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To Kilt Or Not To Kilt? A Guide For The Non-scot

When I first became a wedding photographer in Edinburgh I was surprised at the number of people who did not live in Scotland that wanted to get married here. From people who moved away as children to those who simply fell in love with the country or city it was apparent that a large number of people who did not live here wanted to get married in Edinburgh.

This ranged from people just over the border in England to a couple who came from Australia that organised their whole wedding online and only arrived in Edinburgh a week before their wedding!

Wanting to get married in a place that you do not live obviously adds a lot of complications. Thanks to the internet this is somewhat reduced however it will either involve a lot of travelling or hoping that your vendors are up to your requirements and forgoing the face to face meeting.

A wedding in Scotland can also be that little bit different. While the wedding gown tends to be similar to that worn in England (despite what gets shown in the magazines there are relatively few brides who get married in tartan) however for the man there is always the choice of the kilt.

The kilt is now very much in fashion again – from being worn at rugby matches or being worn with a t-shirt on a night out to being worn with the Prince Charlie jacket at a wedding you do see a lot of them around. Interestingly when my parent’s got married they were totally out of fashion and everyone was getting married in shiny suits with collars you could hang glide in.

However the kilt is still very much a personal choice – if not of the groom then of his bride. Unlike the traditional 3 piece suit the kilts of the groomsmen are not expected to match. Each man wears his own tartan. If you don’t have a tartan though – not to worry there are a huge selection of modern tartans made for people without a clan, there are tartans for cities, sports clubs and universities. At our wedding we had 4 groomsmen, 3 wore kilts and one a three piece suit.

That tends to be the way weddings go now. Suits or kilts are considerered equally appropriate. However I believe that the kilts are meant to be far more comfy.

If you are at a wedding inScotland then it’s a great excuse to get dressed up and hire a kilt. Proper kilts are very expensive and come in at around £400 for the whole thing, however there are a large number of shops that will hire you a kilt for around £80. Slaters is good, as is McCalls. Although you probably could pick up a “tourist kilt set” for around this price I really, really, really discourage you from doing so. The quality is just awful.

The other advantage of hiring a kilt is that the person in the shop will measure you up properly and show you how to put the whole thing on. It’s not complicated but you really need to be shown as it is very different. The first time my husband put on a kilt he put it on backwards! Kilts are however apparently really very comfy.

Remember to book early so that you definitely get a kilt your size and you get the tartan you want, although hire tartans are limited. If you can’t get to the shop to be measured in person then you can just phone in your measurements, pick the suit up on the Friday and drop it off again on the Sunday for a Saturday wedding. What could be simpler?

So in conclusion, you don’t have to wear a kilt, but it’s great fun and all the ladies love them so why not?

By: A Matter of Wedding Photography

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