Mitchell Kilt Hire,
Celtic Christian Ceilidh Weddings of 2000
Celtic Ceilidh Weddings
The wedding of Alister and Alison was a true
Celtic affair held in Hamilton. A blending of Scottish, Welsh and
New Zealand Celtic cultures. A vibrant occasion full of Christian
belief, Celtic romance, rhythm, and celebration rounded off by
plenty of dancing at the Ceilidh.
wedding ceremony in St.Peters Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton, the
wedding party and guests were lead by the piper down the hill and
south into Victoria Street.
The procession then crossed Victoria bridge (which crosses the Waikato river, NZ's longest river if you're interested at all) and turned north along River Road to make it's way into Parana Park. In a private part of the park everyone drew in close to the skirl of the pipes and only when everyone had finally arrived did the piper stop playing. Out came the champagne, wine and glasses and refreshments needed to toast the bride and groom and to help folk recover from the the walk as well as prepare them for the next leg of the journey. This was just the halfway point. Well it was really three quarters of the way to the Ceilidh but who cares when you're enjoying yourself and the occasion!
Toasts, well wishing, speeches and further ceremony over, the piper shouldered his pipes and set off into River Road. Again followed by the newly wedded couple and all the guests, up the hill and headed for the Presbyterian kirk hall in Te Aroha street.
The guests were piped into the main hall. Then Alister and Alison were piped in by two pipers around the hall and to their seats. Next the Haggis was piped in to the traditional tune, "A man's a Man for a' that".. in a procession of seven, including the groom who gave the address to the haggis. After the Selkirk Grace, the guests retired to the back room where a buffet meal was very well provisioned by everyone who had contributed in the traditional Kiwi pot-luck dinner manner. The celebrations were alchohol free because the hall is a "dry" zone used by The Presbyterian Church Social services for Alcoholics Anonymous. In deference to this there was no alcohol but the celebrations and ceilidh were not disadvantaged one iota. In fact people had a decided advantage in "knowing" quite clearly that they WERE having a good time, and also enjoying it in the now traditional NZ "smoke free" manner.
After the meal the ceilidh band started up and the evening really wound up in pace. There was a mixture of dances, many were called and this enabled everyone present to participate even though they may not have experienced this form of dance before. When the ceilidh band rested the piper played for the dancers. While everyone rested, individual dance or music items were given. And so the evening went on till late and ended after an eightsome reel to the pipes followed by Auld Lang Syne.
On the morning after there was a breakfast at the home of Alister and Alison and many folk came around to join in further celebration and socialisation. There were comments that the ceilidh had been a wonderful evening. Some even commented how pleasant it was, not to have a "hangover" after such exuberant celebrations and that clothing did not stink of unpleasant cigarette smoke.
A McLachlan occasion.
Another Ceilidh Wedding.........
Andre McLachlan and
Sarah were married in Rotorua. Andre, and Sarah are social
workers in Hamilton. Andre was attired in the Brave Heart style,
in a Feilidh Mhor* made from the MacLachlan tartan. Sarah was
piped into the ceremony by a close family friend from Hawera, who
also played for the signing of the register and the recessional.
As the church and reception venue were on almost opposite sides of Rotorua, travel between the two places was by car. The piper lead them into the reception venue and to their places at the head table. Formalities included the normal speeches and acknowledgements. Andre and Sarah even received a congratulatory message from the MacLachlan Clan Chief in Scotland as the grooms father David is an officer of the Clan Society in New Zealand.
A ceilidh followed the meal. All the guests were treated to a live ceilidh band, dance caller, piping and other items. Many of the dances were new to the guests but with direction from the dance caller everyone was able to follow the steps and have a tremendously enjoyable time. The venue was a Christian Camp near the shores of Lake Rotorua and most of the guests stayed in the camp.
* The Feilidh Mhor kilt was made especially for Andre by Mitchell Kilt Hire.
In the past when communities (villages) were smaller and
closer knit, it was not unusual for the piper to start playing at
the far end of the village from the kirk and to head for the
kirk. As he passed their doors the villagers would emerge and
join the procession to the kirk where they would gather to await
the brides arrival. The piper would then go to the bride and she
too would be piped to the kirk. After the ceremony was over and
the time was appropriate, the piper would pipe the bride and
groom and entourage to the village hall where the reception and
ceilidh would be held.
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