Song ideas for a scottish wedding

Posted 23rd March, 2020

Music Ideas for a Scottish wedding

Scotland has an incredibly rich, proud and interesting history. Sometimes the most beautiful thing we can do to capture these moments is to put them in a song or make a piece of music to commemorate them. If you are getting married or looking for music ideas with all things related to Scotland, whether it be because you or your family hail from Scotland or simply because you are enamoured with the music, please look through this list of some amazing examples of the seemingly never ceasing creativity and brilliance that comes out of this small country. These songs can be used as part of a wedding ceremony or simply for other parts of your wedding day. I have made a playlist on YouTube for you to listen to all of these wonderful melodies as well as a Spotify playlist with the same songs but with alternative arrangements. I have given my advice on whether the song is appropriate for one of three sections of the wedding.

  • The Processional - when the bride arrives to the ceremony.
  • The Untiy - a short section after you have exchanged vows and before you exchange rings. In some traditions this part is symbolised by the lighting of a candle.
  • The Recessional - when the new couple leaves the ceremony.

Highland Cathedral (Processional)

This is a beautiful uplifting arrangement traditionally made for bagpipes but it has been covered by several other instruments. It was originally composed by two German musicians in 1982 for a Highland games held in Germany. It has a very regal sound in most arrangements so opting for some of the more individual and alternative instrumental versions might be a better bet for a wedding.

Skye boat song (Processional)

A piece that can involve a singer is always a nice choice to have when considering music for your wedding. The lyrics are vivid and conjure up some beautiful imagery. You can read them below.

“Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing Onward the sailors cry. Carry the lad that's born to be king Over the sea to Skye”


Flowers of Scotland (Processional)

This song could be said to be one of the most popular featured on our list. It has been unofficially adopted as the national anthem of Scotland. It’s proud lyrics are certain to rile any listeners. There are numerous arrangements of this song and it’s strong melody means you can take your pick and almost certain to make a good choice.


The Rowan tree (Processional & Unity)

Rowan trees have a long and quite mystical history. Since ancient times people have been planting a Rowan beside their home as in Celtic mythology it's known as the Tree of Life and symbolises courage, wisdom and protection. It has a wonderful upbeat rhythm to it and is a perfect accompaniment for at least the Processional and the Unity ceremony.


The Mist covered mountains of home (Processional & Unity)

In our playlist on YouTube you’ll find an absolutely stunning version of this song. It is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that seems it was just made to be played on the harp. With the option to add in these wonderful lyrics, it’s a lovely choice.

“There shall I gaze on the mountains again, On the fields and the woods and the burns and the glens, Away 'mong the corries beyond human ken In the haunts of the deer I will roam”

The Cradle song (Unity Ceremony)

This fiddle rendition has a lot of soul and passion in the playing which perfectly encapsulates the origin of this song. It was written after its composer saw a mother caring for her sick child. The emotion carried here would fit nicely for the Unity part of the ceremony. A clear example showing that not all Scottish wedding songs have to played by bagpipes.


Morning has broken (Unity ceremony)

Although this started out as a christian hymn written in 1931, most people know this song as played by Cat Stevens. It is a tuneful waltz that has stayed firmly popular in the music world since 1971. It features lyrics inspired both by religion and nature and is perfectly at home as an accompaniment to the unity ceremony.


Mairi’s wedding (Recessional)

This traditional Scottish dance song has more of an upbeat flavour to it meaning that it would perfectly suit for the recessional or even for the evening reception.


Marry me now (Recessional)

Another great choice for a joyful and jolly song. This has been covered by many people. In our YouTube playlist, there is a beautiful arrangement on harp. This is a lovely choice for the recessional.


Scotland the brave (Processional)

I think this takes the top spot when it comes to the most regal sounding. It’s also one of the most recognisable melodies on our list. If you’re keen on being a patriotic Scot with a capital S, then this would make an appropriate recessional song. It’s also considered to be one of a few of the unofficial national anthems of Scotland. If you're after a strong bagpipe wedding song, this may be the one for you.


Cuttie’s wedding (Unity ceremony and Recessional)

This is another traditional Scottish song but we stumbled across this great rendition which puts a little bit of a modern twist on the beat. This is an instrumental but there are lyrics - have a listen and see what you think. Scottish wedding music has a lot of variation so you can personalise it to your tastes.


Unst Bridal March (Processional)

A very soothing melody that you can hear accompany a beautiful bride on the walk to the altar. In our playlist there is a lovely rendition on the accordion. Some Scottish music at its best here.


Pad the road wi me (Recessional)

This Happy and optimistic tune is a fantastic choice for your wedding ceremony. It has a beautiful, bouncy melody which makes it one of our favourite choices for a Scottish wedding song.

We are primarily an acoustic duo but very often we get asked to cover some special songs for our clients. If you are interested in having a lovley acoustic rendition of a Scottish wedding song, we are sure we can help you. you can see more of what we do here on our videos page. If you have any questions about booking live music for your wedding, get in touch and let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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