Karen and David eloped to Bora Bora but made sure they had Scottish dancing at their Sydney wedding reception.
There are lots of traditions that make weddings special, ranging from longstanding cultural practices to those specifi c to one family. An important part of Scottish celebration is dancing — either a structured Scottish Country Dance or a more relaxed ‘Ceilidh’. These dances create a vibrant, inclusive atmosphere that can turn any reception into a real party.
Anthony Simon is a ‘caller’ for Scottish Country Dance and is regularly involved with weddings. His role is omewhere between a dance teacher and master of ceremonies. He says he has enjoyed many Scottish Dance receptions, including some where only a small number of the wedding party was familiar with the moves. “You don’t need to be Scottish to do it. Anyone can get up on the floor with a little bit of instruction and have a lot of fun. Many people who have never done it before tell me that, with the dance, it was the best wedding they have been to.”
As you often swap partners or dance in groups of four to eight people, you will end up mingling even if you don’t know many people at the event. “At a lot of weddings, you sit at a table and are lucky if you can speak to the people either side of you. A Scottish dance means you are mixing with everyone and it is a very social occasion. The music brings everyone together,” explains Anthony.
Karen and David Mitchell are both from Scotland and met at a Scottish ball in Sydney five years ago, so they made sure they incorporated their heritage in their celebrations. “We eloped to Bora Bora then had our reception at the Opera House with a Ceilidh and a band,” David says. “We wanted a big party — it was quite traditional and a lot of fun. Everyone got up and involved because it breaks down the barriers. There were people who had done it before and others that had no idea. But everyone got really into it.”
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