Have a Scottish Wedding

File:Flag of Scotland.svgFrom the end of December, same-sex couples in Scotland will be able to get married. This fantastic move towards equality will bring Scottish law in line with England and Wales.

So, in honour of this momentous occasion, we thought we'd celebrate some of the unique traditions that make Scottish weddings such fun to attend.

Hire a Ceilidh band for your wedding reception. 

For the uninitiated a ceilidh is "a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing." Traditionally, ceilidh music is performed with an accordion, a tin whistle, a fiddle, flute and bodhrán (Irish drum) and is accompanied by up-tempo dancing. If you've ever seen Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, then you might remember the yule ball scene - kind of along those lines (apologies to hardcore ceilidh fans!).

Break an oatcake over your partner's head

Originally a Roman superstition, breaking bread or cake over a bride's head was believed to ensure good fortune in marriage as well as blessing the couple with many children. Wedding guests would try to take a crumb, too, for luck in their own lives. A similar tradition emerged in Scotland during the 19th century with an oatcake replacing the bread. This is a unique nod to Scottish history, but we're not sure if many modern day brides or grooms would be too happy to get biscuit in their hair, so it's probably best to ask before you start sprinkling it over them.

File:UK-Scotland-Glen Nevis-Steall Waterfall-2006.jpgHave a Gaelic language ceremony.

There's nothing like the revival of an old language to add authenticity to a traditional ceremony. In 2011, there were an estimated 57,000 people in Scotland able to speak Gaelic. For those couples with ancestral roots in Scotland, it isn't just a nod to the past but a gesture for the future: ensuring that old languages survive. Of course, you don't need to have the entire ceremony in Gaelic; the odd flourish would flatter a theme and keep the English speaking guests interested and invested in the ceremony.

Hire a bagpiper 

File:Musician Holding Bagpipes 1632.jpgLove them or loathe them, the distinctive sound of the bagpipes have been a part of Scottish heritage since at least the 13th century. For many, bagpipes provide an instantly recognisable piece of Scottish culture and history, and you'd be hard pressed to convey an authentic Scottish feel without them. Some couples walk down the aisle to their distinctive sound whilst others prefer using them to at the reception. Whichever you prefer, make sure the piper is suited in all the traditional regalia - he'll look fantastic.

Give your partner a luckenbooth

A luckenbooth is a brooch that is traditionally given to the bride from her husband. Popular since the 17th century, the brooch is kept until the birth of the first child where it's then pinned to the baby's shawl. Apparently, this stops the child being spirited away by fairies - which, you know, could happen. 

Put on a Scottish banquet

There's so much more to Scottish cuisine than just haggis: cold meats, hot stews, smoked fish dishes and hearty plates of game all make for a memorable Scottish wedding feast. The great thing about Scottish fish and game, in particular, is that they are adaptable to all seasons.

  • Smoked Salmon
  • Haddock
  • Trout
  • Lamb broth
  • Smoked venison
  • Aberdeen Angus beef
  • Haggis
  • Tatties
  • Neeps
  • Grouse
  • Partridge
  • Pidgeon
  • Rabbit
  • Scottish Tablet
  • Shortbread
  • Fruitcake
  • Cranachan (whiskey, honey, whipped cream, raspberries, oatmeal)

Of course, the great thing about wedding traditions in a gay marriage is that they can easily be adopted, adapted or abandoned. If there's something that you love or loathe, there's never been a better time to create a wedding that suits you and your partner. So, whether you're a true Scot or just someone who enjoys a nod to antiquity, then a Scottish wedding could be the answer. Keep an eye on the blog for more information about what gay marriage in Scotland will mean for you.

Are you planning on getting married in Scotland? Have you embraced a Scottish theme? We'd love to hear from you.

And remember, you can search for Scottish wedding venues on our directory here

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