Friday, April 24, 2009
Before my maternal grandfather passed away in 2001, he and his two sons had an annual tradition. They, along with whichever older male cousins were handy, would pose for a picture at whatever family function worked best. They'd all be wearing kilts, and the photo would inevitably become a joke holiday card which read "Merry Christmas, from Men in Skirts".
I don't remember there being much celebration of my mother's Scottish heritage in my youth, but somewhere along the way, her side of the family embraced it fully. There were trips to the Highlands for Clan Cameron reunions. An uncle used his spare time to work up a detailed family genealogy that went back generations, and predictably to Scotland. And most of the men were married (well, re-married) wearing kilts. I myself don't have one. My grandfather offered to have a kilt made for me as a college graduation present, but for one reason or another it never happened. Which is why I'm wearing his seersucker suit instead.
All this also explains why we're having a bagpiper at the wedding. Of all the elements we're incorporating into the weekend, this is the one that puts the biggest smile on my mother's face. He'll play "Scotland the Brave" when my groomsmen and I make our way to the altar, and he's going to play "Brown Haired Maiden" when we walk back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. Since the ceremony is outdoors, he's actually going to march me and the groomsmen to the altar from about 50 yards away, and keep playing as he disappears over the dunes and down the beach. Later, after he's played us back down the aisle, he's going to lead our guests from the ceremony to the reception across the street.
I think the whole thing will be a nice touch, and memorable on a day that will no doubt be full of things worth remembering. Plus, it seems appropriate to have at least one man there in a skirt...