The Celtic blessings and toasts were a large part of the Celtic culture and are still very much celebrated in the 21st century. The Irish and Scottish people typically have a way with words and take pride in using the gift of language to uplift and inspire one another. Toasting at Celtic weddings carries many traditions.
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Loving Cup / Quaich
This old Celtic tradition dates back to the 15th century. The Loving Cup is shaped as a bowl with two handles and traditionally has Celtic engravings. At a Celtic wedding, the couple shares their first drink as husband and wife with the Loving Cup, which symbolises the union of the two families coming together. The Loving Cup is passed down from generation to generation and is known to bring happiness and good fortune to all those who toast from it on their wedding day.
Toast to the Matchmaker
Honouring the Matchmaker (the person who introduced the bride and groom) with a toast is an old Celtic tradition at a wedding. In this tradition, the bride and groom gives a toast honouring the person who got them together, and tells the story of the introduction. The toast thanks and recognises the matchmaker and guests have a drink in that person's honour.
Best Man's Toast
The best man traditionally gives a toast to the bride and groom at Celtic weddings. The toast shares well wishes, personal stories between the best man and groom and ends with a humorous punch line. This tradition is practised at many other weddings as well, Celtic and beyond.
Father of the Bride's Toast
The father of the bride will traditionally toast to his daughter and son-in-law at a Celtic wedding. The toast usually includes a traditional Celtic blessing for the couple, as well as personal stories of the bride growing up and some humorous remarks about being married.
The groom will traditionally follow the father of the bride's toast with a toast honouring his bride. In his toast, the groom expresses his gratitude to the bride's family for welcoming him, as well as a to his own family and wedding guests for attending the event.
End of the Wedding Toast
In this older tradition, the wedding party gathers around the bride and groom. They all fill their glasses with mead (a honey wine). The bride and groom recite a toast to all the family and friends present. The guests in turn recite a corresponding toast to the bride and groom, which officially ends the wedding celebration.
Groom and Bride: "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."
Guests: "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."
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