Ireland was ruled by 'Brehon law' and handfasting was duly recognised as a proper form of marriage.
This tradition is well recorded in Ireland and especially at Teltown in County Meath.
The Irish historian John O'Donovan (1806-1861) wrote of the 'Teltown Marriages': A number of young men went into the hollow to the north side of the wall, and an equal number of marriageable young women to the south side of the wall which was so high as to prevent them from seeing the men; one of the women put her hand thro' the hole in the gate and a man took hold of it from the other side, being guided in his choice only by the appearance of the hand.
The two were thus joined hands by blind chance were obliged to live together for a year and a day, at the expiration of which time they appeared at the Rath of Telton and if they were not satisfied with each other they obtained a deed of separation, and were entitled to go to Laganeeny again to try their good fortune for the ensuing year.
When December's rain fall fast, marry and true love will last.