While a modern day scotland wedding differs very little from held in America, the Scottish traditions regarding a scotland wedding is truly unique. Originally, the father of the bride believed that his daughter would have bad luck if she met the priest on the way to the chapel, but would be blessed if a toad, cat, wolf or spider happened to cross her path.
The Scottish weddings seem to belay the attitude of many scotts themselves; the wedding if anyting, is a great excuse to party. And the partying begins in advance, all the way to the announcement of the engagement in fact. Generally, this festive occasion that is a prelude to a scotland wedding is held at the home of one of the parents, or at a night club or restaurant with invited guests. It is not uncommon however to have the engagement party in the village hall or town center and invite the entire village!
But the festivities don't stop there. Like many other countries, on the night before the scotland wedding, the friends of the groom throw a traditional 'stag" party that more often than not involves acts of fun and frivolity based on pranks and local customs. One age-old custom involves feet-washing that often finds his friends tossing the groom in a bathtub and scrubbing his feet! It's all in fun of course, and meant to guarantee good luck through the many years of matrimony to come.
The bride enjoys her own party prior to the scotland wedding, still referred to as a "Hen's night" which takes place on the same evening as the groom's stag party. The Hen's night doesn't seem to accommodate the bride in the same way the Stag party honors the groom. The bride is usually dressed up by her friends in a silly costume adorned with balloons, sequins and streamers and paraded through the streets of the village. Many times a friend follows close behind with a pot or kettle and accepts wedding donations in the form of coins or cash.
On the big day, the customs of times gone by seem to have faded somewhat. Modern day brides seem to have settled on the traditional white wedding dress made out of white satin and lace. The groom's formal wear is a little more traditional as a full Highland dress or consisting of a kilt and tweed jacket is the groom's attire of choice. As customs go, the groom and his entourage of best man and ushers all wear white carnations while the male guests wear red ones. The females in attendance wear carnations that match their outfits.
Scottish weddings, on average, will have up to three bridesmaids and a flower girl, plus a page boy wearing kilts. The page boy plays an important role in a scott wedding as he has the responsibility of presenting a lucky silver horseshoe to the bride when she steps out of the church and flanked by her husband. Typical of many scott weddings is a bag piper that plays traditional music and follows the couple from the church to their waiting car.
The last custom to witness is when the car drives away, the groom throws coins out the window to be scooped up by the many children present.
And then the festivities continue and last until the wee hours of the morning...that is...the morning after the wedding ceremony!