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  • Writer's pictureTwoperspectives Photography

Scottish wedding traditions.

Updated: Jun 28

Scottish weddings are rich in traditions and customs, reflecting the country's vibrant culture and heritage. Here are some popular Scottish wedding traditions:



Kilts and Tartans:

The groom is dressed in a kilt, a knee-length skirt made of tartan fabric, paired with a matching tartan jacket and sporran, a small pouch worn around the waist.
Kilt and tartans - Wedding attire

The groom and male members of the wedding party often wear kilts, which are traditional Scottish attire.


Each clan has its own tartan pattern, representing their lineage and heritage.


A couple's hands intertwined with colorful ribbons during a Scottish handfasting ceremony. The couple stands facing each other, their hands joined in the center, forming a beautiful and intricate pattern with the ribbons. The ribbons represent the binding of their love and commitment to each other. They are surrounded by friends and family, witnessing this meaningful ritual that symbolizes unity and the joining of two lives. The couple's faces radiate joy and anticipation as they embark on this traditional Scottish wedding ceremony.
Handfasitng a wedding tradition

Handfasting: Handfasting is an ancient Celtic custom where the couple's hands are bound together with a tartan or ribbon, symbolizing their commitment and union.


It is often incorporated into modern Scottish wedding ceremonies.



Quaich Ceremony: The Quaich is a traditional Scottish two-handled drinking cup. During the wedding ceremony, the couple shares a drink from the Quaich to symbolize their union and hospitality. It represents the blending of two families and the trust between the couple.

Scottish Ceilidh: A Ceilidh is a traditional Scottish gathering filled with music, dancing, and merriment. At Scottish weddings, Ceilidh dances are often performed, encouraging guests to get up and dance together. A Ceilidh band or musician usually provides the lively music.

Piper: It is common to have a bagpiper play at a Scottish wedding.

Alt text: A bagpiper dressed in traditional Scottish attire playing the bagpipes at a wedding. The bagpiper stands tall and proud, wearing a kilt, sporran, and a jacket adorned with tartan patterns. The hauntingly beautiful sound of the bagpipes fills the air as the piper's fingers skillfully move across the instrument. The atmosphere is filled with a sense of Scottish heritage and celebration, as the bagpiper adds a touch of cultural tradition to the wedding ceremony or reception. The image captures the passion and skill of the musician, creating a memorable and captivating moment for the couple and their guests.
Bagpiper - important addition to Scottish wedding

The piper traditionally leads the bride to the ceremony venue and later leads the couple and their guests from the ceremony to the reception.



Luckenbooth: A Luckenbooth is a traditional Scottish brooch, often exchanged as a token of love and affection between the bride and groom.


It is usually pinned to the bride's dress or incorporated into her bouquet.

The Wedding Scramble: As the couple exits the ceremony or reception venue, it is customary for guests to shower them with handfuls of confetti, coins, or even rice. This practice is known as the "wedding scramble" and symbolizes good luck, prosperity, and fertility.


Blackening the Bride and Groom: In some parts of Scotland, particularly in the North East, there is a tradition called "blackening." Friends and family members of the bride and groom surprise them by covering them in substances such as treacle, soot, feathers, or even food items. It is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the couple.

A close-up of a kilt pin and a fly plaid brooch, two traditional Scottish accessories. The kilt pin is a decorative pin worn on the front apron of a kilt. It is typically made of metal and features various designs, such as Celtic motifs or clan symbols. The fly plaid brooch, on the other hand, is a larger pin used to secure the fly plaid, a draped piece of fabric worn over the shoulder in Highland dress. The brooch is often intricately designed, with patterns inspired by Scottish culture and history. This image highlights the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail in both the kilt pin and the fly plaid brooch, adding a touch of elegance and personal flair to traditional Scottish attire.
fly plaid brooch

Sashing the Bride: In the Highlands, it is common for the bride to receive a sash called a "Gordian Knot" or "Love Knot." The sash is wrapped around the bride's waist and tied in a special knot by the groom's mother. It represents her acceptance into the family.


These are just a few examples of the many Scottish wedding traditions you may encounter. Scotland has a rich cultural heritage, and each region and family may have its unique customs and practices that add to the overall Scottish wedding experience.


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