The Quaich is a traditional Scottish/Celtic two-handled cup, known as both the "Loving Cup" and the "Cup of Friendship". Often used simply to welcome or farewell friends, it may also be used to celebrate a bond between two clans or families.
Traditional Quaichs were much simpler than the intricately engraved silver quaichs we offer today. Carved from a single block of wood, they were used across the Scottish Highlands and Islands to offer a welcoming drink to a visitor. Whether it was presented by a clan chief or a crofter, the quaich was a humble creation that represented friendship as it does today.
It was not until much later in the seventeenth century that goldsmiths began to craft the Quaic from precious materials. It was also common practise to adapt the shape to become more dainty and elegant in order to suit the taste of the upper classes of the Scottish Lowlands.
To make a Quaich Ceremony a special part of your wedding – just fill the Quaich with the liquid of your choice, then each hold a handle and help the other take a sip - showing you trust one another to share the cup. While Scotch whisky was the traditional drink, these days you can choose what you like – you could even combine two drinks, symbolising two becoming one.
The Master of Ceremonies or Toastmaster can say a few words – you could write your own, incorporating your own special thoughts and hopes. A simple example would be:
"To celebrate the marriage of [Name] and [Name], will now share in drinking from the Quaich. Drinking from the Quaich, a two-handled loving cup, is an ancient Scottish tradition that seals the bond between two people and marks the blending of two families. It symbolizes the love and trust implied by the bond as the new couple shares the first drink of their marriage together.”
The Quaich can also be passed amongst the Wedding Party (and even the rest of the guests), with a family member ensuring it is kept refilled - as is the Scottish way.
A Quaich makes an excellent wedding or anniversary gift and can be engraved with clan crests, messages of goodwill or as a record of the date.
Scots in Spirit offer lovely Quaichs in different sizes and designs – make your choice here.
Here is a lovely example of a Quaich ceremony, remember though that the ceremony is not limited to Weddings.