Weddings - FAQ
Weddings - FAQs and costs
Where can we have our marriage ceremony?
Anywhere you like, as long as you're in Scotland. Any marriage which I conduct outside of Scotland would have to be legalised by a registrar but since you're here on this page, I'm assuming you're thinking of a Scottish marriage. You can be married anywhere you like, whether that is in a hotel, in your own garden, or underneath a waterfall. The only restriction is that you must be standing still (so if you're on a boat, it has to be moored).
As long as you have two witnesses for legal reasons, there are no restrictions, other than those issued at the moment during the Covid Pandemic.
Is the ceremony you conduct for us legal?
Yes, it is.
In Scotland, there are three groups of people who can conduct weddings: those are registrars, ministers of religion affiliated with a particular church or faith, and celebrants or ministers who belong to a larger group, such as Interfaith or Humanists. There is no such thing as an independent celebrant because everyone who is authorised to conduct weddings has to belong to an organisation.
Which organisation do you belong to?
I'm a member of the Onespirit Interfaith Foundation. Strictly speaking, I'm a minister, although in this case the word refers to 'ministering' to people's needs, rather than the conventional sense of a minister associated with a particular church. The Interfaith group spans all beliefs and none.
Do we have to have the same beliefs as you?
Not at all. I can conduct a ceremony for you according to the beliefs you have (or don't have), whether or not they're the same as my own. It's all about you as a couple and what you want, so you don't have to worry about adhering to the beliefs of the person conducting your ceremony.
Can you conduct a ceremony if we're from different faith backgrounds?
Absolutely. This is your day, and your marriage. Whatever is important to you both can be included - whether it is a hymn, a reading from a sacred text, a prayer, or a blessing.
Can we write our own vows for our wedding?
Of course you can. Writing your own vows is one of the most emotional and special things you will ever do and they will be the highlight of your wedding. I am here to help if you're stuck with ideas and will guide you through the process.
Can we use traditional vows ?
You can say whichever vows you wish. If you'd like to use traditional religious vows, that is entirely acceptable.
Can you conduct our ceremony in a church?
Yes, I can; as long, of course, as you have the permission of the resident minister or padre for me to do so. Because I'm a member of the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, and so technically a minister myself, I can conduct weddings in places of worship or in private chapels on estates; with the National Trust such as those at Haddo House; or at millitary garrisons like Fort George.
What's the process for having you marry us?
We'll have an initial meeting during which I'll talk to you as a couple. This will give me an opportunity to really get to know you as a couple - how you met, who you are, and what you want in life together. You never know, you may find out more about each other in this meeting, too. We'll also discuss in depth the style of ceremony you would like. Following that meeting, I'll work on creating your bespoke ceremony. I'll edit your script as many times as you like until we have the perfect ceremony for you. Nearer your big day, you may want to have a wedding rehearsal if you like (not all couples do!) on a mutually agreed date and time. On the big day itself, I'll perform your wedding ceremony and you'll be given a presentation folder with a copy of your ceremony to keep.
What does a typical ceremony include?
There is no typical ceremony because every one is bespoke. A rough idea might include:
readings and poems
a song or two (with or without your guests singing)
information about how the two of you met and how you are planning your life together
your vows, of course
the exchange of rings
an additional symbolic ceremony (Unity Sand Ceremony, or Jumping the Broom, for instance)
How much will it all cost us for your services?
Costs start from £495 for both wedding ceremonies and renewal of vows ceremonies. Additional costs might include an additional ceremonial element such as Handfasting, Jumping the Broom, Unity Sand Ceremony, or any other symbolic ceremony. If you wish additional ceremonial elements, then I will give you a clear cost in advance depending on your requirements. You will also have to pay the Registrar directly when you apply for your marriage licence - this currently stands at £70.
How far in advance do we need to book?
I already have bookings in place as far as April 2022, and some days of the week, such as Saturdays, are particularly popular. As soon as you know your dates and book your venue, it's best to make your booking so that you won't be left disappointed.
Are there any extra costs at all?
- If I have to travel considerable distances from home to get to you then there may well be a cost, but I would discuss that with you in advance. I'm based in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Additionally, dependent on the distance, accommodation costs may be incurred.
- If you decide to opt for a wedding where I have to hire a professional costume (eg Medieval) then there may be an additional cost, but, again, I would discuss that with you beforehand.