How to Survive a MacTavish Wedding

Last week, The New York Times gave readers advice on “How to Survive a Lavish Wedding,” which included such solemn maxims as “keep your mouth shut . . . if the coffee service isn’t fast enough” and “let the embarrassing moments slide off you like good caviar.”

Crucial summer information, I’m sure, for those of you heading off to weddings on oversized yachts, in your ballgowns and tuxedoes.

But what about the rest of us? More particularly, what about those of us whose friends and family aren’t Snobbish, but instead . . . Scottish?

For those readers, Auto(in)correct presents the just-as-timely, just-as-crucial, companion to the New York Times piece: “How to Survive a MacTavish Wedding.”

Dress. The NYT recounts a lavish wedding where a guest couldn’t “recall there even being a dress code, except the kind you might be inclined to impose on yourself if you know Vogue staffers are showing up.” Not so for a MacTavish Wedding. There is a dress code, and that code is: TARTAN. Lots of it. Kilts, sashes, scarves, tam o’ shanters, even ballgowns, if you’ve somehow found yourself at a lavish MacTavish wedding.

Feats of Strength. Now, it is true that Highland Games are not necessarily a time-honored ritual at Scottish weddings. But if the 2008 romantic comedy Made of Honor is any guide, they can be! To be honest, your best option for surviving this medieval-style athletic competition is flight rather than fight: dodge the flying hammers, stones, bales of straw, and tree trunks (no, really). If you insist on competing, just make sure you secure your, um, kilt beforehand.

Dancing. Ever heard of a ceilidh? (Say it with me: KAY-lee. Like the name. Kind of.) It’s a traditional Scottish dance performed at weddings. One website helpfully suggests you imagine it as a mix between square dancing and the hora. Hope you’re not too tired from those Highland Games. And again, watch the kilt!

Feast. Ahhhh, the meal. Nothing like a steamy pudding of sheep’s heart, liver, lungs, and oatmeal stuffed in its own stomach to nourish you after a long day of tree-throwing and circle-dancing. But if haggis isn’t your thing (and we can’t imagine why), there’s always whisky (without the “e”, and without the ice, if you’re in Scotland.) Drink up, but make sure you’re sober enough to understand Uncle MacTavish’s toast to the happy couple. There are no subtitles at a MacTavish wedding!

If you need a card for the lucky lass and laddie (or any combination thereof), though, we’ve got you covered. Share an Auto(in)correct wedding card that offers condolences to the new blithering idiots.


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