22754.jpg (43072 bytes)


Barbara Watt and William Walker
Syracuse, New York, 27 February 1954

Why is this photo on a site supposed to help you plan a wedding with a Celtic flavor? The bride's father was born in Scotland as was the groom's grandfather. The bride was Pipe Major of a bagpipe band, the Glengarry Girls and their son Stephen is the founder of Walker Metalsmiths that brings you this web page. A certain amount of problem solving went into planning this wedding as you will see below.

As Pipe Major a great deal of Barbara's life revolved around the band. It was important to her and her band friends that their heritage and music be part of the wedding. But they wanted avoid  Brigadoonery and to keep it in good taste.   In those days pipe bands all wore military style tunics and full plaids with their kilts, which is of course a man's attire. This was appropriate for performing as a band (if you considered women playing the bagpipes appropriate, which many did not). It was definitely not the right  attire for young women at a formal wedding.

The girls in the band attended the wedding at the church in conventional 1950's dresses. They then changed into their band uniforms for the reception where they performed for the guests. As the wedding couple left for their honeymoon (photo below) the girls sang the Scottish Jacobite song Will ye no come back again? This was of particular significance since Barbara was leaving the band and Syracuse to live with her husband in California.

This groom did not and never has worn a kilt. In those days kilt hire was not yet heard of in the States and even if it were in the 1950's in Syracuse NY it would have been considered pretty unusual behavior for a man to wear one for the first time at his wedding. Times have changed considerably since then in America as far as attitudes towards pipes and kilts at weddings goes.  Although most of the Glengarry Girls, like Barbara, were from immigrant families, there were very few of their fathers or brothers who would ever wear a kilt unless they were themselves in a pipe band. To encourage kilts the local Central New York Scottish Games used to grant free admission to anyone wearing a kilt. Today kilts worn by the groom, attendants or the guests at a wedding of Americans of Scottish heritage are not at all unusual and pipers are frequently hired for weddings even when the family has little or no Celtic heritage.

Wedding Album Index

Celtic Wedding Home Page

Previous Album Page

Next Album Page

Walker Metalsmiths