Scottish Wedding Traditions & Customs

The Royal Mint Coins

Many Scottish traditions have gone the way of the dinosaur (unfortunately) but there are still some that continue today and have maintained an enduring sense of popularity. There's a sense of timelessness, even mystique to Scot weddings and if you're marrying in the ruggedly beautiful Aberdeenshire then even more reason to adopt a few of these cultural leanings:

The sixpence in the bride's shoe

Throughout the regions of Aberdeenshire and Angus, it's become commonplace to position a sixpence inside the bride's shoe. Typically, the father of the bride places the coin there to wish his daughter joy and prosperity. The classic sixpence coin is out of commission nowadays but they are possible to purchase online to keep this quaint custom alive. The Royal Mint stocks de-commissioned coins and coin sets and eBay and Amazon also sell replicas for affordable prices.

White heather

It's common parlance to conceal a piece of white heather in the bride's bouquet as a means of wishing her good luck (notice how most of these good luck gestures are aimed towards the bride? They can tell we're going to need it!). Glenda's Sprig of Heather offers worldwide deliveries and Galloway Heathers stock a multifarious range of heather plants including Ice Princess and Cora variations.

Wedding Scramble

The wedding scramble occurs when the bride heads to her car. As she does so, the father of the bride showers the ground with a handful of coins which the children of the wedding flock to accumulate. Such a gesture is designed to bring the wedding party good luck and is commonly referred to as a 'warsel'.

Washing the feet

Washing the bride's feet is a very common custom all over the world. The connotations are the same; purity and cleanliness. A married older woman washes the new bride's feet and dries them. It's possible for the groom to undergo a similar experience although it's rare as he is required to have his legs smeared with an undesirable mixture of soot, grease and ash.


This tortuous process is reserved entirely for the bridegroom, who is striped to the waist, tied and covered with a mix of treacle, soot, flour and feathers (they like torturing those poor grooms don't they?). The humiliation doesn't end there; the groom is then led through the village so that the locals get a good look.

The wedding walk

The wedding walk is accompanied by a fiddler or piper as the party head to the church or venue. The bride is required to walk beside the best man and the groom beside the maid of honour. To be true to the tradition, wedding parties should, if possible, cross two areas of running water.

A Penny Wedding

Cakes at Cakes by Design

This is a tradition that the more thrifty couple will enjoy immensely. In this tradition, the bride and groom don't need to do any catering. Instead, the party provide their own beverages and snacks and the couple provide the cake. All the more reason to make sure you really go to town with the wedding cake. Why not take a look at cakes at Cakes by Design

The Loving Cup

Whisky is commonly referred to as 'fire water' and certainly isn't for the faint hearted. The loving cup, otherwise known as the Scottish Quaich, is a silver bowl filled to the brim with potent whisky by the bride and passed around the wedding party. You can really keep up the tradition with any cup but be more authentic you can purchase one from, or buy a nice set from Kilt Makers.

Wedding gifts

There are many wedding gifts to consider that hail from Scotland. The first is the wedding sark, which is a shirt given to the groom by the bride. In exchange, the groom pays for the wedding dress. Seems fair! Premierman, Hugo Boss and Debenhams all provide high quality men's shirts.

Best men commonly give clocks as gifts whilst maids of honour bestow tea sets upon the happy couple. The exotic teapot is filled with all manner of gorgeous tea sets. Meanwhile for clocks, stocks very quaint clocks at affordable prices.

Luckenbooth's are also popular gifts; brooches which the groom gives to his bride featuring engravings of two hearts. Celtic Studio provides a gorgeous assortment of traditional brooches.