Monthly Archives: August 2023


A wedding is a momentous occasion that celebrates love, unity, and heritage. When it comes to Scottish weddings, the traditional wedding dress plays a significant role in embodying our rich cultural history. Steeped in tradition and folklore, the Scottish wedding dress has captivated brides-to-be for generations with its distinct features and symbolic significance. Here we’ll explore the unique characteristics of the traditional Scottish wedding dress.

Traditional Scottish Wedding Dresses

The Symbolism of Tartan

At the heart of the traditional Scottish wedding dress lies the iconic tartan, a patterned fabric that represents different clans and families. Tartans, with their vibrant colors and distinctive patterns, add a touch of individuality and heritage to the bride’s ensemble. Each tartan tells a unique story, symbolizing the bride’s familial ties and connecting her to the rich tapestry of Scottish history.

The Kilted Wedding Dress

One of the most iconic Scottish wedding dress styles is the kilted dress. Combining elements of both the traditional kilt and the bridal gown, this unique ensemble exudes elegance and grace. The kilted wedding dress typically features a full-length skirt, often pleated, paired with a fitted bodice and sleeves adorned with intricate lace or embroidery. The dress is often completed with a tartan sash or a velvet bodice panel, further accentuating its Scottish heritage.

Traditional Scottish Adornments and Accessories

To complete the Scottish bridal look, various traditional accessories are carefully chosen to complement the wedding dress. The bride may wear a tartan shawl, known as an arisaid, draped gracefully over her shoulders or woven into her hair as a tiara or headpiece. Other accessories include brooches, typically featuring clan symbols or Celtic designs, and a Luckenbooth, a heart-shaped brooch symbolizing love and commitment.

Celtic Knotwork

Celtic knotwork, renowned for its intricate patterns and symbolism, often finds its way into the design of Scottish wedding dresses. These elegant interwoven designs, inspired by the ancient Celts, represent eternal love and unity. Whether subtly incorporated into lace patterns or prominently displayed on bodices and veils, Celtic knotwork adds a touch of mysticism and cultural significance to the bride’s attire.

Modern Interpretations and Adaptations

While the traditional Scottish wedding dress remains deeply rooted in history, modern interpretations have emerged to accommodate evolving tastes and trends. Contemporary designs may incorporate elements of traditional Scottish dress while adding modern silhouettes, luxurious fabrics, and innovative details. This fusion of tradition and modernity allows brides to honor their Scottish heritage while expressing their unique style and personality.


To find out more about creating the traditional Scottish wedding, have a read through our favourite Scottish wedding traditions.

If you’d like to have the perfect Scottish castle wedding at Barcaldine Castle, visit our Weddings page.