Getting married in Scotland

Scotland offers you the most flexible of options for your marriage ceremony.

Exchange of rings
Exchange of rings

In Scotland you can be legally married anywhere, and not necessarily inside a building. So people travel from all over the UK, and beyond, for a legally binding Scottish wedding.

The beautiful and dramatic Highland landscape offers the widest possible choice of wedding venue from Scottish castles and luxury hotels to a deserted beach or the garden of a local pub.

Whether you chose a traditional or alternative wedding, there is something for everyone, whatever the budget, and it is easy to hold both the ceremony and the wedding reception in the same location.

Your choice of Celebrant

Unlike in the rest of the UK, a variety of celebrants can be authorised in Scotland to conduct a legal marriage ceremony. The usual alternative to a minister of the church is the Registrar, but you can also choose a Humanist celebrant or an Interfaith Minister.

Getting married in Scotland

The Registrar makes an extra charge to conduct a marriage  at premises that are not licensed for legal marriages, and there are restrictions upon  locations.  A Humanist or Interfaith Minister can marry you anywhere. Most humanists will require you to join the Scottish Humanist Society.  Registrars and most humanists will not allow you to use in your ceremony any prayers, hymns, spiritual readings or mentions of the word ‘God’.

Interfaith Ministers serve people of all belief systems, those of any faith or religious tradition, those who consider themselves spiritual rather than religious, those of mixed faith, those who do not quite know what they believe but know there is ‘something,’ and those of no faith at all. This affords maximum flexibility for your ceremony. The choice as to what elements you put into your personalised ceremony is entirely your own.

How I work as your celebrant

Say 'I do' in Scotland
They just wanted to say “I do”.

If you choose me as your Scottish wedding minister, we will sit down together and talk about what you want. We create your wedding ceremony together.

If you need me to offer suggestions or direct you to sources for music, readings and rituals I will, of course, do that. And I will take great care to ensure that whatever goes into your ceremony faithfully represents your beliefs and values, and is meaningful to both of you as individuals and as a couple.

I know how important your ceremony is, both as a central part of your Big Day, and as a keynote for your married life together.

We begin usually with a meeting at my home. If this is not possible, we may have a long telephone conversation, or very occasionally, a meeting elsewhere. If you decide to go ahead, I will quote you a price and ask for a deposit (usually of £100) which secures your date in my diary.

The vision of your marriage

If you decide to go ahead I will follow up the meeting with questions about the journey of your relationship, vision for your marriage and ideas for your ceremony. When I have a clear idea of the type of ceremony you want you will receive a confirmation from me of what we have agreed and the details of your date and venue.

Suggestions for your music, readings, rituals and more

Depending on the time frame and on how definite your ideas are, I will then draft out a marriage ceremony, or put one together incorporating elements you have already researched. Or I will give you ideas to get you started. I will make suggestions where appropriate regarding music, readings, poems, rituals and materials to source for these. I will help you formulate and write your vows. We work together until we have the ceremony you want. You will receive your script for final approval not later than a month before your wedding date.

Bound copy of your big day

You receive a bound copy of your ceremony on the day to keep. It is in a decorated file with pockets to add a few photographs. This is a nice keepsake and very useful for revision of your vows on anniversaries.

See: The legalities of getting married in Scotland