When you’re invited to a Scottish wedding, you can expect beautiful scenery and rocket-fuelled revelry at the reception. But picking the perfect outfit can be a nightmare. Male guests have it easy — they can go for classic kilted full-Highland regalia or a pair of tartan trews (Truis or Triubhas) in Clan colours. But ladies may face a conundrum finding a glamorous ensemble that keeps them cosy when evening descends in the glens.
So here are three fashion hacks for a Scottish wedding to set you up for a stylish Highland Fling.
If you don’t want to opt for head-to-toe tartan, then a terrific tartan serape provides a subtle nod to your host culture — and also keeps the midges at bay. If you have Scottish roots then there are several sources online where you can research your Clan tartan. But it’s unlikely you’ll be banished for borrowing the colours of another family.
Some tartans are quite new anyway and were introduced by two brothers named the Sobieski Stuarts in the early 1820s. They had a dubious claim to Jacobean lineage and a book of tartan designs that were completely fabricated, but welcomed enthusiastically by manufacturers.
Their appearance coincided with a visit by King George IV to Edinburgh where he wore a mismatched mini-kilt and pink stockings. You’d do well to advise male wedding guests not to follow George’s example.
Elegant evening wear
You should remember that there’s no obligation to wear tartan to a Scottish wedding — unless you’re part of the bridal party and it’s specified. Hosts will always appreciate any international guests who want to wear an outfit that reflects their own culture.
But ladies in elegant evening dresses never miss the mark — just be sure that you don’t outshine the bonnie bride with your sleek selection. If you match your dress with high heels be prepared to go barefoot if there’s a Ceilidh at the wedding reception— the high-energy moves aren’t intended for stiletto spikes.
And if a regular outfit leaves you feeling a little left out, you can invest in a discreet thistle brooch — Scottish hosts will still be impressed with your efforts.
If you’re looking for shoes that are elegant and practical, a pair of Ghillie-style flats are a fantastic choice. Based on a traditional Scottish design, these lace-ups can be matched with a pair of tapered trousers and a Harris Tweed jacket for a luxurious ‘lady of the manor’ look. And they’ll stand up to Scottish country dancing as well as walking through the heather for wedding photos.
These three fashion hacks for a Scottish wedding will let you take the high road to style success. But the main things to bring to a Scottish wedding are an open heart and bags of enthusiasm.
Have you been to a Scottish wedding? Share your stories in the comments section.