Scottish Wedding Traditions Modern Times

Modern Scottish wedding traditions ~

Many of today’s traditions still hearken back to the traditions of the past.
  • Usually about a week before the ceremony the mother of the bride will hold a “show of presents” for her daughter.
  • This corresponds to the bridal shower in other cultures.
  • During the show of presents the female guests bring gifts to help the new couple establish a home of their own.
  • The presents are opened for everyone to see and the bride’s mother serves tea and cakes.
  • A slightly more raunchy tradition is the groom’s stag party.
  • Just before tying the knot the groom and his male friends go out for a wild night of partying and drinking.
  • Often the groom is so drunk by the end of the evening that he hardly notices that his friends leave him in the street in front of his home, partly or even fully naked, sometimes tied up.
  • The modern Scottish bride will wear a traditional or contemporary white wedding gown, while the groom dresses in traditional Highland kilt, kilt jacket and sporran.
  • The couple are either bag piped down the isle or traditional Gaelic hymns are played as they walk to the alter.
  • The Highland Wedding is played at virtually all Scottish weddings.
  • Once at the alter the couple may choose to recite their vows in ancient Gaelic or to recite them in modern English.
  • Following the vows the groom often pins a strip of his clan’s tartan colors to the bride’s wedding dress to signify that she is now a member of his clan.
  • Following the ceremony the bride and groom and all their honored guests head to a private home or to a restaurant for a lavish reception feast.
  • At the typical Scottish reception you can count on the bride and groom being “piped” to the table of honor, where the bride will cut the first slice of wedding cake using a dirk (a long-bladed knife) that is provided to her by the piper.
  • As the bride slices the first piece of wedding cake, custom dictates that her hand is guided by the hand of her new husband.
  • The wedding reception is filled with music, signing, much drinking and toasting to the health and happiness of the new couple.
  • The celebrations can go on into the wee hours of the morning.One custom that hasn’t changed for more than 700 years is the custom of the groom carrying his new bride over the threshold of their new home together.
  • Today’s husband may not be aware that the custom originated to keep evil spirits from entering his wife through her feet, but the custom is performed nonetheless.
  • Modern Scottish wedding traditions carry remnants of the ancient traditions, making Scottish weddings the festive and joyous occasions that they are.


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