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Weird and Wonderfully Surprising Scottish Wedding Traditions

1."Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue .......and a sixpence in her shoe".

Quite often the last part has been left out of this rhyme and forgotten. It is considered good luck for a bride to carry a 6 pence in her shoe during her wedding. This tradition is common in Angus and Aberdeenshire and is thought to bring good wealth to the newly married couple. Usually given to the bride by her father as a wish for prosperity.

2 Tying the knot

Also know as hand fasting puts the literal meaning "tie the knot". Thought to have derived from the old Celtic pagan ceremony, this involved binding the hands of the bride and groom using a piece of cloth and loosely tying a Fishermans knot. This symbolises unity and is a popular choice today for more humanist ceremonies.

3.White heather

Considered good luck white heather was traditionally in many Scottish wedding bouquets this tradition is said to have originated from the Scottish Borders

4. Pour Oot (Poor-oot)

The brides father would toss coins for children to collect when the bride-to-be set off to her wedding, the "Pour oot" also known as a wedding Scramble or Warsel was thought to bring good fortune to the newly wedded couple.

5.Sharing the Quaich

A two-handled bowl or cup for the wedding feast, known in Scotland as a Quaich was originally made from wood but is now more commonly made from Silver or Pewter. This would be used for the married couple to take their first Holy Communion together and toast as a Married Couple. The Quaich would also be used by the two families or clans with each head taking a drink (usually Whisky) from the cup symbolising the life that they will share.

6. Feet Washing

A popular custom thought to have originated in Fife is the feet washing ceremony where the bride would have her feet cleaned by an older married woman and the groom would have his legs smeared with grease ash an soot. mmmmm lovely! I know who I would rather be.

7. At The Anvil

Due to its close proximity to Scottish English border Gretna Green was a prime wedding hot spot in the past. In Scotland the Legal age to Wed is 16 and it was 18 in England; so many young lovers would run across the border to get married at the blacksmith where the anvil is still used for Marriage today! 

8. The Bride must stand to the left of the groom.

This was so the groom could hold his bride with his left hand which would free up his right so he could reach for his sword if anyone challenged him for his bride.  Funnily the position has stuck however luckily the violent end has fazed out.


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