All About Weddings

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Weddings

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Independent Celebrants are currently in negotiation with the government, to be allowed to officiate legal weddings in Scotland, but until this legislation is passed, a legal marriage may be conducted by a:

Religious Celebrant (Minister or Priest)
Registrar (Government Official)
*Humanist Celebrant

However, there are certain rules that have to be adhered to with each of these and so many couples are choosing an Independent Celebrant. All that has to happen is that you both register your marriage, completing all the legalities, at your local **Register Office before your big day. Most couples prefer to do this very casually arriving in jeans, and you don't need to won’t rings or your own special words/vows until your 'real' ceremony.

**Most registry offices offer a short registration with 2 witnesses for around £50. This is usually done the day/a few days before your real ceremony.

Religious Celebrant (Minister or Priest)
Registrar
*Humanist
However, there are certain rules that have to be adhered to with each of these and so many couples are choosing an Independent Celebrant. All that has to happen is that you both register your marriage, completing all the legalities, at your local **Register Office before your big day. Most couples prefer to do this very casually arriving in jeans, and you don't need to won’t rings or your own special words/vows until your 'real' ceremony.

**Most registry offices offer a short registration with 2 witnesses for around £50. This is usually done the day/a few days before your real ceremony.

So, why do so many people choose an independent celebrant over any of these?

You might want to have a non-religious service.
You might want to plan your ceremony exactly the way you want it without any rules laid down by your celebrant (Humanist ceremonies have certain rules)
Although you might want a non-religious service, you might still want to have a reading from the bible or a special hymn (recently one bride wanted 'Abide with Me' because it had been her mum's favourite, and she had died a few months before) - This wouldn't be allowed in a Humanist ceremony.
You might want to get married in a forest... on a Sunday.... at midnight!
Perhaps you want something a bit different to the norm.
Maybe you just want to be in control of your ceremony from start to finish.
*My husband and I were married in a Humanist ceremony (we were unaware at the time that we could choose an independent celebrant). It was perfectly lovely, but before we could book we were told that we could not have any belief readings or hymns, we had to allow the Celebrant to 'advertise' the Humanist Society at the start of our ceremony, we had to pay to join the Humanist Society (as well as the Celebrant Fee), and our celebrant would not allow photographs to be taken during the ceremony.

The truth is, it's your special day, so make sure it's done your way. Every word in your ceremony should be about you and your partner. Imagine trying to purchase a Vera Wang wedding dress only to be told that in order to buy it, someone would have to announce the designer during the service. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we come together today to witness the joining of Steve and Jenna. Oh and Jenna is wearing a dress by Vera Wang...".

This would be ridiculous!

Choosing an Independent Celebrant means your ceremony will be designed and delivered exactly the way you want it to be. Every word.

For more information on getting married in Scotland, please click here

Calm Weddings

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Calm Ceremonies are designed for couples whereby one or both individuals suffer from anxiety, mental health problems, and/or have a fear of public speaking.

As someone who has been a Professional Speaker for many years, and who has been involved in training people how to deliver presentations, I know first hand how difficult and terrifying it can be to stand up and speak in a room full of people. Combine this with the nerves that every couple experiences on their wedding day, and this can be extremely traumatising. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you should be able to look forward to it and be able to enjoy it on the day.

A Calm Ceremony is designed so that your celebrant (me) does most if not all of the talking, and you only have to nod, or say the odd "Yes" or "I do". You can decide how much or how little you want to take part in the actual speaking. I will design the ceremony around you.

We can also build in a 'Grounding Ceremony' in which we just take some time before the ceremony to work on a few relaxation techniques that will help you to feel calm and relaxed throughout the ceremony (optional).

Please click here for information on the legal aspects of getting married in Scotland.

Wedding Vow Renewals | Central Scotland

Vow Renewals

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A Renewal of Vows Ceremony is the perfect way for couples to reaffirm their love and commitment to one another in a personal, unique and memorable celebration.

Whether you would like a meaningful and elegant ceremony, a fun filled knees-up or even a themed celebration, I can help you to create a tailor-made ceremony that will stay with you both, for a lifetime.

Vow renewal ceremonies can be held anywhere and at any time. Some couples decide to renew their vows after many years of marriage, while others may have married abroad a few weeks before and would like their family and friends to celebrate their wedding back home. Many couples choose to invite family and friends, while others choose to have a more intimate and private ceremony. My husband and I renew our vows every 5 years and so last year we held our ceremony on a beautiful beach on the East Coast of Malaysia, with only the 2 of us present.

Vow Renewal ceremonies are so special because there are usually so many wonderful memories to call upon, and weave into the ceremony. There may also be friends and family who you would like to include in the ceremony, and I can make suggestions for readings and music to help create a wonderful meaningful ceremony that will be memorable for everyone.

Cords01

Handfasting

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Handfasting is a unique and memorable way for couples to bring something different to your special day.

Handfasting is a unique and memorable way for couples to bring something different to your special day.

The ritual of handfasting originated thousands of years ago and was a way for couples to express their love before friends and family, and for their status as a couple to be established within the community. Unlike today where a marriage is designed to last forever, a handfasting ceremony was an agreement to be bound "for a year and a day".

During the handfasting, cords are tied around the couple’s wrists, (traditionally they would stay bound until the wedding night!) while the celebrant speaks words of commitment. As each cord is tied, and commitment made, the celebrant pronounces: "And now the binding is made". There can be up to 6 cords tied depending on the preference of the couple.

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William & Kate's Handfasting
Many couples choose to include this ancient but beautiful ritual in their ceremony , and even William and Kate had a handfasting as part of their wedding ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral.

A lovely way of including children in your ceremony, or if two families are joining together, is to include them in the handfasting. The children are asked to come forward and then all the hands are joining together, while the celebrant will say something like,

"(name of child) these are the hands that will support, encourage and protect you through all of life's up's and down's. Happy times, sad times, love and we hope, great joy. This binding is a reminder of the love and respect that each of you has for the other, and which will last for a lifetime." This is usually where the guests have to grab their hankies!

Handfasting is where we get the phrases Tying the Knot' and ‘Bonds of Matrimony’. You can choose to have a full handfasting ceremony at one of the more, well-known locations like Stonehenge (this would be with another celebrant), or you can choose to have your ceremony in the mystic forests, hills and glens of Scotland. I include a ‘mini handfasting’ as part of the wedding ceremony if the couple would like it. We do this after your vows and rings, and you get to keep the knotted cords to remember your special day.

You can buy your own handfasting cords, you have can them made for you, or you can make your own. Please see our links page for details on where to buy your cords and/or ideas of how to make your own.

Wedding rings on the car

Commitment Ceremonies

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A commitment ceremony is very similar to a wedding, only rather than being a legally binding ceremony, it is simply a public (or private) affirmation of a couple's lasting love and commitment to one another.

Commitment ceremonies can be held in a variety of locations throughout Scotland and are open to all couples, regardless of gender, race or religious background.

A commitment ceremony can look just like a wedding, complete with church, wedding gown, and hundreds of guests — it just has no legal paperwork (although you do receive a Commitment Certificate). Or, it can be the most alternative event imaginable: a ritual to bless your relationship, a themed celebration with everyone dressed as Superheroes or just a big party to celebrate your love.