Posts Tagged ‘customs’

Feet Washing
A tub of water was placed in the best room, in which the bride placed her feet, her female friends then gathered around to help wash them. A wedding ring from a happily married woman was previously placed in the tub and it was believed that whoever found the ring would be the next to get married.

The Open House – “Show of Presents”
Before the bride is married, her mother holds an open house for a traditional “show of presents” which is similar to a bridal shower. After the show of presents, the bride is dressed in long trains made of old curtains or other household materials. Her friends and guests escort her through her town, singing and banging pots and pans, heralding the bride’s upcoming nuptials. To gather luck, the bride exchanges kisses for money, which is dropped into a pot. This still happens at many a ‘hen night’ today!

The Stag Night
The groom gets taken out for a stag night which is the equivalent to the above. More often, he and his friends would find a bar or party place to celebrate by drinking to excess.  The groom may be left in the street in front of his home partially or totally stripped of his clothes, and in some occasions tied up.

The Silver Sixpence
Bride is given a Silver Sixpence to place in her shoe the morning of her wedding. This is given as a token of good luck but hard to find nowadays!

The journey to the church

 If they encountered a funeral on the way to the ceremony, it was considered bad luck and they would return home and set out again.

The Pipes
It would not be a Scottish wedding without the bride entering the venue and the Bride and Groom departing to the sound of the bagpipes. 

Hand Fasting
Hand fasting is a Celtic wedding ceremony from the middle ages. It was a temporary marriage that lasted for a year and a day. Unlike the English that had a friar in most villages, most in Scotland did not a have local minister or priest to perform a marriage ceremony, so, couples would perform a hand fasting which legally bound them until someone of the clergy would pass through the village and could perform a ceremony. In a modern ceremony, a hand fasting is incorporated into many wedding ceremonies in a way to honor their Celtic heritage. The couples hands are bound together in a cord or a tartan cloth during their vows. This is to show that from that point forward, they are no longer two, but are one!

Pinning of the Tartan
Following the proclamation of husband and wife this additional ceremony takes place, ”The pinning of the tartan”. This ceremony is customized to each family depending on whether the bride or the groom is being accepted into the clan. For instance if the bride is marrying into the clan, any member of the grooms family may present the bride with clan tartan in the form of a rosette pin or sash which is fastened with the clan badge. Often this presentation is pinned or dressed to the bride as acceptance into the grooms clan. Many times the groom himself will pin or dress the bride, but it is quite emotional when the grooms mother does the pinning.

The Horseshoe
This Scottish tradition is for a toddler to hand a horseshoe to the bride as she walks out of the church with her husband. The horseshoe signifies good luck in the marriage.

The Scramble
Start collecting your change for this uniquely Scottish custom.  As a gesture to insure good fortune in your marriage, many couples opt to continue the tradition of the scramble.  Upon leaving the church the bride and groom scatter coins to the assembled children to collect. Legend has it that this token will be constantly returned to the bride and groom throughout the marriage.

Traditional Scottish Wedding Cake
The traditional Scottish wedding cake consists of two tiers of brandy-flavored fruitcake. The cake is baked at the time of the couple’s engagement. Only one tier is eaten at the wedding celebration, while the other is saved to celebrate the birth of the couple’s first born

The First, Second and Last Dance
The new couple leads off the dancing with a traditional reel, and the bride’s second dance is reserved for the person of the highest rank among the guests. In modern days, most Scottish couples dance to a song of their choice and the second dance is the bride with her father, groom with his mother. Guests gather in a circle before leaving the reception site and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee)

Traditional Scottish Dancing which is still very popular for music at a reception.

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