Scottish Folklore and Wedding Traditions

The origins of the traditional Scottish wedding:

Scotland always seems to do things their own way and style - and a Scottish wedding is no exception to the rule. In the 21st century, the Scottish wedding is an intricate blend of ancient highland tradition mixed with modern, streamlined rites. Scottish traditions present wedding day have their origins in the 13th century. Back then the medieval Celtic church that proclaims the "banns of marriage 'for three consecutive Sundays. This practice of announcing a forthcoming marriage lasted for 600 years - until in the last years of the 20 became standard to" give notice of intent for a registration office for several weeks before the planned event.

Wedding traditions of medieval Scotland

It was a normal practice in ancient times an entire people to participate in the preparations for the 'big day'. People line the streets of the church to encourage the happy couple before taking their vows. In pre-Reformation, there is no evidence that two Scottish wedding services often take place. A priest in the party leadership in the Scots dialect and lead a ceremony outside the church. While the Latin Mass more formal wedding ceremony will be held inside.

The exchange of rings has always been a main feature in Scottish wedding ceremonies since antiquity. A ring has no beginning or end, and as such symbolizes love within marriage. The kiss of the bride is derived from the exchange of rings, and often leads to joy of the church body.

Following the formal church ceremony, a piper or a group of pipers often take the entire group of people on the streets, often at the home of a relative, non-stop for a night of celebration, festivity and fun. Local musicians led by pipers who began dancing and tradition says that the first dance, a reel normally imply the newlyweds. As a result of their efforts, the rest of the guests danced until the final hours of the SMA. In this sense, little has changed over 800 years - perhaps apart from the dress and the type of draft beer.

When the wedding celebrations were then married the couple would spend the night in their new home. The ancient tradition of carrying the bride at the door was related to the superstition that evil spirits inhabit the thresholds of the doors. Therefore, the bride stands on the edges - and the marriage bed. In medieval times, a priest used to bless the house and bless the wedding bed at this time. Then for the first time as husband and wife, the newlyweds who have some quality time alone.

Other wedding rituals such as the Highland custom of 'creeling of the groom, the groom involved carries a basket or large basket full of stones from one end of town to another. He continued with this arduous task until the time that his girlfriend was going to leave her home and kiss her. Only if he did, would his friends allow him to escape the "creeling" otherwise, I had to follow to complete the circuit of the city.

Scottish Wedding Traditions modern:

In more modern times, many of the superstitions and rituals have been replaced by jewel procedures. However, many of today's traditions still go back to the past.

The bagpipes can be used to add atmosphere and grandeur of a wedding. The piper, dressed in full Highland, located on the church door and plays as guests arrive. Later, the couple from the church leads to the car. Traditions are pipes, the couple married often channeled to the main table of honor, along with the bridal party. With the cutting of the cake, again a piper is often asked to perform and a dagger, a "strong highland dagger", is traditionally delivered by the Piper start the "cake cutting". As the bride slices the first piece of cake, custom dictates that her hand is guided by her new husband.

The bride 'show of presents' originates in the tradition of the "Bachelorette," where women villagers gift items that help a young couple successfully started in your own home. Today, this often takes place in the house of the mother of the bride and luxury gifts are a touch more than other times.

A groom's stag night, also has ancient roots. The young man accompanied by his friends leads to a lower city and fountain drinks. One tradition says that in smaller cities would have the groom stripped of his garments and left in the street outside his home - or, worse still tied to a lamppost! The good news is that you would realize what had happened until the next morning.

The wedding ring, until the late 20th century tended to be for the bride and groom. In later decades, the bride and groom now wear rings for the most part. The traditional Scottish wedding band of gold dates back to the 1500s. This ring style is still popular as a wedding ring today - as are the Celtic knot work designed engagement and wedding rings.

The traditions of Scotland before the ceremony:

Often before a Scottish bride is married, her mother has an open house for the traditional "show of presents." Invitations are sent to those who gave wedding gifts to the couple and the wedding gifts are not opened and went to see. After the show of presents the bride-to-be is often dressed and his friends escorted him through his village, singing and banging pots and pans, heralding days of the bride's wedding. This tradition has become "bachelorette party" of legend.

The groom, meanwhile, is removed from a bachelor party in one of the nights before the wedding. The bachelor party is meant to be a celebration of the last night of freedom, and a way of reassuring friends that being married does not mean they are excluded from his life. The groom, like the bride dresses and takes around town by his friends and coworkers. Often there is a lot of harmless practical joke, which the poor groom is the main goal. When the night winds down, the groom is sometimes stripped naked and covered in soot, treacle and feathers and left overnight tied to a tree or a pole. In some rural areas an open truck is hired and groom walking through your local area with a lot of noise and partying.

Traditional Scottish wedding dress:

There is no doubt that traditional Scottish outfits add a touch of class and splendor to the wedding day and its associated ceremonies. The use of highland dress and skirt, jacket, sporran dagger and weddings in Scotland has remained over the centuries. While the bride's white dress and veil has its roots in more modern times. A Scottish bride usually wear a traditional wedding dress white or cream. The groom and his father can come to the wedding resplendent in Highland dress entirely in the traditional clan tartan of their clans. She can wear a horseshoe on her arm for good luck, or a pageboy might deliver one to her as she arrives at the ceremony. The bridesmaids can wear what the bride has chosen to match her dress and may include a little tartan accessory. Ramos may include tartan ribbons or bows.

A knight costume highland wedding in its entirety consists of the following:

Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket and waistcoat, kilt, tartan flashes to match the skirt, hose, white, gillie brogues, kilt pin, sgian Dubh, black belt with buckle, formal sporran with chain strap, wing collar shirt, tie black tie or white, and a piece of lucky heather on the lapel. You also have the option of using a blanket fly, which is anchored in the paulette on the shoulder of the jacket and secured with a snap great pictures (Cairngorm).

For the bride's something old .... something new "-

For the bride a universal custom is the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" - of course, the "something new" may be the wedding dress! The "something new" in the wedding can become the "something old" or "something borrowed" at the wedding in the next generation 's. The bride sometimes wears a blue garter (symbolizing love), which plays a role later in the wedding reception. It was also traditional in some areas of the bride to put a small silver coin in your shoe to bring good luck.

Something old -

A gift from mother to daughter to begin her married life, symbolizing the passage of a little of the wisdom of the mother.

Something new -

A gift that symbolizes the new life is beginning to marry.

Something borrowed -

The idea here is that something has been taken from a happily married couple in the hope that a little happiness fades with martial in the newlyweds.

Something blue -

There are two possible sources for it. Roman women used to border their robes with blue as a sign of modesty, love and fidelity. Also blue is the color normally associated with Mary the mother of Jesus, which is often used as a symbol of mercy, purity and sincerity.

After the wedding ceremony, it is traditional for flowers, petals, confetti or enough paper to be released in the output torque. In some rural areas the couple throw coins to children who have gathered outside the church to see. This is called a "struggle". This is why children make a straight line for local weddings. As the couple leave the ceremony the groom dips his hands in his pockets (or sporran), and throw all your coins on the floor for children to fight for.

Another tradition frequently in the evening wedding festivities, the bride throwing the bouquet, white roses usually over his left shoulder. His wife entered bridesmaids and other single women in the bridal party standing in a line behind her. The girl who catches the bouquet is thrown by tradition will be the next in the group to marry.

Traditional celebrations wedding reception can last all night and the newlyweds run out of dance. Before the night is over the bride and groom leave as quietly and secretly as they can and go to a preset destination for their wedding night - often leaving the honeymoon the next day.

More Scottish wedding ideas:

Give a Scottish brooch (called Luckenbooth) as a token of love or as a betrothal gift. This is usually made of silver and is engraved with two hearts entwined. Some couples pin this on the blanket of their first-born for good luck.

Weddings and receptions are sometime held at a Scottish castle if there is one nearby. For something simpler and less expensive, party room, an outdoor venue or, for a more traditional option, the ceremony can be at home. If money is very strong, try arranging a "Penny Wedding," in which guests are expected to bring their own food and drinks to the church to celebrate after the ceremony.

The difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK is that in Scotland, is the person who is authorized to perform marriage service and not the building that is licensed to hold a wedding.

Wedding Traditions in Scotland:

Wedding customs have changed dramatically in recent years. Some parts of weddings seem steeped in tradition, while you'll be glad to hear of some customs that have died over the years!

In Aberdeenshire, even now, the "black" is a ritual performed with great enthusiasm. The bridal couple are captured one night by so-called "friends" and covered with substances such as lack of molasses, feathers, soot, etc. Then they walked through the village and usually the pubs. Takes days to wash clean!

In the eighteenth century, the custom of hand-fasting was observed. A couple who live together for a year and a day, at which point you can decide if a part or make a lifetime commitment. It was considered more important for the bride to be experienced and fertile than to be a virgin.

Tradition says sew a hair on the hem of a wedding dress for luck, or let a drop of blood on an inside seam. The bride should never try on a complicated dress before her wedding day. To facilitate this tradition a small section of the edge seam is left the dressmaker until the last minute.

Finally, the bride when she leaves her house one last time as a single girl, get out of the house on the right foot for luck.

Boyfriend or girlfriend Penny silver

These festivities, also known as Penny Weddings, were renowned for feasting, drinking, dancing and fighting and were enjoyed by all except the clergy - who disapproved of such outrageous conduct. The gifts were made to the newlyweds to the cost of weddings and celebrations started on the eve of the wedding with singing, toasts and the ceremony of "washing of feet", described below.

Washing the feet

A tub of water is placed in the best room in which the bride placed her feet, her friends gathered around to washing them. A wedding ring from a happily married woman was previously placed in the tub and it was believed that whoever found the ring could be the next to marry.

People of the men were outside the door making jokes and trying to see through the door. The boyfriend was arrested after the women and forced them to sit in the tub. His legs were very lightly smeared with soot, ash and ash - a very painful procedure as you can imagine!

Wedding Procession

The next day, the bridal party went to church with flower petals being thrown in front of the bride. If they encountered a funeral or a pig on the road, it was considered bad luck and went home and back out. The first person they encountered was called the first foot and be given a coin and a glass of whiskey for the bride. Then would have to accompany the bridal party for a mile before you can move on.

Adopted Scottish Wedding Traditions:

Tying shoes of a car bumper

This tradition represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptian exchange sandals when goods are exchanged, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the bridegroom, who also gives the bride's sandals to show that now belonged to the groom. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom will tap the heel of the bride's shoe to show his authority over her. In recent times, people threw shoes at the couple. Now people just tie shoes to the couple's car.

Taking each other's right hand

The open right hand is a symbol of strength, resources and purpose. The union of the two right hands is a symbol that the bride and groom can depend on one another and the resources that each brings to the marriage.

Tying the knot

This wonderful expression originated in Roman times, when the bride wore a girdle that was a knot in which the boyfriend of the fun of untying. As a side note, this phrase can also refer to the tying of the knots in the hand-fasting ceremonies often took place without benefit of clergy.


It originated with marriages of convenience. In these, the groom's family said he was getting married, but very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom did not like look of the bride, who does not agree with marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride to the groom lifted the veil to see his wife for all eternity, for the first time.

Wedding Cake

Like most rituals handed down through the centuries, a wedding would be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. The ancient Romans to make a cake of wheat or barley and break over the heads of the bride as a symbol of fertility. Over time, it became traditional to stack several cakes on top of each other. The bride and groom would then be charged to kiss over this tower without knocking on it. If they were successful, a lifetime of good fortune was sure the new couple. Finally, during the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary for an ice cream cake with sugar.

Leap year proposals

The right of every woman to propose on 29 February each leap year goes back hundreds of years, when the day of leap year is not recognized in English law (the day it was 'jumped' and ignored by Therefore, "leap year" term). It was considered therefore that as the day had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that traditions also had no status. Consequently, women who were concerned about being "left on the shelf 'took advantage of this anomaly and proposed to the man who wanted to marry.

It was also thought that since the leap year day corrected the discrepancy between the calendar year of 365 days and the time it takes for Earth to complete one orbit around the sun (365 days and 6 hours), it was an opportunity for women to correct a tradition that was biased and unfair.

For those wishing to take advantage of this ancient tradition, have to wait until February 29, 2008!

Throwing confetti

Throwing confetti over newly weds originated in ancient pagan rite shower the happy couple with grain to wish them a 'fruitful' union. Pagans believed that the fertility of the seeds are transferred to the couple that fell. The launch of rice has the same symbolic meaning.

The word confetti has the same root as the word confectionery in Italian and was used to describe 'sweet', ie, cereals and sugar-coated nuts that were thrown to the newlyweds by the same pagan reason. In recent years, small pieces of colored paper have replaced candy, cereal and nuts as an inexpensive substitute but the use of the word confetti has remained.

Carry the bride over the threshold

Before we look at the medieval Scottish tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold - to avoid contact with "evil spirits". The Romans also believed it was bad luck if the bride stumbled when entering the house first. So they arranged for several members of the bridal party to take over the threshold. Today the groom is expected to do the job himself.

Grey horses

All the best wedding cars pulled by horses used to be gray and is still considered good luck to see a gray horse on the way to church.

Lucky horseshoe

Horseshoes have always been lucky. There is a nice story about the devil asking a blacksmith to shoe the old one. When the smith his client acknowledged the work carried out so painfully as possible until the devil roared for mercy. He was released on condition that he would never enter a place that shows a horseshoe. A horseshoe carried by the bride is considered a symbol of fertility.

Wedding Bells

A ringing of bells as the couple leave the church is one of the oldest traditions. Before the days of widespread literacy and newspapers this was how the local people knew a wedding had taken place. The sound of bells was also said to ward off evil spirits.

Lucky chimney sweep

Brides still consider themselves lucky if they pass a chimney sweep on the way to the wedding as the old soot-covered sweep had magical associations with the family and home - the heart of the house.

Finally, do not look in the mirror!

It's bad luck for the bride to look in the mirror wearing her complete outfit before her wedding day - old beliefs say that part of yourself goes into the reflection and therefore, the bride is not given all of herself to her new husband.