The Traditional Celtic / Irish Wedding Toast: Origins & Examples


Traditional Celtic/Irish wedding toast origins

Top off your big day with bouts of Celtic spirit and Irish charm. Whether you are planning to sprinkle it throughout the ceremony or woven within the speeches highlighting the reception, there are so many wonderful traditions to follow within this realm that create timeless warmth and well-wishes.

Origin Of The Wedding Toast

One of the oldest traditions comes in the form of toasting at a wedding – as far back in the 17th century. Said to have begun in ancient societies by those raising a cup up in offering to the gods.

When we hear the term “toast” used, we may wonder how it got put into action. Well, in Roman culture, dropping a piece of burnt bread into wine was done to temper the drink. Yes, it’s really as simple as that. Over the years, the term became more common and included the good wishes that were spoken once a glass was lifted at a celebration or place of gathering.

Before we dive into Irish words, what does a classic toast look like? When it comes to a wedding, your speech should be honoring the bride and the groom. Glasses should be filled and your drink should be helpful in your right hand. Raise it up – it’s a gesture that is a sign of welcoming and peace within the space – and then when you finish off your speech end it with a toast to happiness and health.

Examples of Celtic & Irish Wedding Toasts

Below you’ll find toasts, poems, one-liners, readings, and more fit for a Celtic or Irish celebration.

Classic Toasts in Celtic

  • Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo.
    • Pronunciation: slawn-cha kwig nah fur, og-us guh mar-fig nah mnaw guh joe
    • Health to the men and may the women live forever!
  • Mo sheacht mbeannacht ort!
    • Pronunciation: Muh shocked bannocked urt!
    • My seven blessings on you!
  • Tha mise (groom’s name) a-nis ‘gad ghabhail-sa (bride’s name) gu bhith ‘nam chéile phòsda.
    • Pronunciation: Tha misha [groom’s name] a-nish gad gowell-suh [bride’s name] guh vih num kayla pohs-dah.
    • I, [groom’s name] now take you [bride’s name] to be my wife.
  • Tha mise (bride’s name) a-nis ‘gad ghabhail-sa (groom’s name) gu bhith ‘nam chéile phòsda.
    • Pronunciation: Tha misha [bride’s name] a-nish gad gowell-suh [groom’s name] guh vih num kayla pohs-dah.
    • I, [bride’s name] now take you [groom’s name] to be my husband.
  • Go maire tú!
    • Pronunciation: Guh morra too!
    • May you live long!
  • Go dté tú an céad!
    • Pronunciation: Guh day too un cay-ad!
    • May you live to be 100!
  • Beannacht Dé leat!
    • Pronunciation: Bannocked day lat!
    • God’s blessing on you
  • Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!
    • Pronunciation: Guh nye-ree un bow-her lat!
    • May your journey be successful

Blessings

  • May the meaning of this hour be fulfilled through the days and years to come.
  • May the love of this man and this woman, their unity of spirit, grow deeper and stronger in the uncertainties and changes of life they will share.
  • Loving each other, may they love all persons.
  • Trusting each other, may they learn to trust life.
  • May their love reach out to the love of all, that their lives may bless all whose lives they touch.
  • May they find comfort together in shared hours of shadow, as well as in the bright sunshine of joy.
  • May they be to each other both strong and gentle.
  • May all who follow their lives with interest and affection have cause to rejoice not alone in their happiness, but in their brave and generous living which makes life beautiful and significant.”
  • 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.
  • May God be with you and bless you, may you see your children’s children…
  • May the wind be always at your back, may the warm rays of sun fall upon your home…
  • May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home…
  • May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace…
  • Love, life and happiness, may your troubles be few and your blessings many…
  • May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more…
  • May you feel no rain, for each of you will be a shelter to the other…
  • May the meaning of this hour be fulfilled through the days and years to come…
  • Merry met, and merry part, I drink to thee with all my heart…
  • “I was blessed, and could bless.” — William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish Poet and Nobel Laureate

Toasts that Read Like Poems

You are the star of each night,

You are the brightness of every morning

You are the story of each guest

You are the report of every land

No evil shall befall you

on hill nor bank,

In field or valley

On mountain or in glen

Neither above nor below

Neither in sea nor on shore

In skies above

Nor in the depths

You are the kernel of my heart

You are the fact of my sun

You are the harp of my music

You are the crown of my company.

I wish healing upon you

The healing of Mary with me,

Mary, Michael and Brighid

Be with me all three.

Fly with the birds of the air

Fly with the wasps of the hill

Swim with the sea-going whale

For they are swiftest

Be upon the clouds of the sky

For they are the rainiest

Be upon the river’s current

Cascading to the sea