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Scottish Weddings – The Correct Sporran

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Traditionally you will see a groom in full highland attire wearing a Prince Charlie jacket and vest. This is highly formal attire and the answer to the question of which sporran to wear is quite simply a dress sporran.

A dress sporran can be an extremely ornate piece of a Scotsman’s attire or it can be a simpler version. The dress sporran has grown in stature over the centuries. If you look back to the Victorian era you could see many flamboyant versions that would look totally out of place in today’s world.

The main parts of a dress sporran are the cantle, the body and the tassels.

The cantle is a metal piece that adorns the top of the sporran and can be made from metal, pewter or even sometimes brass. There has been a recent trend to have the metal either shiny or antique which has a weathered look. The choice of cantle is usually made so that it blends well with the wearers belt buckle. The cantle is often decorated with intricate Celtic designs and some have decorative bosses which can be Celtic in design or even be a clan crest or a Masonic symbol.

In years gone by, many dress sporrans bodies were made entirely of leather but especially since Victorian times, they have been covered with animal skin, mainly seal skin. There are many other skins that can be used including bovine, rabbit, fox, musquash and many more. In recent times the debate of the seal cull and its brutality has caused a reduction in the usage of seal as a skin. Many countries have banned or are considering the banning of the importation of sealskin. Bovine is a wonderful substitute as this skin comes, in the main, directly from the meat trade and is therefore more humane.

The dress sporran tassels are usually made for the skin that the body is made from. The chains come in several varieties including straight chain and cross chain. Straight chains are usually single tassels hung by single chains and as the name suggests the cross chains are usually hung by two chains which are crossed over each other.

Now for the more up to date answer. Many people are now getting married and want to be in a less formal outfit. In many cases the sporran that can be worn with these would be either a semi dress sporran or a leather day sporran. The formality of the individual outfit would reflect which one is worn. Scottish 

All in all nowadays traditional seems to be changing and the new traditions are basically you can do what you want to do and if you feel comfortable with it you just go for it.

Good luck with your day and don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help with anything to do with your Scottish style wedding.
(May all your days be happy ones)