What can I include in my ceremony?
You can include whatever is meaningful to you as a couple. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to structure your ceremony but it does have to be ‘right’ for you. You must include the legal declaration to confirm that you accept each other in marriage and you both must sign the marriage schedule along with the officiant and two witnesses over sixteen. The rest of the elements of the wedding is up to you. You might include you love story telling your guests what you mean to each other, readings and poems, songs, your vows, the ring exchange and symbolic rituals such as handfasting, ring blessing, or drinking from the quaich. There are numerous symbolic gestures. Whatever you choose has got to be right for you.'
How much does it all cost?
Costs for 2024 start at £500 for legal weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies. Additional costs are incurred if you choose bespoke ritual items or choose to retain ritual items used in the ceremony. Up to 50 miles return journey from my home in Helensburgh to the venue is included. I will discuss and agree that with you in advance. Dependant upon the distance, accommodation costs may be incurred. There are no hidden costs. I’ll give you a clear cost in advance so that there are no surprises.
No matter who your chosen officiant is you will also have to pay the Registrar’s statutory fees directly when you apply for your marriage licence. This is currently £100.
When will it all need to be paid by?
There is a booking fee of £100 at the outset with the final balance due no later than one month before the wedding. You may if you wish spread your payments by making payments into your account in the run up to the wedding with any remaining balance being paid one month prior to the wedding.
Which organisation do you belong to?
I am a member of and a Minister with the Open Sanctuary. I don't minister in the conventional sense in a physical church or parish. My parish is an invisible parish as I serve the spiritual needs of all beliefs and none. One of the blessings we receive as Ministers in the Open Sanctuary is when we are invited to honour the key points in life by creating and delivering weddings, funerals, baby naming and other rites of passages.
Do we need to have the same beliefs as you?
No, absolutely not. I can conduct a ceremony for you according to the beliefs you have or none if that is the case. It is your ceremony........your way. It isn't about me or my beliefs, so you don't have to worry about adhering to the beliefs of the officiant conducting the ceremony.
Can we write our own vows?
Absolutely. You don't need to say the same things but you do need to agree on everything that is being said. The whole point of writing your own vows is that you get to be you. You might decide to speak your vows one line at at time, or as a statement or in a Question and Answer format to individual promises.
Can you help with our vows?
Of course, once I get to know you as a couple I will offer you suggestions for vows within the draft script and will guide you through the process.
What is the process for appointing you as our officiant to marry us?
Step one - We will schedule a discovery meeting, either in person or on zoom during which we will have a chat about you as a couple and your initial thoughts about the wedding.
Step Two – You say YES to me as your officiant. I will send you a booking form, you complete and return and pay your £100 booking fee.
Step Three – I send you your homework. You complete and send back to me and then I will get to work on creating your bespoke ceremony. I will send you a draft and we will meet as often as needed until your wedding day to really get to know each other and finalise the script.
Balance paid. Final script agreed.
We meet at the venue at least four weeks before the big day.
Finally, the day you have been waiting for. I’ll arrive at the venue a minimum of one hour before your ceremony and do last minute checks. I’ll perform the ceremony, you, your witnesses and me, sign the marriage schedule. I hand over the signed schedule to the nominated person for safekeeping and you’ll be given a presentation folder with a copy of the ceremony as a keepsake. You return the signed marriage schedule to the Registrar within three days and receive your Legal marriage certificate.