Polish-Scottish weddings – kilts, handfasting and quiach!

Scottish humanist wedding

Polish-Scottish weddings have a specific and quite unique atmosphere. Even though our cultures seem to be so different in many ways, there’s a special bond that becomes visible especially during weddings, when both sides seem to find every opportunity to make a toast! But alcohol finds its way into the party long before the first toast…

Scottish people have found the way to deal with stress at weddings – they simply bring in some liquor very early! It’s also an opportunity to try out Polish specialties before the wedding party, such as our beer. So remember – future Polish-Scottish Brides and Grooms – be sure to provide high quality liquor for your guests (if you know that your Guests love their drink J)! Below you can find an example of such stress-relieving prop during a ceremony:

First and foremost – slow wedding

I’m going to tell you the story of Paulina and Ian’s wedding. Out of all the ceremonies I have conducted, this was fairly special. It was a hot day and the Groom decided to look for salvation in a cold pint of beer that was brought to him by his Best Man (who also had his own pint). Such “slow-wedding” approach is a great thing – after all it’s your special day. You’ve been planning this day for a long time, so why not enjoy it in your own way, as you like it best?

An almost indispensable component of every Scottish ceremony is the entrance of the Bride (or the Couple together) accompanied by music played by a bagpiper. Future Brides and Grooms – if you’re still not convinced if you should include bagpipes in your ceremony – trust me, it’s worth it!

When we begin the ceremony you can certainly feel the emotions, especially the positive ones. Both the Guests and the happy Couple are expecting to have great amount of fun, and are happy to be where they are. Even if they’re a bit stressed, they let emotions take the wheel and enjoy every second without controlling everything that happens. That’s exactly what happened at the wedding of Ania and Graeme. Although their bulldogs got a bit more attention that the Couple itself…

Scottish thriftiness?

During Paulina and Ian’s ceremony I talked a bit about the differences between a Polish and a Scottish  wedding. I might have mentioned something about Scottish thriftiness… and I got booed at by theG. Trust me, I could not have expected a better reaction! Everyone was relieved when I explained that we’re in Poland, and everyone is partying at the expense of the Couple (so party hard!).

Ania and Graeme decided to incorporate a Scottish tradition into the ceremony – after the vows, the Couple and their parents drank whisky from a vessel called a quiach. It symbolizes the connection of two families.

Handfasting – an often used element in Polish-Scottish humanist weddings

Another ritual that is often present at Polish-Scottish ceremonies is handfasting, which is done during the vows. It’s a symbolic way to show that the Bride and Groom from now on are tied together for the rest of their lives. Agnieszka and Craig were one of the Couples that decided to include handfasting in their ceremony.

Additionally, Couples usually sign a humanist wedding certificate.

Every year I conduct more and more Polish-Scottish weddings. I prepare not only mentally, I also add a small element to my outfit – a tartan bowknot 🙂

All in all… aren’t Scots simply the best?

See Polish version here: Polsko-szkockie śluby – kilty, wiązanie szarfą i quiach

Pictures from Ania and Graeme’s wedding: Gabriel Gmurczyk – fotograf

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