FOR THE BRIDE
We all have ideas about what will make the perfect wedding. Your mom may have had the ultimate romantic wedding and you want exactly the same...or not. You may want to follow strict tradition....or not. What really matters in the end is what will make this wedding special for YOU. The good news is it is easy to build true Celtic tradition into your plans and your look.
Figuring Out the Groom
As you start the process of buying your wedding gown, hiring a photographer and a caterer and all that, the last thing you may want to think about is what your intended is going to wear. After all, the main garment of the day is your dress, right?
Truth be told, while most weddings call for the groom to be in a simple suit or rented tux, a Scottish, Irish or Welsh wedding calls for him to be outfitted much nicer -- and there are a lot of moving parts. We suggest you read over our guide for grooms together. It should help you fit his outfit into your vision.
Don't be surprised if his outfit ends up costing as much (or even more than) your dress. This is not unusual. However, he will be able to use his new highland wear again and again in the years to come. It will become a part of your family lore, identity and personal tradition -- a source of pride for all, even future generations of your new family. That said, it is fine to have a budget in mind and stick to it. Our guide to packages should help with that.
So enough about him, what about you?
Celtic Wedding Gowns are Not Just White.
As a Celtic bride, you do not have to limit yourself to white. In Ireland the traditional ancient bridal dress color was actually blue up until the 15th century. Blue stood for purity and fidelity. Today this tradition is preserved in the “something blue” custom and can be anything from the bridal veil to the flowers or a garter. If having a blue themed gown appeals to you, do a search on “ancient irish wedding dresses” or “celtic wedding gown” to get ideas.
In Scotland, brides typically wore whatever attractive dress they could afford, usually with some tartan incorporated into the design. The tartan could be her family’s, the groom’s, or a neutral “universal” tartan that was simply beautiful and toned well with the wedding colors. If this interests you, contact USA Kilts and we can discuss tartan yardage you can supply to your seamstress.
How Formal Should Our Wedding Be?
If your wedding is going to be more casual (like a barn or a beach wedding) or if you just want to wear something less frou-frou, consider a tartan kilted skirt. Kilted skirts are a classic garment for ladies to wear for a wide variety of events ranging from cocktail parties to semi-formal dinners. The hemline can be anywhere from just below the knee to the bottom of your ankle. The longer the skirt, the more formal it is (Ankle-length is often called a “hostess skirt”). Pair the kilted skirt with any attractive blouse. Then you can add a sash, shawl or other accessories to further complete the look.
A tartan sash is the most common accessory worn by brides -- often put on as part of the ceremony. Shawls can also be used this way. And of course tartan (“plaid”) cloth is the easiest way to add celtic flair to your whole wedding.
Not Scottish or Irish, but your groom is?
Not a problem! Use the same tartan as his kilt and incorporate it into the ceremony. After the vows, he can wrap the sash or shawl or his fly plaid (in his tartan) around you, symbolizing you being accepted into the clan. A beautiful sentiment which adds a wonderful visual for your guests as they witness you beginning your life together as a family. Quick Tip: If you're going to use the sash of shawl as part of the symbolism in the ceremony, pre-pin the brooch onto it beforehand, so the groom can simply drape it over you and not have to fidget with the clasp of the brooch during the ceremony.
Below, you'll find some of the items we discussed in the sections above. For more suggestions on how to incorporate tartan or Celtic symbols into your ceremony and achieve the look you desire for your Irish or Scottish wedding, please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to assist any way we can.