St. Patrick’s Day is actually a religious holiday that celebrates St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is also an official holiday in Ireland, and widely celebrated in the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. as well. However here tend to celebrate by dying the Chicago River green and drinking a lot, although the drinking, to be fair, derives from the lifting of Lenten restrictions that are observed by the Catholic Church throughout the rest of the season.
For couples like Adam Horosky and Shannon Skelly, from Danbury, Connecticut, today’s holiday now marks a very special occasion. Featured on Newstimes.com, the couple apparently met one year ago today while out celebrating St. Patty’s Day, and almost instantly became inseparable.
Now, one year ago, to the day, the local couple exchanged wedding rings on the front steps of the very bar where they met. The bride wore green, the groom sported a lei of green flowers, and all invitations were sent out via Facebook.
While Horosky and Skelly took a much more relaxed approach to their wedding plans, St. Patrick’s Day weddings are much more common than it would seem. Most ceremonies display Irish ceremony traditions and a lot of greenery; Ireland is, after all, often dubbed the ‘Emerald Isle.’
Celtic crosses or green scroll work incorporated in the invitations sets the tone for a traditional St. Patrick’s Day wedding, although today some couples choose to go with a more modern and kitschy motif with Shamrocks and pots of gold.
Ferns and wildflowers are often used for decorations, as wildflowers are popular in Ireland and traditionally used in a wreath to be placed around the brides head in place of a veil.
The cake is where people get creative, with any combination of greenery and Irish symbolism to choose from, but the food is really where things get Irish. Corn beef and cabbage is on every menu across America on March 17th, a fact that doesn’t change when planning your own wedding.
However the most significant and unique detail in an Irish St. Patrick’s Day wedding is in the rings, the Claddagh ring to be exact. The traditional token of Love in Ireland, the Claddagh ring was first produced in the 17th century, and originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, hence the name.
The design features a heart held by two hands and is usually topped with a crown to symbolize love, friendship and loyalty. When worn with heart pointed toward the finger, the wearer is unattached and their heart is free to be given away. However when turned around, their heart is taken. And finally, when worn on the left hand, the ring is a symbol of engagement or marriage.
So while the streets are filled with ruckus revelry, and rivers run green today, on a holiday that has somehow transformed into not much more than a drink fest, couples like Horosky and Skelly have been able to turn it in to something special.