Culture Shocked

10 Scottish Wedding Traditions You Should Know

By June 14, 2015 December 14th, 2018 No Comments

How do the Scots celebrate weddings? What were the very old traditions that they still practice nowadays? Find out here.

1. The Speerin or The Beukin

The Speerin is an old wedding tradition where the prospective groom had to go through a series of tasks and trials at the request of the bride’s father before gaining his approval.

2. Creeling the Bridegroom

The groom is required to carry a creel or a large basket filled with heavy rocks and carry it around the village until his bride goes out of her house to give him a kiss.

There’s another version done at the southern part of Scotland where a basket is tied with a ribbon across the church door. The newlyweds cut the ribbon and let the basket fall off to the ground. This tradition is known to bring health and prosperity to the couple.

3. The Wedding Sark

Couples exchanged gifts before getting married. The bride would buy the groom’s wedding sark or shirt, and the groom would pay for the bride’s dress.

4. Luckenbooth Brooch

The Luckennooth Brooch is exchanged by the couple when they are engaged. The brooch has two hearts intertwined with a crown on top and can sometimes be encrusted with glass and crystals.

5. Sixpence Coin

On the morning of the wedding day,  a sixpence coin is put in the bride’s wedding shoe to bring her good luck.  A sprig of heather is also added to the bride’s wedding bouquet.

6. Blackenings

The future bride or bridegroom is seized by friends and covered in soot, treacle, flour and feathers. This practice is believed to ward off evil spirits.

7. Feet Washing

At the night before the wedding, the bride’s friends remove her shoes and stockings, wash her feet and smear them with soot which was considered to bring good luck.

8. The Wedding Scramble

Also known as ‘”warsel”, the wedding scramble happens when the father of the bride throws coins for the children to collect as the bride gets into the car on her way to the church.

9. Orcadian Cog

The bride drinks from a cog with a concoction of ale, gin, brandy and whiskey, mixed with sugar and pepper before passing it around the wedding guests.

10. The Lang Reel

The Lang Reel is a dance that still takes place in the north-east fishing villages of Scotland. The villagers dance at the harbor, continuing to the village with dancers leaving the reel as they passed their homes. The dance leaves the bride and groom together to have their last dance of the night.

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