Eugene Daly continues his series on aspects of Irish folklore and customs
For many couples, weddings have become a very big affair requiring much preparation and headaches. After the wedding ceremony, usually in a church, but often nowadays it is a civil ceremony, either in a registry office or in the hotel where the wedding party is held.
The bride’s dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses, flower girls, best man, the flowers in the church – all have to be prepared and usually coordinated. The wedding is photographed and videoed and then the wedding party travels to the hotel for the banquet. After the meal, there are the speeches, the toasts, the dancing and the drinking.
This is so very different to weddings in the early to mid twentieth century and previously. A century ago, the main season for marrying used to be from Christmas to Lent, Shrovetide, or Inid in Irish. It was taken for granted that those who wished to marry did so at that time. There was scarcely a parish church in the country which did not have weddings on Shrove Tuesday (Máirt na hInide).