Scottish Wedding Customs

THE QUAICH

THE QUAICH
The Scottish quaich is also known as “loving cup”. It’s a tradition that is present in many Scottish weddings. This tradition involves a silver bowl with two handles and it’s given to the bride. When the legal proceedings are over, the bride passes the bowl around the entire wedding party for everyone to sip a drink from the cup.

THE LANG REEL
The Lang Reel is a dance which originates from north-east Scotland. This tradition involves all the guests at the wedding. They all dance to the music and quit one by one until it’s only the bride and groom left dancing.

THE SPEERIN
The Speerin is a tradition in Scotland. To uphold this tradition, the groom has to do various tasks. These tasks and trials should impress their father-in-law and gain his approval.

LUCKY CHARMS
One of the more famous Scottish wedding traditions is to do a few things as lucky charms. For example, entering the wedding venue with the right foot is one thing they would do as a lucky charm. Another thing that is a lucky charm is adding a sprig of white heather into the bouquet of the bride.

THE WEDDING SARK
The wedding sark is actually just a shirt that the bride buys for the groom before the wedding day. The groom on the other hand, has to repay the favour by buying the wedding dress for the bride.

A SIXPENCE IN THE BRIDE’S SHOE
A sixpence is given to the bride so she can pop it in their shoes on their wedding day. Many believe that this tradition comes from an earlier one. In the earlier tradition the groom would put a silver coin under their left foot. It symbolizes financial stability and prosperity (this can be very uncomfortable).

PAYING THE PIPER
The piper will lead the bride and groom to the top table. It’s believed the piper chases the bad spirits away. The Piper then should be paid with a small ‘nip,’ of course, that doesn’t affect the fee a piper would charge for his service.

BRIDAL FLOWERS
Place a thistle within the bridal flowers. They are a symbol of devotion.

HANDFASTING
This tradition consists of using a tartan ribbon or rope to tie the hands of the bride and groom together. This ritual is to demonstrate the act of physically coming together. The handfasting tradition is often accompanied by a Scottish wedding blessing.

Author and Curator

  • Vice President and Clan Secretary of the St Andrews Society of Maine. I was the youngest of a family of six. My three brothers and myself served in the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch ( RHR ) Royal Highland Regiment. Whilst growing up in Fife, I would be taken to Highland Games, weddings, parades, events, and I would be shown the history and the reasoning behind and the structure of the events and why they took place. Having gained that knowledge and experience from my early years and being taught more in the military, has given me the experience to be chosen as the Curator of Weddings and Special Events. To which I might add, I consider a great honor.

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