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Scottish Wedding Traditions and Customs

Many people like to incorporate some traditions and customs into their special day. Here we have highlighted some marriage customs that you may wish to incorporate or adapt for inclusion in your ceremony here in Coldstream:

For Good Luck

  • Sew a hair onto the hem of the wedding dress.

  • Put a sixpence coin in the Bride's shoe.

  • Hide a sprig of white heather within the Bride’s bouquet.

  • When the Bride leaves home for the last time as a single girl, she should step out of the house with her right foot for luck.

Give a Scottish brooch, a ‘luckenbooth’, as a token of your love or as a betrothal gift. This is usually made of silver and is engraved with two hearts entwined. Some couples pin this on the blanket of their first born for good luck.

It is traditional for the Best Man to give a clock as a wedding present and for the Maid of Honour (or Chief Bridesmaid) to give a tea set.

The Penny Wedding
Arrange a ‘Penny Wedding’, in which guests are expected to bring their own food and drinks to the reception to celebrate after the ceremony is over.

The Wedding Walk
In some areas of Scotland there was a Wedding Walk – a formal march to the church. Preceded by a fiddler and, more recently, often a piper, the Bridegroom led the Maid of Honour (or Chief Bridesmaid), while the Bride walked with the Best Man. Behind them, arranged into couples, came the rest of the wedding party, with children and unaccompanied guests taking up the rear.

On the return journey, after the wedding ceremony, the leaders of the walk switched partners - the Groom taking his new Bride on his arm, while the Best Man escorted the Maid of Honour (or Chief Bridesmaid).

It was vital that at some point on the Wedding Walk, the procession crossed running water twice.

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