While the Broadway musical “Brigadoon” portrays a Scottish village that arises from the mist every 100 years, Andy and Bethany MacLeod’s wedding was a modern day adventure filled with fun, sentimentality and their own Scottish heritage.
Bethany MacLeod is originally from Auburn where her parents, C. Allen and Linda Baker Milburn, still reside. Andy MacLeod is from Beverly, Massachusetts and spent his summers on Drakes Island in Wells, Maine. They now live in Biddeford following their late afternoon wedding in Berwick, Maine last October.
“My husband is Scottish and we used his family tartan (in the ceremony),” said Bethany. “The groom, his father, brothers, nephews, and the groomsmen, all wore tartan ties. My father wore a tartan handkerchief in his pocket.”
The invitations, seating chart, and table numbers included the tartan theme and there was a tartan table runner under the wedding cake. Bethany explained that even her garter was made of the tartan fabric!
Perhaps it is no surprise that the MacLeod’s wedding had a bagpiper at the ceremony, a tradition that dates back to the 13th century according to the website, worldweddingtraditions.com. The site notes that, “Following the ceremony the entire wedding party would be piped (led by bagpipers) to a relative’s home for a lavish wedding reception and party and the pipers would play lively upbeat tunes for hours on end.”
“The ceremony was held outside and it sprinkled just as the bagpipe player began playing and all through the ceremony,” said Bethany. “After the ceremony, the entire wedding party and guests ‘followed the piper’ as they gathered to a nice location for group photos.”
Continuing the nod to heritage, the MacLeod’s guest book was a “Thumbprint Tree.” Bethany said, “A close friend illustrated a tree and guests pressed their thumbprint and signed their names or nicknames on it. We had it professionally framed and it hangs in our home.”
Even when it came to the simple matter of numbering tables for their guests, the MacLeod’s came up with a creative idea.
On the tables, photos of the bride and groom at various ages were placed so that the age matched the number of the table. “Table one had photos of each of us at one year of age, table two had each of us at two years old and so on,” said Bethany, noting that the guests had lots of fun looking at the photos.
Before introducing the wedding party at the reception, guests were treated to a special slide presentation. “The slides went from our grandparents as children through highlights in our lives and our time spent together, leading up to the wedding,” said Bethany, noting that the slides really built the excitement of introducing the wedding party and the married couple. “We showed the slide show to our wedding party at the rehearsal dinner the evening before.”
The flair and creativity for their wedding probably comes a bit from their occupations. Both the bride and groom are teachers. Bethany has been a second grade teacher for 16 years and Andy is a high school science teacher. “Andy also sings and plays guitar in the band “’The Lower Village People” along with doing many solo gigs in southern Maine,” adds Bethany.
So, were there men in kilts at the wedding?
“The only kilt was on the piper,” said Bethany. “The other men wore the family tartan ties instead.”
In looking back at planning for her wedding, Bethany offered this advice to other couples planning their weddings.
Add very personal touches … have more at your ceremony and reception than just items prepared by and purchased from professionals.
Be open to visiting several venues, even if you have your heart set on one.
Include some lighthearted times during the ceremony and reception. These are the things that you will most enjoy and that guests will remember (songs for introduction, silly dances vs. traditional).
Be grateful to your family and wedding party and be sure to tell them and thank them throughout the entire process.
Be flexible and try to have fun! If things don’t go just as you’ve planned, don’t freak out! Be prepared to transition to plan B!