Scottish Wedding Theme
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August 1, 2008 06:16 - August Highland Games & Festivals

The heat of summer is here, but there's still games to go to. If you're anywhere near one, it's worth the drive. I've found going early helps escape the heat..any I'm still able to have my fix of Scottish foods for lunch!

Any one working on Scottish Wedding Theme planning can use a good dose of Highland Games. If you want to hire a local bagpiper, see some samples of different tartans up close, view different interpretations of the various styles of kilts, learn more about your clan's history, hear some different ideas for music, eat a day-full of Scottish food, and see lots of Scottish traditions first hand ~ then a nice Highland Game is the way to go.

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

A special invitation has been received from The Ena Sutton Highland Dancers of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The province annual festival, Folklorama is from August 10th to August 16th, 2008 at the Scottish Pavilion. They're celebrating the diverse ethnicity of the province.

  • June 30 to July 18, Inverness, Nova Scotia ~ Ceilidh Trail School of Music Programs
  • August 1 to 2, Glengarry, Ontario ~ Glengarry Highland Games
  • August 1 to 2, Livonia, Michigan ~ St. Andrew's Society of Detroit Games where there's lot of shade trees to help hold down the heat and its held on an historic farm
  • August 2, Spokane, Washington ~ Spokane Highland Games
  • August 3, Montreal, Quebec ~ Montreal Highland Games
  • August 3 to 12, Lorient, France ~ Lorient Celtic Festival
  • August 4, Weymouth, Massachusetts ~ St. Jude Highland Games
  • August 6, Houston, Texas ~ Celtic Harvest Festival - Lughnassadh
    Lughnassadh is one of the main Celtic Festivals of the year. Some are just a celebration, others have very strong occult agendas. Especially with children, choose your Lughnassadh festivals with care. Wikipedia has more complete information to help you decide.

  • August 6 to 19, Winnipeg, Manitoba ~ Folklorama Festival
  • August 8 to 10, Fergus, Ontario ~ Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • August 9 to 10, Denver, Colorado ~ Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games
  • August 9 to 10, Hunter, New York ~ Hunter Mountain International Celtic Festival
  • August 9 to 13, Pictou, Nova Scotia ~ The Hector Festival
  • August 9 to October 26, Manheim, Pennsylvania ~ The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (weekends)
  • August 9 to October 26, Mt. Hope, Pennsylvania ~ Mt. Hope Renaissance Faire
  • August 11, Whidbey Island, Washington ~ Whidbey Island Highland Games
  • August 11, Syracuse, New York ~ Central New York Scottish Games
  • August 11, Prinville, Oregon ~ High Desert Celtic Festival
  • August 11 to 13, Pittsburgh, California ~ Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
  • August 11 to 13, Charleston, West Virginia ~ West Virginia Highland Games and Festival
  • August 15 to 16, Jackson Hole, Wyoming ~ Jackson Hole Scottish Festival
  • August 16, Amherst, New York ~ Amherst Museum Scottish Festival and Games
  • August 16, Portland, Maine ~ Maine Highland Games
  • August 17 to 18, Beckley, West Virginia ~ West Virginia Celtic Festival and Games
  • August 17 to 18, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ~ Saskatoon Highland Games
  • August 18, Ridgefield, Washington ~ Fort Vancouver Caledonian Gathering
  • August 18, Olympia, Washington ~ Olympia Scottish Games Festival
  • August 18 to 19, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio ~ Celtic Feis
  • August 18 to 19, Myrtle Crook, Oregon ~ Douglas County Celtic Games and Gathering
  • August 18 to 19, Orchards, Washington ~ Ft. Vancouver Gathering
  • August 18 to 20, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania ~ Lewisburg Celtic Legends
  • August 19 to 20, Albany, Oregon ~ Sweet Home Celtic Festival and Games
  • August 23, Davenport, Iowa ~ Celtic Highland Games of the Quad Cities
  • August 23, Galesburg, Michigan ~ Kalamazoo Scottish Festival
  • August 25, Almonte, Ontario ~ North Lanark Highland Games
  • August 25, Cortland, New York ~ Cortland Celtic Festival
  • August 25, Old Westbury, New York ~ Long Island Scottish Games
  • August 25, Olympia, Washington ~ Peninsula Pipes and Drums
  • August 25, Quechee, Vermont ~ Quechee Scottish Festival
  • August 25, Toukley, New South Wales, Australia ~ Toukley Gathering of the Clans
  • August 25 to 26, Bethel, Missouri ~ Scottish Clans Heritage Festival
  • August 27, Prague, Czech Republic ~ Sychroy Highland Games which features members from their Olympic team in the heavy events

Monday, Medieval Heraldry as Cake Pulls continues…

August 4, 2008 15:47 - Medieval Heraldry as Cake Pull Charms

Harkening all the way back to Medieval Heraldry, there are innumerable symbols with meanings that you can select, if a charms is available in that design.

Did you find symbols on the clan badge pages that you liked? They might even go back to the 'days of old, when knights were bold', giving the charms even more meaning for your cake pulls.

Some older maritime symbols would have been popular in Scotland. Remember almost everyone was within walking distance of the sea and many of the men travelled far and wide as sailors. The anchor, seahorse, sea lion, sea, and shell all have Medieval heraldry significance.

There are over 10 styles of crosses, each with a different meaning.

Salmon from the rivers of Scotland, the Stag, the peacock, the lion, and the unicorn all have meanings harkening back to Medieval times.

The Saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross, which has been Scotland's flag since the 800's, has a older meaning.

How about mermaids? They symbolize eloquence. Who wouldn't want some eloquence at their wedding?

Here's the beginning of the list ~ Heraldic Symbols

Some of the clan plants with heraldic significance are the apple [blossom], broom, holly, ivy, laurel, oak, periwinkle, pine cone, roses, strawberries (fraise), wheat, and yew ~ Scottish Clan Plants

A more complete listing of heraldry symbols can be found at A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, by James Parker, first published in 1894.

Tomorrow, more information on the Catherine's Wheel…

August 5, 2008 12:14 - Katherines Wheel

Saint Catherine of Alexandria lived from 287 to 305 in Alexandria, Egypt. She is also called Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine. Both Katherine and Catherine are accepted spellings.

Catherine was any early Christian was highly educated and converted the wife of Emperor Maxentius. After converting many of his magi and citizens, Catherine was sentenced to execution on a spiked wheel. The wheel shattered and she was then beheaded.

The popularity of the name Catherine comes from this Catherine and her martyrdom. Many churches also bear her name. Santa Catalina Island in California is named after her. The gymnastic cartwheel was originally called a Catherine's Wheel.

From Katherine's planned torment on the spiked wheel, many expressions have evolved ~

  • to grow up for the gallows and wheel ~ to come to no good at all, or be ripe for a life of crime ~ Dutch
  • I have been broken on the wheel, meaning 'I am exhausted' ~ Dutch
  • to die by the wheel, meaning to keep silent about something ~ Spanish
  • to feel wheeled meaning "I am exhausted' ~ German
  • to break on the wheel, meaning 'to exert oneself mentally' or 'exhaust oneself physically' ~ Swedish
  • to break on the wheel, meaning 'to exhaust oneself physically' ~ Danish
  • dissipated debauchee, originally mean broken on the wheel ~ French

A namesake is Katherine Swynfold. She lived from 1350 to 1403 and was born Katherine de Roet. From Flemish royal family, Katherine was the third wife of the Prince John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, after being governess to his daughters.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Catherine's personal coat of arms includes three Catherine Wheels. Roet, her maiden name, translates as 'wheel'.

Her family played important roles in the Wars of Roses. Her great-granddaughter, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was the mother of King Henry VII.

Tomorrow, Clan Stamps …

August 6, 2008 08:03 - Clan Stamps

Recently I found another great idea for displaying your Scottish-ness. Clan Badge stamps. They cost around $7 and suggest multiple uses ~

  • table runners
  • altar cloths
  • banners
  • bridal concomitant, see Glossary and June 19 to 21, 2007 blogs
  • napkins
  • bridal gowns ~ around the hem, down sleeves, over-all, a complimentary color to line a train or underskirt

Fabric dyes can be used for more permanent stamping.

Image courtesy Tinkers Tartan

They're available from Tinker's Tartan in Cape Haze, Florida.

The stamps are available in authentic designs for 144 clans. Here's the Boyd Clan Badge ~

Image courtesy Celtic Studio on Ebay

Note the hand, wreath, strap and buckle, all of which are Heraldic Symbols that can be used as cake pulls.

The motto, 'I trust', is symbolized by gold roundels and yellow roundels. The clan plant, a fan of laurel leaves, signifies peace and/or triumph. The clan plant is a fan of laurel leaves. This signifies peace and/or triumph. Any of these heraldic symbols can also be used as a cake pull charms.

Tomorrow, a Scottish sea glass dangle…

August 7, 2008 07:40 - Scottish Sea Glass Cake Pull Dangle

It's always exciting and fun to stumble across something that's not only from Scotland, but has potential for a wedding.

The artist collects sea glass from the shores of Scotland, then combines them with crystal beads, silver beads, and charms ~ usually flip-flops, lighthouses, and seahorses.

She then constructs dangles that can be connected to a cell phone, a purse, a pocket in your jeans, your key-chain…or anywhere.

Image courtesy Artisanne

Of course, for me, the next thought is cake pulls, on pew-end bows, special gifts, or if you're carrying a Celtic Bible ~ from the marker ribbon. Maybe from the end of your cake knife, unless you're using a sword or dirk! [See Scottish Wedding Dreams Glossary of Scottish Words for a definition and 'Wedding Ceremony Traditions' Pledging to Provide and Protect to read about a pledge you might want to incorporate in your wedding plans]

The artist describes the sea glass as "Naturally recycled gems! Bottles, vases, automobile windows, glass from shipwrecks... in fact, anything made of glass that's been dumped in the sea and tumbled and turned for many, many years becomes Sea Glass. The longer it's there, the purer and more perfect it becomes. I also find some fantastic Sea Pottery with gorgeous patterns and colours, tumbled and smoothed in the same way as the glass."

You'll find the dangles at Artisanne's Shop

Tomorrow begins a slew of dress ideas from the Art Deco illustrator, Aubrey Beardsley…

August 8, 2008 10:26 - Aubrey Beardsley

Recently, I was trying to describe Aubrey Beardsley's work as an illustrator to a friend. He's known primarily for his Art Deco work in ink, with an emphasis on the provocative and titillating, some even edging into pornography. Though his career only lasted six years, as he moved further into his career, his images became perversely dark, with much grotesque erotica.

Beardsley received advice and encouragement from Pierre Puvid de Chavannes, founder of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Sir Burne-Jones was the husband of Georgiana MacDonald [see January 23, 2008 blog]. Some of his stained glass works beautify Trinity Church in Boston.

Aubrey's work includes many illustrations for The Savoy and the Yellow Book magazines. What a pleasant surprise to find several lovely gowns that could be adapted into Scottish wedding dresses!

Most are from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, but Oscar Wilde's Salome and The Savoy Magazine also revealed feminine, appropriate gowns.

To begin my finds, here's 'La Beale Isoud at Joyous Guard', from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

Image courtesy Wormfood

A closer look at the cape

Image courtesy Wormfood

How about a cape as a train using a Scottish motif, with tartan collar and closure, over a simple Empire gown? Many heraldic symbols could be chosen and embroidered on the train.

Monday, the dresses continue in Part II…

August 11, 2008 08:20 - Aubrey Beardsley Gowns ~ Part II

Image courtesy Wormfood

This illustration, "Achieving the Senegreal", from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur shows a gown that's beautifully draped.

Here's a little closer look ~

Image courtesy Wormfood

Tartan silk, or a very light weight wool tartan, could be cut on the diagonal as an overdress, or modified tabard. The under-dress could be of a solid color from the tartan or bridal white, in a silk or chiffon.

Image courtesy The Savoy

'How Four Queens Found Launcelot Sleeping', also from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, suggests a softly draped tabard.

Taking a closer look ~

Image courtesy The Savoy

The gown and tabard could both be of the same softly folding fabric, trimmed around the hem, sleeves, and neckline with a fine tartan cording. A long train of tartan, a tartan-lined train, or a tartan trimmed train, over the gown and a Medieval headpiece would be so-o-o Scottish. Alternating the gown and tabard, vis-à-vis tartan and solid color is another idea.

Image courtesy The Savoy

'Launcelot with the Witch Hellawes', from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The strapless bodice and train could be of silk or lightweight tartan, with a complimentary fabric for the gown.

Image courtesy The Savoy

Or all could be of a drape-able fabric, with tartan cording on the top and bottom of the bodice and edges of the train. A tartan dress with an overlay of a sheer complimentary color and tartan bodice, is another idea.

Tomorrow, more Beardsley gowns…

August 12, 2008 06:16 - Aubrey Beardsley Gowns ~ Part III

'Of a Neophyte, and How the Black Art was Revealed Unto Him', from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, appears dark and sinister.

Image courtesy The Savoy

But, look at the draped collar that forms the bodice. Visualize the collar in tartan, draped over an elegant gown for a mother or grandmother.

Image courtesy The Savoy

Image courtesy The Savoy

'How Sir Palomides Made Great Sorrow and Mourning for La Beale Isoud', from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Look closer at the belt.

Image courtesy The Savoy

A fabric sash, possibly in tartan or plain over a tartan Medieval dress, with the knots tied in one of the heraldic knots found at Scottish Wedding Dreams or a Celtic knot pattern.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Isolde, an 1895 illustration for The Studio magazine, for the opera Isolde.

A beruffled wedding gown of soft organdy or handkerchief linen
would be very feminine. The braid on the wrists and draped around the neck could be the tartan of your choice. The buttons above the hemline ruffles could be Celtic knots, tartan covered buttons, or embroidered thistles.

Tomorrow concludes The Beardsley Gowns...

August 13, 2008 06:45 - Aubrey Beardsley Gowns ~ Part IV

Image courtesy Art Passions

This illustration is entitled Venus Between the Terminal Gods. I can envision this gown embroidered with thistles, in a white to match the wedding gown.

Image courtesy Art Passions

The bodice, hem, and upper edge of the gloves could be finished with a very thin edging of a tartan, with a lavender shade picked up from the tartan to embroider the thistles. Celtic knots could also be incorporated in with the thistles.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Called The Peacock Skirt, this illustration is from Oscar Wilde's play, Salome. It's really a cape, just mislabeled a skirt.

Taking a closer look ~

Image courtesy Wikipedia

A Peacock Theme was featured in the Scottish Wedding Theme Newsroom blogs on August 10 & 13, 2007.

Coupling the House of Rosetti Butterfly gown, with a lighter weight adaptation of Beardsley's Peacock Skirt as a train or cape would really be dazzling.

Tomorrow begins a study of Heraldry and it's uses, including wedding ideas…

August 14, 2008 09:31 - Brides Bowls & Baskets

I know a study of heraldry was stated to start today, but it's such an involved, deep subject and I thought a lighter break would be a good break before we begin on heraldry.

Here's a gift idea for the couple, an idea for a bridal shower, or even to display at the wedding reception.

They haven't always been called 'Bride's bowls'. You won't find that category in old glass company catalogs. They were just called berry bowls or fruit bowls.

Today any colored art glass bowl, with crimped or fluted edges can be called a Bride's Bowl. If it sits in a silver frame, with a handle, it becomes a Bride's Basket.

Where did the silver frames come from? Silver-plate manufacturers bought the bowls from the glassmakers, then fashioned silver-plate frames to mount the bowls in.

At this writing Ebay had 48 Bride's Bowls listed for sale, plus another 76 listings in Ebay stores. Some have baskets, a few have pedestals, baskets are also sold separately.

Image courtesy Ebay, Lord and Spain

Tomorrow, a recipe for Bride's Bowl Punch for any of the bridal parties…

August 15, 2008 08:09 - Bride's Bowl Punch

Such a romantic name, especially in light of reading about Bride's Bowls and Baskets. Though I don't think this punch will fit in a Bride's Bowl.

Bride's Bowl Punch ~
Serve in white wine glasses
10 servings

[converted from centiliters to ounces, 1 CL = 10 milliliters ML = 1/3 ounce]

85 ounces brandy
10 ounces cherry brandy
169 ounces gold run
41 ounces lemon juice
68 ounces pineapple juice
10 chunked pineapples [seems excessive to me]
10 sliced oranges
507 ounces Champagne

Combine all ingredients but the champagne in a punch bowl. Cover and chill for a minimum of two hours. When ready to serve, add champagne and ice. Pour into wine glasses.

The recipe is from

If you're trying this for a bridal luncheon, with only a few people attending, you might find a punch bowl set, or just pretty glass cups at an antique shop or online. If they were one of your wedding colors that would add a special touch. Any color would be feminine and you could share the history behind the bowl and punch with your guests. Possibly send them home with the punch cup they were served in.

Monday the study of heraldry begins…

August 18, 2008 09:43 - An Introduction to Heraldry

Heraldry is the art of emblems indicating the right of a person to bear arms. It announces a person who is coming.

The main item in heraldry is the Coat of Arms, which has several parts. The most important is probably the shield. It tells a tale of the person, their deeds, their pilgrimages, their hopes, their view of themself.

In the days to come, historic heraldic clothing, modern examples of heraldry, how heraldry can be used, achievements and hatchments, national flags and arms, military heraldry, oil company logos, sources for heraldic merchandise, tying heraldry and Scottish clans together, and heraldic doodad charms for Crocs will be published.

There's good artwork, there's bad, there's in between. Some poke fun at themselves, their names, their deeds. Others brag shamelessly about the same topics.

When something has been around for over 900 years, rules just naturally develop…and they have to be followed either out of politeness or legally in Scotland.

Beginning tomorrow, more information on heraldry…

August 19, 2008 07:21 - Heraldic Coat of Arms

A Coat of Arms, also called armorial bearings or arms, is a design used exclusively by a person, who owns the arms.

From top to bottom, the parts are the crest, wreath, helm or helmet, shield or escutcheon, mantle or mantling, supporters, and motto. More specifics will follow on days to come.

But first let's take a look at some examples. Two coat of arms, centuries and continents apart…one from France and one from Canada…one from the 1300's and one from the 1900's.

Duke of Bourbon Image courtesy Wikipedia

Brian Mulroney is a former Prime Minister of Canada. His arms reflect much of his history, with the Red Hand as the centerpiece of the design. It can signify a baron or the Province of Ulster.

Image courtesy Royal Heraldry Society of Canada

All are unique, some are funny, others well done, a few weird…

While I may not go in for ducks, geese, and chickens, I couldn't resist this otter in a wind swept ermine cape. Otters symbolize one who lives life to the fullest, so you have to wonder what kind of life the original owner had. The otter is so playful anyhow, but to fly like Super Otter….

Savenay Loire Atlantique image courtesy Wikipedia

Hearts always go with weddings ~

Vendee image courtesy Wikipedia

Tomorrow, the Coat of Arms continues…

August 20, 2008 08:23 - Reading Heraldry

What's the importance of having a coat of arms, crest, and shield with heraldry?

Let's have two sides shaping up for a battle. Two brothers from Scotland, fleeing the king, have landed in Calais and start south through France.

They see a group of men up ahead. Friend or foe? What do their shields tell?

All have a semy field of fleur-de-lis, or fleur-de-lis are scattered across the face of their shields. So they're probably French.

Are there any differences or similarities on the shields?

Plain red border with 8 white roundels, more fleur-de-lis Plain red border with 8 silver roundels, small fleur-de-lis Plain yellow border with 8 blue shields, larger fleur-de-lis Engrailed red border, wavy line of partition, larger fleur-de-lis

Plain red border
with 8 white
roundels, fewer
on the field
Engrailed red
border, larger
Plain gold border
with 3 red
roundels, red
label with
gold castles,

All have blue semy fields, all have borders. 5 borders are red, 1 is yellow, and 1 is gold. The fleur-de-lis are of different quantities and layout.

One has a white, wavy line of partition. Another has a red label with gold castles.

The roundels are either silver, white, or red. One has 8 silver, two have 8 white roundels, one has 3 red.

Next look at the names associated with each shield, from top to bottom ~

Alencon Ancient
Comte de Alencon
Duke of Berry
Pas de Calais

Geographically there are 4 alliances ~

  • Calais lies on the English Channel
  • Alencon lies in Normandy
  • A part of Berry became Cher ~ right in the middle of France
  • Ardeche is almost to the Mediterranean

The title Duke of Berry belongs to the king's younger son. The Comte de Alencon is a count. The Pas de Calais has a label, indicating a first-born son and heir to his father's estate.

As aristocracy, the Comte de Alencon will likely aid the Duke of Berry. So the others of Alencon will also come to his aid. Cher was once Berry, so he'll likely aid the Duke.

The Pas de Calais, as an eldest son, might feel it necessary to aid his king's son, the Duke of Berry.

So 6 may band together, leaving the man of Ardeche as a wild card. Our two Scotsmen, unless they're also related to one of these families, are probably in trouble!

All this from their shields, at a distance far enough away to decide to stand and fight, negotiate, or flee.

And that's how heraldry worked. It's a language of symbols. And you had better know what the symbols mean.

Tomorrow, more on Heraldry…

August 21, 2008 07:18 - Escutcheons and Blots

The shield is the central part on a coat of arms. It's also called an escutcheon, which is correct, and a crest, which is incorrect. A crest sits atop the helmet ~ once as additional protection for the head, now a decorative device.

Ever heard someone say a family member was a 'blot on the escutcheon'? That harkens back to days of yore, when the escutcheon represented a family and its honor. If someone in the family had done something to shame or disgrace the family, he was the 'blot'.

The shield can be of any shape, but Old French style is most common. Scottish Wedding Dreams shows several shield shapes with their names.

The surface of the escutcheon is called the field. The field can be divided into geometric sections called ordinaries. Lines of division emphasize these sections.

Lines of Division and Ordinaries will be our topic, with examples, for the next two publications on Friday and Monday.

August 22, 2008 07:46 - Geometric Shapes for Ordinaries and Lines of Division

Ordinaries are simple geometric figures on the shield. The lines are straight and run from edge to edge and/or top to bottom. They are wider than a line or division of the field.

Lines of Division are the partitions that separate and outline the ordinaries. A field that is divided is described as 'party'. These divisions often have the same name as the ordinary that shares their shape.

The surface is called the field. The divisions refer to the pattern on the field. Many common lines can be seen on the Lines of Division page.

Ordinaries share many shapes and their names.

Once these partitions are laid out and painted, other designs and decorative touches can be added on the field, or surface, of the shield. Many of these will be shown in next week's blogs.

August 25, 2008 06:42 - Geometrics on Shields ~ What Do They Mean?

From Friday, Ordinaries are the geometric figures on the shield. Lines of Division outline the ordinaries. Here's some illustrations, descriptions, and meanings ~

  • Bend [a column from top corner to opposite bottom corner] ~ a knight's scarf, defense

  • Bordure [a border around the edge] ~ honor, used to differentiate between family members

  • Canton [a small square in an upper corner] ~ a flag added to the arms, may contain a charge granted by a Sovereign

  • Chevron [like the roof of a house, an inverted "V" shape] ~ protection, faithful service

  • Chief [a bar across the top] ~ dominion, authority, wisdom, achievement in battle

  • Cross ~ Christian or Crusader

  • Fess [a center column, left to right, like a military belt] ~ honor

  • Pale [a center column top to bottom] ~ military strength

  • Pile [a "V" shape on the front, like wood used to support bridges] `construction, building

  • Saltire [an "X" shaped cross going corner to corner] ~ St. Andrew's Cross, resolution

    Once the field is painted into the ordinaries and lines of division, the decorative process really begins. Heraldry artists would add borders, field patterns, supporters, wreaths, charges, and mottoes.

    Learn more at Scottish Wedding Dreams Heraldry.

    So, tomorrow heraldry continues with some historic gowns…

August 26, 2008 05:18 - Modern Heraldry & Their Sources

What do Shell Oil, The Graham family, and Diana, Princess of Wales have in common?

A simple scallop shell, which is a common heraldic charge, or symbol. Princess Diana on the design created for her crest. The scallop has sat on the Spencer family crest for years, and it was carried forward onto her family crest.

Diana, Princess of Wales, crest image courtesy Wikipedia

But Shell Oil and the Grahams and their use of an heraldic scallop is a longer tale.

In the Victorian Era, Japan opened up for trade. A family in London's East End began to import and sell trinket boxes, covered in shells. The company name was Shell.

Seashell Trinket Box image
courtesy Debarj on Ebay

As times changed they began transporting oil. Eventually they evolved into Shell Oil Company, carrying their name forward and adopting the scallop shell as their logo.

Shell Oil image
courtesy Wikipedia

The Graham connection will continue tomorrow…

August 27, 2008 07:12 - The Saga of the Scallop & the Grahams

A second reason for Shell being named Shell, was an early financier who could trace his ancestry back to the Graham family. On the family crest were three scallop shells.

Image courtesy All Family Crests

Everything on a family crest, or coat-of-arms, has a reason behind it. Way back when, a Graham went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James. It's located at Santiago de Compestela in Galicia, Spain. This was considered the third most important holy town in Christendom.

While there, pilgrims would pick up a scallop shell from the shores of Galicia as a souvenir and a passport. Worn as a cap badge, the shell proved they had been to the shrine. It also told bandits and authorities they traveled in peace, on pilgrimage.

The scallop also served as a modest spoon of small capacity. When begging for food, the scallop on their headgear proclaimed they wouldn't eat much. Lastly, when they arrived back home, they had a momento to prove they really had been to the shrine of St. James.

Before creating the coat of arms, a Graham had been on pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James. Thus the three scallop shells in the Graham family crest.

Tomorrow, a few more modern examples of heraldry ~ both humorous and serious...

August 28, 2008 07:16 - More Modern Heraldry

Someone has asked why all this coverage of heraldry.

My answer ~ there's so many symbols that were used in heraldry that can be used for a Scottish theme wedding. To be true to our ancestors, the rules of heraldry should be observed. And how can you observe something you know nothing about? This way, what you do use can be done with taste and accuracy.

Now on to some modern uses of older heraldic symbols.

This crab crossing sign was photographed in Okinawa, harkening back to the original crab symbol of heraldry.

Image 457690 courtesy Stock Exchange

Though shown darting across the road, this flamingo also draws on an older flamingo heraldry symbol.

Image 535108 courtesy Stock Exchange

This coat-of-arms from Bahama also shows the flamingo being used as an heraldic symbol.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

From a collection of Service Stations across the county, this scallop shell building that served as a Shell station, shows another humorous application of heraldic symbols.

Image property of Scottish Wedding Dreams

And one very serious, military crest for the U.S. Coast Guard Acushnet ~

Image courtesy TIOH

A complete description of the Acushnet Coat of Arms will be available, along with many other military arms at Scottish Wedding Dreams, Military Heraldry.

Tomorrow, the September Highland Games schedule…

August 29, 2008 12:24 - September Highland Games

Well, here's September, the weather will begin to cool, and more Highland Games are available.

Any one working on a Scottish Wedding Theme can find lots of information…like finding a local bagpiper, seeing all kinds of tartans up close, looking at the styles of kilts and pleating, clan histories, pipes and drums galore…and eating different Scottish foods to see if you want any of them featured in your wedding

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

  • August 31 to September 2, Rapid City, South Dakota ~ Dakota Celtic Festival & Highland Games
  • September 2, Carlisle, Pennsylvania ~ McLain Highland Festival
  • September 4 to 7, Estes Park, Colorado ~ Long's Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival
  • September 5 to 6, Buffalo, Missouri ~ Southwest Missouri Celtic Heritage Festival
  • September 5 to 7, Elizabethton, Tennessee ~ Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival
  • September 6 to 7, Crownsville, Maryland ~ Maryland Renaissance Festival
  • September 7 to 9, Jackson, Mississippi ~ CelticFest Mississippi
  • September 7 to 9, Ligonier, Pennsylvania ~ Ligonier Highland Games
  • September 9, Scotland, South Dakota ~ South Dakota Highland Festival
  • September 9, Trenton, Ontario, Canada ~ Trenton Scottish/Irish Festival
  • September 9, Andrews, North Carolina ~ Appalachian Highland Games & Scottish Festival
  • September 9, Youngstown, Ohio ~ Westminster Scottish Festival
  • September 9 to 10, Green Lane, Pennsylvania ~ Green Lane Park Scottish Irish Festival
  • September 9 to 10, Wilmington, New York ~ Whiteface Mountain Scottish Highland Festival
  • September 13, The Beach, Ontario, Canada ~ The Beach Celtic Festival
  • September 13 to 14, Delaplane, Virginia ~ Virginia Scottish Games and Gathering
  • September 13 to 14, Columbus, Indiana ~ Columbus Scottish Festival
  • September 13 to 14, Kelso, Washington ~ Kelso Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 14 to 15, Madera, California ~ Fresno Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 14 to 15, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada ~ Owen Sound Celtic Festival
  • September 14 to 16, Murray, Kentucky ~ Western Kentucky Highland Festival
  • September 14 to 16, Mt Pleasant, South Carolina ~ Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Games
  • September 15 to 16, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival
  • September 15 to 16, Tulsa, Oklahoma ~ Oklahoma Scottish Games & Gathering
  • September 16, Patchoque, New York ~ Patchoque Celtic Festival
  • September 16, Alexandria, Virginia ~ Alexandria Scottish Heritage Fair
  • September 19 to 21, Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire ~ New Hampshire Highland Games
  • September 19 to 21, Evergreen, Tennessee ~ Evergreen Clanjamfry
  • September 21 to 23, Sebastopol, California ~ Sebastopol Celtic Festival
  • September 22, Annapolis, Maryland ~ Celtic Crossroads
  • September 22, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ~ All Things Scottish Celtic Fest
  • September 22, Dixon, California ~ Dixon Scottish Highland Games
  • September 22 to 23, Toodyay, West Australia ~ Toodyay Highland Games
  • September 27, Boise, Idaho ~ Treasure Valley Games and Celtic Festival
  • September 27, Danbridge, Tennessee ~ Danbridge Scottish Festival
  • September 27 to 28, McPherson, Kansas ~ McPherson Scottish Festival & Games
  • September 28 to 30, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ~ Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival

Monday, have a nice Labor Day, Tuesday we'll be back as Modern Heraldry continues…

July 2008 « 


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