As Interfaith ministers and celebrants on Scottish Wedding Ceremony we believe your wedding ceremony should be whatever you choose. Your beliefs are personal to you, so we will do our best to make sure your ceremony of marriage reflects yours. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about how we can enable you to mark your union in a way which has meaning for you.
Who are we?
We are a group of ministers and celebrants working across Scotland, including its islands. We strive to create the wedding ceremony each couple dreams of, including all the elements that are important to the wishes of both partners. We carry out all kinds of wedding ceremonies, so your ceremony will reflect all your wishes and beliefs.
Whilst we are affiliated to the organisation we trained with, One Spirit Interfaith Foundation, and are all members on its professional register, we do not have affiliations with any particular church, religion, tradition or belief system. Our role is to enable you to have a wedding ceremony that reflects your beliefs, ideas and style, whether you’d like a traditional ceremony or something less conventional.
What does interfaith mean?
At Scottish Wedding Ceremony, we believe interfaith to be a term which reflects our willingness to hold a unique ceremony that is meaningful to you, no matter what you believe. We aim to be inclusive of people with a traditional religious faith, those who consider themselves spiritual but who don’t regularly practise a faith, people who are unsure of their stance on religion, and people who are grappling with their religious background.
We strive to understand people from all faiths and no faith; those who feel a sense of spirituality not necessarily linked to religion, and those whose beliefs sit within traditional organised faith systems. Most of all, we want to understand both your beliefs and ideologies.
How is an interfaith ceremony flexible?
An interfaith ceremony can include whatever is important to you, reflecting what brings meaning, value and importance in your lives. More and more people hold beliefs which sit somewhere in between recognised boxes and labels. For your ceremony of marriage you may want certain religious or spiritual elements, which we would be happy to include. Or you may be a mixed-faith couple and want your marriage ceremony to reflect both sets of beliefs. We can include as much or as little religion or spirituality as you choose.
Does the ceremony have to be religious?
Absolutely not – but it can be if you want it to be! We can create a ceremony that evokes meaning for you both. Whether you are religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheist or anything in between, we will consider what is meaningful to you both and create a marriage ceremony that reflects this.
This can include a religious component from your faith, or feature elements that reflect your spiritual beliefs. We can tailor the wording to be spiritual, religious, non-religious or blend together different elements. Your ceremony will be personal to you and your own beliefs.
Can we have a handfasting or handtying?
Your ceremony can include whatever elements you decide. Handfasting rituals, for example, can form part of a legal wedding or simply be performed to symbolise the commitment and union between both parties joining as equals. This ancient ritual is purported to have Celtic origins, with the hands of both partners being tied together to represent the binding of the two lives. It can be included in religious or non-religious and secular ceremonies.
Where can the ceremony take place?
The short answer to this is pretty much anywhere. In Scotland the location or venue does not need to be licensed; rather we as interfaith ministers hold the licence, and we can perform the ceremony anywhere you like, subject to you having necessary permissions from property and landowners as needed.
This flexibility means your ceremony can take place somewhere full of meaning to you as a couple. It could be outdoors, such as on a particular beach, a woodland footpath, on one of Scotland’s beautiful mountains or even in your back garden! Of course, we also hold indoor ceremonies with just as much flexibility, ranging from the comfort of your own front room to the halls of Scotland’s many splendid castles. Equally, you can also hold your ceremony in a traditional hotel or village hall, or a religious place of worship, again with any necessary permissions from the owners, elders or trustees. The choice is yours!
How will our marriage be legal?
If you choose to include a legal aspect to your ceremony, we will direct you with what you need to do when. In Scotland, as interfaith ministers, we can include the legal element of the ceremony for you on the day, without the need for a registrar to be present. This is subject to you making an advance application to marry, and to you obtaining any necessary marriage visas if coming from overseas.
Opposite sex marriages and civil partnerships can both have a legal component, which enables the union to be recognised in the eyes of the law.
Whilst we have the authority to conduct same sex marriages and civil partnerships with a legal component recognised by UK and some other countries’ laws, sadly there will be some countries who do not recognise the union legally, or in fact, at all.
Do you conduct legal same-sex weddings?
Yes, as Scottish Wedding Ceremony celebrants and interfaith ministers we are more than happy to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies or blessings, and civil partnerships, including all the necessary legal elements. We can carry out your ceremony or signing wherever you choose, and create a ceremony that reflects your beliefs, values and traditions.
My partner and I come from mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. Can you accommodate this sensitively?
An interfaith wedding ceremony could be the perfect option for you thanks to the flexibility and bespoke nature of each service we create. We will work with you to find out what beliefs and values are important to both of you, and include rituals or wording in line with the expectations of both you and your families. This ensures both of your family backgrounds can be accommodated, whilst remaining sensitive to your beliefs, traditions and values.
Are there restrictions on the number of guests?
Absolutely not! Whether you want a lavish wedding with 500 guests, or you want to elope and have a personal, intimate ceremony just the two of you, we will provide exactly the type of ceremony you are after.
There is so much information around, we are not quite sure where to start! Can you help?
We most certainly can. With so many ideas, and approaching such an important moment in your lives, planning your unique wedding ceremony can feel like a daunting task. We will support and guide you from the start and help you to clarify what is important to you, ensuring the content of your ceremony reflects your values. We take care to bring everything together in the perfect way for you, so you can relax and enjoy your day, knowing all of your wishes will be respected.