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Practical Next Steps
Legal Marriage - Our Authority
Legal Marriage in Scotland
Legal Marriage in England and Wales
Legal Marriage in Ireland
We can hold your ceremony of marriage including the necessary legal element anywhere in Scotland, and as a sacred ceremony anywhere in the rest of the UK (and the rest of the world!).
Once you’ve decided to get married you then have to make all the decisions about when, where and how. On a beach at sunrise on Midsummer’s Day? On a dark winter’s evening cosy in front of a blazing log fire in a castle? In a beautiful garden full of apple and cherry blossom in May??? In your front room, a hotel, a hall? We can hold your ceremony anywhere you wish.
As your Minister and Celebrant our aim is to create the most fitting personal and meaningful ceremony for you. Whether you’d like it to be very informal with touches of humour, or whether it’s to be candle-lit to feel romantic, intimate and beautiful – you tell us what atmosphere you’d like to create and we take our lead from you.
You get to choose every aspect of your ceremony, and we use a series of personal and practical questions to help you through the decision making process, offering ideas and guidance if needed as we go along.
Once we find out the things that are important to you to have acknowledged, and those things that are meaningful to you to have included, we then weave everything together into a ceremony for you - you don't need to worry about the structure and order and bringing all the different elements together, we'll take care of that.
You may be bursting with ideas and looking for someone to form your ideas into a ceremony, or you may only know that you're looking for something a little different - that the existing options known to you, don't suit you or fit your needs.
We'd suggest we have an initial phone call or meeting to discuss your ceremony vision in general and to discuss all the practicalities involved with us creating and holding a ceremony for you (what needs to be done by when, and ceremony fees and paying a deposit). From then, we form an agreement and most of us would send an email or letter of confirmation to ensure that there's clarity around all aspects of your ceremony preparations and what we've agreed with you.
Going forward, we can work in any way to suit you, your lifestyle and your preferred way of preparing - we might meet face to face, we might use email, royal mail, telephone, Skype.
You might prefer to write down your reflections and send them to us, or you may wish for us to meet or speak over the phone and we take notes - we will ensure that we discuss with you the best way for us to work together.
These are some of the steps we could use to prepare your ceremony which (if you'd like it to) would include a very personal and unique marriage address all about you and your journey together so far, and your hopes and dreams for your shared future together. We don't have to use these steps but offer them as a tried and tested way of preparing for your ceremony - just as every couple getting married is unique, so are both the preparations and the resulting ceremony unique to each couple.
- We give you some questions to reflect on over an agreed time period then we gather information from you to understand exactly what you want, such as how long you’d like the ceremony to last and what kind of atmosphere you’d like to create.
- We get to know a little about you and find out about each of you individually and personally (including your journey to your current belief system).
- We find out why you've decided to take the step of marriage? Why now? What you love about each other? What you hope for from your future married life?
- We take into account the beliefs of the friends and family who’ll attend the wedding ensuring that whatever they believe they'll feel welcomed, respected and included.
- We use questions to find out what readings, music, prayers, names for God / Spirit, creative or traditional elements you would like within your ceremony – or give you ideas and suggestions if you don’t know what you’d like. And we can guide you as to what would be appropriate and what wouldn’t, and what we feel would work and what wouldn’t. We invite you to reflect on whether you'd like to have your guests involved?
- We respond to requests for traditional elements to be included in a ceremony with sensitivity and the greatest reverence for the tradition they come from. We can offer ideas for rituals.
Those of us who are Interfaith Ministers (Angie, Avril, Catherine, Marilyn, Nicola, Robert and Will) have trained for two years with The Interfaith Seminary which is now part of The Interfaith Foundation. At the end of our training we took individual and group vows and were ordained as Interfaith Ministers and Spiritual Counsellors by our community elders.
Debbie came to be an independent Minister and Celebrant via a different route; that of being a vicar with her own church and parish for several years.
Whichever route we have come to offer ceremony by, we all of us abide by the Code of Ethics of The Interfaith Foundation. The whole world is our parish and we can create ceremony anywhere we’re invited to go!
In the UK only a ceremony of marriage requires a compulsory advance application to go ahead with a legal ceremony if you wish to be married according to UK law. You don't, however, need any permission to hold a sacred ceremony of marriage anywhere in the UK (ie a ceremony of marriage which doesn't include a legal aspect).
Though as Interfaith Ministers we can marry you legally in Scotland, the UK Government classes us as non-conformist ministers, and as yet, hasn't granted us the right to hold ceremonies legally in England and Wales, though this is easily taken care of by a simple Registry Office procedure. Or you may wish to consider Debbie as your celebrant as she is able to marry couples legally in the churches she's still associated with in England.
Couples come from all over the UK and the rest of the world to get married by us in Scotland as Scottish Laws around marriage are possibly like nowhere else in the world. If we legally marry you in Scotland your marriage is legally recognised all over the world and you only need the one ceremony.
The process of applying to get married is very simple as there is no longer any stay of residency required prior to the date of the marriage, and the aspects which are necessary to have included in your ceremony for it to be legal are also very simple. Your ceremony in Scotland can literally be anywhere, and with any content (so long as appropriate to the occasion) and still be legal.
We have the great privilege of being granted authorisation by the General Registrar in Edinburgh to hold legal wedding ceremonies anywhere in Scotland as registered people (rather than the ceremony needing to take place in a registered premises).
In England and Wales you have two options to get married legally - by the church or by the state.
A church ceremony usually has a set structure and wording of a religious nature which may be non-negotiable depending on the priest or vicar; you may also be required to join the church you wish to be married in, or commit to attending regular services of worship both before and after the wedding date. For any or all of these reasons you may feel that this option doesn't reflect who you are or represent what you wish to acknowledge or commit to in your ceremony of marriage.
A state civil ceremony held by a Registrar also usually has a set format and wording (individual Registrars may be flexible with this). You may also find that this option doesn't feel right for you, being the opposite extreme to a church ceremony and completely non-religious to the point of disallowing prayer and blessings, and words such as God - any words or music which could be classed as religious or spiritual.
You may have found this website on the internet because you're actively looking for a different option for your ceremony of marriage which doesn't restrict you in any way, as you wish to express yourselves freely. Well! You've found it!
In England and Wales we would recommend you opt to get married legally in a registry office, requesting the very minimum ceremony available, which takes around five minutes. If you explain to the Registrar that you plan to have your main ceremony elsewhere later that day or on a different day, and wish to leave the ring exchange and kiss for the main ceremony, you'll usually find them very obliging and helpful.
The registry office option means you cover the legality in the cheapest and simplest way possible, then you have complete freedom with every other aspect of your ceremony in terms of location and content.
If for practical reasons you wanted to have your legal and sacred ceremonies in the same place in England and Wales you could choose to get married in a Registered Premises, because Registrars can only hold legal ceremonies in authorised places. They would usually need to leave the premises before your sacred ceremony could begin.
Because England and Wales are Anglican states, the other option would be to hold your ceremony of marriage in a religious premises ie in a church which had a sympathetic vicar who would allow your ceremony to be led by us, but who would co-lead it and cover the legality of the ceremony. Our suggestion would still be to go with the first option of marrying in a Registry Office or Registered Premises as it may well be easier!
'We can’t thank you enough for our beautiful ceremony. So many people came up to us throughout the day to tell us how moving they’d found the ceremony.'
'The part I love most of the whole day is the ceremony and the decision to ask you to conduct the ceremony was, without doubt, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life.'
'I can’t thank you enough for our perfect ceremony. We had a wonderful day, the ceremony will never be forgotten by us.'
'Thank you for our perfect ceremony!'
'Thank you for making our wedding the best day of our lives. It was everything we hoped for and you were a huge part in it.'
'Thank you very much for the wonderful wedding that you gave us. No amount of words would be able to express how grateful we are to the both of you.'
'Thank you for making our day so special - we can’t praise you enough! The beautiful service was so appreciated!'
'Many thanks for your help in creating a beautiful ceremony for our wedding day. Many of the guests seem to have been genuinely inspired by the service. It was a perfect day which turned out exactly as we’d hoped.'