Whether you are planning your wedding in Scotland, or you want to honour your Scottish heritage there are lots of romantic way to integrate Scottish wedding traditions in to your day.

We’ve compiled some of our favourite Scottish ceremony traditions for you to consider.

1.    Put thistles or heather in your wedding flower scheme

Image by  James Kelly

Image by James Kelly

If you want to implement a discrete touch of Scotland, you can do so by integrating thistles and/or heather in to your flowers The Scottish thistle is the national emblem of Scotland and represents bravery, courage, and loyalty. Legend has it that in a war between the Scots and the Vikings, when the Vikings attempted to surprise the Scots at night, one of them spiked his bare foot on a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain and alerting the Scots to the Viking presence.

2.    A sixpence in your shoe

Image by  James Kelly

Image by James Kelly

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence for her shoe.” It is an old tradition for a bride to have a sixpence coin in/on her shoe for prosperity and good luck. It is also intended as a symbol of her future financial security and wealth.

The sixpence is actually no longer in circulation in Scotland, so can be a little trickier to find but many stores and online shops have novel ones you can buy. 

3.    Have a bagpiper at your wedding

There really is no stronger statement of a Scottish Wedding than a Bagpiper! In Scotland it is typical for a Bagpiper to play outside the location of the Wedding Ceremony as guests arrive. They then occasionally play the Bride in to her Groom, and the happy couple out of the wedding. Often, the Bride and Groom are piped in at dinner too which usually results in lots of guests, cheering, whooping and clapping along. 

4.    Drink from the Quaich

Image by  Chris Henderson

It is not uncommon for the Scots to drink whisky as their Wedding Ceremony is ongoing – really, it’s true! During Wedding Ceremonies a ritual can be performed called “Drinking fromt he Quaich”. The Quaich is a small bowl, usually metal and engraved with the Wedding date, and contains whisky. The couple pour the whisky in to one anothers mouths as a test of trust – Don’t spill! Drinking whisky at a your wedding is a symbol if the union of the two families as well as your love. 

5.    Include Scottish Readings for your Ceremony

In Scotland there is a very famous Poet, who is celebrated every year in January, named Rabbie Burns (Robert Burns). Many of his poems are written in true scots language, so can be a little difficult to follow but one of his most famous poems, “My love is like a red, red rose”, is often recited during Wedding Ceremonies. 

“As fair art thou, my bonie lass,/ So deep in luve am I;/And I will luve thee still, my dear,/ Till a' the seas gang dry. ” - “My love is like a red, red rose”

Chapels & Churches for Elopement and Destination Weddings in Scotland

There is so much meaning in one wedding day - to make a statement of your love as a couple, your future values, beliefs and cherishing traditions and family. 

 Wether your destination wedding is a spontaneous and adventurous elopement or a more traditional and classic ceremony, churches and chapels have been a symbol of eternal love and faith all over the world and can be an ideal place for a couple to tie the knot.

 Here are our handpicked destination wedding venues with churches and chapels in Scotland.

 1.    Drum Castle

Credits to  Emma Lawson

Credits to Emma Lawson

Credits to  Emma Lawson

Credits to Emma Lawson

 Drum Castle, dating from the 13th century, is located 10 miles away from Aberdeen, Scotland. Now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the castle and the lands have a rich history with a 800 year-old tower house, 17th century mansion wing and some Victorian additions. Today it is a desirable wedding venue for couples from all over the world.

 What is also very special about this estate is the quaint and elegant tiny chapel, situated on the edge of the castles perimeter. Dating from the 1500’s, it was actually built on the site of a previous earlier, bigger chapel and some of the carved stonework was re-used during the building process. The Chapel is suitable for up to 20 persons and you can then go on to enjoy beautiful photographs both inside Drum Castle and throughout the beautiful woodlands.

 2.    Cromlix House

Cromlix house Chapel
Cromlix House Exterior

 Cromlix House opened on Spring 2014 after the Scottish tennis superstar Andy Murray acquired the property. It is located centrally in Scotland and is beautifully surrounded by 34 acres of secluded woodlands and gardens that create the feeling of intimacy and tranquility.

 The properties Chapel is a stunning space to take your vows in a place of peace but with the luxury service and standards of Cromlix House at your fingertips.

3.    Cluny Castle

Cluny Castle Chapel scotland
Cluny Castle exterior scotland

Cluny Castle, situated in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, is one of the most majestic castles in Scotland and offers a fabulous exclusive use experience. The Castles grand façade makes for a wonderful arrival experience and the 200 acres of secluded parkland mean that you have all the privacy your heart could desire.

 Within the Castle itself, the grand Chapel awaits, with space for up to 115 guests to watch you take your vows in this impressive setting.

4.    Forter Castle

Forter Castle exterior
Forter Castle chapel

 If there is a perfect destination to elope in Scotland, that would be Forter Castle. Nestled in the Highlands, located in the Cairngorm National Park, the area is secluded, peaceful and the beauty of th Scottish highlands is all around.

With almost 500 years of history behind it, Forter Castle is an authentic ancient Castle with accommodation for up to 16 people in the Castle itself, its charming tiny Chapel (Probably one of the smallest in Scotland) has space for up to 12 people to watch the most intimate of Ceremonies. This Castle is perfect for an intimate Scottish elopement with all the ingredients any adventurous couple with a vision of a truly stunning highland wedding could wish for.

 5.    Dunnottar Castle

dunnottar castle chapel
dunottar castle exterior

 This iconic clifftop fortress has stood the test of time and makes for a wonderful Scottish elopement wedding destination. With its exciting historical background (The Scottish crown jewels were famously hidden here from the English!) and wildly romantic clifftop view with the ocean as the backdrop, Dunnottar Castle is a firm favourite with eloping groups.

Today, wedding ceremonies can be conducted everywhere within the Castle grounds, including the small Old Wedding Chapel, that is still a symbol of Scottish tradition and family heritage.

Intern Takeover: Exploring Castle Fraser

 For those of you who don’t know me yet - Hi, my name is Yoli and I am currently having the time of my life as an intern here at Destination Weddings Scotland. 

Together with my friend Airlie, who is with our sister company - Timeless White, we decided to take you on a trip to one of the most exciting hidden Scottish gems - Castle Fraser.

Together we are about to explore exactly why this Scottish castle is the perfect charming place for a destination wedding.

Destination Weddings Scotland Intern.jpg

The Enchanting East of Scotland

Walking down the main road of the area, you can instantly see the tall towers of the Castle. We were lucky enough to visit on a mild and warm morning, so the sunlight was bouncing off of the traditional Scottish facade.
Situated only 16 miles from Aberdeen, Castle Fraser is positioned in a secluded setting, surrounded by 300 acres of magnificent woodlands and nature paths. Because of the size of the estate, you get the feeling of intimacy and tranquility, while the trip to the city is still short and sweet.
While having a seat outside and enjoying the exterior, Airlie and I noticed that there were many interesting spots around the castle perfect for nature spotting and generally enjoying the spring weather.

Castle Fraser Exterior

500 years of family history

Castle Fraser has been a home of a few generations of the Fraser Clan before it became part of The National Trust for Scotland in 1976. One of the most romantic stories is about Jane and Charles who raised fourteen children in the Castle and filled the walls with children's’ laughter, soirees and many precious memories.
In the late 18th century Elyza Fraser, the lady laird, modernised the castle in a classic high fashion for that time, inserting a new entrance and sash windows, as well as landscaping the grounds around the estate.

From Indulging Dining Rooms to the Hidden Trapdoors

Castle Fraser Dining Room

Once inside the castle, walking through the halls, there is a welcoming antique Scottish design leading to the amazing Great Hall. Right next to the gorgeous fireplace there is the piano that Charles gave to Jane as a present on their wedding day.With the sunlight shining through the big windows, the Great Hall is bright and spacious. As an all time favourite wedding venue, it has hosted ceremonies and receptions for wedding couples all over the world.
Leaving the Great Hall we were taken to the Library filled with the family’s book collection and portraits (one of them by Raeburn), which is also famous as the perfect intimate Scottish ceremony setting.Soon after spiralling up a secretive staircase led us at the top of the tower, an epic scenery was revealed, ideal for a wedding day backdrop. 

Visiting Castle Fraser really opened our eyes for the beauty of Scotland and how important positive vibes are for any wedding venue. Standing there, at the entrance of the Castle after the visit, I felt like I was brought so close to the family who lived there, their smiles and sorrows and how the Castle has now become a tourist monument and a stunning location to host parties and Weddings.