Many cultures and religions have traditions that are performed during wedding ceremonies and receptions, for example Jewish cultural tradition is to smash a glass under one’s foot once the vows have been said. This is to remind the couple that marriage has highs and lows, and to stick by each other through the peaks and troughs of life.
The Scottish tradition of hand-fasting dates back to medieval times, and is also thought to have came from Celtic and Pagan rituals. Gaelic scholar Martin Martin describes hand fasting as an ancient custom of the Isles where “a man would take a maid as his wife for the space of a year without marrying her, and if she pleased him all the while, he married her at the end of the year and legitimised her children, and if he didn’t love her, he returned her to her parents”. Not exactly the stuff of Hollywood rom-coms!
By the 18th century, the Church of Scotland no longer recognised unions formed by consent and consummation, even though civil authorities did. So the way around this was to perform the ceremonies in public. This was until 1939 when Scottish marriage laws were reformed and hand-fasting was no longer recognised.
Modern interpretations of hand-fasting are ones of love and the binding of two souls. It has seen a revival over the years due in part to more and more couples wanting to personalise aspects of their wedding and make it unique to them. It was also featured in the Stark wedding of Game of Thrones, further romantising this ancient practice.
Wedding season is in full swing in Scotland! Having sorted out men across the world with their wedding kilts for the last 100 years we like to think we are the experts on both highland wear and wedding etiquette. What kind of Kiltmakers would we be if we did not pass on our words of wisdom? The groom is the man of the hour, but just like every superhero needs their sidekick, every groom needs their best man!
The role of best man is a great honour, and you will forever be remembered as a part of the biggest day in the grooms life; no pressure there then! Many men playing the role of best man don’t know exactly what the job entails. That’s where we come in! Of course every wedding is different and some best men will play a bigger part in some weddings than in others. Therefore, we are here to provide the traditional best man duties to help guide you through the wedding process!
As soon as the groom has bestowed the honoured title of best man upon you, you need to start thinking about a kilt to hire or buy as soon as possible. This is one of the most important best man duties! When the groom has chosen his tartan it is important that the best man organises the hires of outfits for the groomsmen. This includes fittings, collection and return of hires, etc. Traditionally, the groomsmen will wear the same tartan as the groom.
Here at Houston’s we know that women normally take charge when it comes to wedding planning and the groom may not even have a say in the cake, flowers, table plans or the venue. In fact; one of the grooms’ only tasks may be to find his chosen tartan and arrange his kilt; if this is one of the grooms few wedding tasks he simply has to get it right! The bride will often stress so here is a top tip for scoring some best man points; ask the brides opinion on tartan! The groom may have chosen a family or clan tartan for his wedding however many grooms nowadays will pick a tartan to coordinate with wedding colours. The best man should ask the bride for a sample of fabric from the bridesmaids’ dresses so that the groom can consider every option when choosing his tartan. This is a sure fire way to keep every best man in the brides good books!
Now unlike the beautiful bride who wears her dress once then either sells it on ebay or stores it in the attic, as a Groom if you choose to buy your kilt instead of hiring you are making a lifetime purchase. Start by using the Houston Kiltmakers Tartan Finder to ensure you are wearing the right Scottish tartan kilt, we have EVERY tartan in the world on display in our showroom so are spoiled for choice!
Traditional Best man duties include looking after the groom before, during and after the wedding. Keeping the man of the hour calm is important after all, it’s the biggest day of his life! Make sure you are on time and keeping the groom on schedule!
One of the most important best man duties for the wedding day is looking after the rings. BEST MEN EVERYWHERE! WHATEVER YOU DO… DO NOT FORGET THE RINGS!
The Best Man should prove himself reliable on the day so the groom is assured he made the best choice when picking you!
Probably the most famous best man duty is the stag do! This is likely to be the highlight of the groom’s entire wedding experience (apart from the actual wedding day of course!). Top Tip: If there is one thing the Hangover movies taught us it is NEVER have the stag do the night before the wedding! The last thing the bride wants is a hung over hubby! Plan ahead and give you and your friends a few weeks to recover. It is popular to go abroad but don’t forget that Scotland is full of great outdoor spots and city nightlife! Don’t forget, kilts aren’t just for weddings! Why not organize a group hire for you and your friends for the stag do?Kilts make you stand out from the crowd and are a great conversation starter, especially if you are going abroad! Us Scots manage to make friends anywhere we go!!
The big finale to the best mans role is of course, the Speech! This is the part when you are under the spotlight. If nervous keep it short and sweet but remember to say how gorgeous the bride and her bridesmaids are and try not to embarrass the groom too much!
We always love to hear how you got on with the stag, the wedding…the whole wedding experience! So be sure to post any wedding pics on ourFacebook page or tweet us and if you need help on how to wear your kilt then check out ourvideo clips
To view our full range of products see www.kiltmakers.com and for hire wear go to www.kiltsforhire.com. For helpful guides on how to wear, transporting your kilt and kilt maintenance email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When couples decide to jet off to get married the usual destinations are the exotic locations of Italy, Spain, Mexico and America. With these destinations within such close reach many may wonder why Canadian couple Fraser and Laura flew thousands of miles to get hitched in Scotland. It may be unclear to many but as a true Scot born and bred, I can tell you that what Scotland lacks in sunshine it makes up for in beauty, history and a rich culture. Scotland is famous for its rich culture, historic landmarks, and picturesque lochs. It is recognized in world cinema within classics such as Whisky Galore! and Braveheart. Character Stephen in Braveheart looks round at the army of Scotsmen standing strong and proud in their kilts and tells William Wallace “The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It’s drawn the finest people”. It is true, that as well as the beautiful sights in Scotland the traditional dress is just as striking and symbolic of our wonderful country.
Fraser and Laura of Toronto, Canada got engaged after two years together and decided to fly almost 3,300 miles to marry in the town where Fraser’s ancestors lived before venturing across the Atlantic. The couple were not entertained by the standard practice of getting married in the popular wedding destinations of the Caribbean or Mexico, and with both Laura and Fraser’s ancestry dating back centuries to Scotland it seemed like the perfect choice. More specifically, as Fraser’s relatives had been married in Paisley Abbey centuries before that is where the couple set their hearts on for their big day. The couple faced quite a challenge arranging a wedding through only email and phone calls, but it was a challenge accepted and completed without fail. The couple commented that all the businesses they used within Paisley were particularly helpful (Oh and yes the happy couple did hire their highland wear from Houston Kiltmakers!).
It just goes to show that sometimes the most unlikely of places make the most special memories.
What kind of Kiltmakers would we be if we did not offer to help you out on the biggest day of your life? Having sorted out men across the world with their wedding kilts for the last 100 years we like to think we are the experts . So whether you popped the question this Valentine’s day or have set a date in 2011, you need to start thinking about a kilt to hire or buy as soon as possible.
Here at Houston’s we know that women are normally in charge and you may not even have a say in the cake, flowers, table plans or the venue. Your friends may mock you as you have to miss the football match for a meeting with the Mrs so be prepared. But one thing you simply have to get right is the Kilt.
Now unlike the beautiful bride who wears her dress once then either sells it on ebay or stores in the attic, as a Groom you are making a lifetime purchase. Start by using the Houston Kiltmakers Tartan Finder to ensure you are wearing the right Scottish tartan kilt, we have EVERY tartan in the world on display in our showroom so are spoilt for choice!
The Grooms Wedding Checklist
The Outfit – make sure your kilt is the right tartan, it matches your Best Man and Ushers and it fits!! If you are buying a kilt make sure the kilt measurements are correct and you try on BEFORE the big day.
The Wedding List – remember you have to compromise and this is the first test with your future wife. The seating plan may cause a few headaches but
The Best Man – choose someone reliable who will not forget the rings, throw you the best stag do and not embarrass you too much in your speech!
The Speech – this is the part when you are under the spotlight. If nervous keep it short and sweet but remember to say how gorgeous the bridesmaids are, compliment your new wife, thank both set of parents oh and try to throw in a joke or quirky one liner.
The Stag Do – probably one of the highlights but our advice is NEVER have it the night before, plan ahead and give you and your friends a few weeks to recover. It is popular to go abroad but don’t forget that Scotland is full of great outdoor spots and city nightlife!
The Honeymoon – now with your wife to be taking control of most of the wedding plans this is your chance to help out. Remember to choose something you BOTH would like and if you can keep it a surprise.
Now all that is left to for you is to get to the church on time and remember to say ‘I Do’! Congratulations and don’t forget to post any wedding pics on our Facebook Page and if you need help on how to wear your kilt then check out our You Tube Channel. Good Luck.