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Scottish Wedding Traditions Part 3, by Funk Conspiracy

Wedding customs have changed dramatically over the years. Many parts of current weddings are steeped in tradition, and some customs you will be glad to hear have been phased out over the years!

Sleeping Arrangements:

On Barra, it was traditional to sprinkle water on the marital bed to bless it. In Mull, it was customary for the young couple to sleep in a barn on their wedding night. In Lewis, the couple lived with the bride’s parents for a week before going to their own home.

The Blackening:

In Aberdeenshire, the ‘blackening’ was a ritual performed with great relish - and still is today. The engaged couple are captured one night by so-called friends, and covered with substances such as treacle, feathers and soot then paraded round the village and pubs. It takes days to get clean!

Wedding Dress Superstition:

Tradition says sewing a hair into the hem of your wedding dress signifies good luck, or letting a drop of blood fall onto the inner seam. The bride should never try on a completed dress before her wedding day, so to facilitate this tradition, a small section of the hem is left unsewn by the dressmaker until the very last moment.

Lucky Foot:

The bride, when leaving home for the last time as a single girl, should step out of the house with her right foot for luck.

The Wedding Procession:

The wedding procession: When the bridal party made their way to the ceremony, it was considered good luck for the bride to give the first person they encountered a lucky coin and a drink of whiskey. The person would then have to accompany the bridal party for one mile before being allowed to continue on their way.

Creeling The Groom:

The Highland custom of Creeling the groom: A large basket or ‘creel’ was filled with stones and tied to the groom’s back. He had to carry it round the entire town unless his bride agreed to kiss him! If she did, his friends allowed him to escape the ‘creeling’ otherwise he continued until he had completed the circuit of the town.

Hope you enjoyed our series on Scottish wedding traditions, stay tuned for more fascinating facts next week.

Written by Navella Caretto.

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