Week 19: Blackening of the Bride

Welcome to week 19 of our "52 traditions/rituals in 52 weeks".

Yes it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – blackening of the bride. In this Scottish ritual/tradition the poor bride is subjected to being covered in some disgusting concoctions and substances all in the name of easing her worries. Luckily for the poor bride this takes place in the days leading up to the wedding and never on the day or even the day before.

The most common way of ‘blackening’ the bride is for her friends (debatable) to take her out into the streets and smother her in every awful substance they can find, usually including things like fish guts and molasses, spoiled milk and rotten eggs and occasionally topped off with flour, feathers or anything else that may help her to look ridiculous and smell terrible.

Believe it or not, it is thought that being subjected to this ultimate humiliation will mean that any problems or humiliations the couple may see in the future and within the marriage will seem so much less worrisome or and have little meaning in comparison.
Sadly that is not the end to the ordeal – Completely covered from head to toe in the foul mix and smelling worse than you can imagine, the poor thing is then paraded through the streets, on show for all to see. Her ‘friends’ who walk ahead of her bang pots and pans to ensure the attention of the crowd and then usually lead her to a local pub or club for a celebration of her coming marriage.
Although probably pretty awful and stinky, all in all this would probably be a pretty fun ritual/tradition (or a slightly less foul version of) to do with a group of girlfriends. The photos and the laughs would definitely last a lifetime.
The Wedding Gurus