Scottish Wedding Traditions Proclaiming the Banns of Marriage

Thirteenth century Scottish wedding traditions.

  • Back then the medieval church would announce each wedding in church for three successive Sundays. Such announcements were called the “banns of marriage.”
  • The practice of proclaiming the banns in church lasted for more than six hundred years.
  • Finally the banns gave way to a simple announcement of intent to get married and the obtaining of a marriage license from the local registrar.

    Today it is no longer required to proclaim the marriage banns in church for three successive Sundays, but it is still necessary for all couples wishing to marry to give notice of their intent.

In this way the ancient forms are still respected – but in a more modern way.


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