Wedding blessings are found across many cultures. In the Irish culture, traditionally the father of the bride gives his blessing to the groom and the marital union. However, for the most part, Irish people don’t care for much formality and there isn’t a specific method for giving a blessing. Sometimes blessings are shared privately with the couple together, other times they may be shared with only the bride or just the groom. Other times they are offered publicly, and in some cases, they are used as a wedding toast such as, “May your neighbors respect you, may trouble neglect you, may the angels protect you, and may heaven accept you.”
Irish Wedding Prayer
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.
Irish Wedding Blessing Poem
“May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” is a popular Irish wedding blessing poem which some historians attribute to Ireland's Saint Patrick. It’s origins come from the Gaelic phrase "Go n-éiri an bóthar leat," which translates to mean ‘may your journey be successful.’ However, the origins of this popular wedding blessing is really considered unknown and today is often presented in song.
“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.
Some couples choose to use a wedding blessing on their wedding invitations. And in the same way many couples write their own vows, writing your own poetic wedding prayers offers a similar opportunity, or have others in the wedding party write out blessings as gifts to the bride and groom. The result is a unique wedding ceremony rich in personal meaning that creates a new level of special memories that will be talked about for years to come and may even become a new tradition which blesses your family in the years ahead.