A quaich is a Scottish, two-handled drinking cup. Drinking from a Quaich is an ancient Scottish ceremony, symbolic of trust, love and peace between two people. It’s often referred to as the cup of life. In drinking from the same cup, you are symbolising your commitment to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness life’s cup may hold should only be sweeter because you drink it together. And whatever bitterness it may contain, should be less bitter because you share it together.

The history behind it?

The quaich is an ancient drinking vessel that was used by two families or clans, to celebrate a bond or demonstrate trust, with the heads of the families or clans partaking of the offered drink. Since you used both hands, there was no free hand to reach for the sword!

How is it done? 

You pour your chosen drink(s) into the quaich. These mingle and join, representing your union and the blending of your families. Using both hands, you each offer the quaich to the other and drink from it. You could go the ‘whole hog’ and drink it dry, and even kiss the bottom of the quaich and place it on your head. Not tradition, but good fun!

Photo credit – Fowlis Photography

When is it usually performed?

Drinking from the quaich is normally done immediately after you have been declared married and have signed your marriage schedule. It’s your first drink together as a married couple and a lovely way to close your ceremony.

How to personalise it?

You could use a quaich that is a family heirloom, or a new quaich could be personalised by engraving.

Traditionally, it would have been whisky you would drink from the quaich, but anything goes. You choose – whatever is your favourite tipple. Prosecco, G&T, beer, even a jagerbomb (although look out for a very anxious celebrant in fear of a spillage on your wedding attire)! You could even create your very own cocktail.

TOP TIP Avoid anything that can stain!

It doesn’t have to involve alcohol though. Like the couple who chose to have ‘a brew’ – pouring tea from a pot and milk from a jug, into the quaich. Why? Because when the proposal happened and they headed to the bar to celebrate, it was closed, so nowt else for it, than celebrating with a cup of tea back in their room!

Can you involve other people?

Of course. You could involve family members or other guests in the pouring of your chosen drink, e.g. representatives from each family, or clan. You could also share the quaich with others, instead of it just being between the two of you.


If you have used your own quaich, this can take pride of place in your home, and used for any special occasion in the future.

COVID-19 advice – It is recommended that the quaich is handled by as few people as possible.