Scottish Wedding Traditions
Recently, we had a couple and their friends and family travel all the way from Scotland to have a wedding on the central coast of California. The bride loves to travel to the States and enjoys visiting the West Coast. For the groom, it was his first time to the West. The couple stopped off for a trip to Disneyland, over to Pismo to get married, and then off to San Francisco, Napa, and What a thrill for us to see the bride’s dad and also one of her family friends, all decked out in their traditional Scottish kilts.
So, I decided to hunt around for some of the history surrounding the kilts. Though King George II tried to ban the wearing of kilts by the Scots, his attempt backfired. Instead, the Scots continued to wear it in protest to the King of England. Therefore, it became more important to the patriotic Scots. Even to this day they wear it for special holidays and ceremonies (like the wedding today).
The bride’s father also wore a boutonnière of heather. Yep, I decided to find out its meaning; and here is what I discovered: Heather flowers mean admiration, good luck, and protection. Because of her admiration for Scottish lore and traditions, Queen Victoria popularized the meaning of heather. During Victorian times, heather may have been associated with good luck because it was so scarce, similar to the way we consider four-leaf clovers to be good luck due to their scarcity. So, the bride’s dad was showing his admiration for his daughter, and wishing her good luck for her future.
Both guests’ kilts were of different tartan fabric, closely identified with the particular Scottish clans they identified with. The belts they wore, made of leather, are also a part of the attire. The sporran, a small belt-pouch made of leather or animal hide, is where a man traditionally keeps his keys, money, wallet, etc. The kilt knife is a small knife with a decorative bone handle and a leather sheath. The kilt pin is worn on the front panel of the kilt. Hose are knee-length socks. The shoes, known as Ghillie Brogues, are sturdy, leather shoes with laces. And, yes, the two guests wore all of the accessories. Such a nice, traditional touch and a nod to their heritage.
The bride and groom were also given a lucky horseshoe that says, “May your happiness be as deep as Loc Ness and your troubles as scarce as the monster.”