Scottish culture is rife with fascinating traditions, thought-provoking stories and truly unique fashion. Never are certain traditions more apparent than at a Scottish wedding. If you’ll soon be attending a traditional Scottish marriage ceremony, it pays to brush up on Scotland’s wedding customs. Possessing a solid understanding of these customs will help you better appreciate the ceremony and ensure that you don’t feel out of place. In preparation for the big day, take a few moments to read through the following traditions.
Male Guests Will be Required to Wear Kilt Jackets
Even if you’re not of Scottish ancestry, it’s considered customary for men to don kilts, argyle vests and kilt jackets when attending Scottish weddings. Fortunately, this attire is much easier to find than many people think – and considerably more affordable than traditional tuxes. Anyone in the market for a stylish kilt or argyle kilt jacket is urged to pay a visit to Claymore Imports. Featuring an incredible assortment of priced-to-own kilts, vests, jackets and pipe bands, Claymore is your convenient one-stop shopping destination for Scottish formalwear.
Married Women May be Called upon to Wash Feet
If you’re a married woman and/or close friend of the bride, you may be called upon to wash the bride’s feet shortly before the ceremony. Dating back centuries, this custom entails the bride sitting on a stool as a married female friend or relative washes and dries her feet. Although few men still go through with it, there’s a similar custom for bridegrooms, which entails men having their legs slathered with soot, ash and grease in preparation for the ceremony.
Specific Gift Expectations for the Best Man and Maid of Honor
As is the case with Western weddings, everyone in attendance is expected to bring a gift for the couple. However, tradition dictates very specific gift expectations for the best man and maid of honor. To wit, it’s customary for the best man to give the couple a clock, while the maid of honor is expected to give them a tea set. Keep in mind that this isn’t that case at all modern-day Scottish weddings, and if you’re a best man or maid of honor, you’ll most likely be informed ahead of time if this tradition is being upheld.
Anyone interested in forming a broader appreciation for Scottish culture can benefit from attending a traditional Scottish wedding. While similar to Western weddings in a number of ways, Scottish ceremonies provide the uninitiated with a wholly unique, culture-rich experience. If a Scottish wedding is on your calendar, take care to be mindful of the previously-discussed traditions.