Legal Information


Legal Information

In Scotland you can be married in either of two ways - by a religious or 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.

**Most registry offices offer a short registration for around £50.

Click here for an up to date list of Registry offices in Scotland

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

  1. You might want to have a non-religious service.
  2. You might want to plan your ceremony exactly the way you want it without any rules laid down by your celebrant.
  3. 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.
  4. You might want to get married in a forest... on a Sunday.... at midnight!
  5. Perhaps you want something a bit different to the norm.
  6. Maybe you just want to be in control of your ceremony from start to finish.
  7. Less running around. If you have a Humanist ceremony, you will need to visit the registrar a few days before to pick up your schedule and then again within 3 days of your wedding to register your marriage. With an Independent Celebrant, you just visit once to complete the legal aspect of your marriage. The registrar will then register your marriage so that you do not need to return.

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

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


Say Aye Do with Celebrant Lindy!