Wedding days are special whichever culture you belong to and in Scotland that is no different. I wanted to explore what actually makes a wedding day Scottish is it a groom in a kilt? Is it tartan ribbons on the bridesmaids dresses or do you actually have to be in bonny Scotland for the big day to class it as a Scottish day?
Weddings in Scotland have amassed your usual smorgasbord of traditions and unique references. As a result of some interesting (and some plain bonkers) research, I've compiled a list of the top 3 things that would make your wedding the ultimate in Scottish.
Man in a kilt
Ah, a man in a kilt is anything more Scottish than the site of a chap in his finest kilted attire. Whether you like the full Bonnie Prince Charlie look or something with a more modern twist, the kilt is undoubtedly a mark of the Scottishness of your day. The kilt wearing is made much easier when there is a strong connection to a particular clan colour, Campbell's wear Campbell tartan, Morrison's wear theirs and it's all nice and simple. Not so when your name doesn't fit into one of the well known and easily rented clan tartans. Buying these things is a serious investment! Also, what about the English groom marrying his Scottish sweetheart can he wear a kilt? And the hundreds of overseas wedding that happen every year with American, New Zealand, South African grooms pulling on the old kilt for a traditional Scottish flavour. It's a minefield but I'm told, a ceilidh dance sure feels better when you've got your kilt swinging in the breeze :)
Dancing that makes you sweat (nice)
Yep, it can't be denied the Scots love a good knees up, particularly a ceilidh and a wedding dance is something that gets everyone on their feet. With a huge number of traditional tunes to pick and from personal experience of very messy but extremely fun Strip the Willow or Dashing White Sergeants ceilidh dancing is where it is at for a truly fabulous Scottish wedding.
Blackening the bride
Blackenings are a particularly bizarre Scottish tradition which I'd actually be quite pleased to avoid! The idea is basically that, at some point before your wedding day, friends and family of the bride conspire to whisk you away and throw eggs, good, feathers, mud basically anything a bit messy at you and generally humiliate you in public. It's a kind of initiation and grooms don't escape it either sometimes you get joint efforts and pre-wedded bliss, the two of you are subject to dunking and splatting of the most insane kind. Watch this YouTube clip to see what I mean!
There are so many subtleties around the extent you want to go Scottish for your big day that the choice and possibilities are endless. To be fair these three Scottish wedding features are just my favourite ones and I guess that's what it comes down to in the end. Take the culture and traditions you to make your day just as perfect as you can.