Since I first started blogging about my Scottish fiancé, many of you have been asking if we will be having a Ceilidh (kā-lē) band at the wedding, and the answer is a resounding YES!! A Ceilidh is technically a big Scottish party with lots of music and dancing, and most of the time (in Scotland), it follows a wedding but sometimes it’s just a stand alone rockin’ good time! Each Ceilidh band usually has their own caller or person who directs the dancing, and this is KEY for our wedding, because I know this will be the first Ceilidh for most of our lovely guests!
I first alluded to how we found our band back when I wrote about my brother renting his kilt for the wedding. My parents really saved the day by attending the Minnesota Scottish Fair and hunting down the lead person of our band to ask him if they performed at weddings. And thank goodness they did, because you’re sadly mistaken if you think there are a plethora of Ceilidh bands roaming the Midwest. I think I found about three, including the one we booked! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a hold of any of them, and at one point I was considering nixing the whole idea, but fortunately it didn’t come to that!
Luckily, we found The Gunn Slingers, and while we were in Minnesota this summer we met with their accordion player and caller, Neil Gunn. He is Scottish and married to a girl from Minnesota. His drummer is Scottish and married to a Minnesota girl as well. Does any of this ring a bell? I can’t make this stuff up people!
Meeting with Neil happened to be our latest appointment of the whole planning trip, and only a true night owl (or Scottish person) could stay up this late! Just kidding—it was like 9 PM, but still, that’s only one and a half hours before my bedtime. LAME. Naturally, we met at a bar, and it was a great time! We could have chatted all night (if it weren’t for my blasted bedtime). Neil shared with us that he had a bit of a learning curve when he first started calling for Ceilidh’s in Minnesota. He quickly figured out that people will just stare blankly at you if you say, “Now, turn anti-clockwise!” Counter-clockwise works much better here.
Neil was nice enough to take a picture with me when I told him I was blogging about my wedding.
Finally, I leave you with some video gems of random wedding guests dancing at a Ceilidh.
Mr. Sword really doesn’t like it when I compare Ceilidh dancing to American square dancing but the simple moves, spins and partnering off just remind me of it! I know this isn’t the most common type of dancing to be done at an American wedding, but I figure we will have enough Ceilidh dancing veterans to get the party started, and I’m not too worried about people dancing because my family LOVES to dance and are really looking forward to hearing the band. Plus, the DJ will be taking over after an their hour set to finish out the night with a nice mix of classic and contemporary tunes for everyone to shake their asses to (anything but the chicken dance please!). Clearly, I want our guests to be sweaty and exhausted by the end of the evening!
I’m so happy that we have a band for our big day and I’m super excited about attending my very first Ceilidh!! Have any of the UK readers been to a Ceilidh before? What was your experience? Anyone else have a family that loves dancing? Anyone else crazy enough to do a band AND a DJ?