Q. Why I would have a Celebrant deliver my ceremony instead of a registrar?
A registrar wedding, is very similar to a church ceremony, in that it will have a limited choice of what can be included. While they will allow certain words, poems, and readings there are often restraints on what can be included, as well as the time allowed. A Celebrant, on the other hand, will work with you to create a unique ceremony incorporating different elements chosen by you.
Q. Is my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony legally binding?
No. You will need to register your marriage in a Register Office before or after your celebrant wedding ceremony in order to make your marriage legally binding.
Click here to view the Legal Information concerning marriage in Scotland
In Scotland, you can be married in one of two ways - by a religious/belief ceremony or by a civil ceremony. A religious of belief marriage can take place anywhere and may be officiated by a minister, clergyman, pastor, priest, humanist, pagan or interfaith minister.
A civil marriage will take place in a registry office or at any place agreed between the registrar and the couple being married and may be officiated only by a registrar or an assistant registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General.
However, more and more couples today want to have a ceremony of their choosing, but without the restrictions and rules of a belief or religious service. So for example, if you choose to have a religious ceremony, the minister or priest will make references to your religion and to God as part of your ceremony. If you choose a Humanist celebrant, he/she will make references to Humanism and Humanist beliefs as part of your ceremony. This is the same with any religion or belief group and is non-negotiable. In contrast, an Independent Celebrant will not evangelise or add any promotional material to your ceremony, meaning you are taking complete control of your from start to finish.
So how does it work? Easy! If you choose me to be your celebrant, all that has to happen is that you both pop along to your local Registry Office with 2 witnesses before your big day to sign the paperwork. Most couples prefer to do this very casually arriving in jeans, and you don't need to exchange rings or your own special words/vows until your 'real' ceremony and can be done a few days, or weeks in advance. You can also choose to do this after your wedding ceremony if it suits you better.
Having taken care of the legal aspects means you can then relax and enjoy your big day. You will still exchange rings and vows (if that's what you want), and you can also sign your wedding certificate along with your witnesses afterwards. most couples don't even mention the registry office visit to their guests.
Q. Must I be legally married before I have my Celebrant Wedding Ceremony?Although most couples prefer to register their marriage before the Celebrant Wedding Ceremony, you can choose to do it afterwards if this is more suitable.
Q. How do I find my local Registry Office?
You can find a list of Registry Offices in Scotland here
Q. How do we arrange the Legal Registration?
Give notice of your marriage at your local Register Office by completing and submitting an M10 form. It's a good idea to call or visit the registrar's office to let them know you are having a short legal service with a Celebrant led service at a later time. You will then arrange to have your legal marriage service at a time convenient to you. This can be before or after your wedding ceremony, and you don't need to dress up or have to exchange vows and/or rings.You will need to take 2 witnesses, but it's a quick and easy process.
The marriage service at the Register Office will take approximately 10-15 minutes. A short statement about marriage will be given and you will be required to repeat a legal declaration.
The marriage register is then signed by you both and your two witnesses.
You then are free to enjoy your Wedding Celebration Ceremony without any restriction on content.
Q. What are your Professional Fees?
My fees for a Ceremony start at £395, depending on which type of Ceremony and what different elements are included. My fees include:
- A FREE Initial Consultation Meeting.
- All pre-planning meetings, unlimited email, telephone or Skype support
- Aye Do Ceremonies Planning Pack
- Access to a private area of the website, where you will find videos, questionnaires, and documents to help you plan your ceremony
- Access to readings and poems, as well as any additional resources
- Bespoke Ceremony Script
- Help with writing your vows (if required)
- Mini symbolic ritual, including a Hand-fasting, Unity Candle, Rose, Loving Cup or Sand ceremony - at no extra charge
- Freedom to include religious, spiritual and/or wedding traditions from around the globe.
- A commemorative wedding certificate
- A bound copy of your wedding ceremony script (and an electronic copy)
- Travel to your wedding location within 75 miles of FK8
- *FREE Video recording of your ceremony
*The video recording is offered free as an extra and is not meant to replace a professional videographer.
Q. Can we have our ceremony at any time?
A. Yes! You can hold your ceremony at any time of the day or night.
Q: Can we have a non-religious, spiritual ceremony?
A: Yes, this is completely your choice.
Q. Where can our ceremony be held?
A. I can conduct ceremonies on the beach, in the forest, in a park or at the top of a mountain! There are some specific outdoor sites in Scotland where you do need to apply for permission but I can talk you through these. In truth, you are only limited by your imagination and in fact this year I have ceremonies at Edinburgh Zoo, a local pub and in the wilds of Glencoe!
Q: Does it matter if we are religious or not?
A: Absolutely not. I want you to have the best ceremony possible regardless of beliefs.
Q: We are not religious, but my parents are. Can we include elements of different religions and religious traditions in our ceremony to acknowledge them?
A: Yes, of course. I am more than happy to incorporate different traditions into your ceremony.
Q. How many Weddings do you conduct a day?
A. I only conduct one ceremony per day.
Q: Do you perform Same-Sex Ceremonies?
A: Yes Absolutely!
Q. How long will my Wedding Ceremony last?
A typical ceremony will usually last anywhere between 20 – 40 minutes, depending on how many readings and songs you choose to include. If you decide to include a symbolic ritual (Handfasting, Unity Candle etc), it might take longer.
Q: Will you co-officiate with another celebrant or clergy of a different faith?
A: Yes. I am more than happy to work with another officiant.
Q. A family member or friend has passed away, can we remember them in our ceremony?
Yes. You may choose to light a candle in their memory or include a photo or keepsake of theirs.
Q: Can we choose our own ceremony details such as music, readings, and vows?
A: Absolutely! I encourage it! My goal is to make your ceremony as personal as possible and so choosing these elements will help put your stamp on it.
Q: My partner and I are both divorced. Will this restrict our ceremony with you?
A: No, not at all.
Q: I'm terrified of speaking in front of people. Will I have to say much?
A: You can say as much or as little as is right for you. The last thing I want is for you to be worried about speaking for weeks (even months) before your wedding, so I will design the ceremony so that you feel comfortable. I specifically created Calm Weddings for this purpose.
Q: How long before the Wedding Ceremony should we book your services?
A. I would recommend booking your Wedding Celebrant as soon as possible. This will give you a chance to interview a few different celebrants, in order to find the right one for you. and gives you the time to choose someone you feel comfortable with.
Q: What about last minute requests?
A: If I am available I will certainly do my best to try and help.
Q. Can I include a family pet at my ceremony?
As long as the venue allows it, so do I!
Q: What do you wear as a Celebrant?
A: I will dress in appropriate attire for your particular wedding, and this is something we discuss when we sit down together. The focus throughout the ceremony should be on you and so I will dress to reflect that.
If it's a Handfasting Ceremony I can wear my full-length deep red velvet cloak if requested.
Q. How far are you willing to travel to assist with our ceremony?
I do not charge mileage if a ceremony is within 50 miles of FK8 3PP. If a ceremony is out with 50 miles, I charge mileage at 40p/mile.
Q: What are your rules as to photography?
A: I want you to get the best photographs possible, and so I will fully co-operate with your wedding photographer and/or videographer.
Q: On the day itself, what time will you arrive at the location and when do you leave?
A. I always aim to be at the venue at least 1 hour before the ceremony starts, and don't leave until the ceremony is completely finished.
Q: What if you are suddenly taken ill, or have an accident and can't make the ceremony?
A: I am a member of the Scottish Independents Celebrants Association (SICA), and work in association with a number of other celebrants. As such there are always celebrants available to stand in if there is an emergency.
Q: How do we book and how are payments made?
A: The first step is to schedule a face-to-face meeting (or Skype call) with me so that you can meet me and find out a bit more about what I do. This also gives me the chance to meet you and find out a bit more about what you want for your big day!
If after this meeting you decide I am the right Celebrant for you and you would like to book with me, I will send you the relevant forms. You will then return these forms along with a £100 deposit. The balance is then due 6 weeks prior to the date of your Ceremony.
Payments can be made by BACS or via PayPal.
Q: Is it possible to conduct a public ceremony if we are already privately married?
A: Yes! Essentially you are just renewing your vows in a public celebration.
Q. We live abroad, but we’re planning our ceremony in the UK. Will you work with us?
Yes of course. I have helped a number of international couples plan their ceremony here in the UK.
Q. Why should we choose you to perform our Ceremony?
A. This is a tricky question to answers as there are so many great Celebrants out there, but here goes!...
- I am a very involved Celebrant (if a couple want me to be). I always say to my couples that by the time they come to stand in front of me in order for the ceremony to begin, I want us to feel like friends coming together.
- I am an accomplished public speaker and have been speaking in front of audiences for almost 15 years. Please do not underestimate the importance of public speaking skills. Anyone can read a script from a folder, but only the best can bring the words to life.
- I have been writing scripts, speeches, blogs and articles for 15 years and so you can be sure your ceremony will be created in a professional manner.
- I am always available by email or phone to answer any queries.
- I will try my best to ensure I make your ceremony is something people will talk about for a long time after.
- I am a member of a Professional Organisation (SICA) and so in the unlikely event of my being unable to conduct your ceremony, I have a number of associates who can step in.
- I offer a *FREE video recording of your ceremony.
*This is not meant to replace a professional videographer.