Marriage in Scotland Scotland is a popular place for young English couples to get married since, in Scotland, parents' permission is not required if both the bride and groom are old enough to legally be married In England it was the case that if either was 16 or 17 then the permission of parents had to be sought.
Gretna Green now hosts hundreds of weddings a year and is Scotland's third most popular tourist attraction. The bride's family sends invitations on behalf of the couple to the wedding guests, addressed by hand.
The couple may send the invitations themselves, especially if they are more middle-aged. It has become more common in recent times for Save The Date Cards  to be used to notify invitees further in advance to allow sufficient notice for arrangements to be made to ensure attendance.
These can be sent up to 6 months before the wedding day. Guests send or deliver wedding gifts to the bride's family home before the wedding day. Alternatively, the couple may register at a department store and have a list of gifts there.
The shop then organizes delivery, usually to the bride's parents' house or to the reception venue. A wedding ceremony takes place at a church , register office or possibly another favorite location, such as a hilltop. In this regard Scotland differs significantly from England where only pre-approved public locations may be used for the wedding ceremony.
Most ceremonies take place mid afternoon and last about half an hour during which the marriage schedule is signed by the couple and two witnesses, usually the best man and chief bridesmaid. The newly wed couple often leave the ceremony to the sound of bagpipes.
There is a wedding reception following the ceremony, usually at a different venue. The bridal party, or members of it, always including the bride and groom, lines up in a receiving line and the wedding guests file past, introducing themselves. Usually a beverage is served while the guests and bridal party mingle.
In some cases the drink may be whisky or wine with a non alcoholic alternative. The best man and bride's father toast the bride and groom with personal thoughts, stories, and well-wishes, usually humorous. The groom then follows with a response on behalf of his bride. Champagne is usually provided for the toast.
There is nearly always dancing following the meal, with the style of music being selected by the couple to suit their preference. The cake-cutting ceremony takes place; the bride and groom jointly hold a cake cutter and cut the first pieces of the wedding cake. Gifts are not opened at the reception; they are either opened ahead of time and sometimes displayed at the reception, or if guests could not deliver gifts ahead of time, they are placed on a table at the reception for the bride and groom to take home with them and open later.
A sprig of white heather is usually worn as a buttonhole for good luck. It is the norm for the groom and much of the male bridal party and guests to wear kilts, although suits are also worn. Kilts and Highland dress are often rented for this purpose. Handfasting Neopaganism Handfasting is a wedding ritual in which the bride's and groom's hands are tied together.
It is said to be based on an ancient Celtic tradition and to have inspired the phrase "tying the knot". Often, an older, married man accompanies her, holding an umbrella or parasol over her head to shelter her.
This symbolises protecting and sheltering the new bride. On the day of the wedding, the bride may wear a golden crown on her head. At the wedding reception, the Dance of the Crown is performed, where the bridesmaids blindfold the bride and dance around her. The bride then places the crown on the head of one of the bridesmaids, who tradition dictates will be the next to marry.
Traditionally, the bride and groom sit next to each other in designated "seats of honour" at the wedding reception. The bride holds in her lap a sieve covered by a shawl, into which monetary gifts are put by the guests.
In some weddings, the bride's mother-in-law or godmother will place a china plate on the bride's head, after which the newlyweds will perform the first dance usually a waltz. When the plate falls and breaks, the guests collect the pieces. The number of pieces determines how many children the couple will have.
The last dance in a Finnish wedding is called the weaning waltz. All the female guests dance with the bride and all the male guests dance with the groom, including children. Each guest only dances with the bride or groom for a brief period before moving on. This custom was originally conceived as a test to see how quickly the bride and groom will "forget" each other i.
French customs[ edit ] Wedding evening in the Landes: Three people bring la roste roasted bread soaked in sweet wine to a couple of newlyweds in bed. Map postally used on July 16, At least one of the spouses must reside in the town where the ceremony takes place.
For people choosing to also have a religious wedding, the religious ceremony can only take place after the civil one, often in the same day. Town halls often offer a more elaborate ceremony for couples who do not wish to marry religiously. If the two ceremonies take place separately, the civil one will usually include close family and witnesses. Once the civil ceremony is complete, the couple will receive a livret de famille, a booklet where a copy of the marriage certificate is recorded. This is an official document and, should the couple have children, each child's birth certificate will be recorded in the livret de famille too.
The civil ceremony in France is free of charge. The procession were led by the bridegroom and his mother, followed by the bride mother and bridegroom father, the witnesses, grandparents, brothers and sisters with their spouse. At last came the bride and her father followed by the bridesmaids usually family children. Nowadays, the guests usually gathered at the town hall or church and the bride and bridegroom enter together, followed by the family and guests. As the couple proceeds to the chapel, children will stretch long white ribbons across the road which the bride will cut as she passes.
At the chapel, the bride and groom are seated on two red velvet chairs underneath a silk canopy called a carre. Laurel leaves may be scattered across their paths when they exit the chapel. Sometimes small coins are also tossed for the children to gather.
The origin of giving this toast began in France, when a small piece of toast was literally dropped into the couple's wine to ensure a healthy life. The couple would lift their glass to "a toast", as is common in Western culture today. In south west France it is customary to serve spit roast wild boar or sanglier in French as the wedding breakfast, a local delicacy. Some couples choose to serve a croquembouche instead of a wedding cake.
At more boisterous weddings, tradition involves continuing the celebration until very late at night. In many regions of France, wedding rituals continue late into the night after the official ceremonies and party. In some regions after the reception, those invited to the wedding will gather outside the newlyweds' window and bang pots and pans; this is called a 'charivari'. They are then invited into the house for some more drinks in the couple's honor, after which the couple is finally allowed to be alone for their first night together as husband and wife.
Afterwards, the whole group will enjoy an onion soup. The heavily scatological and sexual implications and off-putting appearance of this ritual is supposed to symbolize the day-to-day intimacy of married life, deeply connected to the rural nature of the area. The commensal quality of the ritual is a symbol for the bridge between youth and adulthood that the couple becomes in marriage, as well as the community's involvement in the new couple's married life.
German customs[ edit ] Mostly it is the good friends who kidnap the bride. Here, the kidnappers go with her from bar to bar, the best man of the bride or her father or the groom have to pay the bill every time. The kidnappers go to a certain place, such as a public building, and leave a few pointers to help for searching. The exemption may be associated with a task for the groom, for example an artistic performance or wash the dishes for the next few weeks.
In Austria and Bavaria preferably at country weddings , it is now customary to sing a derisive song before the freeing of the bride. In Lower Austria it is customary for the masked men and the bride to go to the nearest coffee bar or tavern to drink, sing and to wait for the groom to come. In most areas of Austria it is the best man, sometimes the groom or the bride's father rarely the best man that pays the price of the kidnappers.
This ordinariness is due to the supposed 'right of the first night' German 'Recht der ersten Nacht', French 'droit du seigneur' in the Middle Ages. According to myth the clergy and nobility in the Middle Ages had the right to deflower their female subordinates in their wedding night. Back then the brides was retrieved kidnapped from the vassals of the government from their Weddings. The historiography sees this right rather as a literary fiction.
In Bavaria and Western Austria another tradition is to wake up the bride early in the morning with a gun shoot or firecrackers on wedding day.
Friends and neighbours meet at dawn at the brides house to "greet" her on her special day. Two or three days before the wedding, the couple organizes a celebration called Krevati Greek for bed in their new home.
In Krevati, friends and relatives of the couple put money and young children on the couple's new bed for prosperity and fertility in their life.
After the custom, they usually have a party with food and music. On the day of the wedding, usually Saturday, but also Friday or Sunday, the groom cannot see the bride until the wedding ceremony.
The groom usually arrives first in church and waits for bride, who usually arrives late. After they exchange flower bouquets, they have the wedding ceremony, where the best man puts the wedding rings and crowns on the couple.
The couple drink red wine from the same glass between one and three sips, depending on the tradition. This is not "communion" in the formal religious sense, but about sharing the cup of life. At the end of the wedding ceremony, as the newly wedded pair leave the church, the guests throw rice and flowers for fertility and felicity.
Special guests, such as close friends and family receive sugar-coated almonds traditionally an odd number, usually seven but sometimes five as a gift from the couple. Most Greek ceremonies are Orthodox. After the ceremony, usually the couple hold a great wedding party in some place with plenty of food, drinks, music and dance, usually until next morning.
The wedding party starts with the invited people waiting for the couple, who usually come after some time. They start the dancing and eventually eat a piece of their wedding cake. In many places of Greece , where they hold a more traditional wedding, they usually play only traditional music and eat local food.