Scottish Wedding Traditions and Customs Explained.

Scotland has always been seen as one of the most charming and romantic countries and the world. With its beautiful glens, sprawling lochs and snow covered mountains we can see why everyone who comes here or is from Scotland, falls in love with it.Weddings have always been a massive part of Scottish culture and so have the Scottish Wedding Traditions we all love.

Most traditions have unique stories behind them, and the reasons for them. Today, we’ll have a look at a few different traditions and customs of Scottish Weddings. And so, no matter whether you’re planning your own Scottish wedding, or and would like to include a few of these customs in your ceremony as an ode to a relative to make your day just a little bit more special.

Handfasting – Tying the knot.

Have you ever heard the phrase tying the knot? Did you know that the term comes from a Scottish wedding custom of Handfasting. When couples couldn’t get to the church, it was customary for them to perform a handfasting ceremony which would give the couple a year on the day to be together. They would tie their hands together to symbolise the unity and love of the relationship. And after a year and a day, they could get married together.

Nowadays, most wedding ceremonies include religious ones can include a handfasting. Scottish couples choose to either have something memorable, such as part of a wedding dress, a little piece of fabric or family tartans to use as the hand fastening materials. The lovely thing about the handfasting ceremony is that you get to keep the knotted fabric together to remind themselves of their commitment on their wedding day.

Types of ceremonies that can include Scottish wedding traditions.

More often than not, religious ceremonies don’t include Scottish wedding traditions, such as drinking from a quiach or Handfasting. But this all depends on the minister or Reverend, conducting the ceremony. The rules are a lot more relaxed with a humanist celebrant or even a registrar. Some useful info for getting married in Scotland. 

The Quiach – The loving cup.

The Quaich is also commonly referred to as the loving cup. The quiach started life hundreds of years ago when the clans ruled Scotland. When clans met, the leaders would take a drink from the Quaich, which was usually whiskey.

You have to drink from the cup with both hands, therefore showing the other party you come in peace, and couldn’t reach for your sword.

Nowadays, lots of couples use it to celebrate the end of their marriage ceremony. They fill it with their favourite drink or whiskey. The loving cup is a perfect idea for a couple who want to add a little drink to your wedding ceremony.

Selkirk Grace.

Selkirk Grace is a poem written by famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. The poem has become an excellent way to finish speeches. It’s usually said by the best man or guest of honour. The poem celebrates the food you have in front of you and your thankfulness for it. It is a nice way to transition from speeches to the meal.

Ceilidh Dancing.

Ceilidh Dancing or Scottish country dancing, as it’s known, is popular at Scottish Weddings. A Ceilidh Band usually performs it. There are many different types Have Scottish Ceilidh dance, the most popular ones are the Gay Gordon and Strip the Willow. Wedding DJs or a band play ceilidh music, they can help you learn the straightforward steps. If

What most Scottish people love about is you get to dance with everyone. You change partners, or groups and are an excellent way for everyone to mingle and get to know different people.

Lucky Sixpence.

A popular tradition is a bride placing a sixpence in her shoe. It’s long been seen as a good luck charm and is given to her by family or friends. The bride wears less throughout the day to ensure good luck. Sixpences are no longer currency and Scotland. You can buy replica sixpences online. Hello Drag and the borders there is a custom for the bride to put into here.

Bagpipes.

Whenever you think of Scotland, most people think of bagpipes. Bagpipes were first invented in 1000bc. Bagpipes can be used throughout any wedding ceremony. But the most popular times for bagpipes to play are ;

1.When guests are arriving for the ceremony the piper will play some tunes to greet the guests.
2. The bride can be piped down the aisle. The most common song is Highland Cathedral.
3. Couples after their ceremony and also be piped back up the Aisle
4. Pipers will also play during the wedding reception if requested to by the couple.
5. Pipers will often pipe the top table guests in for the speeches.

Kilts and Tartan.

Kilts and Tartan owe their origins to an Englishman. An Englishman created Tartan as a cheap way to clothe with his workers. Since then, Scotland has made Tartan its own cultural attire. You don’t have to be Scottish to wear the kilt, although many people like to find their Scottish family tree and find their family tartan from their descendants and wear that.

You can buy a kilt for around £500. You can rent kilts, which is the best option for children. Kilts are worn with brogues with laces that go up and wind around the leg. Placed into the sock is a little knife known as a Sgian Dubh. The knife goes on your dominant hand side. The Sporan is a small bag worn around the waist with a belt, where you can keep things such as your phone and wallet, and anything else you might need to carry. This is because kilts do not have pockets.

An alternative for any man or woman who doesn’t want to wear a kilt or a dress is to wear tartan troos (trousers). In Scottish wedding parties, the whole bridal party can wear the same Tartan or their own family one.

Speeches before the meal.

In Scotland, speeches are before the meal. In England and other cultures, speeches, either done during the dinner between courses, or afterwards. This has several advantages, including anyone who doesn’t like public speaking can get it out the way and enjoy the rest of the evening and not set in water and not eat the food.

My final thoughts on Scottish Wedding Traditions is to do what you like. The best thing about Scottish wedding traditions and customs is they are not set in stone. You could do any tradition that you want, whenever you like. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. What’s your favourite Scottish wedding tradition? Let us know below in the comments. Want to elope to Scotland here is out handy guide! Here are some amazing places to stay in Scotland!

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