The Irish Wedding

Truly my most memorable, romantic trip with my husband Jack. Both of us celebrated our Irish heritage along with our special friends who celebrated their child’s happiness as she married in their native town in Ireland.

Dear Friend,

We have just returned from our week in Ireland. I told Jack that of all our many adventures traveling, this will remain one of my favorites.

The real reason for this trip was an invitation to a wedding in Clifden, Ireland. A grade school- yes, grade school – friend of Jack’s invited us to his youngest daughter’s celebration. We really did not intend to go, but as the date got closer, we accepted. I am so glad we did!

irish_wedding‘Twas a gala event. Held in a tiny stone Catholic church that seated only sixty people, the service as conducted by a young priest, Father Patrick. Fresh lilies, daisies and rosebuds dressed the windowsills, doorways, and pews. People crowded in, wearing their finest apparel, including women wearing fascinators.

In case you are wondering, a fascinator is a tiny wispy hair adornment with an attaching clip. Feathers, a peacock plume, lace, ribbon, and gauze were materials used in making these little creations. In fact, some of the women made their own original designs. Mine was a pink silk rosette nestled in a bed of soft black feathers. Not homemade, mine came from shopping on Amazon!

After the ceremony, we stood outside, waiting to greet the new couple. A fine, misty rain started to fall from the gray sky, but this did not dampen the high spirits of our group. I think their happiness was contagious to us all.

Moving on the reception, we were treated to Prosecco, delicious appetizers, and Irish music, played by local musicians. Fitted into a corner of the colorful, blue-tiled room, lively sounds of violins, even an oboe, filled the air. All of this lent to a party spirit, as I observed several ladies, widows, tapping their feet in time to the traditional songs. All of them were dressed beautifully, and they were waiting to be asked to dance.

Watching, my heartstrings were pulled because I remembered the same feelings when I attended my first wedding without John. When I looked around the room, only a few single men were present.

Almost as if they had heard my thoughts, two by two, the ladies formed couples approaching the dance floor. The music intensified, producing a faster beat, and suddenly the women began an Irish step dance! This was fun to watch, and I understood the happiness this activity promoted, painting new smiles on the dancers’ faces. People were having fun!

Afternoon became evening, and the party continued with an elegant dinner served, capped off by decadent desserts. The champagne flowed, more Guinness pints were consumed, and the tables of guests became one in celebration.

When we left, our stomachs were full; our voices hoarse from laughter; and our feet, sore from dancing. I think the young couple started their new life together rooted on by our love and our best wishes. What a great evening!

As I watched, I remembered our children’s weddings. John and I attended both your daughter’s weddings, and you and Chuck came to our son’s. These were great fun for our families years ago.

My dear Eddie, I thought you would enjoy the Irish wedding story. We are glad we went!

Love you,

Mary

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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