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Irish wedding wishes toasts

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Irish wedding wishes toasts
December 15, 2018 Anniversary Wishes for Wife No comments

3 days ago “Do you know any Irish wedding blessings that we could use during the ceremony next week?” This was the text that hit my phone a couple of.

A typical Irish wedding is noted for many things. Examples include rain, a nervous Best Man, Bridesmaids clamouring to get in front of the camera first, lots of alcoholic beverages, rich food, a wedding band/DJ that half the crowd doesn't like and great craic! Occasionally, the role of the Irish wedding blessing is lost amidst all of the above yet it is a crucial part of the marriage tradition. In this piece, we will look at the origins and meaning of two popular blessings and also investigate the history of the wedding toast.

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

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


This beautiful piece of writing is arguably the most loved Irish wedding blessing and comes from the Gaelic phrase "Go n-éiri an bóthar leat," which means ‘may your journey be successful.’ Given the popularity of the expression, it is incredible to think that no one knows precisely where the saying came from or who said it.

Some historians have attributed "May The Road Rise Up To Meet You" to Ireland's Saint Patrick!

This particular Irish Wedding Blessing has been handed down from generation to generation for such a long time that its exact origins are unknown. As a consequence, there is an element of ‘guesswork’ involved here, but most scholars are sure it originated in Ireland and possibly from the Ancient Celts.

However, certain historians have tried to attribute 'May The Road Rise Up To Meet You' to St. Patrick. It is not an outrageous suggestion as the blessing does seem to mesh nicely with his writing style. If you go through his other work (PDF Link), you’ll notice that Ireland’s patron saint liked to invoke nature in his writing. This particular Irish Blessing mentions the wind, sun, and rain and of course it asks God to look after you. Compare it with his other work and there appear to be parallels. However, no one can definitively give Saint Patrick credit.

More cynical researchers suggest the saying is little more than a marketing tool to generate tourism revenue! Our inability to pinpoint the source means there will always be different interpretations.


If you’ve ever been to an Irish wedding, you’re likely to have heard this blessing. It begins by hoping your journey isn’t too difficult and that you don’t have a vast array of obstacles to overcome. The parts above related to nature could refer to the protection God will offer you:

  • Wind: Could possibly mean God’s spirit.
  • Sun: Refers to His warmth and the comfort of His protection.
  • Rain: It is soft and gentle and necessary for growth.

The final part “May God hold you in the palm of his hand” needs little explanation.

In Irish wedding tradition, the father of the bride gives his ‘blessing’ to the groom and the union.

You can easily see how it makes a lovely prayer but how does this thought provoking piece of writing work as an Irish wedding blessing?

In Irish wedding tradition, the father of the bride gives his ‘blessing’ to the groom. This means he approves of the union. The importance of a patriarch’s blessing goes right back to at least the age of the Celts. This ‘blessing’ could be for a number of reasons (not necessarily a wedding) and was given to various people; family members, friends and even strangers.

You could say that this Irish wedding blessing works in two ways; it is another way for the father of the bride to give his blessing, and it also gives God’s blessing to the marriage.

Happy Is The Bride That Rain Fell Upon

Happy is the bride that rain falls on
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.
We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand to hand.
Hark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow.

Countless Irish brides are reading this and shaking their heads in disbelief! You might be aware of the fact that it does occasionally rain in Ireland. You’ll also notice that most weddings take place during the summer months as this period is the only time when there is a decent chance of it NOT raining!

If it rains on a bride’s wedding day, she will shed a tear for every drop of rain that falls!

This is yet another Irish wedding blessing that has its origins shrouded in mystery. There are different variations including one that isn’t exactly cheery! It suggests that if it rains on a bride’s wedding day, she will shed a tear for every drop of rain that falls!

This blessing probably comes from the superstition that your marriage would not be a happy one if it rained on your wedding day. Many years ago, it was a serious matter if it rained on the big day because there were no umbrellas or awnings to keep everyone dry. As we mentioned above, raindrops symbolised tears and a wet wedding was a sign of upcoming sorrow. If this were actually true, very few Irish people would ever get hitched!

The meaning of this Irish wedding blessing is pretty straightforward and simply wishes the couple the very best during their journey. There is probably an element of Irish wit involved too; as if Irish people know it is almost inevitable that it will rain. Cue the rush to get the wedding photos done before thousands of euro worth of fine clothing gets ruined!

History of the Wedding Toast

An Irish wedding blessing may be part of the toast or else the bridal party will look to speed through proceedings and let everyone eat and drink until they’re unable to move! You might be surprised to learn that the history of the toast in general probably began way back in Ancient Greece when it was used as a salute to the gods. In The Odyssey, Ulysses makes a toast to the health of Achilles.

The practice continued with the Roman Empire when the Senate passed a decree which stated that everyone had to drink to the health of Emperor Augustus. Toasting spread around the world; Christians in AD 450 believed the clinking possessed the power to chase away evil spirits! Incidentally, many brides have tried and failed to harness this power to ward off their mother-in-law!

The history of the toast began way back in Ancient Greece when it was used as a salute to the gods.

The origins of the wedding toast are a little harder to find. There is a suggestion that it also occurred in Greece in the 6th Century B.C. This controversial theory says that the practice began between families of warring tribes. When the war ended in a truce, the children of the leaders would marry one another to cement an alliance. Everyone had to drink wine from the same pitcher, and the host (father of the bride) had to take the first drink. This is because the ancients had a nasty habit of poisoning enemies!

We can only assume that some form of wedding toast was practiced by the Celts and Christians either in concert with or instead of, an Irish wedding blessing. The term ‘toast’ is attributed to Shakespeare as it first appears in the English lexicon in his play The Merry Wives of Windsor. The scene in question sees the character Falstaff ask for wine and then proceeds to place a piece of toast in it. The purpose of the toast was to soak up some of the wine’s acidity, and it also made stale bread edible.

By the 18th century, Toastmasters arrived on the scene because the practice had exploded in popularity. Their role was to ensure people didn’t overdo it; toasting everyone in the room gave people the opportunity to get exceedingly drunk.

By the way, if you are the unicorn in the room that doesn’t drink at an Irish wedding, please note that toasting with water, tea or coffee is considered inappropriate behaviour.

Final Words

An Irish wedding blessing is a beautiful thing to hear at any ceremony. We have only focused on two of the many options available. We would encourage you to investigate other blessings to find one that marks the occasion in the best possible manner. It is an integral part of a great toast so do your research, calm those nerves and deliver your blessing with passion and feeling.

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Jun 29, 2019- irish wedding day wish - Google Search More. Wedding Blessing Print, Marriage Toast Download, Prayer for Bride and Groom Digital Print.

Tips from Irish Toasts

irish wedding wishes toasts

Do you know any Irish wedding blessings that we could use during the ceremony next week?”

This was the text that hit my phone a couple of weeks back.

It came from a friend of mine that’s marrying a girl from Texas.

Now, I’ve been to many weddings over the past 7 or so years, but I couldn’t tell you of any that have specifically called out as an Irish wedding blessing before or after it was read.

So, I reluctantly replied with a ‘No, but I’ll look into it…’

Irish Wedding Blessings (according to my family and friends)

I fired off a handful of texts to family and friends to see if any of them could help me out.

Most of the replies were along the lines of, ‘Eh, sorry, a what?!’, but one aunt came back a day later with a treasure trove of Irish wedding blessings that, to be honest, I’d never heard of.

So, here they are.

1 – May the road rise to meet you 

This is a fairly well know traditional Irish blessing.

You often hear it sung (hit play above), but apparently, it’s just as popular for use at a wedding.

2 – A short and sweet Irish wedding blessing

3 – Showers and Irish smiles

This is probably my favourite of the lot. 

4 – Sunshine and Irish Angels

Our next Irish wedding blessing is another that’ll suit someone that only fancies getting up and saying a few words.

Irish wedding poems

If you’re considering using an Irish wedding blessing on your big day, the chances are a poem may also be right up your street.

Here are several Irish wedding poems that you can choose from if you fancy.

1 – The Heart of the Wood

2 – The Lark in The Clear Air

3 – He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

4 – My Lagan Love

5 – She Moved Through The Fair

This is more a song than an Irish wedding poem, but it tends to crop up at weddings from time to time (it was read at a wedding I was at in Donegal a couple of years back).

Funny Irish wedding blessing readings

We originally published this article last year.

Since then, I’ve had 20 or 30 emails asking if I know of any funny Irish wedding blessings.

The honest answer is no. I’ve seen more car crash attempts at people trying to be funny while delivering an Irish wedding poem or reading than I can even begin to count.

They’re painful when they aren’t pulled off correctly.

If you know of a funny Irish wedding blessing that you’d recommend, pop it into the comments section below. 

‘May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rainfall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.’

‘Wishing you a rainbow for sunlight after showers, and miles and miles of warm Irish smiles for golden happy hours.

Green Shamrocks at your doorway, for luck and laughter too, and a group of friends that never ends each day your whole life through!’

‘Wishing you a rainbow for sunlight after showers, and miles and miles of warm Irish smiles for golden happy hours.

Green Shamrocks at your doorway, for luck and laughter too, and a group of friends that never ends each day your whole life through!’

‘May you always walk in sunshine, and may you never want for more.

May Irish angels rest their wings, right beside your door.’

‘My hope and my love, we will go for a while into the wood, scattering the dew, where we will see the trout, we will see the blackbird on its nest; the deer and the buck calling, the little bird that is sweetest singing on the branches; the cuckoo on the top of the fresh green; and death will never come near us for ever in the sweet wood’.

‘Dear thoughts are in my mind and my soul it soars enchanted
As I hear the sweet lark sing in the clear air of the day
For a tender beaming smile to my hope has been granted
And tomorrow he shall hear all my fond heart longs to say
I will tell him all my love, all my soul’s pure adoration
And I know he will hear my voice and he will not answer me nay
It is this that gives my soul all it’s joyous elation
As I hear the sweet lark sing in the clear air of the day’.

‘Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’

‘Where Lagan streams sing lullabies There blows a lily fair. The twilight gleam is in her eye, The night is on her hair.

And like a lovesick lenashee She hath my heart in thrall. No life have I, no liberty, For love is Lord of all. And often when the beetles horn Has lulled the eve to sleep, I’ll steal into her sheiling lorn And through the doorway creep.

There on the cricket’s singing stone, She makes the bogwood fire And sings in sweet and undertone, The song of hearts desire.’

‘My love said to me
My Mother won’t mind
And me Father won’t slight you
For your lack of kind
Then she stepped away from me
And this she did say
It will not be long love
‘Til our wedding day.

She stepped away from me
And she moved through the Fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And she went her way homeward
With one star awake
As the swans in the evening
Move over the lake

The people were saying
No two e’er were wed
But one has a sorrow
That never was said
And she smiled as she passed me
With her goods and her gear
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

I dreamed it last night
That my true love came in
So softly she entered
Her feet made no din
She came close beside me
And this she did say
It will not be long love
Till our wedding day.’

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Irish Wedding speech
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Irish Wedding Blessings

irish wedding wishes toasts

"May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
And may you be in Heaven
a half hour before the devil knows you're dead."

If the bride or groom is Irish, nothing beats a good Irish blessing as a bang-up way to start your toast. Besides the well-known blessing above, there's a wealth of toasts and wedding readings in Irish folklore, poetry, and literature.

Check the works of William Butler Yeats for tender love poetry ("A Poet to His Beloved," "Her Praise," and "The Indian to His Love"). James Joyce's story "The Dead" from The Dubliners has beautiful insight on the healing powers of marital love. For a vast collection of ancient Celtic writings, mythology, humor, and poetry, try A Celtic Miscellany (edited by Kenneth Hurlstone, published by Penguin).

These traditional blessings and toasts have come down through history mixed, muddled, and reborn -- so feel free to mix, muddle, and rewrite to fit your occasion:

  • May your hearts be as warm as your hearthstone.
  • May God sleep on your pillow.
  • 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.
  • A generation of children on the children of your children.

For something more romantic, here are some old Celtic epigrams and poetry:

  • There's my darling merry star, flower of the parish of Llangeinwen; beneath her foot the grass no more bends than does a rock beneath a bird's foot.
  • Slender and exquisite like the birch tree, of shape as sweet as the fine clover, of color as fair as a summer morning, she is the type of the glory of all lands.
  • Lovely is the sun's smile as it rises in its full brilliance, lovely are the moon's smiles at night, more lovely is my darling's cheek.
  • The moon is pretty on the waves, the stars are pretty on a bright night, but neither stars nor moon are half so pretty as my darling.
  • Though I had a share in the lands of India, the silks of Persia, the gold of Peru, I prefer the lad I love, and shall stand true to him… To the Slender Lad I will trust myself, mother, and to tell you true; I shall leave wealth to misers, and trust myself to him who is the flower of the shire, with his white face and his yellow hair, and in his cheeks are two roses -- happy is the girl who sleeps the night in his arms.

Some good news for the sentimental Irish bride, groom, or wedding guest:
If you feel a little tear in your eye, a little lump in your throat, and a little too shy or emotional to give an eloquent speech or recitation, you can fall back on the always-appropriate "Slainte!" ("To your health" in Gaelic.) If you're lucky enough to be Irish, chances are you don't need a poet to speak for you -- you've got that Blarney-blessed tongue. Use it in good health.

Further Reading:

Irish Blessings by Pat Fairon

Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom: Six Volumes in One: Irish Blessings, Irish Toasts, Irish Proverbs, Irish Riddles, Irish Laws, Irish Wisdom by Pat Fairon and Mary Dowling Daley

Irish Blessings by Kitty Nash

We look at the origins and meaning of two popular Irish wedding blessings and investigate the history of the wedding toast.

41 No-Fail Wedding Toast Quotes

irish wedding wishes toasts

Irish Blessings & Wedding Toasts

As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction - Irish Blessing

Irish wedding toasts are a great way to honor the bride and groom at the reception. Create a warm and loving atmosphere at the reception by quoting an Irish toast to the happy couple.

An Irish Prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer


Irish Wedding Toast

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

May you have love that never ends,
lots of money, and lots of friends.
Health be yours, whatever you do,
and may God send many blessings to you!!

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 forward.

and here is a traditional Irish blessing:-

May the Road Rise to Meet You

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 your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Celtic Blessing

May you both be blessed
with the strength of heaven,
The light of the sun and the
radiance of the moon
The splendour of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of the wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
and the firmness of rock.

Irish Blessing and Wedding Toast

May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most,
May the most you wish for be the last you get,
May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

Irish Blessings

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

May you always find
blue skies above your head,
shamrocks beneath your feet,
laughter and joy aplenty,
kindness from all you meet,
good friends and kin to miss you
if ever you choose to roam,
and a path that's been cleared
by angels themselves
to carry you safely home.

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 your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door

An Irish Blessing

Irish Wedding Toast

May you always be blessed
with walls for the wind,
a roof for the rain,
a warm cup of tea by the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those who love near you,
and all that your heart might desire.

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers,
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours,
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Irish Blessing and Toast

May there always be work for your hands to do ...
May your purse always hold a coin or two ...
May the sun always shine on your windowpane ...
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain ...
May the hand of a friend always be near you ...
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you ...
And until we meet again ...
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Irish Wedding Blessing

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.

An Olde Irish Wish

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

Old Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

May flowers always line your path
and sunshine light your day.

May songbirds serenade you
every step along the way.

May a rainbow run beside you
in a sky that's always blue.

And may happiness fill your heart
each day your whole life through.

Thanks for visiting Special Moments, I hope you found some great ideas for
your irish blessing and wedding toasts.

Irish wedding blessings, celtic wedding blessings, scottish wedding blessings.

irish wedding wishes toasts
Written by Kelrajas
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