The Wedding Kilt: A History - Gleddoch Hotel, Spa & Golf

July 17, 2018

Scotland, home of the brave, also home to delectable haggis, rolling highlands and the classic kilt. Many a Scotsman has donned a kilt for a special event in their life, whether to a Scottish wedding or to celebrate a historic event.

As a luxury wedding venue in Glasgow, we’ve seen our fair share of grooms and wedding parties looking very dapper in their “kilt-suits” (the name given to outfits including a waistcoat or suit jacket worn with a kilt). So many kilts have passed through our doors, we thought we’d share the history of the Scottish kilt and how it has evolved with modern day styles.

The Beginning

Kilts, in the most general sense, have been around since the 16th Century when full-body fabric wraps known as “Feileadh mhór” (The Belted Plaid) were worn by Gaelic men. It wasn’t until the 18th Century that the Great Kilt was halved and only worn around the lower half of the body. It was then worn as part of the military dress and received its dark tartan pattern upon formation of the Highland regiment in 1739.

Banned Kilts

Kilts were a standard part of the military dress for Highlanders throughout the 18th Century until 1746, when they were banned by the British government. The move was an attempt to remove the symbol used by Scottish warriors, who the crown saw as “primitive and rebellious”. The ban was repealed 40 years later, and the kilt moved from a previous military uniform piece to formal wear.

Monarchy Wearing kilts

After the ban was ended in 1786, Scot’s quickly started wearing kilts again and in 1822 King George IV chose to wear a kilt during his visit to the country. This boosted the tartan kilt to becoming part of Scotland’s national identity.

Kilts in the War

There were plenty of kilts worn by the Scottish Units during the First World War, earning the Scottish troops the nickname “Ladies from Hell” by the soldiers they faced on the opposing side. When the Second World War started, kilts were quickly ruled out as appropriate dress for combat and faced an official ban after the first year.

Modern Day Kilts

Kilts have generally become more fashionable in the last few decades with more men moving towards wearing every-day kilts that are lighter and more comfortable than their formal versions. While tartan patterns were traditionally the most popular design you’d find for kilts, there are now more styles growing in popularity, including single colour kilts.

The kilt will always be part of Scotland’s national identity and is a piece of clothing we hold dear to our hearts. Should you be looking for a luxury wedding venue in Glasgow that celebrates the history of Scotland, look no further than Gleddoch Hotel & Spa where we will help see your special day through from start to finish. Contact our events team on 01475 540 711 if you’d like further information on availability or our venue.

Gleddoch is an independently owned hotel resort, beautifully located overlooking the Clyde Estuary. Gleddoch boasts 75 bedrooms, an 18 hole championship golf course an elegant banqueting room and a luxury Imperia Spa.

Your Stay

Book Your Stay