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Ladies… Thinking of a Leap Year Wedding Proposal?

9 February 2023

Although you may have thought it was a myth, according to the old Irish tradition, the leap year is the perfect chance for a woman to take matters into her own hands and get down on one knee.

You may or may not know that 2024 is a leap year. If you do, then you may or may not know about the legend of St Patrick and why he brought about this somewhat random Irish tradition of a Leap Year Wedding Proposal. Although a well known topic, it is apparent that very little is known about how this tradition came about. We dug a little deeper and find out why it was decided that women could propose to men on Leap Day, during the course of a Leap Year. The truth is quite surprising.

It All Began With St. Patrick

The science of how they calculate a leap year is quite complicated to understand but how did the tradition of women proposing to men on Leap Day came about. There are various versions of the story but most seem to suggest that the tradition began in 5th century Ireland when Saint Patrick and St Brigid struck an accord. They decided that to balance the traditional roles of men and women in society, women would be able to propose to men on Leap Day (February 29th). This would apparently reflect the way the Leap Year balances our calendar.

A Fine for Those Who Said No

This is where it gets a bit interesting. There are many variations of the consequences facing the man if he was to decline the proposal. These fines and forfeits were introduced:

  • The man must buy the lady 12 pairs of gloves (to hide the embarrassment of not bearing a ring).
  • The man must buy a silk dress for the lady.
  • The man should pay the lady £1
  • The man should pay the lady a kiss

Weddings at TLH Leisure Resort

We’ve had many happy couples tying the knot here at TLH and see couples returning to celebrate their anniversaries with us which is great! Perfect packages with attention to every detail. Marianne Piercy is our Weddings Co-ordinator and will be happy to discuss your own particular event or occasion. You can contact her on 01803 400153 or email: [email protected]. FIND OUT MORE

Anything Goes

After learning about Leap Year wedding proposals and how they came to be, no doubt that in today’s diverse society, women shouldn’t have to wait for a Leap Day or year to propose, if they feel the time is right for them. It definitely seems like anything goes! Take a look at our wedding blogs for inspiration!

What are your thoughts? Ladies, would you propose? Guys, how would you feel about being proposed to? Comment below to join the debate.


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