Category Archives: Top Sellers

Top 10 Scottish Wedding Traditions

There are many Scottish wedding traditions that have evolved over centuries and incorporating a few of these into your wedding can create special memories for you and your guests. As a guide I’ve put together my top 10 traditions as a little inspiration for you.

A traditional hand fasting ceremony. Photo credit Eric-René Penoy

A traditional hand fasting ceremony. Photo credit Eric-René Penoy

1. Sixpence in your shoe

You may know the rhyme “Something old, new, borrowed blue” and in Scotland it ends “and a silver sixpence in her shoe”. This is given as a token of good fortune and placed inside the shoe.

2. Lucky White Heather

When it comes to your flowers it is considered good luck to have a sprig of white heather in your bouquet. It’s also a nice touch adding this to buttonholes.

3. Hire a piper

Piped music is romantic and traditional before, during and or after the ceremony.  A piper will traditionally pipe the bride into the ceremony and the couple out afterwards.  My favourite tune on the bagpipes is Highland Cathedral.

4. “Tying the Knot”

This saying is said to stem from the Celtic tradition of hand fasting. Traditionally this was just the term for a wedding ceremony but more recently has been used as part of a ceremony where the hands are joined and tied loosely with a length of fabric or ribbon as you “tie the knot”.

5. Pinning of tartan

To welcome a bride to the family a groom or his family may pin a sash of their fabric to the bride. In return the bride and her family can present the groom with his fly plaid and pin this on to him.

6. Toast with a quaich

Also known as “the loving cup” a toast with a quaich and is a great way for a couple to share their first drink together. By presenting each other with a drink and accepting this it’s a show of your togetherness. It can also be presented to the parents and or guests as a sign that you’re now all one family.

7. A scramble

The Groom (sometimes the bride’s father or Best Man) will take coins from his wallet or sporran and scatter out at waiting children, who then “Scramble” for them. The scramble is a made as a gesture for good fortune and wealth throughout the marriage.

8. A penny wedding

A community based wedding where the guests bring their own food and drink. It’s a great option for a budget conscious couple and for those who want to include everyone in their celebrations.

9. Ceilidh

A traditional Scottish Ceilidh (dance) is a great way to get a party started. A caller will often lead the dances so everyone can get involved. It’s unlikely you’ll have anyone sitting on the side-lines during these Scottish tunes.

10. Traditional gifts

Traditional gifts usually include a clock (usually given from the best man) and a luckenbooth brooch. The Luckenbooth brooch is pinned to the bride and then to the shawl of their baby at baby’s christening. The bride will also gift a shirt (a wedding sark) to the groom, in return the groom would buy the wedding dress.

A pewter quaich to share a toast with

A pewter quaich to share a toast with.

I hope this helps with a little inspiration for your Scottish wedding. Let us know what Scottish traditions you used for your special day.

Allegiance to the Clan

Most Scots know which clan they belong to and can trace this back centuries. Where this isn’t known, a little research along your family lines often leads to a discovery of their clan or perhaps even a few. It may be that your surname is a “sept” of a larger clan.


Historically the clan was made up of all of the people living under the chief of the clan’s land.

Whilst everyone recognises the tartan worn by a clan, another way to show your clan allegiance is by wearing a clan crest.

We work with some of the top suppliers in Scotland to bring you a whole range of clan crest items. Our range includes gift sets, traditional highland dress accessories and gifts.

You can view the full range here: Clan Crest Collection

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We also have an extensive library of clan crests and engrave these onto hipflasks, tankards or quaichs. Just select your crest from the library to view the range of items.

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Budget 5 Yard Kilt

After many requests, we have now added a 5 yard kilt to our budget poly-viscose range. These are perfect as a party kilt, and are already proving popular for rugby tours, scout outings and stag do’s.

They’re made from the same heavyweight poly-viscose fabric as our 8 yard budget kilts, making them a great casual alternative to your traditional kilt.

You may choose to wear a budget 5 yard kilt instead of an 8 yard kilt, particularly when travelling abroad where luggage space is at a premium. Having less material makes this kilt lighter and therefore ideal for hotter climates.

The 5 yard poly-viscose kilts have longer straps which make the sizes more flexible, and adjust for a great fit. We’ve currently got a choice of 6 tartans available including adding a Granite Grey tartan to our range. gb-k5grg

View the full range here.

Featured Product: Semi Dress Sporran 6 Piece Gift Set

This semi dress sporran set forms part of our gift set range. They make ideal gifts as it’s a full accessory package. You may even treat yourself, as these sets are discounted by at least 10% (compared to the individual item prices).

ms-sa51The sets also allow you to upgrade parts of the set. If you’d prefer a made in Scotland sporran then no problem, the dark bovine thistle sporran is an ideal option.

Including a semi dress sporran, chain strap, sgian dubh, kilt belt, buckle and kilt pin, this set provides all of the accessories for a casual or day outfit. This is particularly useful when you already own a formal outfit and want to make the look more casual.

Providing excellent value for money the sporran gift sets help you purchase complimentary products at a great discounted rate.


Kilt Outfit Sale

December will soon be here with numerous Christmas functions and of course Hogmanay celebrations. You’ll find that it’s often cheaper to buy than rent if you have a number of functions (See the following article: Why buy a kilt instead of hiring).

Our outfits currently have up to 15% discount giving you the best deal for outfits this Winter.

The biggest savings can be made with the Gold Prince Charlie Outfit which is now priced at £886.91 (from £1085.33). This really is the best you can get with a hand stitched made to measure kilt, sterling silver accessories and luxury jacket and vest. For formal occasions and weddings this is THE outfit to wear. VIEW HERE.

To get the most of your outfit you want to be able to wear this as often as possible. An Argyll outfit is our most versatile outfit and will see you through Christmas parties to summer weddings (via Burns Night and a Ceilidh).

Take a browse through our outfits category to find the perfect one for you. For help, tips and advice follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page.



5 ways to wear your kilt

I often speak to people who decide to buy a kilt rather than hire one due to rising hire costs. It can make sense for your wallet even if you are wearing a kilt on 2 or 3 occasions. By changing just a few key items you can create a number of different outfits based around your kilt that are suitable for a whole range of occasions.

1. Prince Charlie Outfit

For most people this is the first kilt outfit they will wear. Most commonly seen at weddings and formal occasions the Prince Charlie outfit can be purchased from just £251.06 for a complete package. Worn with a bow tie this is the Scottish Equivalent of a black tie outfit.

 2. Make The Look Contemporary

Try wearing your Prince Charlie outfit with a  a Victoria collar shirt and ruched tie. Add a 5 button waistcoat to transform this outfit into a more contemporary look. Worn with our without the jacket this is now suitable for less formal events or a ceilidh.

3. Go Casual

It’s amazing the difference a shirt makes. A ghillie shirt is a great option for wearing your kilt to highland games and ceilidh’s. Wear this with a leather sporran and either your brogues or regular day shoes.

4. Everyday Wear

Team your kilt with a cashmere jumper for a kilt outfit which meets everyday requirements. You can add a clan or tartan tie to dress this outfit up.

5. Take it on Tour

There is no denying the Scots are in town for rugby or football matches when a kilted army of supporters arrive. Wear a rugby shirt with a poly-viscose kilt for this match day look. Suitable for travelling and match day, you’ll be able to travel light.

These are just a few suggestions for making the most of your kilt outfit. Other suggestions can be found on Share your outfit choices with a post or picture on Facebook or Twitter.

Kilt Outfits Explained

You may remember back in June I blogged about some subtle changes we made to how we display the great range of kilt outfits we have on Well we weren’t quite finished there and as such have been busy beavering away in our efforts to offer an even better, streamlined experience for any intrepid outfit hunter.

As a result we are proud to present our new, improved, life enhancing (well, maybe not that last one..) range of kilt outfits! Now the first thing you may ask yourself is: where have all the outfits gone? This would be a perfectly reasonable thing to ask as it is by far our biggest change – we have cut our range from a staggering 54 outfits down to 34, and 10 outfit categories down to 6.

This was done to maintain a more streamlined approach and surprisingly you will find that even though we have cut the amount of outfits by roughly 40%, the actual choice within those outfits is as good as if not better than it was previously. Let me explain…

Previously for all formal kilt outfits we had a contemporary version and a traditional version of each style (eg. Contemporary Prince Charlie Budget Outfit and Traditional Prince Charlie Budget Outfit). At the time this made perfect sense as it allowed us to offer a choice of styles within the range, but what we found was that it led to a rather inflated amount of outfits. Now, as both outfits were essentially the same (with a few key differences such as shirt, tie and waistcoat) the most logical thing to do was to combine the outfits (eg. Budget Prince Charlie Kilt Outfit) and offer a choice of outfit styles within the outfit. It seems so obvious now that we think of it! This led to a dramatic reduction of outfits in the formal range.

Within the casual range we had a whole host of outfit styles – Casual Outfits, Deluxe Casual Outfits, Rugby Casual Outfits, Irish Casual Outfits etc etc etc. In other words, way too many for any sane person to make their choice. Again, with a bit of clever tinkering we were able to combine a whole host of these outfits and brought them all together under the fantastic title – Casual Outfits.

Now again you may think that your choice of outfits has been greatly reduced, but that is where our Create Your Own range come in. Our Custom Formal Kilt Outfit and Custom Casual Kilt Outfit have all the options you could get in any of the budget outfits but with the added beauty of being able to pick which items you do (or don’t) want. Combine this with a whole host of added options spread through all our outfits and we hope you will agree that these changes will not simply streamline your shopping experience, but also improve it!

Love the changes? Hate the changes? We look forward to any thoughts. As always you can find us in the usual places on Twitter and Facebook.


Kilt Outfit Sale!

Being the nice people we are here at Macdonald Sporrans we felt it would be a good idea to put some of our most popular kilt outfits on sale for those seeking to look the part at any upcoming weddings or events. We feel that it is always nice to buy a great quality outfit but even better to buy it it for a low low cost. And so, our Kilt Outfit Sale was born! The sale has been running for a month now and it has been such a success that we have decided to extend it for a further month… So if you are looking for a formal or casual outfit for any occasion this Summer then now is the best time to get some great bargains!

While we are on the subject of kilt outfits it seems appropriate to point out some subtle (but important) changes to our kilt outfits. Regular visitors to our site may have seen that we sell three different levels of outfit – bronze, silver and gold. We previously had two different types of bronze outfit however: our “Bronze Outfit – Stock Kilt” and our “Bronze Outfit“. These packages were named as such because one had our stock budget kilt and the other had a custom made kilt. Confused yet? Well we were too, and therefore decided to rename our “Bronze Outfit – Stock Kilt” to be “Budget Outfit“. Simple!

This means we now have four different level of outfit of which you can see a brief description of each below:

Our budget range offers a low cost quality outfit and includes our best value items for those looking to keep costs low.

Our bronze range offers a complete package at an affordable price, with a custom made 5 yard kilt and choice of Scottish sporrans available.

Our silver range includes a custom made 8 yard kilt and classic accessories, to give a superb all-round outfit.

Our gold range is carefully selected to include the most exquisite and luxurious components available to create truly elegant outfits. Most of the items in the outfit will be custom made for you, so can be altered upon request.

Another change we have made is to remove the 8 yard custom made kilt from our Bronze Outfits and instead include a 5 yard custom made kilt. This was decided in order to make the Bronze Outfit a nice midway compromise between our Budget Outfits, which include a poly-viscose kilt, and our Silver Outfits, which include an 8 yard custom made kilt. What it also means is that all our Bronze Outfits are now roughly £130 cheaper than previously!

Our Prince Charlie Budget Outfits have also undergone a small tweak. These outfits previously included a Scottish made full dress sporran which was incredibly expensive (almost 1/3rd of the entire outfit cost!). In order to achieve a more affordable competitively priced outfit we have now replaced this sporran option with a choice of imported sporrans. This has meant the Prince Charlie Budget Outfits have dropped roughly £70 in price! For those looking for a Scottish made sporran please don’t worry – these outfits all have the option to upgrade to a Scottish made sporran. Plus you will still find that 80% of our outfits include Scottish made sporrans.

As always please let us know what you feel about these changes and any other points of interest you may have, on Twitter and Facebook.

Latest Addition – Stewart Black Budget Kilt

At Macdonald Sporrans we like to offer a large selection of products. Our budget kilts prove a popular and affordable alternative to having a kilt custom made and we have now added the Stewart Black tartan to the budget kilt range.

You may recognise the similarities between the Stewart Black and the traditional Royal Stewart, not only with the name but with the colours used to create the tartan. Essentially the black and red have been swapped to create a striking alternative to this popular tartan. These tartans belong to the collection of Royal Tartans which for several centuries have been associated with the House of Stewart

The Stewart Black tartan is the permitted fabric for kilts worn by officers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The soldiers of this regiment usually wear the Royal Stewart tartan since being given this permission by King George VI.  The formal outfit of this regiment is completed with the Royal  Scots Dragoon Guards Piper Sporran. This handmade sporran is worn by members of the pipe band and can be seen at events such as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. We are pleased to offer this high quality and unique item on The home headquarters of this regiment are at Edinburgh Castle and examples of the clothing worn by this regiment can be viewed at their museum located within the castle.

The budget kilts are ideal for general wear and can also be purchased as part of an outfit giving you the option to wear at both formal and informal events. They are ideal for wearing to sporting events and an essential should you be visiting Edinburgh for the tattoo this year.



Restored train retains Scottish Heritage

We were recently contacted by Neville Goodman, Director of Railway Vehicle Preservations, to provide rugs to complete the restoration of their 1937 built observation carriage. This carriage was saved from being scrapped by the RVP and has been restored in an Art Deco style.

The observation carriage is currently in use on the Mountsorrel Railway near Loughborough. The Black Watch rugs selected are in keeping with the Scottish heritage of this carriage.

Before preservation this carriage Operated between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh was one of only two that operated on the what was known as the “Coronation” express After the war this carriage operated for many years on the West Highland line and also on the Fort William Mallaig Line. The carriage was preserved by railway enthusiast John Cameron and he operated it on the private Lochty Line in Perth.

The locomotive in one of the pictures is 61994 named the “Great Marquess” . This is also a Scottish Engine that used to work out of Glasgow and still spends most of its time in Scotland. . It has been on loan from the Great Central Railway.

So you can see there is a strong Scottish theme and the Black Watch rugs fit in well. The black watch rugs are hard wearing and suitable for use as a throw or travel rug. They are just one of the many rugs we have in our range, including New wool, Merino Wool and Cashmere and in a range of styles.

The Railway Vehicle Preservations is a voluntary charity organisation and run in conjunction with the Mountsorrel Railway .