The 16th Century Penal Laws prevented Priests from saying Mass never mind conducting the Sacrament of Marriage. The last of the Penal Laws was not repealed in Ireland until 1920.Given this background and the unique identity of the native Irish people who were forced to practice their religion 'underground', it is not surprising that an Irish Wedding has a particular identity all of its own and has a number of specific traditions associated with it. In Ireland of centuries ago the most popular day to be married was a Sunday.      When February birds do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate.      If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Both the bride and groom to be wear rings on their right hand and swap the rings over to the third finger on their left hand on their wedding day.This made sense as it was the day when the working week was done and people were free to attend the simple marriage ceremonies that were available at the time.As the decades and years rolled by and as the Catholic religion developed and reasserted itself in Ireland, the choice of Sunday became frowned upon as it was often seen as a mark of disrespect.A typical marriage proposal in Australia calls on the man to get down on bended knee in some sort of candle-lit dinner or romantic holiday setting, asking his significant other “Will you marry me?” while presenting her with a sparkly diamond ring. This is a totally foreign concept to my Vietnamese family. In many cases, the marriage won’t even happen without the blessing of both families.In Scotland amongst the lower-classes, it was not uncommon for couples to be put to bed by their family and friends at the end of the wedding, a symbolic behaviour showing the communities endorsement of the marriage and the following consummation.