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 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.
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.
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.
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.