If you’ve heard of haggis, bannocks, tablet, tossing the caber, heelan’ coos and taking a wee dram – and know what they are – then you must have some Scottish blood in you. Even if you didn’t know that haggis is sheep’s offal cooked in a sheep’s stomach, a bannock is an oatcake, tablet is fudge, tossing the caber is sport, heelan’ coos are highland cows and a wee dram usually refers to a drink of whisky, you can still have a Wedding with all the ritual of a Traditional Scottish Wedding.
Scottish Weddings are a blend of ancient traditions and more modern customs. Few brides these days want a feet washing ceremony but it was usually practiced by an older female in the family. Few grooms would subject themselves to a blackening, often being covered from head to toe in treacle and feathers. In our modern Scottish Weddings we keep the romantic touches and leave out some of the more obscure rituals.
A Scottish Wedding Ceremony can include the guests being piped to the ‘marriage place’ and the piper piping the Bride to her Groom. Conducting a Hand-fasting ritual where Bride and Groom have their wrists tied together with ribbon for part of the Ceremony, often over a Blessing Stone, the Pinning of the Tartan usually by the Mother of the Groom on to the Bride’s dress, the Presentation of the Sword by the Bride’s Father to the Groom, the Bride and Groom drinking from the Quaich Cup as a symbol of their first drink as husband and wife, and the Calling of the Piper to bring good luck to the couple and to pipe them down the aisle.
Skirl of the Bagpipes
Traditional Scottish Weddings have the Groom and his Groomsmen, and the Father of the Bride and Father of the Groom, wearing the kilt. The Bride is piped into the church by a Scottish Piper in full regalia and the couple is piped out of the church after the Ceremony. It is said to bring good luck if the Piper is the first person to greet the Bride after she is married. As well as stirring your blood, the sound of the piper is sure to draw attention. The piper is usually engaged by the Bridal Couple as part of the music component of the Ceremony.
The Quaich Cup
In days gone by, after the formalities were completed, the bowl was filled with whisky and passed around the guests to toast the union. In modern ceremonies, you can use wine if you’d prefer and the bowl is sipped only by the Bride and Groom (more hygienic!).