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Scottish Wedding Guide
A Gent's Highland Wedding Outfit

As promised here is some improved text for your website. I ran earlier drafts past kilt-wearing colleagues on both sides of the pond so, hopefully, the language should work for both UK and North American readers.

A gent's highland wedding outfit typically consists of the following -

For a day-time wedding, a kilt, that is usually made from eight yards of tartan wool, is normally worn with a white turn-down collar shirt and tie. The tie may be silver but should not be tartan. The jacket and matching waistcoat should be tweed with antler buttons and made in the Argyll, Crail, Braemar or similar style. Black or brown leather accessories are a sporran and brogues and can include a kilt belt, worn instead of the waistcoat but not with it. Kilt hose with garter flashes can be any plain colours, but white hose should be avoided, and they should not clash with the colours in the kilt and jacket. You will also need kilt pin.

For a day-time wedding with a more formal look, where Anglo-Saxons would wear morning dress, the kilt can be worn with a black Argyll or similar style jacket with silver buttons and matching five-button waistcoat or a black leather kilt belt with silver buckle plate. As with day wear, a waistcoat and kilt belt should not be worn together. Other accessories are black brogues, sporran with fur front or silver cantle, coloured but not white, kilt hose and garter flashes that do not clash with the colours in the kilt or jacket. A plain white day-wear shirt with a turn-down collar is best. The tie may be silver but should not be tartan. You will also need a kilt pin and cuff links.

For an evening wedding or wedding reception, where Anglo-Saxons would wear a dinner suit (tuxedo), the kilt may be worn with a Prince Charlie jacket, which is usually black with silver buttons, and three button waistcoat to match the jacket or the tartan of the kilt. Alternatively, one of the highland doublets such as the Regulation, Kenmore, Sheriffmuir or Montrose may be worn. The last three with a lace jabot or highland cravat. Accessories are a full dress sporran with fur front and silver cantle, kilt pin and cuff links, kilt hose and garter flashes to harmonise with the colours in the kilt and jacket, or tartan or diced hose that match the kilt and black brogues or buckle brogues. The white evening shirt (tuxedo shirt) worn with a black bow tie can have a wing-collar or turn-down collar. Following day-time weddings, it is normal for kilted grooms and guests to go on to evening receptions in the highland day wear or morning dress that they wore for the wedding itself.

Although rarely worn in Scotland any more, formal evening dress could include a fly plaid or belted half-plaid, which passes under the epaulette on the left shoulder and is secured to the jacket or doublet by a large plaid brooch. Dirks are rarely worn and are inappropriate for a church wedding, where weapons should not be carried. However, a sgian dubh or a safety one without a blade, is often worn in the top of the hose. Although this is more a utility knife than a real weapon, make sure it is legal in the country or state where you will be married!. A couple of things to avoid are kilts that are too low and hose that are too high. If they meet, you’ve got it wrong! The top of the kilt should be at or slightly above your belly button, and the bottom at or slightly above the middle of your knees. Hose should be a couple of inches below where your knee bends. Apart from laws about carrying of knives, there are no rules about Scottish highland dress but there are traditions and conventions. These should not dictate what you wear or prevent you from being creative and a wee bit different but knowing the form should help you look your best on your wedding day.

Beat wishes

Rev Dr Iain MacRobert, South Queensferry, Scotland.

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