Traditional Scottish Wedding Toast

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Incorporate bagpipe music, clan tartans and white heather into your wedding or include one or more Scottish traditions in your reception to express your Scots heritage. Guests at Scottish weddings expect to dine well and dance all night. They also expect to hear the customary Scottish toast at some time during the evening before they sing "Auld Lang Syne" to end the festivities.

Reception Toasting Tradition

  • The bride's father has two important roles in a Scottish wedding: walking her down the aisle and toasting the couple. When the bride and groom symbolically join their hands together in a traditional handfasting ceremony before the wedding, he toasts them by saying, "If she is willing, I am very willing and if that weren't so, then this wouldn't be so." Weddings without this Scottish ritual or that include it as part of the marriage ceremony require the father of the bride or whoever gives her away to lead the toasting tradition at the reception. The bride's father begins with a speech to thank everyone for coming, welcome his son-in-law to the family and share personal stories about the couple. After offering some marital advice, he toasts to "the happy couple." Two other toasts customarily follow: the groom's expression of appreciation to family and friends involved in organizing the wedding, and the best man's entertaining tribute to the groom.

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