This is one of Shannon's favorite story to share with our clients and one that will always make me laugh at the way I almost broke a marriage up before it even started.
The first thing I suggest people do before they travel is to get acquainted with the local customs, trust me on this one. There are things I truly wished I knew before we headed out to explore the city of Edinburgh, Scotland and a hen party is one of those things I wished I knew about.
This was my very first time out of the country and my first trip with Shannon so I was super excited and wanted to see everything I could. So after checking in to our B&B, we headed out to explore Scotland’s capital. The heart of the city is compromised by the Medieval old town and the Georgian new town. The old town of the city sits on the remains of a volcanic wedge-shaped plug with Edinburgh castle at the summit and Holyrood Palace at the bottom. The street that connects the castle with the palace is called The Royal mile and there’s a variety of shops, restaurants, and historical sites to keep you busy for hours and this is only one street.
After walking up and down the Royal Mile for a while we decided to head down to Princess Street where the New town starts. There’s a few ways to get to Princess Street, I won’t go in to the details of the different ways to get down to Princess Street and just tell you that we decided to head down the Playfair Steps that take you down to the Scottish National Gallery. Halfway down we encountered a group of ladies coming up and they seemed like they were having a really good time. This is the moment where things got interesting for a greenhorn traveler. I am so glad that social media was not around back then.
When the group of ladies got close to us one of them stopped us and informed us that her daughter was getting married the next day and asked us if we would give her a good luck kiss on the cheek. Again, I had no idea what to do and looked at Shannon for guidance as I thought I was in safe hands and he wouldn’t allow me to do something embarrassing. Shannon said “Sure!” so I thought this was one of those cultural learning moments and I went along with it. After Shannon gave her a kiss on the cheek it was my turn. Feeling like I’m partaking in some ancient Scottish tradition I gave the young lass a kiss on the cheek. Her eyes opened wide and she held on to me and said these words “Oo, I want to marry him!” and grabbed hold of my hand. Mom, trying to pry her daughters grip off my hand said “You can’t, you’re getting married tomorrow to someone else”. And the daughter answered “I know, I don’t want to marry him (meaning the clueless fiancé), I want to marry him!” After a few nervous laughs from the rest of the ladies in the group mom managed to get her daughter to let us go and swiftly lead her daughter and the rest of the ladies up the stairs.
Shannon, being the wonderful guy he is, started laughing and looked at me and said “Your first night in Scotland and you’re already breaking up marriages”. After calming down a bit I found it funny and had to ask Shannon what was that all about. He explained that the ladies were having a hen party which is equivalent to our bachelorette party.
That night on those steps will always put a smile on my face. It also taught me to be wary of hen parties.