The bride-to-be is perched on the chair at the front of the trailer, veil askew, and dodging a spray of champagne from a well-wisher standing beside the lorry. Her attendants are wearing a tasteful mixture of flour, treacle, cocoa powder and goodness knows what else besides. They've been spending a happy afternoon driving round the village, banging on the sides of the trailer, hitting pots and pans with ladles, blowing horns and whistles, and generally announcing the forthcoming wedding. People stop what they're doing and come out of houses, shops and offices to see the lorry go by, and to offer a few contributions to the merriment. This is a blackening, so called because the traditional annointing was done with soot, treacle, boot polish - anything black and gungy. It's usually a workplace thing, and this photo was taken on Speyside, where many of the workplaces are whisky distilleries, cooperages and coppersmiths, and where the tradition is still kept.


  1. Wait, wait, wait. What's this about? I'd never heard of blackening before. Is this an actual bride? And how many days does this take place before the actual wedding day? Presumably not on the day? How captive is the bride? Surely she doesn't partake in this willingly? So many questions!!!

  2. This is an actual bride. I hope she's still married to the lucky man. The blackening takes place far enough in advance for all the gunk to be scrubbed off. The bride is usually at least a semi-willing captive. The men come off much worse - much gunkier stuff is used for them, and they have bare torsos to show off the effects of their anointing. That's why summer weddings are so popular in Scotland...

  3. Oh my! Haha, we definitely don't have those traditions here (Canada)! Although, i have to admit it looks kinda like fun! haha.


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