Andrew Hunter Interfaith Minister
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This page refers only to FAQs for marriage and vow renewal ceremonies in Scotland (mainly Edinburgh and the eastern scottish Borders.)
Although there is much information on this website and in any documentation you may be sent in response to any enquiry you send me, there are several fairly regular questions that people keep sending me. So here goes:-
Can we marry legally in Scotland?
You can marry in Scotland wherever in the world you live. Please find the up-to-date information on http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/regscot/getting-married-in-scotland/index.html But if you are from outside Scotland, also check that your marriage is going to be legally recognised in your own country!
Can we use any venue? Or do we have to marry in church?
Here in Scotland you can hold a wedding ceremony most anywhere that is practicable, ie as long as it is appropriate and safe. This could be a private house, a beach, an historic castle, a romantic hotel, deep in a forest, or on a spiritual misty island. All you need is the permission of the person who owns the property, and an authorised celebrant (minister, priest, rabbi etc.) Please note – you must seek the permission. I do not offer this as a service.
Is your marriage ceremony legal ie do we need to be married by a registrar or government official first?
I was trained and ordained (in 2000) by the Interfaith Foundation now called One Spirit Interfaith. I have grown beyond my training and developed in ways I never envisaged back then. For each wedding I conduct, I apply to the Registrar General for Scotland under the category of non-conformist minister, and receive a licence to conduct and therefore legalise your marriage and sign your marriage schedule in front of your two witnesses. In short, you will not need a registrar although you do have to call the banns of marriage and obtain the marriage schedule document from the registrar for the area in which your marriage venue is located.
We are not a religious couple, or one of us is and the other not, can you still perform the ceremony?
Absolutely; I perform marriage and other ceremonies for people of all faiths and those of none. My first ceremony was in Spain for a Catholic bride from Girona in the North and an American Jewish groom from New York. The ceremony was in Spanish. Since then, almost 50% of my ceremonies have been for couples who both have different faith beliefs or no spiritual / religious beliefs at all, and from different cultures / countries. Whilst most of my ceremonies have been in English, about 50% have been either fully in Spanish or Spanish / English, or English and French or German. All bespoke ceremonies are offered in English, French, German, or Spanish.
I find that if people have a strong affiliation to one particular religion they will want to get married within that tradition. But increasingly, most couples bring diverse faith traditions and none, and many want something more in a humanistic or spiritual style.
I will honour your beliefs and offer you choice.
Many I meet feel constrained by what is offered to them by a traditional church and may feel uncomfortable about what they are asked to say during their marriage ceremony. There are many who are not church goers and do not have a religious faith of any kind, but who do have a sense of something spiritual, and who find that a civil ceremony is lacking something; it can be too cold and functional.
I will help you to have a wedding ceremony that matches your circumstances and needs with vows that reflect and respect the beliefs and values of each of you, as well as honour the traditions of the wider family and your circle of friends. Some couples tell me that whilst they may be eg Christian or Jewish, their guests will not be, and therefore they want all this reflected in the ceremony. That is perfectly fine.
We want to have a civil partnership ceremony.
The law in Scotland means that at present the legal signing for a civil partnership between 2 people of the same gender can only be completed by a registrar, and must take place in a registry office or on registered premises.
What I can offer however is to create and conduct a more public ceremony, with you and your guests, in a different location. Most same gender couples then see this ceremony as their MAIN ceremony in front of friends and family, including any songs, readings and rituals they would like.
How much will it cost?
The above prices are for ceremonies in the Eastern Scottish Borders and Edinburgh, which I class as my home area.
I am willing to travel further afield but will offer for your agreement a quote beforehand for any additional travel and accommodation costs.
How do I pay? There is an easy PayPal click on the web front page. Or if you wish to pay by Bank Transfer, an account number will be provided.
Languages – can you deliver my ceremony in other languages. I speak and offer ceremonies in English, French, German, or Spanish? IThis service is only for Bespoke ceremonies as it takes considerable time to plan a service also in a different language.
Are you available on (date) – The home page has a link to my diary where you can check availability. If I am really not available, it will say so.
What would a typical ceremony include? There is a sample run down ceremony linked from the Wedding Ceremonies page as well as other information about possibilities.
Can you marry us legally in Spain? In short “no”. I no longer offer blessing ceremonies in Spain and am not in a position to recommend a replacement minister. Much detail is already available on the website – Wedding Ceremonies Page. I can only legally marry people in Scotland.
Is your ceremony approved by the Catholic Church? Again, this is covered on the website. I cannot officially marry someone in the eyes of any specific religion; I can only include rituals and beliefs from their religion.?
Contact me to discuss your wedding date, time and location and what kind of ceremony you think you are looking for – Standard or Bespoke. You can use the contact form on this website at www.andrewhunter.eu
If you decide to proceed and book with me, I will issue a questionnaire which helps me understand what you love about each other and what getting married means to you and what style of ceremony you seek. For bespoke ceremonies I will find out if you have any particular spiritual beliefs or traditions that you would like to reflect in your ceremony, we will discuss readings, music and rituals that might be included, and who else might be involved in the ceremony.
Ahead of the ceremony, be it Bespoke or Standard, I will issue you with a very detailed rundown of the ceremony – this will tell you all you need to know about the ceremony itself, and help you run any rehearsal you may wish to have