couple at ceremony
Olga Hogan Photography

Irish wedding traditions are full of symbolism and sweet sentiments. When it comes to an Irish wedding blessing, expect the same rich language and heartfelt emotion. A mix of Celtic sayings early Irish immigrants brought to America centuries ago and blessings still heard in Ireland today, these short poems can be used as unique wedding ceremony readings, as part of your vows or as additions to wedding toasts. Don’t worry if you’re not Irish, either! The beauty and wisdom of an Irish wedding blessing translates well for any culture or religion. Bonus: Many of the Irish wedding blessings are gender-netural, making them perfect vows or ceremony readings for LGTBQ couples as well.

Scroll down to find the perfect Irish wedding blessing for your wedding ceremony.

What's an Irish wedding like?

As many Irish couples are Catholic, many Irish wedding ceremonies take place in a church, often with a full Mass. Other Irish wedding ceremonies may not be religious at all. Whether an Irish wedding is taking place in Ireland or the United States, there are certain traditions that make these events unique. Handfasting is perhaps the most popular Celtic tradition, where the couple ties their hands together. Other traditions that Irish and Irish-American couples include in their weddings are wearing claddagh rings and Irish kilts, including shamrocks in the decor, ringing wedding bells, and more. Traditional Irish wedding blessings may also be included in ceremonies and receptions, even if the couple isn’t Irish. If these words inspire and hold meaning to you, there’s no reason why you can’t include them in your big day.

This traditional Irish wedding blessing is short and sweet.

With the first light of sun-
Bless you.
When the long day is done-
Bless you.
In your smiles and your tears-
Bless you.
Through each day of your years-
Bless you.

You may have heard this Irish wedding blessing at the end of a Drake song, but it originated in Ireland.

May your neighbors respect you
May trouble neglect you
May the angels protect you
And may heaven accept you

handfasting ceremony
Sea View House Doolin

Rainbows are especially auspicious in Ireland, so this blessing is extra lucky.

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!

Perfect for religious couples, this Irish wedding blessing is full of symbolism.

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 short blessing celebrates life’s core values.
Love, life and happiness;
may your troubles be few and your blessings plenty.

With wishes of peace and friendship, this Irish wedding poem is just as perfect as a toast or reading.

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.

Wish the luck of the Irish onto your marriage with this gentle poem.

Lucky stars above you,
Sunshine on your way,
Many friends to love you,
Joy in work and play-
Laughter to outweigh each care,
In your heart a song-
And gladness waiting everywhere
All your whole life long!

This short Irish wedding poem is great for Irish American couples.

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
Right beside your door.

ireland wedding
Amy Bluestar Photography

Many Irish wedding blessings are brief, like this one, but packed with good intentions.

Bless you and yours,
As well as the cottage you live in.
May the roof overhead be well thatched
And those inside be well matched.

All of life’s biggies are covered in this Irish blessing.

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!

Rain is considered good luck on an Irish wedding, so prepare for a few sprinkles after reading this blessing.

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.

irish dancing
Lunalee Photography

Gaelic Wedding Sayings

You might hear these Gaelic sayings as part of Irish wedding toasts:

Go maire sibh bhur saol nua: May you enjoy your new life.

Go maire tú!: May you live long.

Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad: A light heart lives long.

Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo: Health to the men and may the women live forever.

Go n-eirí an t-ádh libh: Good luck to you both

Le mo ghrása mise, agus liomsa mo ghrá: I am my beloved’s and he is mine.

Quotes from Irish Writers

Many famous Irish writers have written words that are ideal for a wedding ceremony or toast. You could even include one of these quotes on your ceremony programs or signage. Here are a few of our favorites:

“I was blessed, and could bless.”—William Butler Yeats

“They lived and laughed and loved and left.”—James Joyce

“Love will heal what language fails to know.”—Eavan Boland

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary”—Oscar Wilde

The most important things to do in this world are to get something to eat, something to drink, and somebody to love you.”—Brendan Behan