Celtic wedding traditions (Scotland)

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Scotland is a stunning country full of rugged mountain scenery, beautiful beaches, epic architecture and a rich cultural history. It makes for the most rustic and original wedding settings, be that in one of the local castle grounds or on the beaches and in the forests.

If you’re considering making your way to Scotland for your wedding have a look through some traditions you might incorporate.

The Quaich

One fun tradition is drinking from a quaich otherwise known as the “Loving cup” is a small silver cup with two-handles. Usually it is filled with whisky by the bride after the ceremony. You use 2 hands to drink from the quaich this traditionally was to show you were trustworthy and had no hands behind your back. Afterwards, you can share it with family and friends to celebrate.

Tying the knot

The expression “tying the knot” actually comes from a Scottish tradition! Your officiant will take a piece of cloth from each family and tie a knot when you have the ribbons wrapped around your arms to bind you together. This signifies that when they pull you apart the knot is then formed. It also create an amazing keepsake from your wedding day.

For Good Luck

Thistle & heather are two very special flowers here in Scotland. Often couples even wear a little heather in their buttonhole for extra luck.  Brides may have a sprig in their bouquets too. Historically it is a sign of good luck to have this on your wedding day.


Scottish weddings often typically have a piper that to play guests and the bride into the venue. They also often stay and serenade people on their way out too. Tradition says that having a piper play will protect the bride and groom as they begin their marriage and bless them with a lifetime of good luck.

Wedding AttireGrooms

Traditionally grooms will often wear a generic tartan kilt or one of their family clan tartan.

Add a handy sporran, some smart brogues and a Sgian-dubh (small knife) worn in their sock on their dominant side so you can see the hilt of the knife.

See Connel Bay for more on Scottish highland wear

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