The wedding ceremony is one of the best parts of any wedding. It’s where you finally get to stand up in front of all your friends and family to proclaim your love for each other. But when you’re marrying a Scot, there are a few more things that happen at the Scottish wedding ceremony that might throw you off.
Many of our modern wedding traditions originated in Scotland, and so it’s fitting that a Scottish wedding have traditions of its own. Scottish weddings have several unique traditions that add to the celebration and help make this a truly beautiful and memorable day for the bride and groom. Most of these traditions have been in place for hundreds of years.
Here are some of the more fun traditions that make an authentic Scottish wedding so special.
A dram of whisky
A traditional Scottish wedding begins with a dram of whisky, drunk from a ceremonial Quaich. This tradition may be traced back to the ancient Celts, who would drink from a Quaich to seal an oath or make a special request for good fortune or future prosperity. The Quaich itself is a traditional two handed bowl, usually silver.
During the ceremony, The Quaich is passed around the wedding party for everyone to have a symbolic drink.
A Quaich is a two-handled drinking cup, typically made of wood or silver, and it is often used to serve the “whisky toast” to the bride and groom. The word “quaich” comes from the Gaelic word “cuach” which means “cup”.
The Quaich is often passed around among the wedding guests, each taking a sip and offering congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds. The Quaich is also sometimes used as a decorative piece and can be passed down through generations as a family heirloom.
The first noticeable element of a traditional Scottish wedding is the bagpipes. Bagpipes have been played at Scottish weddings for centuries, and the tradition continues to this day. The piper stands at the door of the church playing as the guests arrive. He also plays as the newlyweds leave the ceremony and make their way to their car.
The Great Highland Bagpipe is a traditional Scottish instrument that is often played at weddings, both during the ceremony and at the reception. The sound of the bagpipes is often associated with Scotland and is considered a symbol of Scottish culture.
During the ceremony, bagpipes are often played as the bride walks down the aisle or as the couple exits the ceremony. At the reception, a piper may lead the wedding party into the reception hall, and may also play music during the meal or other parts of the reception.
Bagpipes can add a unique and memorable touch to a Scottish-themed wedding, as well as create a festive atmosphere.
Tying the knot – Handfasting
Scottish wedding ceremony may include the “handfasting” tradition, in which the couple’s hands are tied together with a ribbon or cord as a symbol of their commitment to one another.
Handfasting is a traditional Scottish wedding ceremony in which the couple’s hands are tied together with a ribbon or cord as a symbol of their commitment to one another. This practice is said to have originated in ancient times, when couples would make a temporary commitment to each other before formally getting married. During the handfasting ceremony, the couple’s hands are tied together with a ribbon or cord, and they are asked to repeat vows to each other.
The tying of the ribbon or cord represents the binding of their lives together, and the couple’s commitment to each other. It’s become popular again in recent years as a way to add a unique and symbolic touch to a ceremony.
Another traditional element of Scots weddings is the unity candle. During this part of the ceremony, two candles, one on either side of a larger central candle, are used to symbolise two clans uniting into one family. The larger, central candle represents that new family, while the smaller candles represent each individual before marriage becoming one after marriage.
Wearing kilts is a traditional part of Scottish weddings and is often worn by the groom, best man, and other members of the wedding party as a symbol of their Scottish heritage. The kilt is a traditional garment that is made of wool and is typically worn with a sporran, a belt, and a sash. The groom and his party will also wear a kilt pin and a kilt hose which are woolen hose that are worn with the kilt, and the groom will also wear a sgian dubh, a traditional Scottish knife, in his sock. The groom and his party will also wear a kilt pin and a kilt hose which are woolen hose that are worn with the kilt.
The bride and groom may also choose to include a “Ceilidh” (kay-lee) in their reception which is a traditional Scottish social gathering with music and dancing.
A Ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) is a traditional Scottish social gathering with music and dancing. It is an informal event that is often held in the evening, and it is typically a part of the wedding reception. Ceilidhs are an opportunity for the bride and groom to celebrate their marriage with friends and family, and to enjoy the traditional Scottish music, dance and culture.
The word Ceilidh literally means “visit” or “gathering” in Gaelic. Ceilidh dances are usually led by a caller who will explain the dance steps to the guests and encourage them to join in. Ceilidh bands will play traditional Scottish music such as jigs, reels, and strathspeys, and the event is often lively and energetic. It’s a great way to get all the guests to participate and join in on the celebration.
Scottish wedding traditions are a mix of modern and old-fashioned, with something for every taste. One of the most interesting aspects of Scottish weddings is the way that they remain so deeply steeped in tradition.