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Including A Quaich In Your Wedding Ceremony


Unveiling the Quaich – Scotland’s Cup of Friendship

Whats a Quaich?

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.

In Scotland the sharing of the quaich it symbolizes the love, trust, and the bond of two people.

It also symbolises the blending of two families.

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 of weddings.

Traditionally Quaichs 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.

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.

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 an 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.

including a quaich in a wedding ceremony with the celebrant angel aberdeen humanist celebrant aberdeen

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 marriage schedule.

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.

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.

including a  Quaich in a wedding ceremony with the celebrant angel aberdeen humanist celebrant aberdeen

What do you do with the Quaich?

The Quaich is traditionally passed between the couple and drank from two-handedly.

This signifies trust between the people passing and drinking from it,

 There are two ways to drink from it,

 You can sip from it or tip it.

Sip, just as it says, sip your drink from the Quaich, then pass it to your partner.

To tip, you drink the entire contents of the Quaich in one go, then tip it upside down to show that it’s empty and pass it to the next person.

This is usually a good point for your guests to encourage you to either sip or tip.


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.

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