The quaich, also known as the Scottish ‘loving cup’, ‘cup of welcome’ or ‘friendship cup’ is a traditional shallow two handled drinking bowl which is designed for sharing originally made from wood. They are now produced in many materials including stone, brass, pewter, horn, glass, and silver.
Celtic hospitality would traditionally welcome guests, particularly family and clan leaders with a shared drink from a quaich.
Sharing the cup was seen as a sign of trust because it is offered and taken with both hands meaning the drinker could not hold a weapon at the same time and the sharing of the drink also guaranteed that it hadn’t been poisoned. Although these will not be a concern during your day it is a lovely symbolic gesture that can be opened to as many as you wish during the ceremony.
You may wish to each hold onto the cup for the other when you drink, symbolising your togetherness. Traditionally whisky is drunk but you could have two different drinks to pour into the quaich, the mixing of the two being symbolic of your union as a married couple.
A soft drink could be chosen if you wish to include children and celebrating the coming together of two families.
Another symbolic use of the quaich is the inclusion of the bride and grooms parents as an indication of acceptance and a way of welcoming into each other’s families.
Star Celebrant can assist in providing a quaich for your use, although many couples wish to select their own and have it engraved with their names and the date of marriage.
Perhaps the quaich can be accompanied by ‘your song’ or a piper or a unique wedding blessing can be incorporated to add some further sparkle and meaning.
Many couples are opting to include a symbolic ceremony as part of their wedding ceremony or renewal of vows which are elements which represent your unity using rituals and objects. These ‘visual’ elements of your day include keepsakes which you can treasure at home as a reminder of your unique love and support of all at the ceremony.
They symbolise all that the individuals were and the union of your love, but you may also consider including children or other guests in the ceremony, so they can symbolise your union as a family and allow children to see and feel the security and love that now awaits them.
It can also be a moment of remembrance and recognition.
Star Celebrant offers several unity ceremonies that symbolize the joining together of the couple and the new bond of their clans including:
A marriage can be symbolised by the pouring together of two individual collections of sand which are poured together to form one, the grains of sand can never again be separated.
In addition, a child or children in the family could join in by adding their selection of sand, representing the bond of the family, and all that they will ever be.
Coloured sand to represent the different individuals or layers can be used or sand from anywhere in the world to symbolise a special meaning can be used then the bottle sealed, and the symbol of love is captured forever.
Another symbolic gesture that can be included in your ceremony is the combination of flame when individuals light a candle near the start of the ceremony, symbolic of your separate lives before your marriage. After you have exchanged your vows and rings, light the third and perhaps larger or different coloured candle, by using two tapers; each taking a flame from your respective first candle and lighting the third one together; symbolising the joining together of your lives in marriage.
As previously a child or children in the family could join in by adding their selection of sand, representing the bond of the family, and all that they will ever be.
Why not also adopt a lantern as a symbol of a loved one who cannot join you on the day and incorporate their flame as a symbol of their love and blessing to your union?
In a similar way to the unity candle and unity sand ceremony. The unity tree or rose planting ceremony can be used to symbolize the joining together of the couple or the joining of their families.
The ceremony is conducted in much the same way as other unity wedding ceremonies but with a part potted tree or plant, perhaps something with a special meaning to the couple,
Everyone adds some compost during the ceremony and finally the bride and groom adds the final layer and sprinkles water from a watering can, decorated with family tartan or symbols completes the planting.
Like the marriage, with love and care the tree or plant will spread its roots and continue to flourish for many, many years.,
After the ceremony, the couple may plant the tree in their garden or a special location to symbolize the putting down of roots, longevity, and strengths in their marriage.
Other symbols that are available include, Hand Painting, Fireworks, Friendship bracelets, Wedding band warming, or your own special symbol can be incorporated – Star Celebrant will be delighted to discuss in further detail.