So, you are thinking about getting married… congratulations!
We are delighted that you are choosing to be married, and that you are looking to find out more about what it means to be married in a church. Following decisions made by the General Assembly in May 2022, it is now possible for couples in same sex, as well as opposite sex relationships to be married in Greyfriars by our minister. We hope the information you find here will be useful as you continue to grow in love and commitment to one another.
We believe marriage should be a thing of beauty, blessed by God and fulfilling to both you and your partner. It is important not to rush into marriage and to think carefully about the promises that you will make to each other.
Remember that the wedding day, no matter how big and exciting, is not nearly as important as what follows - your married life together. In the Church we believe marriage to be a binding commitment for the rest of your life and we encourage everyone to set out on their marriage plans with this firmly in mind.
Who can be married in Greyfriars Parish Church?
The short and answer is ANYONE! But please take time to read the long answer!!! Couples in same sex or opposite sex relationships can be married in Greyfriars. Anyone who lives within the bounds of our parish may be married in our churches, by our minister. If you are resident outwith our parish but have a connection with the church, the minister may also agree to conduct your wedding. Every square inch of Scotland is served by a parish church, and it may be appropriate for you to ask the minister of your own parish first. Even people from outwith Scotland could have their wedding service within our church. If you are unsure or would like to check about whether you could be married in one of our church, please contact our minister, Rev. Bryan Kerr.
What about the legal side of marriage?
In Scotland, all couples must lodge wedding notices with a local registrar. The law has recently changed and couples must now give a minimum of 29 days notice. We recommend that couples should not leave this to the last minutes and should visit the registrar around 3 months before the wedding is due to take place. You should direct any legal queries to the registrar at the local council offices, South Vennel in Lanark. Due to South Lanarkshire cuts, this office is now only open on a Monday and Friday and operates an appointments only system. The Hamilton office remains a full time office, although an appointment system is again in operation.
You can get more information and download the forms you need for the registrar by visiting the NRS Scotland website here. You can contact the regsitration office in South Lanarkshire by calling 0303 123 1015 or email [email protected]. If your wedding is to take place outwith South Lanarkshire area then you need to contact the registrar most local to the hotel or venue in which you will be married. Details of registrars can be found by checking this list.
You should visit the registration page on southlanarkshire.gov.uk (or other relevant local authority dependant on the venue of the ceremony) and check the latest information on how to return your completed forms to them, either in person or by post.
What's the difference between a religious and a civil ceremony?
We believe that being married by Christian minister, in a Church that you are making promises not only to each other and your witnesses (as you would in a registry office) but also before God. The minister also asks God to bless the wedding couple during the service and prays that God will be with them throughout their married life.
Can the minister marry us somewhere other than the church?
We believe that the natural place for you to have a religious wedding ceremony is in our church. The Church of Scotland allows ministers to marry outwith the church building but it is up to each individual minister to decide whether this is appropriate or not. Our minister would be happy to discuss all possibilities with a couple looking to be married.
How much does it cost to be married in Greyfriars Parish Church?
Normally a couple would pay for the service of the church officer, the organist and the use of the church (to cover heating and lighting). These charges do change from time to time. For the current charges, please download our wedding booklet. Please note that the charges you pay for your wedding are the charges in place on the day of your wedding, not the day you booked your wedding.
How can I find out more?
We have produced a booklet which you can download and print here. We hope that this answers many questions that people have about getting married in Greyfriars Parish Church.
Please contact us to talk about your future marriage as soon as possible. As the minister can be very busy with weddings and have some booked three years in advance it is important that you speak to him regarding dates, preferably before you book the hotel. This will only take a quick phone call or email and may save you an issue at a later stage if the minister cannot perform your wedding on the day you have booked with the hotel. We aim to be as helpful and as flexible as possible ... we just ask that you speak to us at the very start of your process.