May 2012
Dressing the Most Handsome Little Man Ever
Mascaras Get Married: Cocktail Hour
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  1. unicycle Bee
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 12:24 pm

    I agree, it shouldn’t be too hard to make people dance to Irish music! And I love the idea of a handfasting. I want to do that too!

  2. Member
    keltikate 23 posts, Newbee @ 1:05 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this post and the overwhelming majority is FOR the music! I am an Irish girl myself and had suggested a brief interlude of Irish music when my MOH rolled her eyes and tried to talk me out of it. I planned to do it anyway, but knowing that the hive is in support of the idea makes me feel even better. Try listening to the song Mary Mack. It is a great song that gets the crowd involved. “Mary Mack’s mother’s makin’ Mary Mack marry me! My mother’s makin me marry Mary Mack!” Oh…good times!!! Try and get it by Hair o’the Dog if you can. Their version rocks!

  3. msfox Bee
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:41 pm

    I know this might not be what your looking for, but what about some Dropkick Murphy’s or Flogging Molly? They have some GREAT danceable songs (PM if you’re interested!). I also think you should totally do the hand fasting.. I’m pretty sure we’ll be making use of that Celtic tradition as well!

  4. elk Bee
    elk 320 posts, Helper bee @ 3:00 pm

    Thank you all for the helpful comments and reminder about that Titanic scene! You are right, I will look into more modern/danceable Irish music and make it work!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Bride2Bee, Guest @ 5:09 pm

    My parents requested Irish music and personally I’m excited! Try going for Irish rebel music – specifically The Wolfe Tones. It’s all very pro-Irish and sure to get all 8 of your Irish guests to wave their beer with pride. Also, the band that was in Titanic is called Gaelic Storm. They are pretty good but the fastest stuff of theirs I know is what they did in Titanic. And don’t forget Irish drinking songs! “Drunken Sailor” is a classic. As for traditions, I love the handfasting but don’t forget to incorporate an Irish blessing. There are so many out there.

  6. Member
    Tuna 31 posts, Newbee @ 6:53 pm

    My husband is English and grew up in Ireland and at our wedding, our last song of the evening was a crazy irish jig. EVERYONE… and i do mean everyone… got up on the floor and danced like hell. it was awesome. it wasn’t planned… my crazy father just randomly requested it at the end of the night. but it was a huge hit. our guests were laughing so hard by the end. it was a great way to end the night. so no, we didn’t do irish music the whole reception, but ending on that note was really special for us!

  7. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:36 pm

    My family is not quite fresh off the boat. And the only Irish things we do at drink and eat potatoes. No lie. Nothing too traditional at our wedding like clogging, haha.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Evie, Guest @ 5:50 am

    If you’re honestly interested in combining your mutual cultures, then I’m having a hard time seeing how a request to play some Irish music is making you cringe. If you’re planning on doing the hora, it’s really only fair to play some Irish music too. And there’s lots of great Irish bands, especially some contemporary stuff like Dropkick Murphy’s or Flogging Molly.

  9. trailmix Bee
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:33 am

    I second the suggestion of the Dropkick Murphys and/or Flogging Molly, they both have some fun, danceable songs with an Irish vibe!

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