Unusual Scottish Wedding Traditions

Posted by Maris on 1st Apr 2024

Unusual Scottish Wedding Traditions

We will examine Scottish Wedding Traditions for Contemporary Couples in a next blog post. Of course, there are a lot of traditional Scottish wedding customs that might not be appropriate for a contemporary couple. Continue reading to learn about some of these more peculiar customs.

The Bride's cake

The now-familiar fruitcake would be replaced with scones or shortbread "cakes," made with oats and flavored with caraway seeds, which is a popular tradition in the Shetland Isles. This somewhat fragile Bridescake would then be broken over the bride's head by the groom's mother as the bride was being led into the feast following the wedding ceremony! After then, everyone in the wedding party would rush to get a piece of this auspicious shattered cake.

It was claimed that you would dream of your future spouse if you slept with a slice of Bridescake under your pillow. Though the bride was probably still discovering crumbs in her hair, it was a beautiful ending for the guests

Foot Washing and Blackening

Before the wedding, an older, contented married lady would carefully wash and dry the bride-to-be's feet while she sat on a stool. Not as fortunate was the groom. His feet, which represent the hearth and home, would be smeared in soot and feathers while he sat in a tank of water. Over time, these would come to represent boot polish, tar, treacle, eggs, and other items.

Over time, the custom of completely covering the bride and groom in what became known as the "Blackening" before they are paraded through the streets developed. Beautiful!

Cordadh (Gaelic Wedding Agreement)

This occurred a few weeks prior to the wedding and was quite popular among the Scottish Gaelic speaking community.

Held at the bride's father's home amid friends, food, drink, and laughter, the groom would be shown a number of "false brides," or older or married women, whom he would turn down until, at last, his true love showed up. Maybe not as attractive in the present day!

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