Saturday, 26 March 2016

Best day for a wedding

“Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth,
Wednesday the best day of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
And Saturday, no day at all”

Did you ever wonder what day of the week your ancestors chose as their wedding day? A young pupil from Coolmoyne, Co. Tipperary, my newly discovered ancestral home, recited this old rhyme, as part of her contribution to the ‘Schools’ Collection’ of Irish Folklore.[1] So, I thought I’d see if it held true in practice. I hoped not as I got married on a Friday – not a very good omen, seemingly.

The Happy Couple
Wedding Day
Thomas Ratty and Mary Cullen
Tuesday, 29 June 1790       
Patt Mahon and Jane Cavanagh
Sunday, 12 September 1819
Thomas Donovan and Catherine Flood
Tuesday, 20 November 1821
Peter Radcliffe and Anne Sarsfield 
Sunday, 3 July 1825
Paul Doyle and Catherine O’Hara
Saturday, 23 August 1828
Andrew Byrne and Anne Clinch
Monday, 11 November 1833
Jeremiah Keogh and Jane Crosbie  
Friday, 26 April 1833
Francis Byrne and Jane Daly
Sunday, 11 October 1846
John Wynne and Bridget Hynes
Sunday, 16 September 1849
Myles McGrane and Margaret Doyle
Sunday, 26 January 1851
John Donovan and Maryanne Coyle
Sunday, 9 February 1851
John Devine and Maryanne Keogh  
Sunday, 18 September 1859
James Mahon and Margaret McDonnell
Sunday, 27 May 1866
John Byrne and Alicia Leahy
Sunday, 27 January 1867
Maurice Carroll and Anne Radcliffe
Sunday, 22 August 1869
Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane
Sunday, 17 September 1871

Of the records available to me, three-quarters of my great-great-grandparents or their forefathers married on a Sunday. So, it's easy to conclude, in times past, in Ireland, Sunday was the wedding day most favoured by the betrothed. Yet, it is not even mentioned in the old rhyme.

Tying the knot – a pagan Irish wedding tradition

Sunday’s popularity as a wedding day is not surprising - it was probably the only day of the week the couple and their guests had free from work and could enjoy the celebrations.

What day of the week did your ancestors decide to tie the knot? 

[1] Kathleen Mackay, ‘Marriage Customs’, Coolmoyne, Co. Tipperary, p. 61, Schools’ Collection, DĂș  

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Dara, that's very interesting. I never thought about the week day before. I will have to look into those days.

    1. I would be very interested to know what you find, Colleen.

  2. This is interesting. My Irish immigrant 3x great grandparents were married on a Thursday in Massachusetts.

    1. I wonder was Thursday a popular day for weddings in Massachusetts, Kathy.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!