June 15, 2007 12:52 - A Scottish Welcome to the Scottish Wedding Theme Newsroom
Ceud mile failte
That's Scottish for a hundred thousand welcomes! And that's what I extend, in my first blog, to you, as a visitor to my new Scottish Wedding Theme Newsroom blog.
Each week a Gaelic or Scottish word, such as Ceud mile failte will be featured to help increase your knowledge of the Scottish language.
At least one Scottish wedding tradition will be introduced each week ~ there are hundreds to chose from!
A tartan will be selected each week for viewing with a more in depth analysis of it's use in Scottish wedding plans.
A historical dress from the Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, Vintage or Modern periods will be featured, with suggestions for adapting the style into a Scottish wedding dress. When available, patterns will also be suggested.
A Scottish theme wedding should have bagpipes and Scottish music. Sources and suggestions for wedding music will be included.
Scottish history, both in Scotland and the Scottish-Americans is helpful when making selections for a Scottish wedding theme.
To read more about Scottish wedding themes, visit Scottish Wedding Dreams
June 15, 2007 15:33 - A Scottish Blessing and the Scottish Wedding Toast
You'll hear this word frequently at Scottish events - Highland games, Highland festivals, Tartan Day celebrations, Robert Burns dinners, anywhere that Highlanders or those interested in Scottish things gather.
It's also found in my Scottish glossary [URL], as a Scottish wedding tradition.
Slainte (slawn-cha) ~ a toast of good wishes, good health, or salvation.
Deoch-Slàinte ~ a toast introduction ~ we'll drink a toast of health or salvation.
Here in the U.S., it's come to be a general greeting, like hello, hi, or more like hey. Also be seeing ya', 'til we meet again or God speed!
If you're not a drinker of alcohol, don't go thinking you'll not have a toast to the bridal couple at your wedding celebration. One young couple I knew celebrated their wedding toast with tumblers of milk ~ their favorite choice with cake. Another filled their quaich with spring water ~ their idea being spring water is pure, for the purity they hoped for in their marriage and placing Jesus Christ, the Living Water, first in the lives.
I've joined in many a wedding toast with a nice, fresh glass of water, regardless of what the other guests were drinking, so Slainte!
Read about other Scottish wedding traditions...
June 16, 2007 07:19 - Kilts and Kilt Skirts, Medieval Lassies at the Faire
I always enjoy the Glasgow Highland Games and Festival. Each year, there's something new to see.
Last year I noticed a big upsurge in the men wearing American Utility Kilts. They were everywhere.
This year I didn't see nearly as many, but I saw a lot more tartan kilts than in previous years, being worn by both men and women. And a lot more women wore tartan kilt skirts. Even more ladies and girls were wearing Medieval costumes, some with the arasaid, some without.
The most unusual things I saw this year were
- A little girl riding a Highland cow, Highland cattle can't be the right word, with her daddy, in his pipe band uniform, trotting alongside.
- A Scottish theme wedding. [tomorrow's feature story]
- Scottish Terrier puppies for sale ~ stealing everyone's heart. Only two were left when I wandered by. One was being claimed by a woman who continued to hug and hug on the wee thing. The other felt it was naptime and passed out, until a little girl in a tartan plaid skirt woke him up.
- A golf cart bearing concomitants [coming soon], which could be used when sending off the new hain and
Tomorrow read about Culloden tartans, zingy, historical, and growing in popularlity…
June 17, 2007 16:09 - A Scottish Theme Wedding at the Glasgow Highland Games
At the Glasgow Highland Games this year, we wandered upon a tent so crowded our view was blocked. All I could see was the roof of a white pavilion decorated with white tulle. Oh horrors, I thought, someone else promoting Scottish theme weddings!
To my delight and surprise, there was a wedding in progress. The guests were anyone who wandered by. One lady wandered among the spectators, sprinkling wedding confetti.
Older Scottish weddings were often performed by a rock and the pavilion had been set up over one. The Unity candle, the Communion, and some other items were on the rock.
The bridal gown was a simple ivory dress, with a hint of Medieval styling, and braiding sewn on the bodice.
A floral circlet of lavender or heather adorned the birde's head. Across her bodice were two tartan sashes ~ I'm guessing hers and his. The groom wore Culloden tartan trews.
It was a very sweet, precious, joyous wedding that will stand out in my memories for a long, long time. Wishing them a loving life together as hain and wifie.
Tomorrow read about Culloden tartans, zingy, historical, and growing in popularlity…
Footnote: I've since spoken with the groom. This was a handfasting ceremony. Both the bride and groom wish to extend their thanks to all who attended and added to their blessings.
June 18, 2007 12:00 - Culloden Tartans Color Scheme
Yesterday, I wrote of the groom wearing Culloden tartan trews in
A Scottish Theme Wedding at the Glasgow Highland Games
Culloden has become a universal tartan, to be worn by anyone. These tartans have been identified with the Battle of Culloden in 1747. See History Timeline 1747.
Legend reports fragments of these tartans were found on the battlefield, preserved as history, later reproduced, and available today.
Culloden Dress District Tartan WR1323 ~ re-designed in 1960
Culloden Gold District Tartan WR1328 ~ worn by a member of Prince Charles' staff during the battle. The family or district it was first connected with is unknown.
Culloden Dress Ancient Tartan WR1322
Culloden Grey Tartan WR1289
Culloden Red Dress District Tartan WR742
Imagine adding silk, velvet, or linen solid colored fabrics in magenta, marigold, white, gray, black, or even the right shade of blue. For the various wedding dresses, each could be a different tartan.
These tartans could be combined in small touches ~ a narrow trim lining a train or veil…welts in sleeve insets or at the waistline of the bridal gown…streamers from the bouquets...pew bows… altar cloth…cloth on the gift or head table…custom kilts. You would have a beautiful, memorable color scheme for your Scottish wedding theme.
See more wedding gown ideas…
June 19, 2007 07:33 - Concomitants on a Golf Cart
At many big events, it's common to see vendors, participants, or visitors riding the grounds in golf carts.
At the Glasgow Highland Games the Evansville [Indiana] Scottish Society's golf cart displayed two concomitants. These banners, also called concomitants or flags, were mounted on the rear corners. One was a thistle banner and the other was a personal family crest printed on fabric.
The thistle concomitant was sewn on a serger, using the nylon fabrics usually seen in purchased banners. There were two large purple thistles, with green leaves, on a white ground.
When a bride creates a special flag commemorating her wedding day, it becomes a bridal concomitant and was traditionally flown from her parent's home on her wedding day. It could also be displayed at the wedding ceremony and/or wedding reception, flown outside the church, attached to the antenna of the send-off vehicle, then kept as a memento. It can also be preserved for children's weddings, flown on anniversaries, or whenever you feel like it ~ to
celebrate your marriage.
Here's two examples ~
Your own concomitant can be simple, as the thistle, more ornate, or any point in between.
Coming tomorrow ~ another idea for decorating the bridal limousine…
June 20, 2007 16:24 - Concomitants on a Golf Cart ~ Part 2
A few weeks ago I attended a niece's wedding. The reception was held at a country club, where the bride and groom also spent their wedding night.
The country club provided a golf cart for the couple to drive from the reception to their room. Seeing no car was involved, friends and cousins attempted to decorate the golf cart.
When I saw the thistle banner at the Glasgow Highland Games, I thought how nice it would have been to place one or two bridal concomitants (see yesterday's blog), on the front or rear of the golf cart ~ a perfect final touch to a lovely wedding.
If one were created for the wedding day, it could also be displayed on any vehicle used for the send-off.
Another new idea for the send-off is a wedding decal, whether for a limousine or a VW Bug. The decal announces the couple's first names, the wedding date and "Just Married".
It makes a nice bridal shower gift, adds an elegant touch to the send-off, and can start a new wedding tradition within a family. A source is Webdecal’s Weddecal. You can also contact a local printer who can print a custom-designed window decal for you.
[Editor’s Note: this URL has been changed as the one posted has become incorrect]
Tomorrow, more ideas for the bridal concomitant...
June 21, 2007 14:35 - Celtic Knotwork Bridal Concomitants
Examples of heraldic shields and a vinyl wedding decal as bridal concomitants were in the last two blogs. Today's examples are Celtic knot work on pennants and banners.
For a different wedding, I embroidered Celtic knots on several concomitants. These were sewn on a pale sage silk essence, using heliotrope and darker sage thread. So the pennants could be viewed from both sides I used water-soluble stabilizer.
Several darker green pennants were sewn with this thistle knotwork design.
One larger banner displayed the bride and groom's initials, with two Celtic knot designs, all set within a circle of antique roses. I used a heavier stabilizer behind the motifs as the banner was linen.
All the Celtic knots were machine-embroidered on a Brothers embroidery machine, with the stock patterns ordered online from a selection of sources. View these sources tomorrow…
June 22, 2007 16:19 - Sources For Machine Embroidery Knotwork Motifs
There are many online sources to buy embroidery motif downloads. Some also sell special machine embroidery thread.
When I've been unable to match the thread colors, I've also used Güterman sewing thread. Sulky makes a nice, shiny thread which helps the motifs to visually sparkle and pop-out. Both Güterman and Sulky are sold at most Hancock and JoAnn fabric stores, plus many others.
At each source, search for Celtic, Scottish, Irish, and thistle motifs.
For machine embroidery work, a custom design can be purchased for $100 to $150, depending on the manufacturer. The design can then be enlarged or reduced by the seamstress doing the embroidery work for you.
Coming tomorrow ~ Graphics & Motifs…
June 23, 2007 06:23 - Graphics & Motifs For You Scottish Theme Wedding
You can also design your own Celtic knot. Clan Badge sells a Celtic knot designer,The Celtic Knot Font . There are lots of examples on their page, including "Failte". The artist, Barbara Haney, used the Clan Badge software to design her Celtic heart knot, then hand-painted it on a roofing slate.
She sells her hand painted slates at Huckleberry Handpaints. A slate like "Failte" would be a nice touch on your Guest Book table, as a Scottish welcome to your wedding guests.
You can hire a graphic designer, who could then build on your Celtic knot design to create your own logo for your wedding. Or they could design you something from scratch.
Joscelin Cockburn, whose work can be seen at Silicon Glen, lives in a small village in Argyll, Scotland. She welcomes custom commissions and has designed wedding ceremony programs. Read more about her on her website.
Another source, whose work I like, is Caberdancer Graphics . A selection of their T-shirt designs can be seen at Clan MacBubba, where their designs run the gamut from rather raunchy to terribly tasteful. Even Queen Elizabeth has been presented with one of their designs.
Did I say Clan MacBubba ???…
June 25, 2007 07:36 - Clan MacBubba ???
Swirling kilts, skirling bagpipes, the clans MacIntosh, MacIntyre, and MacBubba…MacBubba ???
Yup, for 3 years I've visited with them at the Glasgow Highland Games…and had a darned good time. The main promoter for the clan is an absolute hoot who could sell hot coffee in Hell.
Their original Scottish costume was a worn pair of coveralls with Culloden [see June 18, 2007 blog] tartan sewn on. As time has passed, they now sport Culloden kilts.
From South Carolina, this is a clan for anyone who really wants a clan but can't prove alliance with any other clan, anywhere. More it's just for fun and laughter. At my last count there are 850 registered members.
In case you're not Southern, bubba is a slang term these South Carolina Scotsmen have appropriated with humor and elan.
This year their display included Roadkill Possum Haggis in Raccoon Gravy. If you want a humorous table decoration for your Scottish wedding theme, think this one through. I'd say they took about a 30-ounce can and designed a Scottish-looking label on a computer. The label was glued over a real label and can, producing a can of MacBubba Haggis. Many people find haggis revolting, so possum in raccoon gravy can't be any worse, even if it is roadkill!
June 26, 2007 11:39 - Caberdancer Graphics
Caberdancer is a part of Clan MacBubba, which you read about in the last few blog posts.
They design and print or embroider logos, banners, pennants and signage. Some of their graphic designs are phenomenal.
They have a line of Scottish T-shirts, some nice, some hilarious, some in-your-face. They're all amazing. They've even presented a custom design shirt to Queen Elizabeth.
In a more serious vein, their Carolina Scots T-shirt can be seen on the Clan McBubba merchandise page. I have their Daughter of Scotland T-shirt that I wear frequently, proudly displaying my Scottish heritage.
On Caberdancer's portfolio page, the Selvester banner
and the Cowden banner
are two examples of their ceremonial, more formal side.
If you'd like a custom designed logo for your wedding, which you could incorporate into an altar cloth, table cloths for the reception, invitations, napkins, bridal wear, favors, or a bridal concomitant, they do both very humorous and more serious designs.
June 27, 2007 08:05 - More About Celtic Motifs & Where To Use Them
To create a design for a bridal concomitant and have it produced professionally may seem like a big expense. But consider all the places it could be used ~
- bridal concomitant
- altar cloth ~ either embroidered, silk screened or stenciled
- head table cloth ~ either embroidered, silk screened or
- guest table cloths ~ stenciled repeatedly down the center
On papergoods ~
- invitations and other announcements
- ceremony program cover
- guest book
On any of the bridal wear ~ wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, flower girl dress, or mother-of-the-bride gown.
Motifs to consider ~
Graphic designers [see June 23, 2007 blog] can create a design, just for you, to be used in multiple formats. One online company, Clan Badge, sells a Celtic font software that creates Celtic knots.
An idea to mull over is that you'd be creating a family heirloom which can be used by other family members, and in years to come, your own children, as part of their Scottish wedding theme.
Tomorrow…back to Clan MacBubba and haggis…
June 28, 2007 06:11 - So Just What Is Haggis ???
You've heard about haggis, but what is it? Something good or something horrid?
Haggis is renowned as a traditional Scottish dish, usually combining sheep's pluck ~ which is the heart, liver, and lungs ~ minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock. Traditionally, the sheep's stomach was used for the casing and boiled for an hour.
Haggis is somewhat like chitterlings, which is pig intestines, or traditional Greek kokorets, which is chopped intestines, sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, and/or kidneys of lamb or goat, marinated in lemon, olive oil and oregano, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
The Larousse Gastronomique, 2001 English edition, entry states, "although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour." (page 592)
Usually modern, commercially prepared haggis substitutes a regular sausage-type casing for the stomach lining. Meat-free recipes are available for vegetarians. On the MacSween canned haggis label, the serving suggestion is haggis with neeps and tatties and a dram of Scotch whisky.
Although this is the traditional fare served at Robert Burns dinners, on other occasions there can be other accompaniments. A fairly recent development is an elegant gravy, made from thickened stock and Scotch whisky, called Whisky Sauce.
Before you decide to serve it at your wedding reception, better taste it first. Tomorrow, some recipes and sources…
June 29, 2007 08:04 - Haggis Recipes and Sources
Haggis Hunt, a blog from Scotsman.com brings you Haggis Humor with haggis facts, myths, games, etiquette, and drinks involving haggis. More importantly, they feature 18 Haggis recipes. Scroll down to Part 10.
Haggis can be ordered in the U.S. from
But how do you serve it?
In it's place of honor, the haggis is usually served on a tray, garnished with lavender, rosemary, and sage, and a whisky sauce. This is carried in with great fanfare, while a piper pipes. Neeps and tatties, plus a dram of whisky are also served. For dessert, a Clootie Dumpling with hot Byrd's Custard is considered the piece de resistance.
Robbie Burns poem, Tae a Haggis" is addressed to the Haggis before being served. The last verse reads,
Fair fa' yer honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudden race.
Abune them a' ye tak' yer place -
Painch, tripe or thairm.
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang 's my airm.
Tomorrow, read about a champion Clootie Dumpling recipe…
June 30, 2007 05:15 - Clootie Dumpling Recipe
The Clootie dumpling is a traditional dessert served at the Robert Burns Dinners or anytime haggis is served.
Electric Scotland has published an old newspaper clipping with a champion Clootie Dumpling recipe.
The dumpling is a type of suet pudding that's traditional Scottish fare, served hot for dessert or cold for breakfast the next day. The article in Electric Scotland gives a lot of information about the dish, posts the recipe, plus has the original newspaper article that can be enlarged for reading.
By following their link Return to our Recipe Page, you can find other Clootie Dumpling recipes, including one for the microwave. Be sure to browse the other recipes while you're there. Also be prepared to spend awhile at Electric Scotland. There's lots to look at and learn at their website.
Coming tomorrow, a listing of July Highland Games & Festivals in the U.S.