Something old, something new, something borrowed, something green?! Whether they can trace their roots to the Emerald Isle or not, brides getting married over St. Patrick's Day weekend have the unique opportunity to add a little Irish flair to their wedding day. And when it comes to planning a St. Paddy's Day-themed wedding, there's so much more you can do than serving green beer and shamrock-shaped cookies. Here are five fun and quirky ways to bring a little luck of the Irish to your wedding day!
1. Give Your Big Day an Irish Blessing
Consider welcoming your wedding guests to their seats with a hand-written thank-you note along with an Irish blessing on the note. "Print on a heavier cardstock with green accents," suggest Nick and Aleah Valley, a married wedding-planning duo in Southern California. "Then stack them all together, carefully cover the top one, and spray all of the sides gold. It's a great gilding trick to add that touch of Irish magic!"
Do this and your St. Paddy's Day theme is as good as gold.
2. Get Whiskey'd Away
Give your guests a real taste of Ireland with a delicious sampling of Irish coffee. Nick and Aleah Valley suggest stationing an Irish coffee and whiskey sampling cart complete with a bartender who can teach your guests how to mix the perfect coffee. They can even educate them on your whiskey picks. Bottom's up!
3. Dress for the Occasion
Add some green cheer to your ensemble with mint-colored shoes, emerald earrings, or a small teal flower in your hair. Got a daring husband who loves his Irish heritage? Have him don a kilt for the big day! Jamie Chang, an event planner at Mango Muse Events in San Francisco, suggests going beyond just wearing green by incorporating a Claddagh ring (a traditional Irish ring representing love, loyalty and friendship) into your ceremony.
"St. Patrick's Day is all about the Irish," says Chang. "It's about celebrating the culture, and not just making everything green."
4. Dance to a Celtic Beat
Look to your local community center to find an Irish dance troupe that can entertain guests during your cocktail hour.
"Often times they'll happily oblige for a small donation," explain Nick and Aleah Valley. "But this has such a fantastic, unexpected impact!" Plus, you'll be helping to get your guests in the mood to cut a rug later in the evening.
5. Strike Gold
You already found your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when you met your mate, so why not celebrate that idea with a few fun touches around your ceremony. Jasmine Lee, the general manager of Fantasea Yachts in Marina del Rey, Calif., says many of her bridal parties are adding pot of gold centerpieces to their dining tables and handing out lucky clover accessories (some couples are even adding four-leaf clovers as a garnish to their specialty drinks)!
Want an idea really worth its weight in gold? Nick and Aleah Valley suggest creating a handmade rainbow photo booth, complete with streamers, crepe paper accents, and fluffy clouds. "It's a great dose of whimsy without the cheesy factor," says the Valley duo.
These five ideas are sure to add some Emerald Isle-style excitement to your big day. However, if you really want to have fun with this theme, you could also add a Shamrock shake to your dessert menu, hire a bagpiper to play as you walk down the aisle, or even ask your entire wedding party to wear kilts during the ceremony (now that's commitment)! There are endless ideas you could play with, just don't ask your guests to wear "Kiss me, I'm Irish" t-shirts!
Would you plan your wedding on St. Patrick's Day?
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Laura Seldon is a writer and journalist living in Los Angeles. She has written for Guess Inc., Rock The Vote, and JDate.com, and sincerely hopes you find your pot of gold this St. Patrick's Day weekend whether you're "made in Ireland" or not.