Our Highland Wedding

Our Highland Wedding

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tartan Pinning

In Scottish wedding lore, the uniting of families through marriage brought forth peace and good will among clans, strengthening all extended family in love and support. The pinning of the groom’s tartan upon the bride is a tradition of the Scots that has existed for millennia.

During our wedding ceremony, we had our guests say the following Scottish Wedding Blessing with us as the tartan was pinned on...
"A thousand welcomes to you with your marriage kerchief,
May you be healthy all your days,
May you be blessed with long life and peace,
May you grow old with goodness and with riches”

The tartan sash was pinned with my groom's gift to me... a Luckenbooth Pin

Called the Luckenbooth because they were sold from the locked booths of the Royal Mile, adjacent to St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. This type of love token seems to go back to at least the 1600s. Luckenbooths were traditionally exchanged between lovers on betrothal. They were sometimes pinned to the shawl of the first baby to protect it from evil spirits. There are many surviving antique brooches of this type in museums in Scotland. Some of these were made by traveling tinkers and sold to gentlemen for their ladies. Some have passed from generation to generation to become valuable heirlooms. Sometimes inscribed phrases such as "Of earthly joys thou art my choice" are evidence of their purpose. They are probably the most romantic type of brooch in Scotland's history, hence their enduring appeal. This type of brooch even came to America and simple forms of the brooch were cut from coins and used for trade among the Eastern Woodland Indians. Many people know about the traditional Claddagh ring of Ireland with its crowned heart but fewer know of this wonderful traditional love token.

The brooch given to me by my new husband bears the inscription "Wrong not the heart whose joy thou art."

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