Fort William Duncansburgh MacIntosh Parish Church

Scottish Charity Number SC013279

Wedding

Arranging a Wedding?    Some practical guidelines.

This page has been prepared to help in making arrangements for a Christian wedding service. We are happy to conduct wedding services in the church or in other suitable venues. We will do what we can to help make your wedding a really special occasion when you make promises to each other and we ask for God’s blessing on your relationship. 

Contact

If you wish to arrange a wedding in the church, or to enquire about a member of the ministry team leading a service in another venue, please make early contact with the minister, Rev Richard Baxter on 01397 702297 or e-mail RBaxter@churchofscotland.org.uk .

It is important to make provisional arrangements with the church before confirming the reception arrangements to avoid disappointment.

Registrar

A wedding can only take place legally if a valid marriage certificate issued by the Registrar is present. The legal minimum time period of notice for a wedding is 29 days.  Normally, you should make an appointment with the Registrar 8-12 weeks before the proposed date to arrange a marriage schedule. If either of you is not a British citizen, contact the Registrar for advice as early as possible, as you may need Home Office permission to marry in the UK.

The Registrar will need to see various documents in advance. These include birth certificates and, if appropriate, evidence that you are free to marry in the form of death certificates or divorce papers relating to a previous marriage, or naturalisation certificates if you have become a UK citizen.

The marriage schedule will be available for collection a few days before the wedding and must be collected by the bride or groom in person. It is normally brought to a wedding rehearsal, and after the service it must be returned to the Registrar afterwards within three working days.

The Registrar in Fort William can be contacted on 01397 704583 or at fortwilliamregistrars@highland.gov.uk

The Church Service

A wedding service will typically last for about 30 minutes, depending on what you choose to include. The Minister will help you to work out the content and format of the service. 

Music

Most people have hymns during the service (usually 2), and you can discuss options with the Minister. Organ music or recorded music can be used before and after the service, and as the schedule is signed. The choice of music should also be discussed with the organist. The Minister will be able to advise you about possible organists to contact. 

Flowers

You may, if you wish, decorate the church with flowers. Please let us know whether or not flowers are being left in the church for the following Sunday.

Confetti

You can throw confetti outside, but please avoid using it within the church building or immediately outside the front door. 

Rehearsal

The minister will offer to arrange a rehearsal, usually a couple of days before the service. This is to help you to feel comfortable with the service, and it usually involves whichever members of the bridal party are available. Remember to bring the Marriage Schedule with you to the rehearsal.

Suggested  Fees and Donations

Please ask for a copy of our current leaflet about the costs of weddings for details. As a rough guide, for church weddings we normally suggest a minimum donation of £200 and a fee of £50 for the organist. Special arrangements are in place to ensure no-one is excluded from a church wedding on grounds of cost.

Please note that no part of any church donation you make is paid to the minister for conducting a service.

Photographs/Videos

The Minister will advise on arrangements for photography or video recording. Our aim will be to preserve the special atmosphere of your wedding while letting you make a permanent record of it. Essentially we’ll ask photographers to restrict themselves to a few unobtrusive shots during the service, but invite them forward when you sign the register, and let them set up the shots they wish before and after the service. 

The Wedding Day

Ushers should be at the church around 45 minutes before the service time. The Groom and Best Man should arrive about 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. The Bride is expected to be at the church at the agreed time. Please note that we cannot guarantee that weddings which have not started within 30 minutes of the booked time will be able to proceed. 

Sunday Services

The main Sunday service is held at 11.30a.m.. Try to come along several times before your wedding so the church feels familiar to you. You don’t have to be a church member or regular attender to get married, but it can be particularly special to get married in a place where you feel you a sense of belonging. If you want to know any more about church membership or any aspect of Christian faith please speak to the minister. We believe that there is no better start to married life than to be part of a church family and to receive the encouragement and support that is there for all.

The rest of this website provides full details of the Church and its activities.

"My command is this. Love one another as I have loved you.” John 15.12