Whether you come from a line of Irish men and want to infuse some of your heritage into the big day or maybe you’re having a destination celebration on the lush greens of Emerald Isle, traditional toasts are a must-have to be included.
These Irish blessings are the best way to top off the ceremony, start up the reception, or include in your hopes for the bride and groom to be as part of your champagne-topped speech.
Classic, Traditional Irish Toast
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
Other Expert Answers
One Fab Day
“Traditional Irish Language Wedding Toasts
- 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
- Translation: Health to the men and may the women live forever!
- Mo sheacht mbeannacht ort!
- Pronunciation: Muh shocked bannocked urt!
- Translation: My seven blessings on you!
- Go maire tú!
- Pronunciation: Guh morra too!
- Translation: May you live long!
- Go dté tú an céad!
- Pronunciation: Guh day too un cay-ad!
- Translation: May you live to be 100!
- Beannacht Dé leat!
- Pronunciation: Bannocked day lat!
- Translation: God’s blessing on you
- Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!
- Pronunciation: Guh nye-ree un bow-her lat!
- Translation: May your journey be successful” – One Fab Day
“Check the works of William Butler Yeats for tender love poetry (“A Poet to His Beloved”, “Her Praise”, and “The Indian to His Love”).
James Joyce‘s story “The Dead” from The Dubliners has beautiful insight into the healing powers of marital love.
For a vast collection of ancient Celtic writings, mythology, humor, and poetry, try A Celtic Miscellany (edited by Kenneth Hurlstone, published by Penguin).
These traditional blessings and toasts have come down through history mixed, muddled, and reborn – so feel free to mix, muddle, and rewrite to fit your occasion:
- May your hearts be as warm as your hearthstone.
- May God sleep on your pillow.
- May God be with you and bless you.
- May you see your children’s children.
- May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
- May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
- A generation of children on the children of your children.” – The Knot
Love to Know
“Common Irish Toasts
There are some common Irish toasts that are well known in wedding circles. Some of them include:
- “Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo” which translates to “Health to the men, and may the women live forever!” The quote is so commonly used that its author has been lost over the years.
- “Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you” is another common blessing of no known source.
- “May you both live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”
These toasts are short and sweet and are a great way to incorporate the luck of the Irish into your wedding toast.
Common Sentiments in Irish Toasts
Many Irish wishes contain many of the same sentiments posed in different ways.
- It is common to balance a happy wish for the future with a humorous twist. Many Irish toasts are often puns for this reason.
- Irish toasts often involve mentioning Irish history. For example, mentioning the luck of the Irish is common to many wedding toasts in the Irish tradition. Making reference to the color green, shamrocks, rainbows, leprechauns, and St. Patrick is also common.
- Irish wedding traditions often wish the best of health to the couple in some way, such as linking health with prosperity.
- Irish toasts will often bless the couple with wishes of riches. For example, there are many toasts that hope the couple will find the pot of gold at the end of their rainbow.” – love to know