The Celebrant angel aberdeen logo angel wings with scrolly writing the celebrant angel

Including A Quaich In Your Wedding Ceremony

The Quaich or the “loving” cup, or cup of friendship symbolizes togetherness and lifelong unity.

The Quaich Ceremony

A What?

A Quaich (pronounced “quake”) is a shallow, two-handled drinking cup or bowl; Scotland’s cup of friendship, also known as the loving cup.

The Quaich was originally used to offer a welcoming drink in clan gatherings or family events such as weddings or naming ceremonies.

A way to seal the bond of friendship or love.

A Quaich is a fabulous way to add a ritual to your wedding ceremony

Where did the Quaich come from?

According to Scottish history, it is believed that King James VI presented his wife to be Anne of Denmark with a Quaich on their wedding day; hence it became symbolic with weddings.

Why does the Quaich have two handles?

In Scotland, these handles are often called lugs (ears).

The reason for having two handles is to show trust between the giver and the receiver.

When the vessel was offered to visitors as a welcome drink, it meant that if their hands were busy drinking from the Quaich, there were no free hands left to hold any weapons, so the bond of trust would begin.

What are Quaich’s made from?

Traditionally Quaich’s were crafted in wood, probably from old whiskey barrels back in the day.

But, they are available these days in pewter, horn and silver, as well as beautifully turned wood.

Seemingly some used to have glass bottoms so that you could watch your companion as you drank from it.

Those clans weren’t very trusting of each other, were they?

A Quaich ceremony with the celebrant angel

What are Quaichs used for today?

Quaichs are often gifted as a christening present to families or as an anniversary gift to couples. And I’ve often seen them used in the baby’s “head wetting” celebrations too.

You will often see engraving on them when used in ceremonies.  

Couples and families like to record the Wedding or Naming ceremony date on the Quaich itself.

They are also often used as prizes in golf or rugby matches in Scotland.

 A lovely trophy to have on display for achievement you are proud of.

However, they are also used in wedding ceremonies, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, and even Naming ceremonies today. 

It’s a beautiful way of marking the blending of two families or welcoming a new member to the family. 

But you don’t have to use an actual Quaich to perform the ceremony; it can be a vessel of some significance to you both, for instance, that first glass you bought as a couple. Or a trophy that holds some meaning for you as a couple.

What happens in a Quaich Ceremony?

Many couples include the Quaich in their ceremony to cement their vows.

But, it can fit in anywhere in a celebrant ceremony; it doesn’t have to be after your vows.

For instance, you could have your first toast as Mr and Mrs from your Quaich after signing the ceremonial certificate.

Or, in a Naming Ceremony, when it can pass between friends and family to welcome the new member to the family.

Using the same Quaich for everyone is not recommended right now, with Covid still lurking around, but there are ways around that.

The chosen drink is poured together by the couple or family into the Quaich.

The ceremony often includes three sips: one to remember the past, one to signify the present, and one to look towards your future together.

At this point, you can choose to have a reading, or a blessing said by your celebrant or family member whilst you’re pouring your mix into the Quaich, a lovely way to include someone from your wedding party in the actual ceremony.


How do we drink from the Quaich?

There are a few ways how the drink can be drunk from the Quaich in a wedding ceremony:-

  • Each person takes the Quaich in both hands and sips from it.
  • In a wedding ceremony, the couple can feed each other with the drink they have chosen, symbolising the love and trust they have in each other.
  • Including parents and siblings from both families in your Quaich ceremony is a lovely way to bring the families together.
  • Or, you could choose to pass the Quaich amongst all of your guests once you have taken the first sips, although you will need to have someone refill it on the way round.

During the restrictions we still have in place at this current time (Oct 2021) from the Covid pandemic, some of the options of sharing your drink from the Quaich may have to be slightly different.

If you want to share your drink from the Quaich with friends and family, you could use it to hold the drink that you both mix together, but pour a tiny portion into an individual glass for each person you want to include in that part of your  ceremony.


One of my colleagues Lynn Tierney @  did a Quaich ceremony recently where the Father-In-Law surprised the groom with a Quaich ceremony between the two of them. 

The bride knew what her father was going to do, but the groom had no idea. It was quite an emotional ceremony.

 I love that idea.

 Again, because of Covid, they couldn’t drink from the same Quaich, so they had “twin” Quaichs. What a beautiful way to cement their relationship.

What goes into the Quaich?

In Scotland, it’s usually a wee dram (Whiskey) that’s added to the Quaich, but it doesn’t have to be whiskey; it can be anything you like.

The theory is that you blend two drinks in the Quaich, so two become one!

Do you have a favourite cocktail that you could use?

Or it might be Gin and Tonic, for instance.

If either of the couple doesn’t drink alcohol, or if the Quaich is to be passed around to children, the alcohol would be substituted for a soft drink.


As with all rituals used in our ceremonies, there are millions of ways to make the Quaich perfect for your ceremony.

There are no rules or definitive ways of using the Quaich; those are entirely up to you to create.

Have you thought about using a Quaich in your wedding or family ceremony? 

What would you put in it? 

Mines would be alcohol-free, maybe a mocktail made especially for my ceremony.

including a quaich in a wedding ceremony with the celebrant angel
Strike hands with me, the glasses brim, The dew is on the heather. For love is good and life is long, And two are best together.
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