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Irish Wedding Toasts, Blessings, Proverbs, Poems, Songs and Traditions

Irish Wedding Toasts, Blessings, Proverbs, Poems, Songs and TraditionsThank you all who have contributed to our page over the past 14 years. Has it been that long? Please continue to send in your favorite toasts, proverbs, blessings, and wedding traditions. See more Customs and Cultures | Contribute an Item All are welcome!



Irish Toasts
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Health and a long life to you.
Land without rent to you.
A child every year to you.
And if you can't go to heaven, May you at least die in Ireland.

Health! (Could be to one or to a crowd)
Irish: Sláinte
Pronunciation: Slaw-in-tche

Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo.' Health to the men, and may the women live forever!

Sláinte agus saol agat* - Health (good implied) and life (long implied) to you
Prounciation: Slaw-in-che ah-gus seel ah-guth*
*agaibh (plural) ah-giv

May you live and may you wear it out
Irish: Go mairir is go gathair
Pronunciation: Guh mah-rir is guh gah-hir

Health and life to you
The woman of your choice for you
A child every year for you
And may you die in Ireland Irish: Sláinte agus saol agat
Bean ar do mhian agat
Leanbh gach blian agat
Agus bás n Éireann
Pronunciation: Slaw-in-tche agus seel ah-guth
Ban er dhuh veen ah-guth
Lan-v goch bleen ah-guth
Agus baws in Ay-run


Health to the men and may the women live forever
Irish: Sláinte na bhfear agus go maire na mna go deo
Pronunciation: Slaw-in-tche na var agus guh mara na m-naw guh djeo

There are 4 things you must never do: lie, steal, cheat, or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love.
If you must steal, steal away from bad company.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away... Brianne Kelly Darragh

May your grass always be green
May your skies forever blue
May God Bless the Irish
And may God bless you!...Kelly

May the love and protection Saint Patrick can give,
Be yours in abundance as long as you live!...CelticDan

May the Lord welcome you in Heaven, at least an hour before the Devil knows you're dead -- Irish Toast to the Deceased...Edward Russell

Here's to the wings of love,
may they never molt a feather,
till your little shoes and my big boots are under the bed together.

Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away, But never forget the blessings that come each day....Melissa McCorkle

May the Lord keep you in his hand and never close his fist too tight...... Corinne

May you be in heaven an hour, before the Devil knows your dead ...... Kevin Sheehan

May you both live as long as you want, And never want as long as you live.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.

May the saddest day of your future be no worse, than the happiest day of your past...G. Colgan

May God not weaken your hand
Irish: Nár laga Dia do lámh
Pronunciation: Nar lah-ga Djee-ah dhu lawv

May those that love us, love us; and those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts; if he can't turn there hearts, then may he turn their ankles, so we'll know them by their limp." ...Shamus Phibber McGee ( yes that's my real name )

May we be alive at this same time again
Irish: Go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo arís
Pronunciation: Guh mer-i-meedh bee-oh er an am shu areesh

The test of Gold is Fire. The test of Truth is Time.
The test of God's love are the heavens above, and everything sublime.
Treasures in life are many, dreams realized but few,
but I know the test of God's goodness, is when he gave me a friend like you.

Friends, in your life I hope you do four things; lie, steal, cheat, and drink. When you lie,do it to save a friend. When you steal, steal someone's heart. When you cheat, cheat death. And when you drink, drink with me! ...Jim Bryant

May the luck of the Irish possess you.
May the devil fly off with your worries.
May God bless you forever and ever.

Here's to you and yours and to mine and ours.
And if mine and ours ever come across to you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours
As mine and ours have done for you and yours!...Rita Smith

When you drink, you get drunk.
when you get drunk, you fall asleep.
when you sleep, you surely can commit no sin.
when you dont sin you go to heaven.
so lets all get drunk and go to heaven.

May the most you wish for be the least you get.

For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way.
Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door.

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, and never in want

May the roof above us never fall in.
And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.

May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head,
May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you're dead.

May a mouse never leave you'r meal bag with a tear in it's eye...G.Crawford

Here's to a sweetheart, a bottle, and a friend.
The first beautiful, the second full, the last ever faithful.

May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children's children,
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Here's a health to all those that we love,
Here's a health to all those that love us,
Here's a health to all those that love them
that love those, that love them, that love those, that love us.

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Irish Blessings
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May you be pursued by trouble all your days, and may it never catch up.

May you live to comb the hair of your children's children.

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon the fields. And, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings. Slow to make enemies, quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day foward." ...Shamus Phibber McGee ( yes thats my real name)

Always remember to forget the things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget the troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day...N. McCarthy

May you have warm words on a cold evening, A full moon on a dark night, And the road downhill all the way to your door.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.

And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you
the whole length of your joy-filled days.

May you always have
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

May you live to be a hundred years, With one extra year to repent!

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

Walls for the wind, and a roof for the rain, and drinks beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you and those you love near you, and all that your heart may desire!

May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands.
And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts.


"Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, 'tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God's blessing in your hour of need." The guests respond: "On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need."

Bride and Groom:

Friends and relatives so fond and dear
tis our greatest pleasure to have you here
when many years this day has passed
our fondest memories will always last.
So we drink a cup of irish mead
and ask God's blessing in our hour of need.

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Irish Proverbs
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We'll have chicken on Sunday and feathers for the rest of the week...Diane's grandmother Norah of County Cork

He is not as slow as he walks easy...Liam

The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.

The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.

An old broom knows the dirty corners best.

What would a young cat do but eat mice?

Sense doesn't come before age.

A handstaff of holly, a buailtin of hazel,a single sheaf and a clean floor.

A smokey cabin, a handful of spuds and a flea-filled bed.

A wren in the hand is better than a crane to be caught.

Possession satisfies.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

It's better than the loan you couldn't get.

Half a loaf is better than no bread.

A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea.

Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor.It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him.

Wine lets out the truth.

I'd rather BE an Old Maid, than WISH I was one...Joan McReynolds

A whistling woman and a crowing hen is bad luck...Billy Foster

Better own a trifle than want a great deal.

Do not mistake a goats beard for a fine stallions tail.

It's better than it's want

Have it yourself, or else do without it

Every patient is a doctor after his cure.

Humor to a man is like a feather pillow.It is filled with what is easy to get but gives great comfort.

A poem ought to be well made at first, for there is many a one to spoil it afterwards.

No matter how often a pitcher goes to the water it is broken in the end.

Marriages are all happy its having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.

A boys best friend is his mother and there's no spancel stronger than her apron string.

When the sky falls we'll catch larks.

If you have one pair of good soles its better than two pairs of good uppers.

There are finer fish in the sea than have ever been caught.

Even a tin knocker will shine on a dirty door.

The longest road out is the shortest road home.

By degrees the castles are built.

Patience cures many an old complaint.

When the apple is ripe, it will fall.

The one who waits the fine day, will get the fine day.

Patience can conquer destiny.

For what cannot be cured patience is best.

There is not a tree in heaven higher than the tree of patience.

Patience is a virtue that causes no shame.

Time and Patience would bring the snail to Jerusalem.

Nobody ever bought peace but the man who hadn't got it.

Peace(quietness) is worth buying.

The world's quiet and the pig is in the sty.

Least said soonest mended.

No matter who succeeds or fails, the peacemaker will always suffer.

To the fighting man peace is sure.

The end of a feast is better than the beginning of a fight.

An eye is blind in another man's corner.

If you put a silk dress on a goat he is a goat still.

It is difficult to soothe the proud.

Pride comes before a fall.

Better is the trouble that follows death, than the trouble that follows shame.

It's better to be sorry and stay, than to be sorry and go away.

The Irish forgive their great men, when they are safely buried.

A postponement till morning, a postponement forever.

You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.

There is no virtue in the herb that is not got in time.

It is no time to go for the doctor when the patient is dead

If you meet a red-haired woman,you'll meet a crowd.

To be red-haired is better than to be without a head.

No dealing with a revengeful man.

It's a small thing that outlives a man.

If you lie down with dogs you'll rise with fleas.

A good run is better than a bad stand.

A secret is a weapon, and a friend.

It is no secret that is known to three.

The secret of an old woman scolding.

If it's a secret,it's binding.

Don't tell secrets to the children of your relatives.

A silent mouth is musical.

The silent are often guilty.

The silent mouth is sweet to hear.

When wrathful words arise, a closed mouth is soothing.

Little talk is easy to cure.

Many an Irish property was increased by the lace of a daughter's petticoat.

When poverty comes through the door, love goes out the window.

Poverty parts good company.

Many a defect is seen in the poor man.

The full man does not understand the wants of the hungry.

A little pleases a poor man.

Poor men take to the sea; the rich to the mountains.

Poverty creates sadness.

Pity the man who does wrong and is poor as well.

There is nothing in the world so poor as going to hell.

The thief is no danger to the beggar.

Poverty is no shame.

Two things that go for: loss-turf on a mountain, and the wisdom of a poor man.

Shame is ever a part of poverty.

No-one is ever poor who has the sight of his eyes, and the use of his feet.

A poor man never yet lost his property.

Poor is the church without music.

The full stomach does not understand the empty one.

You must crack the nuts before you can eat the kernel

As the old cock crows the young cock learns.

You are better off alone than in bad company.

You can always find a stick if you want to beat the dog. ...Uisean O Murchalda

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

A turkey never voted for an early Christmas.

A windy day is not the day for thatching..

What butter and whiskey will not cure there's no cure for.

Firelight will not let you read fine stories, but its warm and you wont see the dust on the floor.

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool.

Its no use boiling your cabbage twice.

A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.

One beetle recognizes another beetle.

A narrow neck keeps the bottle from being emptied in one swig.

Its for her own good that the cat purrs.

To the raven her own chick is white.

Any man can lose his hat in a fairy-wind.

The best way to keep loyalty in a man's heart is to keep money in his purse.

It's no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.

If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet.

It's difficult to choose between two blind goats.

There never was an old slipper but there was an old stocking to match it.

He'd offer you an egg if you promised not to break the shell.

Its a bad hen that won't scratch herself.

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

The fox never found a better messenger than himself.

There'll be white blackbirds before an unwilling woman ties the knot.

Show the fatted calf but not the thing that fattened him.

A buckle is a great addition to an old shoe.

Men are like bagpipes no sound comes from them until they're full.

He got it from nature as the pig got the rooting in the ground.

Often a cow does not take after its breed

Nature will come through the claws, and the hound will follow the hare.

It's as hard to see a woman crying as it is to see a barefooted duck

Every bird as it is reared and the lark for the bog.

What is in the marrow is hard to take out of the bone.

The wood will renew the foliage it sheds.

One who is without cows must be his own dog. A blind man can see his mouth.

You never miss the water till the well has run dry.

A king's son is not nobler than his food

To every cow its calf; to every book its copy

What will come from the briar but the berry

The hand goes only where the leg goes

He's more to be pitied than laughed at

Don't tell your complaint to one who has no pity

Possession is nine-tenths of the law

Put a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to hell

Put a beggar on horseback and he'll go on a gallop

No stopping the force of a going wheel by hand

No forcing the sea

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched

Don't bless the fish till it gets to the land

Praise the ripe field not the green corn

A man with no wit has little on a pig~

Burning the candle at both ends will soon leave you without a light

The truth comes out when the spirit goes in

Praise the river when you have crossed it

You must empty a box before you fill it again

A promise is a debt

Proverbs cannot be contradicted

Don't throw out the dirty water until you have the clean water in

It's better to return from the centre of the ford than drown in the flood

To put off repentance is dangerous

Remember, even if you loose all, keep your good name for if you loose that you are worthless.

Those who get the name of rising early may lie all day.

Don't mention him and a decent man in the one day.

A sly rogue is often in good dress.

The horse with the most scars is the one that highest kicks his rear.

The person who brings a story to you will take away two from you.

A story without an author is not worth listening to.

Leave the bad tale where you found it.

There is no smoke without fire.

When the fruit is scarcest,its taste is sweetest.

A soft dropping April brings milk to cows and sheep

Autumn days come quickly like the running of a hound on the moor

A misty winter brings a pleasant spring,a pleasant winter a misty spring

Many a sudden change takes place on a spring day

No tree but has rotten wood enough to burn it

A man may be his own ruin

A wedge from itself splits the oak tree

It's for her own good that the cat purrs

His own wound is what everyone feels soonest

The man who was dividing Ireland didn't leave himself last

What would shame him would turn back a funeral

He who is best for me is he who shall get the best share

A man is shy in another man's corner

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Irish Curses
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May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat

May you leave without returning

May you fall without rising

Long travels to you

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig
May each hair in his wig be well trashed with the flail
My his door never latch, may his roof have no thatch
May his turkeys not hatch, may the rats eat his meal
May every old fairy from Cork to Dun Laoghaire
Dip him snug and airy in river or lake
That the eel and the trout they may dine on the snout
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt
May a ghost ever haunt him the dead of the night
May his hens never lay, may his horse never neigh
May his coat fly away like an old paper kite
That the flies and the fleas may the wretch ever tease
May the piercin' March breeze make him shiver and shake
May a lump of the stick raise the bumps fast and quick
On the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake

May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be broke
And to add to the joke, may his kettle never boil,
May he keep to the bed till the hour that he's dead,
May he always be fed on hogwash and boiled oil,
May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out,
May he roll howl and shout with the horrid toothache,
May the temples wear horns, and the toes many corns,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

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Wedding Customs
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In the old days, it was customary for the eldest girl in a family to marry first and her sisters according to age afterwards. the courtship.... In Co. Donegal, when a man wanted to marry a particular girl, he and a friend went to her house and when the door was opened, he'd throw his cap into the house. If the cap was thrown back out, it meant she wasn't interested. It is good luck if the stone in your engagement ring is your birthstone. “Would you like to be buried with my people?” or “would you like to hang your washing next to mine?” are proposals a girl might hear. Wedding Sixpence

May the Luck of the Irish Bless Your Wedding. See our Irish Wedding Lucky Sixpence Each handpicked coin will arrive in our beautiful acid free sixpence wedding card with matching envelope, a keepsake to be passed down to future generations of lucky brides.

wedding date....

Traditionally December 31, is one of the luckiest day to wed, as is the month of April, with the traditional saying “'Marry in May and rue the day; marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.”

the night before the wedding...

The brides family and relatives put the child of prague statue outside under a bush, to prevent it from raining on the wedding day....Emma.

on the morning of the wedding...

It was lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning or to see three magpies. It’s lucky to be awakened by birds singing on the morning of your wedding. It’s lucky if a woman who is happily married puts the veil on the bride, and bad luck if the bride does it herself. Surprisingly, the bride should never wear green at her wedding, it is considered unlucky! If your wedding dress is accidentally torn on the day it will bring good luck. on the way to the wedding...
  • A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride, never a woman
  • 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
  • If the sun shone on the bride, it would bring good luck to the couple.
  • If you look at the sun when you leave for your wedding, your children will be beautiful.
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe
  • Some families have passed down the same sixpence through the generations to continue the hope for good luck to future brides.
on the way from the wedding...
  • It was considered good luck when the married couple would be leaving the church, somebody would through an old shoe over the bride's head.
  • The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church
  • Irish brides often returned home by a different path with her new husband than she took to the church with her father. This symbolizes her new road in life she is about to travel.

    the Traditional Irish Wedding Book

    Plan Your Irish Wedding

    "...Written by an Irish mother who put on a traditional Irish wedding for her American daughter The Traditional Irish Wedding Book is a invaluable guide that will help you plan a totally Irish celebration from start to finish -- even to the pre-wedding parties. In this expanded, revised, and updated version, Bridget has added sections on Getting Married in Ireland and ideas for a vow renewal "with the sound and feel of Ireland...."
    Contents include: How to bring Irish touches to apparel, decor and flowers | Fascinating facts about the old ways of Irish wooing and betrothal | Suggestions for vows and blessings | Ideas for music for the ceremony and reception | Menus and recipes for pre- and post wedding celebrations and an entire chapter devoted to the wedding feast itself | Resources for Irish invitations, favors and accessories | Honeymooning in Ireland.

    wedding toasts...

    Bride and Groom:

    Friends and relatives so fond and dear
    tis our greatest pleasure to have you here
    when many years this day has passed
    our fondest memories will always last.
    So we drink a cup of irish mead
    and ask God's blessing in our hour of need.

    Bestman and Bridesmaid:

    On this special day our wish to you
    the goodness of the old, the best of the new.
    God bless you both who drink this mead
    May it always fill your every need.

    Everyone: Slante (slawn-cha)...Kirstin Swenson

    wedding vow...

    By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me.
    As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me.
    As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart, may thy presence be with me, oh one that I love, till death comes to part us. ...Kirstin Swenson

    The Irish Wedding Song Here they stand hand in hand
    they've exchanged wedding bands
    Today is the day of their dreams and their plans,
    and all we who love them just wanted to say.
    May God bless this couple who married today
    In good times and bad times in sickness and health
    may they know that riches are not needed for wealth
    and help them face problems they'll meet on their way
    Oh god bless this couple who married today
    May they find peace of mind comes to all who are kind
    May the rough times ahead become triumphs in time
    May their children be happy each day
    Oh God bless this family who started today
    As they go may they know every love that was shown
    And as life it gets shorter may their feelings grow
    Wherever they travel wherever they stay
    May God bless this couple who married today
    *substitute first names of bride and groom in the last line of song as in god bless...and ....

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