Q and A

Q What do we do to book you to hold our ceremony?

If you have a particular date and place in mind it’s worth booking as soon as you know you’d like to go ahead, to guarantee your date.  The filling in of a simple booking form and payment of a deposit secure the date. We are prepared to take advance bookings as well as being able to accommodate short notice.  

Q How much notice do you need to legally marry us?

The minimum notice needed to apply for a legal marriage is 29 clear days if you can provide your original birth certificates, a utility bill, passports, and can lodge your legal application at the registry office which covers the location where you’ll marry, on a weekday.  Your legal application will take longer if you do not hold UK passports and require visas or other immigration papers.  You can marry giving less notice only in extremely extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the registrar if you feel you have extenuating circumstances.

Q How much notice do you need for a non legal ceremony?

If you’re seeking a non legal ceremony, we can hold betrothal, commitment, handfasting, vow renewal and re-dedication ceremonies at very short notice – we will help if we can, so please ask for our availability.

Q We’d like a Humanistic type ceremony – can you help?

We welcome people of all faiths and no faith so we would be happy to hold a humanistic  ceremony for you, or if you realise a humanistic ceremony is different to what you thought it was, we would be happy to include aspects of religion and spirituality for you, if that would be important to you..

Q What are Interfaith beliefs?

We take ‘Interfaith’ a step further than just dialogue and worship between people of faith, as we seek to be fully inclusive, so we welcome and respect the diversity found in all the many, many different religious, spiritual, philosophical and moral beliefs. We are here for everyone – for people of all faiths as well as those who would say they have no faith or particular belief.

Just as individuals have their own sense of self, and they choose all aspects of life to suit their own inclinations – the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the work they do, the hobbies they follow, the TV they watch, the music they listen to, the people they spend time with – it makes sense to us that every individual person finds meaning and fulfillment in life through their own unique and personal journey and beliefs.  

As graduates of One Spirit Interfaith Foundation we live and work by a code of ethics, which includes the following paragraph on inclusivity “we refuse to marginalize people on the basis of age, disability, state of health, race, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, economic status or any other distinction”.

Q What are Humanist beliefs?

As Interfaith Celebrants we respect the beliefs of members of the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS), as much as those who follow the major religious and spiritual traditions of the world.  The values at the heart of humanism are about living ethical, compassionate, peaceful lives – about valuing the rationality that science and technology bring, about human rights and democracy, about social responsibility and personal fulfillment and liberty, and about caring for the planet and future generations – these are all wonderful values that we can wholeheartedly agree with.  

One of the main differences between us and humanist beliefs are that we celebrate the wisdom at the heart of the pure and original religious and spiritual teachings and traditions of the world too, and we would happily include elements from any religious or spiritual tradition in your ceremony if that is important to you, and do so with the greatest reverence and respect.

Q Can you marry us in church?

Yes, depending on the individual church.  We have held ceremonies in churches with the permission of the church leaders, and we have held ceremonies in privately owned churches.  We would happily do so again.  We would also happily co-lead a ceremony with a vicar or priest or other religious leader.

Q Will our ceremony of marriage be legally recognised?

Yes subject to you making an advance application to marry in Scotland.  Marriage is the only ceremony that includes a legal element and in Scotland we have been nominated and approved by The Registrar General of Scotland as Fully Approved Celebrants to hold legal marriage through our affiliation with One Spirit Interfaith Foundation (OSIF).  This means we’re able to hold a legal marriage for all couples who wish it - both opposite sex and same sex couples.  A legal marriage can be spiritual, or religious, or humanistic, or non-religious.

Q What do I have to do for my ceremony to be legal?

To be legally married you must make an advance legal application between 3 months and 29 days before the date you’ll marry on, to the registry office which covers the postcode where you’ll marry.  You will need to send M10 forms and supporting paperwork such as original birth certificates, a utility bill and a £70 administration fee.  Depending on your personal circumstances you may need to send other paperwork, for example, if you’re divorced or widowed, or if you do not hold UK passports.  Once your application to legally marry in Scotland has been approved you then collect a piece of paper called a Marriage Schedule during the 7 days before the wedding (usually a weekday), then during the ceremony on the day you each say you’ll take each other as husband / wife / spouse, then we pronounce you married, and then we sign the paperwork along with your two legal witnesses.  If coming from overseas you may need visas or other immigration paperwork.

Q Can you include absolutely anything I want in my wedding ceremony?

We have yet to be asked to include something in a ceremony that we felt we needed to say no to, so please ask for what you would like - we are here to reflect your beliefs.  We would guide you as to what would be appropriate and what wouldn’t, and what we feel would work and what wouldn’t.  

Q Can you hold my ceremony anywhere?

Scotland is unique in that we can hold your legal wedding ceremony or non legal ceremony literally anywhere indoors or outdoors – even on water – however, this is subject to you receiving any necessary permissions or access from property or landowners.

Q My ceremony ideas are unconventional – can you help?

Yes!  As we can handcraft a bespoke ceremony for you we can respond to your individual needs for every aspect of your ceremony - the wording, readings, music, prayers, terms/names for your deity if you relate to one, creative or traditional elements - and tailor your ceremony for you.  Certainly we would be open to a discussion about every aspect of your ceremony however quirky or different you consider it to be.

Q We’d like a traditional wedding ceremony – can you help?

Yes!  There is a traditional format and flow to a wedding ceremony which many couples opt for us to follow, for good reason, because it works so beautifully well.  

If you like the idea of following in your ancestors’ footsteps and would like your wedding ceremony to include traditional vows, prayers and blessings, just like your parents and grandparents would have had in their wedding ceremonies, you are welcome to include those elements.

We can respond to requests for traditional ‘religious elements’ ie ritual and wording to be included within personal ceremony, which would be done with the greatest reverence and sensitivity for the tradition they come from.  We would also be open to co-leading a ceremony of marriage with the religious leader in your place of worship. 

We are not able to hold orthodox religious ceremonies, rather we can offer options in addition to those offered by Priests, Vicars, Rabbis, Imams and so on. 

Q Do you ever travel to hold ceremonies?

Yes! We travel! Angie and Will are based in  the town of Forres in Moray in Northern Scotland, well placed for anywhere north of Perth, some of the West Coast, the North, in and around Inverness, in and around Aberdeen, and some of the islands (Lewis and Harris, Mull, Iona and The Orkneys). Jane is in Musselburgh on the outskirts of Edinburgh and well placed for anywhere south of Pitlochry including Glasgow and Edinburgh and some of the islands.

We also have colleagues we can put you in touch with on the Isle of Skye.

Q We don’t live in Scotland – is that a problem?

It’s not a problem as there is no ‘required period of residency’ to be legally married here, though if having a legal marriage you need to make an advance legal application, and depending on where you live, you may need visas or CONIs (Certificates of No Impediment) to enter the UK to marry here.

Also if it’s not possible to meet you in person before your ceremony it’s no problem for us as there is a lot of technology we can use to communicate - phone, email, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp.

Q Can we meet you before we decide to book?

Yes of course! You’d be most welcome to come over to meet with us, whether you’re local, or decide to visit the area prior to your wedding.  And if it’s not possible to meet in person in advance, we can use email, phone, Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp.

Q How much do you charge?

The deposit is the same for all ceremonies and just £100 will secure your date. 

Our fees reflect the time, care, energy and experience that go into creating and holding your ceremony, and the freedom and flexibility that we can offer.  We offer you the choice of a very comprehensive and thorough period of preparation if that suits you, with as much input to the creation of your ceremony as you'd like, OR you can keep the preparations very light and simple OR with the minimum input from you we can work to a choice of scripts.

There is no difference in our fees between a legal or non legal ceremony - but with a legal ceremony you will also make a payment to the local registry office as they will administrate your legal application to be joined in marriage.  All legal ceremonies of marriage are administrated by registry offices, regardless of who will officiate for you.

Q Are you a minister or celebrant?

We are available as celebrants for what you might call traditional ministry in an alternative way.  Having been ordained by the organization we trained with, we can use the term reverend, however we never insist on this.  You might like us to be your  ‘celebrant’, you might like is to be your  ‘minister’ – we can be either so it’s up to you.

Q I’d like a surprise legal wedding ceremony – can you help?

It depends! If you and your intended want to surprise your guests and not tell them that you’re getting married until the moment, then yes, we can help.

If however you want to surprise your intended, and plan a surprise legal ceremony without them knowing, here’s what you need to know.  As you each need to fill in and sign an M10 form to apply to be legally married, they would need to know of your plans.  You could keep the finer detail of the content and location and date a surprise, but not the fact that you’re applying to be legally married.

Q Does the registrar need to be present at our ceremony?

No - the registrar who covers the postcode district where your ceremony will take place, will receive and process your legal application, and ‘administrate’ your application, but if you’re getting married by us, they won’t be present at the ceremony.  You only need the one ceremony to be legally married by us (we know this is different to some other countries, so please be re-assured that this is indeed the case).