Creating Irish-themed favours is a great way to honour your heritage. How it is done will depend on the style of the wedding and your budget. Favours can be almost anything, but they should be something that symbolises the wedding couple.
The Wedding Cake
One Irish tradition is to place a small piece of the wedding cake into a box inscribed with the couple's names and wedding date. This is then given to the guests as a memento. As the traditional Irish wedding cake is a dense fruitcake flavoured with whiskey, you could opt to wrap up pieces of fruitcake instead of your other wedding cake.
The claddagh has been the traditional Irish wedding ring since the 17th century. The two hands holding a crowned heart symbolise its motto of "Let love and friendship reign." While few bridal couples can afford to give away claddagh rings, the image of a claddagh can be used to decorate your wedding favours. Many companies also sell claddagh-shaped candies, pins and even cookies.
Celtic Love Knots
Celtic love knots are not a signal design but a variety of them. They first appeared around the 3rd or 4th century and are characterised by a pattern that has no beginning or ending, thus representing eternal love. In the past, Irish men would give their fiancées harvest knots of straw decorated with flowers that the women could wear in their hair or around their necks. A nice favour that honours this tradition are woven or braided straw knots that can be used as decorations. Celtic love knots can also be used as decorations on more traditional favours such as candies or candles.
The shamrock is a traditional symbol of Ireland with a surprisingly religious background. St. Patrick used the shamrock in the 5th century to explain the concept of the holy trinity with the three leaves representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Decorating favours with shamrocks can make them appear more Irish. You could also give out shamrock pins or charms, small pots planted with shamrocks or shamrock seeds. Although traditionally shamrocks refers to a type of three-leaved clover that grows in Ireland, almost any type of clover can be used.
The Color Green
The colour green has been associated with Ireland for a long time. During the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the shamrock and the colour green symbolised the revolutionary organisation Society of United Irishmen; as such, wearing either were punishable by death. If you don't want to make your favours green, try adding a little green ribbon or wrapping them in green paper to make them more Irish.
A Taste of Ireland
Soda bread is a traditional Irish recipe that can be used as a wedding favour. Place the dry ingredients into a plastic bag and tie it with ribbon. Place the recipe on the label along with the couple's names and wedding date. Tea is another favourite treat in Ireland. Purchase Irish tea in bulk and make sachets of Irish linen, silk or cellophane bags. Attach instructions with a bit of ribbon on how to brew the tea.