An American Wedding Day,
Thanks to the Scots

A typical American wedding day…that’s what Mary and Jamie thought they were having. A day not too different from anyone else’s, special just to them and their families.

Neither the bride or the groom thought of themselves as Scottish, they were just Americans…and totally unaware of the Scottish influences in their lives.

Had anyone asked, they would have said they were having an American wedding, with nothing Scottish about it. Little did they know about what the Scots had contributed to their wedding day ~ first in their ancestry and secondly with their their inventions and innovations…

Both Mary and Jamie had learned to read using The McGuffey Readers, written by William McGuffey, whose grandparents had been Scots.

Jamie’s favorite books were The Harry Potter series, written by J.K. Rawlings, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mary loved Jurassic Park, byMichael Crichton, of Scottish parentage.

Mary had grown up in North Carolina and attended Duke University, which was founded by the Dukefamily, originally from Scotland.

Dow Chemical, founded by Herbert Dow, whoseheritage was Scottish, had hired Mary after she graduated.

Jamie was a product of Chicago, where his father worked for Armour & Company, founded by twoScottish brothers.

Jamie was a graduate of Princeton University,whose first president, John Witherspoon, also from Scotland, educated many of our Founding Fathers.

As a student of Economics, Jamie spent onesummer studying under John Kenneth Galbraith,the foremost Economist in America, an immigrantfrom Canada, of Scottish parentage.

Jamie was snatched up by IBM, founded by ThomasWatson, of Scottish parentage, and John GrahamJohnston of Scotland.

As their wedding day plans went forward, the wedding invitations, bearing adhesive stamps invented by John Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland, had been mailed. Jamie had addressed the envelopes while sitting at his desk in a swivel chair, invented by Thomas Jefferson, of Scottish ancestry.

The bride and groom bought wedding day insurance with Bankers Life & Casualty, owned by John MacArthur, of Scottish descent.

At one point, the bride started worrying about the cost of their wedding day and decided to end it all. Using an antique dirk that hung over the family fireplace, she stabbed herself several times.

Mary escaped death, only to find herself on an operating table, being given an anesthetic, discovered by Sir James Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.

During her recovery she was injected with penicillin, discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland.

Upon her recovery, she learned their finances were as safe as the Bank of England, founded by William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.

With this reassurance, the wedding day plans went forward, with the day of her wedding finally arriving.

When Mary awakened on her wedding day , she was well rested and refreshed, having slept the night on a Simmons Beautyrest mattress. John Simmons, of Scottish ancestry, founded the company.

First thing, the bride took a long, soaking wedding day bath in a white porcelain tub, invented by Alexander Buick, an American immigrant from Scotland.

The bride dried herself with a Cannon towel,manufactured in nearby Kannapolis, by Charles Cannon, of Scottish parents.

In her toiletry preparations, Mary used Crest toothpaste and Sure deodorant, both products of Proctor & Gamble. James Gamble was of Scottish parentage.

For her wedding day breakfast, the bride ate a bowl of Corn Flakes, from the Kellogg Company, founded by W.K. Kellogg, of Scots ancestry.

Before leaving the house, she called her groom, using the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The groom didn’t answer. He was out for his morning workout on his bicycle, invented by Kirkpatrick MacMillan of Dumfries, Scotland.

While out, he stopped for an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s, founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald, whose family came from Glasgow, via County Kerry, Ireland.

Jamie’s bike broke down, so when he returned home, he used his Black & Decker drill to tighten a nut. Black and Decker were both of Scottish parentage.

The bride watched the morning news on the television, invented by John Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland. There was a special segment about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.

Knowing a long day lay ahead, Mary fixed herself a nice hot cup of Lipton tea, whose founder Sir Thomas Lipton was born in Glasgow.

When leaving the house, the sky was dark with the promise of rain. The bride grabbed her raincoat, a Macintosh, patented by Charles MacIntosh of Glasgow.

For her wedding day, she was chauffeured in a Rolls Royce, designed by Charles Rolls, a Briton of Scottish MacLean ancestry.

The limousine was fitted with tires, invented by John Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland.

The route she traveled was a black-top road, originally known as macadam, invented by John MacAdam of Ayr, Scotland.

The groom drove to the wedding in a Buick, whose founder was David Buick, a Scotsman.

Being nervous wedding day, he decided to stop for a quick drink, ordering that famous water of life, Scotch Whiskey, the best liquor in the world.

Jamie also stopped for gas at the local Exxon station, a company founded by John Davison Rockefeller, whose mother was Scottish.

The hem in a bridesmaid’s dress came loose and was repaired with Scotch tape, a product developed by James McKnight, who started as a bookkeeper with 3M.

Jamie and his father wore Thom McAn Shoes, whose founder was Scots-American.

Still nervous, Jamie slipped a Smith Brothers cough drop into his mouth. The Smith Brothers, William and Andrew, came from Scottish stock.

When the wedding ceremony began, the bride carried a Bible, where the first man mentioned is a Scot, King James VI, who authorized its translation.

Being springtime, the bride’s bouquet contained bright yellow forsythia, named in honor of William Forysth, one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society and a Scotsman.

The soloist sang Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, a reformed slave ship captain and a Scot.

Jamie presented Mary with a beautiful antique gold wedding ring, a family heirloom. The gold had come from the California goldrush, when a Scotsman, James Marshall, struck gold in Sutter’s Mill.

The reception was held at a Holiday Inn, founded by Kemmons Wilson, of Scottish ancestry.

Many of the flowers came from the Lompoc Valley in California, where an American Scots, John Rennie, founded the American flower seed industry.

The caterers used trays, made of Alcoa aluminum, founded by Andrew Mellon, of Scottish ancestry.

Among the appetizers was a cheese dip made of Campbell’s cheese soup and Monterey Jack cheese. David Jack, a Scot who failed in the California Gold Rush, succeeded when he created Monterey Jack cheese.

A delightful punch was based on Canada Dry Ginger Ale, developed by John McLaughlin, a Canadian of Scottish ancestry.

The wedding day meal was served on Lenox china, a companyfounded by a Scotsman, Walter Scott Lenox...

The plates were decorated with pineapple from Hawaii, an island discovered by Captain James Cook, born in Yorkshire of Scottish parents.

The wedding day menu included Black Angus steaks. Ranchers had imported Aberdeen Angus bulls from Scotland to strengthen American beef cattle.

The Waldorf salad contained McIntosh apples, named for the Canadian-Scots farmer, John McIntosh.

As a special wedding day tribute, Mary asked her grandparents to take their place opening the first dance. The band played Stardust, their favorite song in 1929 when they married. Hoagie Carmichael, a Scots-American, wrote the music.

Jamie's grandfather shared a family legend with the bridal couple. His grandparents had eloped to Gretna Green in Scotland. He told of their wedding day.

The happy couple danced the Schottische, a folk dance from the Highlands, still popular in the mountains of North Carolina.

As the reception was ending, all the guests gathered in a circle to sing Auld Lang Syne, penned by that most famous Scotsman and poet, Robert Burns.


Leaving the celebration the couple rode in the Rolls Royce limousine, with old shoes tied to the rear bumper, a wedding day custom which originated in Scotland.

For their honeymoon, they flew to Scotland on Icelandair, founded by David McIntyre, a Scotsman and the first co-pilot over Mount Everest.

In Scotland, they visited Edinburgh and saw Old Town.

Jamie insisted on visiting The Red Elephant, the café where J.K. Rawlings wrote Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.

Next, they visited Gretna Green, the infamous elopement village and the second most visited site in Scotland. The went into the Blacksmith’s Shop to see where Jamie’s great-grandparents had wed.

A wedding was taking place and the groom invited Mary and Jamie to their ceilidh celebration.

Here’s a few of their snapshots ~

Old Town image courtesy

image courtesy

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...during their stay, Jamie and Mary met lots of friendly Scots, found out how smooth Scotch whiskey can be, and discovered that as they found Scotland, it pulled on their heart strings, drawing them back...back to where their family story first began...
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