Frequently Asked Questions about Weddings
Q: How do I contact you?
A: Click on the ‘Weddings’ heading and ignore the drop-down menus! An enquiry form will appear.
Q: Who will perform the ceremony?
A: The Provost or another member of the clergy at St Mary’s will perform the ceremony.
Q: Can a member of my family who is ordained conduct the ceremony?
A: It may be possible for this to be arranged, but they would need the Bishop’s permission.
Q: Can we be married whenever we like?
A: No, you need to fit in with other services, some of which are already booked. We also follow the old tradition of not celebrating any marriages during Lent.
Q: So when is Lent?
A: The time between Ash Wednesday and Easter each year. The dates move around each year. Ash Wednesday is the seventh Wednesday before Easter.
Q: Can our photographer take pics inside the church.
A: Yes, but photographers are asked not to move about during the service. Photographers are also asked not to take photographs of the signing of the Marriage Register. The clergy are happy to come back into church to stage these shots after the service is over. The signatures now happen during and as part of the ceremony and stopping for photographs disrupts the flow.
Q: So where do we sign the documents.
A: On the High Altar of the church in the presence of all the people.
Q: I’ve no idea what music to have. What do I do?
A: The Director of Music will be happy to help and make suggestions if necessary.
Q: Can we have our Civil Wedding or Civil Partnership blessed?
A: Yes it might be possible. Come and talk to the clergy about it.
Q: Can we be married if one or other of us has been divorced?
A: Yes, though the bishop’s permission is needed. We won’t agree to a wedding if it will bring the church or the institution of marriage into disrepute. We also won’t agree to a wedding if one partner has children from another relationship who are not being appropriately looked after, including making appropriate financial arrangements. A number of people are married every year at St Mary’s where either or both have been married before. Come and talk to one of the clergy about this.
Q: Will you read our banns of marriage? We are getting married in England but need our banns read.
A: No, we cannot read banns of marriage for legal reasons. No-one in Scotland can. You should contact the local Registrar in England to sort this out.
Q: Can we write our own vows?
A: No, but you can choose your vows and many other parts of the service from our Marriage Liturgy. There are many choices to be made in planning a wedding in an Episcopal Church, we don’t just do off the peg weddings. By the time the wedding comes along, most couples feel that they have had a good chance to shape the service to be what reflects their lives and what they hope to do. The clergy will guide and assist this process.
Q: Do we have to have a reading from the bible? Can’t we have something else?
A: You need to either make your own choice of a biblical reading (or ask the clergy for suggestions). You may be able to have something else read too.
Q: Can we have a secular wedding or a non-religious wedding in St Mary’s?
A: No, the law only allows us to have religious weddings. (You can’t have anything religious in a ceremony conducted in a Registry Office either).