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This page is included to answer some of the many questions which we are regularly asked about getting married in Glenaray & Inveraray Parish Church. However, if you do have a question which you would like to ask, please do ask. The minister will be very happy to answer your query. Q. Who can get married in our Parish Church? A.   As   we   are   a   Parish   Church,   anyone   who   is   normally   resident   within   our   parish   may   apply   to   the   minister   to   be   married.   Our   parish   is   the   town   of   Inveraray   and surrounding area. If you live in another part of Scotland, then it is the privilege of the minister from your own parish to conduct your wedding. If you are a communicant member of our Parish Church, living outwith the parish, you may also ask our minister to conduct your wedding service. However,   many   other   folk   would   like   to   be   married   in   this   beautiful   part   of   the   world   and   we   are   delighted   to   share   our   Church   with   them,   especially   as   we believe that Inveraray is a beautiful place for a wedding in Scotland. The   best   way   of   inviting   our   minister   to   conduct   your   wedding   is   to   come   to   a   regular   Sunday   morning   service   and   after   the   service   to   come   and   join   us   for   tea   or   coffee,     everyone in the congregation does! There you will get an opportunity of discussing your plans with the Minister. If   you   wish   you   may   telephone   the   Manse   in   advance   (01499   -   302295)   to   tell   the   minister   that   you   will   be   attending   Church   and   would   like   to   speak   to   him   about   a wedding. Of course, you may not be able to get to Inveraray immediately and that is why an on-line application form is included at the end of this web-page. Fill it in, send it off and the process of planning your wedding has already begun. If he can, the minister will normally be delighted to arrange your wedding. He   will   want   to   be   sure   that   you   are   fully   aware   that   a   Wedding   Service   in   Inveraray   Parish   Church   is   a   religious   service;   that   you   will   be   making   your   promises   before God; and that you will be coming to receive God's blessing on the marriage into which you are entering. There   is   not   much   point   in   doing   that   unless   you   have   a   faith   in   God   and   want   him   to   be   part   of   your   marriage. The   minister   will   also   want   to   be   sure   that   you   are   happy with   the   Church's   view   of   marriage   as   the   entering   into   a   loving   commitment   for   life   between   two   people.   He   will   not,   however,   expect   or   require   you   to   become   a member   of   the   Church   if   you   are   not   a   member,   although   he   will   seek   to   establish   links   between   you   and   your   own   local   Church   to   ensure   that   there   is   a   congregation and a minister to whom you may turn to in the future and who will be happy to welcome you into the life of their congregation. It   is   important   that   both   people   wishing   to   be   married   come   to   one   of   our   services,   not   least   because   you   will   want   to   be   sure   that   the   style   of   worship   which   is   offered here is appropriate for your special day. Marriages will not be arranged until the minister has had the opportunity of consulting both parties. It   is   also   important   that   if   you   have   been   married   before   that   you   tell   the   minister   at   this   stage.   Under   present   Church   of   Scotland   regulations,   depending   on   the circumstances,   ministers   are   allowed   to   marry   people   who   have   been   divorced   subject   to   their   own   consciences.   So   the   fact   that   you   have   been   divorced   will   not necessarily debar you from getting married in our Parish Church. Once   the   minister   has   agreed   to   arrange   your   wedding,   the   first   thing   to   be   settled   on   is   the   date.   Because   there   are   a   great   number   of   wedding   requests   in   our   parish, and because you will also have reception arrangements to make, this date will often be quite a way in the future. Arrangements Required The   minister   will   advise   you   that   about   three   months   before   the   date   of   your   wedding   you   should   make   contact   with   the   local   registrar   to   complete   the   appropriate   forms which   will   result   in   a   Wedding   Schedule   being   issued   to   you   by   the   registrar   in   the   week   of   your   wedding.   The   minister   will   remind   you   that   this   Wedding   Schedule   is very important, and that without it no marriage can take place. The   Local   Registrar   for   marriages   at   Glenaray   &   Inveraray   Parish   Church   is:   Shona   Brechin,   Lochgilphead   Customer   Service   Point,   1A   Manse   Brae,   Lochgilphead.     PA31 8RD  Tel (01546 604515)   or at any Argyll and Bute Registration office closer to you. Full   Birth   Certificates   will   be   required,   together   with,   where   applicable,   Certificate   of   Divorce   or   Certificate   of   Death   of   a   former   spouse.   There   are   fees   payable   to   the Registrar in connection with your documentation. All   weddings   in   our   Parish   Church   are   arranged   by   the   Parish   Minister   and   most   will   be   conducted   by   him.   On   a   few   occasions   when   the   minister   is   unavailable   a ministerial   friend   of   Inveraray   Church   will   conduct   the   service,   always   at   the   invitation   of   the   parish   minister.   The   minister   might,   for   example,   be   a   minister   living   in   this area   who   is   happy   to   help   with   wedding   celebrations. At   about   the   time   you   make   contact   with   the   registrar,   you   will   be   asked   to   attend   a   meeting   with   the   minister   who is to conduct your wedding service. At this time the minister will discuss with you the arrangements for your marriage. As   has   been   said   earlier   on   this   web-page,   your   wedding   service   in   Inveraray   Parish   Church   is   a   religious   service   and,   as   such,   all   of   the   arrangements   for   the   service itself   are   in   the   hands   of   the   minister.   He   will,   however,   wish   to   discuss   the   service   with   you   and   will   normally   be   happy   to   include   within   the   service   items   which   you have chosen. In   particular,   he   will   want   to   be   sure   that   the   hymns   used   during   the   service   are   ones   with   which   you   are   familiar   and,   if   there   are   hymns   which   have   a   special   meaning for you, he will be happy to include them, providing that they are appropriate for the wedding service. He   will   also   be   glad   to   know   if   there   is   particular   music   which   you   would   like   to   have   played   as   you   come   into   Church   and   as   you   leave   Church. At   wedding   services   in Inveraray   the   organ   music   is   played   by   the   organist   or   operator   on   a   Hymnal   Plus   player   and,   once   you   have   discussed   the   service   with   the   minister,   he   will   usually arrange with the organist/operator for any special musical requests. Once   all   of   the   details   of   the   wedding   have   been   finalised,   you   may   wish   to   have   an   Order   of   Service   or   Hymn   Sheet   printed.   It   is   important   that   you   do   not   do   this before all of the details have been agreed with the minister. The Ceremony Not   every   wedding   is   the   same   but,   usually,   your   service   will   start   with   some   words   of   welcome   and   the   first   hymn   which   you   and   the   minister   have   chosen   together. This   will   be   followed   by   a   general   introduction   about   marriage   during   which   the   Church's   view   of   marriage   as   part   of   God's   plan   for   us   will   be   expressed;   we   will   remind ourselves   that   Marriage   is   a   life-long   commitment   of   two   people   to   each   other;   that   in   this   new   relationship   both   partners   will   blossom   and   grow   through   each   other's love; that children may be born and that society itself is strongest where marriage is honoured. We   will   also   remind   ourselves   that   as   this   is   a   Christian   Marriage,   we   believe   that   God   is   present   with   us   in   the   ceremony   and   that   as   we   are   starting   this   marriage   in prayer so we undertake to continue to share our lives with God in prayer, to bring our children up to love God and to commit ourselves totally to each other. Naturally these words are followed by a prayer (the first of two prayers in the wedding service). This prayer asks God to be with you as you make your wedding vows. At   this   point   everyone   in   the   congregation   will   be   asked   to   stand,   and   they   will   be   expected   to   remain   standing   throughout   the   promises,   the   exchange   of   rings   and   the blessing.   This   is   because   this   is   the   central   and   most   important   part   of   the   wedding   ceremony   and,   in   our   tradition,   whenever   something   particularly   holy   happens   we stand. The minister will ask you to join hands and to make your promises to each other. Normally you will repeat the promise phrase by phrase after the minister. Usually the promise is as follows:     Adam,   take   you   Eve,   to   be   my   wife   and   in   the   presence   of   God,   and   before   these   witnesses,   I   promise   and   covenant   to   be   a   loving   and   faithful   husband   to   you as long as we both shall live. Eve,   take   you Adam,   to   be   my   husband   and   in   the   presence   of   God,   and   before   these   witnesses,   I   promise   and   covenant   to   be   a   loving   and   faithful   wife   to   you as long as we both shall live. You'll   see   that   the   promise   is   the   same   for   both   male   and   female   and   the   minister   will   point   out   that   'covenant'   is   a   much-loved   church   word,   rich   in   theological   meaning, for 'to make a binding agreement.'  After the promises comes the exchange of rings. You may be asked to say the following words as you give your partner a ring: I give you this ring in God's name, as a symbol of all that we have promised, and all that we shall share.   The minister may also say the traditional words:  By   these   signs   you   take   each   other,   to   have   and   to   hold   from   this   day   forward;   for   better,   for   worse,   for   richer,   for   poorer,   in   sickness   and   in   health,   to   love   and cherish, for as long as you live. At this point the minister will join your hands together and declare you to be married, repeating the injunction: 'Those whom God has joined together, no one must separate.'   The   minister   will   now   require   you,   as   your   first   act   together   as   a   married   couple,   to   kneel   to   receive   God's   blessing. This   is   why   you   have   come   to   be   married   in   Church -   to   make   your   promises   before   God,   to   share   your   special   day   with   him,   and   now,   the   very   best   bit   of   the   whole   service,   to   receive   God's   blessing   on   your   coming together   as   man   and   wife,   and   you   kneel   because   it   is   your   way   of   taking   part   in   this   blessing;   it   isn't   something   which   happens   over   your   head   'whether   you   like   it   or not' - but you seek this blessing and consent to it by kneeling in front of the whole congregation. The blessing will either be spoken by the minister or sung by the congregation, after which you will stand once more and the congregation will be seated. If   there   are   three   hymns,   the   second   one   will   normally   be   sung   at   this   point,   after   which   there   will   sometimes   be   an   address   and   there   will   certainly   be   a   word   of congratulation. This   leads   on   to   the   second   part   of   the   service   which   consists   of   the   reading   of   God's   word   and   the   second   and   final   prayer. The   minister   will   choose   readings   which   he feels   to   be   appropriate   for   the   occasion,   possibly   some   of   the   beautiful   words   about   love   written   by   Paul   in   his   first   letter   to   the   Church   at   Corinth.         He   will   be   happy   to hear   suggestions   from   you   both   about   other   appropriate   readings   which   have   meaning   for   you   and   will   also   normally   be   happy   to   agree   to   one   of   your   friends   sharing   a reading   in   the   service   itself. The   final   prayer   is   a   prayer   asking   God   to   be   with   you   throughout   the   adventure   which   you   have   begun   on   your   wedding   day,   asking   God   to be   with   you   in   the   good   times   and            in   the   more   difficult   times   which   may   lie   ahead.   It's   again   underlining   the   idea   of   a   three-way   partnership   which   begins   with   your marriage. Finally,   everyone   will   sing   the   last   hymn   and   the   minister   will   invite   you   and   your   wedding   party   (Best   Man,   Bridesmaids,   possibly   parents,   depending   on   your   wishes)   to gather round the table while the wedding documents are signed. While   the   documents   are   being   signed,   appropriate   music   will   be   played.   Some   couples   have   a   family   friend   whom   they   invite   to   sing   at   this   point.   If   you   would   like   to have   this   in   your   wedding,   please   do   discuss   the   matter   first   with   the   minister.   The   minister   will   want   to   agree   to   your   request,   but   will   want   to   be   sure   that   what   is proposed is appropriate for a service of worship and a celebration of marriage. Meanwhile,   around   the   table,   the   bridegroom   will   have   signed   his   normal   signature,   the   bride,   regardless   of   what   she   has   decided   to   call   herself   after   her   marriage,   will sign   her   maiden   name   (the   name   she   has   used   for   all   of   the   years   up   to   this   point),   and   the   two   witnesses,   both   of   whom   have   been   present   at   the   service   and   are   over the   age   of   sixteen,   will   sign   their   normal   signatures   and   fill   in   their   full   names   and   addresses.   Normally   the   witnesses   are   either   the   Best   Man   and   Bridesmaid   or   two   of the   parents.   Their   signatures   are   important   because   under   Scots   Law   it   is   their   witnessing   the   fact   that   you   have   declared   your   intention   to   live   as   husband   and   wife that completes the marriage contract. After a pause for a photograph, the organ music will strike up the final Wedding music and you will walk out of the Church as man and wife. Q & A There are a number of questions which people sometimes ask about weddings in Inveraray Parish Church and these will be dealt with now.  Q. Are we allowed to have photographs taken of our wedding?   A.   Yes,   the   photographer   should   speak   to   the   minister   about   what   is   permitted,   but   providing   the   camera   is   not   intrusive   and   does   not   use   flash   there   will   not   be a   problem.   It   is   good   to   have   pictures   of   the   service   as   well   as   at   the   door   and   at   the   reception   because   these   will   remind   you   of   the   important   promises   which you have made on your wedding day. Q. Are we allowed to have a video of our wedding?   A.  Again yes, providing that the siting of the camera and the operator is unobtrusive and uses only available light. Q. How much does it cost to get married in Inveraray Parish Church? A.   There   are   two   charges   depending   upon   whether   you   live   within   the   parish   of   Inveraray   and   are   a   member   of   Inveraray   Parish   Church   or   not.   For   members and their immediate family, the only charge to be met is for the oganist/operator and Church Officer which at present is set at £120. For   non-members   and   those   outside   our   Parish,   there   is   an   all-inclusive   fee   of   £400   which   covers   the   cost   of   the   organist/operator,   Church   Officer   and   use   of   the Church.   Of   this   £400,   £60   is   required   as   a   non-returnable   deposit   when   the   parish   minister   agrees   to   arrange   your   wedding,   the   remainder   is   due   six   weeks before the date of the wedding. Q. Do I pay for the Minister? A.   Wherever   you   are   from,   there   is,   of   course,   no   charge   at   all   for   the   services   of   the   parish   minister.   It   is   his   privilege   to   give   his   services   to   you   freely   and without charge. You may if you wish give the minister a gift or donation. Q. What about flowers for the Church on our Wedding Day? A.   The    minister    is    happy    for    you    to    put    flowers    in    the    Church    for    your    wedding. You   may   do   this   on   the   evening   before   the   wedding   or   you   may   arrange   for   this   to be   done   on   your   behalf   either   on   the   evening   before   the   ceremony   or   on   the   morning   of   the   wedding.   The   Church   Officer   will   open   the   Church   to   enable   this   to be done. It is expected that flowers put in Church are then left to be distributed to the elderly and sick in the parish following the next Sunday service. Q. Do I have to ask the Parish Minister to arrange my wedding and must I use the Church's organist? A.   Wedding   services   at   Inveraray   Parish   Church   are   arranged   by   the   Parish   Minister.   The   Church   does   not   hire   out   its   building   for   use   for   weddings   by   other people.   If   you   are   from   outwith   the   parish,   the   Parish   Minister   will   normally   be   happy   to   invite   your   own   parish   minister,   priest   or   pastor   to   share   in   the   service, should   that   be   appropriate;   but   the   invitation   will   always   come   from   the   Inveraray   Parish   Church   Minister   as   it   is   his   responsibility   to   arrange   and   to   conduct   the weddings   within   his   church.      Sometimes,   if   it   is   thought   to   be   appropriate,   visiting   ministers   are   invited   to   deliver   an   address,   read   the   Bible   Passages   and   lead the   prayers   for   the   couple   who   are   being   married.   The   leading   the   praise   will   be   by   the   Church   Organist/Operator,   but   you   can   invite   your   own   organist   if   you wish.  Q. Is it expected that we invite the minister to the wedding reception? A.   Absolutely   not.   The   minister   will   not   expect   to   be   invited   to   your   wedding   reception .   If   you   do   invite   him   he   will,   of   course   be   very   pleased,   but   you   should understand   that   with   so   many   weddings   there   are   many   occasions   when   the   constraints   of   time   and   work   will   make   it   impossible   for   him   to   accept   such   an invitation. And   what   about   all   of   the   many   other   questions   we've   got   about   who   should   do   what   in   Church,   who   should   sit   where,   and   so   on?   Don't   worry,   the   minister   will   explain this to you. Most   of   all,   enjoy   the   time   between   now   and   your   wedding;   enjoy   the   planning;   enjoy   the   preparation   and   make   time   to   think   of   your   decision   to   celebrate   your   marriage in   God's   house   -   Inveraray   Parish   Church   will   also   be   your   home. You   will   be   welcome   to   come   and   join   us   Sunday   by   Sunday,   and   you   may   feel   that   coming   to   worship in Inveraray Parish Church before your wedding will make you feel more at home on your big day! Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with all of your plans!     The   next   step   is   to   complete   our   wedding   application   form   and   to   send   it   to   us   by   e-mail   using   the   on-line   application   form   below. You   will   quickly   be   informed   if   the   date you request is available and will be invited to come to one of our services so that you can be sure that the style of worship we offer is appropriate for your special day.     If   you   are   unable   to   come   to   Inveraray   just   yet,   you   are   welcome   to   send   your   application   by   post   or   e-mail   but   do   understand   that   the   Minister   will   not   normally   be   able to   confirm   your   wedding   arrangements   until   he   has   met   you   both   in   person.   Due   to   the   Minister's   obligations   to   his   two   parishes   and   because   of   the   large   number   of wedding   requests   received,   it   is   regretted   that   the   Minister   can   normally   only   meet   with   you   for   this   purpose   on   a   Sunday   morning   following   Sunday   worship.   Due   to   the ever   increasing   number   of   people   from   overseas   who   are   seeking   to   get   married   in   Inveraray   Parish   Church,   the   Parish   Minister   will   be   happy   to   conduct   the   initial planning of a wedding of those from abroad by e-mail, post or even  telephone. We have a very beautiful Church and are happy to share it with the many folk for whom Inveraray is a special place. We look forward to meeting you! Summary of Booking fees All bookings are subject to a £60 booking fee. This is not an additional charge and will be deducted from the final account. Should the booking be cancelled or postponed, the booking fee will be non-refundable. Fees chargeable for Marriages are those applicable as at the date of arranging the marriage. Marriage fee applicable from 1st January 2016 is £400 The fee for Church Members or their Immediate family is £120 plus a Donation if you wish. An application form is available for download here (pdf)
Weddings - getting Married in our Church