Celtic Wedding

Celtic Love Symbols for Weddings & A Craft Project For You
By Kathi Hennesey

As wedding season gets into full swing, future brides and grooms, along with their families, are busy planning their special day and looking for ways to make it unique and memorable. One popular and time-honored practice is to include symbols of family cultural heritage. And so the wedding day joins two people, celebrates their newly-shared ancestry, and strengthens the bonds between generations.

Our rubber stamps focus on Scottish, Irish and Welsh love symbols, so we want to share ways to incorporate using them for a wedding. The wonderful thing is that these expressions of love and affection can be used before, during and after the big day. As symbols of the new couple‘s bond, they‘re perfect for special occasion gifts and cards, such as anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine‘s Day, Christmas and baby showers.

Most readers here will be familiar with the popular symbols of the love bond used by these cultures for wedding ceremonies: The Scottish luckenbooth, the Irish claddagh and the Welsh love spoon.

Scottish Luckenbooth

The Scottish luckenbooth usually includes one or two hearts with a crown on top, and can include other embellishments such as a thistle. The tradition of the Scottish luckenbooth dates back to the 15th century, when these types of brooches – usually made of silver – were given as betrothal or wedding gifts, then pinned to the newborn children for protection.

Luckenbooth-430silvercard-w

Irish Claddagh

The  Irish claddagh features a crown and a heart held by two hands. Legend tells us that the crown stands for loyalty, the heart for love, and the hands for friendship. The claddagh ring has been a traditional design for engagement and wedding rings, in Ireland, for generations. It continues to be extremely popular today.

Wedding-Irish-336-W

Welsh Love Spoon

The Welsh love spoon, carved from wood, can include a variety of designs on the handle, including hearts, locks, crosses, bells, dragons, wheels and Celtic knotwork. It was traditionally given to a young woman by her suitor. The earliest known dated Welsh love spoon dates from 1667.

Knotwork Hearts

For a more universal Celtic-theme – and less specifically Scottish, Irish or Welsh – there are wonderful knotwork heart designs to symbolize unending love or the joining of two people in the love bond. The familiar symbol of the heart representing love and romance developed in 15th century Europe and its popular use with Celtic knotwork is a perfect marriage of designs.

Wedding-hearts-#3-blank-W

Wedding Stationery

So with a few specific motifs in mind, we return to the idea of using them for a wedding. The perfect place to introduce a special love symbol is on stationery: the engagement announcements, then the wedding/shower invitations and save-the-date cards. Many couples choose to design and create these items themselves, or have them custom made with their unique symbol and added personalization. The Scottish luckenbooth, Irish claddagh, Welsh love spoon and Celtic knotwork hearts, with all their variations, are all beautiful and elegant designs for stationery and paper products.

Creative Ideas

For the big day itself, the possibilities are endless. From the guest book, to the décor, wedding favors and gifts, this is a place for creativity to shine.

Here are some places where Celtic, Scottish, Irish and Welsh love symbols can be used:

  • Guest book cover and guest book table décor (setting the stage!)
  • Decorations: Banners, wedding favors, table cards and card holders.
  • Wedding reception: Engraved glasses for bride and groom toasts, unity candles.
  • Wedding cake: Cake topper, cake pulls (special themed charms), cake embellishments, engraved/decorated cake serving sets..
  • Gifts for bride and groom: Household items, such as engraved glassware, wall plaques, photo frames, framed prints, keepsake ornaments.
  • Jewelry worn by the bride and her bridesmaids, wedding rings (especially the Irish claddagh).
  • Groomsmen gifts: Engraved money clips, flasks/barware, business card holders, and pocket watches.

After the wedding, love symbols can continue the theme in wedding scrapbooks and memory books, thank-you cards and even anniversary gifts.  Keepsake items from the wedding, such as toasting glasses engraved with love symbols, can be displayed in the newly-married couple’s home.

Just The Beginning

This article just scratches the surface, but hopefully it will provide a few ideas and some inspiration for anyone involved with an upcoming wedding. There’s no lack of wonderful websites with many more ideas and DIY projects that can be found through Internet searches. Pinterest is also a great place to browse for themed wedding boards and great visuals.

Heart&Doves-card-447-W

Let us end with an Irish wedding toast:

Here’s to you both, a beautiful pair
On the birthday of your love affair
Here’s to the husband and here’s to the wife
May yourselves be lovers for the rest of your life

Heart447-stencil-love-W

Muslin Bag Crafting How-To

Get the Free PDF for stamping on muslin bags – CLICK HERE

 

These handy little bags are great for lots of uses:

  • jewelry – keep it protected
  • jewelry – gift bags
  • wedding favors – fill with Jordan almonds or chocolate
  • wedding favors – fill with rice or bird seed to throw
  • gift bags – whatever your imagination decides
  • bag for selling items – rubber stamps set and a mini ink pad

Want more ideas for muslin bags?
Put the following in your search engine, and click on images.

MUSLIN BAGS DIY IMAGES

MuslinBagDIY2018
MuslinBagDIY2018

The Ancient roots of the Leek

Wearing of the Leek?

One of the traditional ways that Welsh people celebrate their national pride on St. David’s Day is by wearing a leek. There are two intriguing tales from Welsh lore about this custom, one taking us all the way back to the 6th century.

Leek-side

A badge

The first story goes that soldiers of the ancient British king, Cadwaladyr, were about to fight their traditional enemy, the Saxons. Dewi Sant (St. David) advised the Welsh to wear a leek in order to recognize their fellow countrymen during the battle. Many have doubted this tale, as St. David and his followers lead a quiet monastic life, far away from such battle scenes; also, this legend wasn’t recorded until the 17th century.

A field of green

Another legend recounts the tale of brave Welsh archers who helped Edward the Black (the first English Prince of Wales) defeat the French in 1346. Because the archers fought in a field of leeks, this symbol became a reminder of their bravery and loyalty, and the Welsh began to wear a leek in their caps every St. David’s Day.

Ancient roots

It is very likely that the Welsh association with the leek predates St. David by hundreds and possibly thousands of years, to a pre-Christian time when Celtic people lived close to the land and had a deep affinity with trees, plants and other such aspects of Mother Nature. The leek may have had a special status with the Celtic tribes in the area we now know as Wales, although this is speculation.

One scenario is that the druids – who were priests, doctors, poets, teachers, minstrels, and human archives of ancient wisdom – shared and used their knowledge of the healing properties of the leek. Such qualities were alluded to in ancient holy books such as the Bible and the Torah, and leeks were depicted on ancient Egyptian wall carvings and drawings. They were even cultivated in ancient Mesopotamia.

The leek, with its reputation as a medicine to cure a variety of illnesses, would have been highly valued before the era of St. David. It was regarded as a cure for the common cold, alleviated the pains of childbirth and would later be used as a tasty, healthy ingredient in cawl, the traditional Welsh broth. It offered protection against wounds in battle and was supposed to help one keep away evil spirits. One of its benefits was to aid in foretelling the future; young maidens were to place a leek under their pillow at night to see the features of their future husbands.

The proud leek

So when you see this humble plant worn as a proud symbol of Welsh heritage, or see it as an emblem in a coin, flag or banner, you can appreciate its “Celtic connection” to an ancient past.

Researched and written by Kathi Hennesey, owner of Triskelt shops

Fun things to do ~ crafts, recipes

IMG_4205_Daffodil-Oval-W

We found resources for cool activities to get you in the Welsh mood.
Check out these links:
www.Wales.com for free PDF how-tos, recipes, and more

  • Castle pencil holder
  • Pom Pom Welsh Sheep
  • Paper Welsh Dragon
  • Paper Daffodil
  • Welsh Flag
  • Welsh Bunting
  • Welsh cakes
  • Bara brith
  • Welsh rarebit
  • lots more

 

Teachers and Crafters
Here is an United Kingdom site full of home-school activities for all year.

The amount of fun stuff here is amazing! And you don’t need to be a child to enjoy it all.

www.twinkl.co.uk