Scottish Wedding - brought to you by Scotland's National Tourism Organisation

Month Five: Wedding Day Food

Wedding guests will remember good or bad food forever - so make sure it is delicious! The food of love does not come tastier or more abundant than in Scotland and our local produce is second to none. For a strong Scottish theme there is our haggis haute cuisine!  In addition there is our world-renowned salmon and trout, we've seafood in abundance from lobster and crab to varieties of fish and shellfish too numerous to mention. Our farmers throughout the country produce meat of the highest quality including our famous Angus beef!  In season there's game - venison, grouse, partridge and pheasant. In summer you can enjoy our fresh soft fruits in imaginative desserts and sauces and to round it off we've prize wining locally produced cheeses (served of course, with oatcakes). All across Scotland from small country inns to world-class hotels with Michelin starred chefs, our venues and caterers (see our suppliers search) are developing imaginative new recipes and delicious gastronomic wedding breakfasts (so called not because the meal is served in the morning, but because it is breaking a fast - tradition once dictated a couple should not eat before a church wedding ceremony).

 When menu planning take advice from the caterer and get the chef on-side so they're really excited about creating your wedding feast. Balance heavy and light dishes and avoid clashing flavours. If your guests will be traveling long distance on the day of the wedding and possibly skipping a meal, ensure there are canapés as soon as the ceremony is over. If you've chosen an outdoor location, in chillier months a warming 'Hot Toddy' might be in order (chosen from the thousands of whiskies produced in Scotland) accompanied perhaps by mini 'Cullen Skink' style potato cakes (smoked haddock potato cakes with poached quails egg and hollandaise) or mini oatcakes with smoked venison and Drambuie marmalade - ask your caterer for suggestions to add that Scottish flavour.

For the wedding breakfast you've to decide buffet or seated meal, formal or informal. Cost might determine your options and if you do not want a sit-down affair you could serve brunch, afternoon tea, a canapé drinks reception, a finger or full service buffet. Simple, seasonal food is likely to be the most affordable. To wet your appetite there are two sample Scottish menus below from award winning caterers who here offer you an idea of what delights your guests could enjoy:

Sample Scottish Themed Menu 1

Whisky cured salmon in
a chili and gazpacho dressing

Fillet of Buccleuch beef
served with a truffle potato gateau,
onion puree and a wild mushroom pithivier,
finished with a port wine jus

Chocolate trellis with cranachan
served with honeyed ice cream

Coffee with Scottish tablet


Sample Scottish Themed Menu 2

Cock-a-leekie terrine
chicken and leeks held in their own jelly with
prunes, herbs and lemon zest

Haggis, neeps 'n' tatties

Saddle of hill pasture lamb
stuffed and roasted
with Highland black pudding,

Pan-fried apple and Skirlie
buttered greens

Tayberry chilled soup
with a Drambuie burnt cream

Coffee with Scottish tablet


  The traditional national dish of Scotland is haggis, neeps n' tatties. Haggis is a spicy, well seasoned meat and oat dish and is served with mashed turnips (neeps), potatoes (tatties) and whisky. No Scottish celebration would be complete without a wee dram of the national tipple (when to serve it is entirely up to you). If you do opt to serve haggis at a celebration then time honoured tradition dictates that as on Burns' Night, it should be 'piped in'. Guests should be standing; the piper (many are listed on our suppliers search) will then lead the procession with the haggis held high on a silver platter by the chef. The person who will 'address the haggis' follows him along with a whisky bearer to ensure the haggis is properly toasted. Robert Burns 'Address to a Haggis' is then recited. During the final line: "Gie her a Haggis", the reader raises the haggis and the audience toast "the haggis' as they raise their whisky glasses (guaranteed to get a wedding breakfast off to a roaring start!).

 The wedding cake is also an important part of any wedding celebration. If you will have a piper at your wedding then another Scottish tradition is for the piper to hand his dirk (or dagger) to the couple to cut the cake. Many modern couples now serve their cake as dessert. This is fine as long as it tastes good and is accompanied by plenty of fresh berries and coulis. But there is nothing wrong with a proper pudding and you could save the cake until later in the evening when the guests are hungry again and might really appreciate it. Discuss this with the cake designer or patissier as well as your caterer. Use our supplier search to help locate a good cake company.

Next month we'll be looking at flowers and styling your ceremony and reception.


VisitScotland's Wedding Planner
Wedding Top Tips
Month One: Getting Started
Month Two: Finding Your Dream Venue
Month Three: Bridal Wear
Month Four: Deciding Groomswear
Month Six: Wedding Day Flowers
Month Seven: Photography
Month Eight: Transport
Month Nine: Guests
Month Ten: Hair and Beauty
Month Eleven: The Big Day
Month Twelve: Honeymoon