The use of a quaich at the wedding ceremony

The quaich is often referred to as ‘the loving cup’ or cup of welcome or friendship and its two handles make it ideal for sharing.

Quaich for weddings

About the quaich

A part of the tradition of Celtic hospitality was that of welcoming guests with a drink from a quaich. Sharing a cup was also seen as a sign of trust between the people drinking from it – because it is offered and taken with both hands, the drinker could not hold a weapon at the same time and the sharing of the drink was also a guarantee that it hadn’t been poisoned!

King James VI of Scotland presented a quaich to Anne of Denmark on the occasion of their marriage in 1589 and since then quaichs have often been used in wedding ceremonies. Drinking from the same cup is a lovely symbol of the love and trust between the couple. Because it is traditionally ‘the cup of welcome’, drinking from it can also be seen as a way of welcoming the bride and groom into each other’s family too.

Ideas for incorporating a quaich into your ceremony:

  • You could each hold onto the cup for the other when you drink, symbolising your togetherness. What you might put in it is very much up to you. It is of course traditional to drink whisky.
  • 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 children are involved and you are thinking about celebrating the coming together of two families.
  • The quaich could be handed to each of the couple in turn by the other’s parents or family member as a way of welcoming each into the others’ family.
  • An alternative use might be a sand mixing, two small glass containers of different coloured sands could be poured into the quaich symbolising your union as a married couple.

See also Sand Ceremony

We can assist in providing a quaich for your use, although many couples have their own and sometimes have the quaich engraved with their names and the date of marriage.

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