MCs have two wedding functions, the one you see and the one you don't.
~ Firstly, a Maser of the House ensures that the guests feel welcomed into your wedding and entertains them through the reception - the longest part of your wedding day. He or she adds flair and uniqueness to the event and acts as a true host, engendering a feeling of inclusion. There is more to an MC than announcing speeches, which is sometimes all a venue MC can provided. I give my own unique Highland flair to Fear an Taigh, dressed in ancient plaid, bringing Scottish wedding customs, language and culture. If you're having a Scottish castle wedding, then you can't be without me! In the next section you will find a list of customs I can bring to your day.
~ The second, unseen role, is that an MC works with the venue staff and organisers behind the scenes, knitting it all together, filling in those little gaps, so that the Bride, Groom and guests experience only a seamless day where everything flows just as they have wanted without them needing to think about it. Relax! The MC leads the day as a link between the staff and the guests.
The Master of Ceremonies, Fear an Taigh, is a natural continuation of tradition after a Handfasting ceremony, but can be a stand alone service begining after your ceremony.
The Sharing of the Cuach
as the guests give their Blessings to the couple. This is normally done at the begining of the speeches. And No, you don't have to drink the whisky!
Audio clip, example of the Sharing of the Cuach ceremony
1715 Jacobite Muster Roll
Sung for the gathering of the Clans, perhaps to dinner.
Short excerpt of the 1715 Muster Roll
Fling the Ring
Yes, the wedding ring! Into a bath of soapy water. The first maid to find it will be the next to marry.
Dressing a member of wedding party in REAL Highland dress -the belted plaid - as an entertaining demonstration during the reception.
This role, telling traditional wedding Tales, comes as part of the MC role. More details in the Storyteller section below.
Each of these require preparation so an additonal exchange is asked on top of the Master of Ceremonies role. Details on the Fees / Booking page.
Jumping the Besom / An Sguab
You can read about the Besom here (new window). I make the Besom / broom especially for the occasion from traditional materials I collect (Ash, Willow, Hazel and Birch - no metal). The besom is then kept in the marriage home to bring protection and luck. It comes with an "instruction manual" for care of both besom and marriage! If you have your own besom then there is no additional exchange for this ceremony.
Audio clip of Besom Jumping Ceremony
Making St Bride's Crosses
I lead the guests in making Brigit's Crosses, to take home for themselves a wee piece of the wedding energy, like a DIY wedding favour. This can be done as part of the reception entertainment or with the women on the night before the wedding, if I happen to be there because it is a long distance, overnight event. For more information on the cross-making, see the favours page.
I am a Seanachaidh or Clan Bard, entertainer, oral historian and Traditional Storyteller. I offer a wedding entertainment, often co-ordinating with other musicians, in the form of traditional Tales of Highland weddings past, clanns and the locale of the wedding. For those of you with Scots ancestry, it may even be possible to hear Tales from your family. This sits very well as entertainment during the photo session to amuse the guests. Tales can of course fill in those short, unplanned gaps in the flow of the day.
In times past in the Highlands, each Clann Chief retained a Seanachaidh who was present at important occassions. It was his role to regail the assembly with their history, to entertain (with harp, as I do), to compose poetry to record important events for the collective memory. This function in a clann is now rare, but a fine continuation of this Scottish Highland tradition is to have a Seanachaidh at your wedding, entertaining, giving a sense of Scottish weddings past.
You can invite me to your wedding as a storyteller only, without the MC function.
"We're just doing our thank you notes and we wanted to drop you a note to
say thank you very much for helping to make our Wedding day so special. You
both really helped the day go smoothly and absolutely everyone loved all the
extra special Scottish ceremonies, and for Martin and I it made the day that
more personal." Kathleen Clark and Martin MacShane, Glasgow, 2004.
Laura and Paul Curtis, Canada, 2007 Click to see full image