Being creative types here at Ethical Weddings, we got pretty excited about having storytellers as part of the wedding entertainment.
As many brides are inspired by the beauty and history of Scotland, we’ve interviewed Scot and his partner Samantha from Scottish Master of Ceremonies as they craft authentic tales, hand-fasting ceremonies, cross weaving and plaid demonstrations as part of wedding day entertainment. Scot is a modern day Seanachaidh (storyteller) or Clan Bard, entertainer, oral historian and traditional storyteller living up in the Highlands.
What does traditional storytelling offer as a form of wedding entertainment?
I believe it connects the couple and the wedding guests with the history of the setting. We often have couples that are affiliated with Scottish clans, so we will incorporate those stories into the day. They are extra special as they are often passed down through a clan over the centuries and we bring them to life for the guests.
Why do people love the stories as part of a wedding day?
At weddings there can be a bit of a lull between dinner or the ceremony and the photography. It’s a good way to bring everyone back together. Scot will announce that the storytelling will begin and gather guests together. People often tell us it’s a magical part of the day as they learn about the history of the place, culture and even ancestral family of the happy couple.
Typically how long does a story last?
It depends on the story! Well, we ask the bride and groom to be there at the start of the tale as often they are so busy during the day they miss their own entertainment. By coming together for the beginning of the story it can give them a precious few minutes together. Usually each individual tale lasts around 20 minutes which is about long enough for people’s attention span especially when they are trying out the local whisky.
What other types of ethical entertainment go well with storytelling?
You can also have storytelling as part of a folk theme, where guests can take turns making St Bride’s Crosses from reeds. The guests have fun making them and either present their crosses for the couple to take home or keep them themselves as a wee piece of the wedding energy, like a wedding favour.
Scot also makes a Besom, which is a type of broom made from traditional materials such as ash, willow or hazel. As part of the day, the couples can jump the besom and it’s then kept in the marital home to bring protection and good luck.
Why do you believe it’s important to tell people about the history and ancestry of the place?
It connects people to the place around them and takes them on a magical journey. In Highland history each Clann Chief retained a Seanachaidh whose role was to entertain the assembly through words, poetry and music for important occasions. Although the role of a Seanchaidh is now rare, it’s become popular to have a Scottish MC to officiate proceedings which gives a sense of Scottish weddings past.
Scotland (as well as other places) is a culture rich in tales and music. Many couples come back here to marry and we feel that storytelling is a way of honouring our heritage.
Thanks Scot and Samantha for that foray into Scottish Seanachaidh life.
Have you booked a storyteller? Perhaps you are quite the storyteller yourself and might like to spin your own? Either way, we’d love to hear from you and any tales you might want to share with other brides looking for inspiration for their ethical entertainment.
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