How to create your perfect traditional Scottish wedding
Packed full of history and boasting some of the most stunning scenery the UK has to offer, Edinburgh is a picture perfect wedding destination. As a wedding photographer Edinburgh I’m in a privileged position; I get to attend incredible Scottish weddings all the time. Sharing these beautiful, personal moments with my clients is what I love most about my work – being able to capture those intimate, special moments, creating memories that will last a lifetime is nothing short of amazing – and hugely rewarding.
Of course, there are a quite a few other great things about being an Edinburgh wedding photographer. One is that I get to work in some of the most breathtaking settings you’ll find anywhere; from grand castles to rural countryside to Edinburgh’s historic city centre, my settings never leave me short of inspiration and provide me with jaw-dropping backgrounds that ooze style and romance. However, it’s the people I meet that make my work so fascinating. I work with an incredibly diverse range of couples – from locals to visitors from further afield in the UK right through to international clients who have dreamt of a traditional Scottish wedding for as long as they can remember. I learn something from each and every couple: I learn about different cultures and beliefs, ideas, ideals and,unexpectedly, I have found myself becoming quite the connoisseur of Scottish wedding tradition. So,here you have it: my top ten recommendations to help you create a traditional Scottish wedding.
Show your love with a Luckenbooth
A traditional gift from the groom to his bride, a Luckenbooth is a silver brooch, designed as two entwined hearts. To make it extra special many grooms have initials or a special message engraved on the brooch, making it a true token of love. Add to the mix the tradition of the happy couple pinning it to the blanket of their first born to bring the family luck and you’ve got yourself a tradition that really adds romance to the whole occasion.
Sixpence in the shoe
This worldwide wedding tradition might not be exclusive to Scotland but is a must-do for many of the couples I meet. A silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe is said to bring good luck to the marriage, and if the father of the bride is the one to give the sixpence and place it in his daughters shoe he is said to be wishing his daughter prosperity, love and happiness in her marriage.Sentimental? Yes. But an opportunity for a rare and very special father daughter moment before the ceremony.
A ceilidh guarantees to inject a big dose of traditional Scotland into your wedding reception! As an inclusive dance, everyone joins in at a ceilidh, dancing to traditional Scottish instruments throughout the night with a focus on the happy couple. Not sure your guests will want to learn the steps? Not to worry, most ceilidh bands have a Caller – someone who calls out dance instructions in real-time, making for a fun and upbeat night to remember!
If you’re keen to marry in a traditional Scottish ceremony then consider having bag pipes played before and after you walk down the aisle. Nothing says Scottish wedding more than hearing the famous pipes play just before you say the big ‘I do’. Simply magical.
Brides and grooms, hide a sprig of white heather in your bouquet and buttonhole to bring good luck – this tradition is easy to do, looks great and is hugely popular.
Tradition across much of Scotland, the wedding scramble is said to bring financial good fortune. How does it work? As the bride steps into her wedding car her father must throw a handful of coins for local children to collect. More than just a fun tradition it often creates a wonderful photo too!
The Loving Cup
Filled to the top with whisky, the Quaich is a two-handled silver bowl that the bride drinks from before passing it around wedding guests, for each to take a sip, at the end of the ceremony. Said to date back to the 1500’s the sharing of the Quaich, or loving cup as it’s also known, is a tradition of Celtic hospitality and is said to symbolise trust between the people drinking from it. The perfect way to transition from ceremony to party!
To kilt or not to kilt?
If you’re a groom planning your Scottish wedding then go all the way by embracing traditional Scottish dress on your special day. If you’re not sure what to wear start with finding akilt, kilt jacket, sporran and kilt shoes, or pop into one of Edinburgh’s many kilt shops for advice on colours and style. Trust me, you’ll look fantastic.
Complete your Scottish wedding with traditional wedding favours. Try miniature bottles of whisky or pretty parcels of Scottish all-butter shortbread. Be sure to buy locally produced favours for something extra special and consider giving them the finishing look with some tartan ribbon.
They say a picture says a thousand words and on your wedding day that couldn’t be more true. Whether you’re keen to have traditional shots of all your guests, of the groomsmen in their kilts, or of your first married kiss, make sure you take time to think about your ‘must have’ shots then get in touch to chat through your requirements; we’d love to help capture your special day.