14 Ways to Include Lucky White Heather in your Wedding

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (12/10/2021)
Categories: | Scottish Weddings  | Wedding Ceremony |  Wedding Planning |
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Old Postcard from
                        Kirkwall featuring a black Scottish Terrier
                        wearing a red collar, carrying a basket of white
                        heather. The dog stands in a field of purple
                        heatherWhite heather is considered lucky in Scotland, so when, sorting through a box of old postcards and photos, I came across this gorgeous "mailing novelty" (if you lift the panel there's a foldout of photos of Kirkwall) depicting a Scottish Terrier carrying a basket of white heather, I was prompted to do something I've been meaning to do for a while - talk about white heather and weddings.

So, if you have Scottish roots, have a Scottish-themed wedding coming up, or just want to add a touch of good luck to your ceremony, here are some ways to incorporate lucky white heather.

What is it about white heather?

White heather is quite rare. and, in Scotland, there are many long-standing beliefs about it, such as it grows over the final resting place of fairies, will only grow on ground where no blood has been shed in battle, and that it will bring good luck to whoever wears it. The Chiefs of the Clan McDonald would attach white heather to their spears. I wear a McDonald tartan sash when I'm officiating weddings in the Scottish Tradition. 

Queen Victoria was clearly amazed by the strong belief in the properties of white heather when she described in her diary an incident involving her legendary personal servant

" we stopped to take tea and coffee; and before that Brown (who has an extraordinary eye for it, when driving quite fast, which I have not) espied a piece of White Heather and jumped off to pick it. No Highlander would pass by it without picking it, for it is considered to bring good luck."

As with many Scottish beliefs and customs, It didn't take long for the idea to spread right across the country, thanks to the Victorians love of Scottish traditions, including the custom of incorporating a few sprigs in the bouquets of brides to ensure everlasting married happiness for the couple. Scottish brides who didn't include white heather became regarded to be somewhat reckless!

Real or artificial?

White heather is seasonal, rare, and won't grow in most of Australia. However, supplies of high quality artificial sprays of white heather are readily available. So plan to use artificial. These mix readily with real flowers and with thistles.

Heather in your bouquet

A subtle sprig or two, making a feature of it, or choosing to have your whole bouquet of white heather, with tartan or other ribbons are all possibilities.

In the men's buttonholes

Pre-made buttonholes of artificial heather, or incorporating artificial heather, are readily available from suppliers in Scotland. Allow time for delivery by mail.

In your hair and/or your bridesmaids hair

Whether you plan to wear a floral crown or a decorated hair comb, or just have floral sprigs tucked into your chignon or plait, white heather can be a great choice. Artificial white heather is easy to work with. But if you are lucky enough to have sourced real white heather, the stems and flowers are very light, so extremely easy to work with, and very versatile.

On the flower girl's head

There is nothing sweeter than a chaplet of white heather on the head of your flower girl.  Attach a sprig or two to her petal basket too.

Floral collar for your furkid

Ask your florist to create a floral collar for your furkid, using white heather on its own or mixed with other flowers. Make sure that the flowers you choose are non-toxic - no lilies, no babies breath, or others that might make your doggie or pusscat ill.

Ring pillow

Attach a sprig of white heather to your ring pillow.

On the car

There are numerous ways to decorate a wedding car - place flowers where the ribbons attach to the bonnet, add sprigs to the door handles, or do a floral line-up on the back bumper (just make sure you don't obscure the number plate). White heather works wonderfully for this purpose.

Attach a  sprig of heather to your order of service

Share the luck. Attach a sprig of white heather to your order of service. Don't forget to include a note about the meaning of white heather and that you are sharing the luck with each of your guests.

Aisle decorations

Let your imagination run free. There are so many ways to incorporate white heather into your aisle decorations. Team with ivy (real or artificial) for double impact significant - fidelity and luck!

Door decorations

Attach floral wreaths featuring white heather (and thistles) to the door(s) and/or door handles if you are getting married in a chapel, and to the entrance to your reception.

Place decorations at your reception

A sprig of white heather attached to each place card, or tie a tartan ribbon round each table napkin and tuck a sprig of heather under the ribbon.

Your cake

Whether you choose to use artificial white heather, or have your cake maker add moulded or icing versions, adding white heather to your cake adds a very special touch.

DIY Photobooth

Find a great picture frame, and attach heather and ribbons to it to frame your guests when they snap photos of themselves behaving badly!

Think outside the box for drinks and favours

Alcohol, beer, confectionery, and soap. They all come in versions that incorporate heather. And, to go back to basics, when the Queen (Elizabeth II) married Prince Philip, the wedding favours were individual posies of myrtle and white heather from Balmoral.

Thanks for reading!
Jenny xxx Let's talk
                        soon about how you can have the best ceremony
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