By night, by day, a-field, at hame, The thoughts of thee my breast inflame;
And ay I muse and sign thy name, I only live to love thee.
Tho’ I were doomed to wander on, Beyond the sea, beyond the sun;
Till my last, weary sand was run, -Til then – and then I love thee!”
From O, Were I on Parnassus Hill – Robert Burns
Mountains… castles… lochs… kilts… bagpipes… can there be anything more romantic than a Scottish wedding! Apparently not, since more and more brides and grooms are celebrating their big day, with Scottish flare – a wedding of a lifetime – even if there’s not a drop of Scottish blood flowing in their veins!
It’s said that many of today’s grooms wear the kilt and we know that their brides are increasingly looking for that special Scottish touch to their wedding dresses – tartan ribbons to match the groom’s kilt or discrete panels or piping designed into that special wedding dress. There’s no reason, of course, why the Groom should be the only kilted player – the best man and the groomsmen can also be kitted out Highland style in matching tartans – as can any page boys. The Maids of Honour needn’t feel left out since you could have their dresses picking up design features from the bride’s outfit.
A few Scottish wedding traditions:
There is some historical discrepancy of whether it was originally meant to be a betrothal or a genuine marriage. It is claimed to be a holdover from pre-Christian Celtic marriage laws. Then: A priest or minister wrapped the couples hands in the end of his stole to symbolize the Trinity of marriage – the man and woman joined by God. Now: The couple’s hands are wrapped using an especially made cord or embroidered cloth, of clan tartans. If both the couple are Scottish then both tartans are entwined to symbolize the joining of the clans.
Every Scottish clan, or Celtic clan, has their own family tartan. Traditionally the groom pins a “plaid” or sash of his family tartan on his bride after the exchange of rings. This symbolizes the bride joining her husband’s clan.
A symbol of luck – Sometimes worn on the bride’s arm, or a page might deliver one to the bride as she arrives at the chapel for the ceremony.
A tradition where the father of the bride cuts a ribbon fastened to the church gate or door as a symbol of setting the bride free.