Getting Married in Scotland
One of the greatest reasons to get married in Scotland is that you can exchange your vows practically anywhere you want. Why not say 'I do' at a wedding in a romantic glen, aboard a cruiser on a loch, on the shore of a sandy beach or even at the top of Arthur's Seat! The minister, priest, celebrant or clergyman carries a licence that means you can choose your venue, no matter how wild or romantic!
If you prefer the ceremony to be indoors, Scotland has plenty of potential weddings on offer. From ancient castles to traditional village halls, the possibilities are endless! Whatever you want to make of it, there's a venue in Scotland that's bound to inspire you.
There are many Scottish wedding traditions which take place throughout Scotland as well as those that are local to a specific area. Make your day even more special by indulging in one of our traditions that have seen many couples through their happy day and lives together.
The currency of the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling (£). In colloquial speech, the pound is also called "quid". There are 100 Pence (p) in the pound. The word "pence" is usually just abbreviated to "p" in speech and writing. All British coins except for the relatively new £2 had a new design released in 2008 and are starting to appear on the street in increasing numbers in early 2009. The older designs will not cease to be legal tender, though, unless of course the UK should decide to adopt the Euro.
The first thing that visitors from outside of the United Kingdom (UK) should appreciate is that the UK's full name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK is made up of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales and the province of Northern Ireland which, although part of the mainland of the island of Ireland, is a province of the United Kingdom. Great Britain is just the main island - England, Scotland and Wales.
Although it's common for foreigners to use the terms "British" and "English" as though they are interchangeable, you must appreciate the difference. The United Kingdom is a political union of countries - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Just as you would never call a Texan a Yankee, you should be careful of using "England" or "English" in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Likewise, using the term "British" to describe someone from Northern Ireland is equally likely to cause offence.
Many people ask questions about what the weather in Scotland is like, which would be well met with the old saying "All the seasons in one day". This can be applied to any location throughout the country at literally any time of year. The weather can - and does - change very quickly and you should be prepared for anything.
It rains a lot in Scotland and the end result of all this water is the wonderful whisky! However rain can be inconvenient and you should carry suitable waterproofs with you. It goes without saying that when driving a vehicle in the rain you should take the usual safety precautions; slow down, use wipers and de-misters, give yourself plenty of space from the vehicle in front.
- Tipping is not expected in the UK, in the way it is in the United States or Canada, but is much appreciated.
- It is not necessary to tip in taxis - but running costs are high and many drivers work long and unsociable hours.
- A tip is normally not added onto a restaurant bill. It is left up to you to decide how much you want to give. However, some restaurants now add a service charge onto the bill automatically, usually when you are dining in a party of 6 or more, so look carefully. If it is not added, the amount most people leave, if the meal/service has been good, is 10% of the total cost.
- If you are in a pub, and you will be at some stage, when it's your round, your "shout" or your turn to "get them in", remember to tip the barperson. Do this by saying "...and one for yourself" after you have finished your order. You are actually inviting them to have a drink on you, but, in most cases, they will thank you and take a discretionary amount (anything from 20p to £2, depending on the size of the order). You are not expected to do this every time, however.
- Avoid controversial and highly subjective lines of conversation if you do not know the people you are talking to that well. Religion, race, homophobia, and criticism of government are ones to avoid, especially if you are only after a quick natter and not a 3 hour lecture .
- Avoid the middle finger or reverse peace signal (known as the V or two fingers) whilst in the UK, unless you are intent on making your feelings known about someone's presence. Accompanied by the words "Yeah, mate, do one", you have an effective way of being all alone.
- It should go without saying, but 'please' after you ask for something, and 'thank you' upon receipt are two phrases you should use. People can get offended when these are not used and may not be forthcoming the second time round.
- When you first meet someone, a firm handshake and verbal greeting such as 'Hi, I'm (your first name), how are you?', usually breaks the ice well and makes people amenable. A limp handshake is perceived as rude and insincere. Using a fake hand is a poor effort. Using someone else's hand is sheer laziness.
- Do not discuss the cost of your possessions, how much your holiday cost etc when first getting to know people. It's not an important subject.
- Smoking in all indoor public places (this includes platforms at train stations) in the UK is now illegal. Do not light up unless you are outside or in a designated smoking shelter. If you do light up in a shopping mall, pub or cinema, for example, you will find yourself thrown out rather swiftly and could get yourself fined £50 or even arrested.
- Avoid talking loudly on your mobile/cell phone in a quieter public place, such as a library or museum. The curator or librarian will beckon you and tap on the "Quiet, please. Mobile phones should be switched off" sign. This is the ultimate humiliation for any visitor and is embarassing for a native to have to witness.
- The two classic signs a person would like to be left alone are reading a newspaper or listening to music through headphones. This means do not start probing their nostrils with a car aerial or braiding their long flowing British hair for them.
- In the UK, people like to be on first name terms almost immediately as a way of breaking the ice and opening up discussion, and just possibly, becoming a friend. Awwww! Sweet!
- If you are addressed as "Sir" or "Madam", it will generally indicated you are in a formal environment and you should behave as such.
- When eating in the UK, it is usual to use cutlery (fork, knife and spoon) in order to get food from plate to mouth. There are some popular meals, however, that don't need cutlery. You'll know which ones when you see them.
- Belching, burping and breaking wind are considered rude during a meal. If it's heard, excuse yourself. If you are aware of a loud one building, leave the room. The British generally prefer to taste their food and not your gaseous emissions.
- When waiting in line for an ATM, stand a good few paces behind the person using the ATM ,to afford them privacy whilst carrying out their transaction.
- If you are travelling on public transport and seated in the designated seats, you will be asked by the driver to give up your seat if a pregnant woman or a person with reduced mobility should board. It is a legal requirement that you comply. The best advice is to offer your seat to these people before having to be asked.
- If you are lost or need directions, just ask. So long as you ask politely, most people will be as helpful as they can. Do use your discretion and avoid the "dodgy" types, as you would elsewhere.
Usefull Links to Information in Scotland
General phone numbers have 01, 02 or 03 prefixes, for example 020 8594 0000 or 01332 999 999.
- 00 is the International Access Code to dial out from within the UK, the Republic of Ireland and all other EU countries.
- 44 is the Country Code for the UK.
- 353 is the Country Code for the Republic of Ireland.