St Mary the Virgin Scottish Episcopal Church, Hamilton

Rector: Revd Matthew Little


You've decided to get married

Congratulations

 


The congregation of St Mary's are delighted to hear that you have decided to get married, and that you are interested in exploring the possibility of being married in our church. St Mary's has been welcoming people to celebrate their wedding for almost 175 years. We are a Scottish Episcopal Church, part of the World-Wide Anglican Communion

Your wedding is a very special day, and we offer a very special place for a personal, meaningful and spiritual celebration. The information on this page should help give you an idea of what being married at St Mary’s will involve. Once you have read this, if you wish to explore being married at St Mary’s further, please contact our Rector.

We may be biased, but we think St Mary's is a beautiful Church in which to be married.  THE FIRST THING you need to do, however, is to get in touch with the Rector. If you can, please try not to book a wedding reception venue until you know whether the church and the Rector are available for your chosen date(s).

People sometimes ask whether they can get married in church if they have been married before. The short answer is that a proportion of the people who get married in the Scottish Episcopal Church have been married before. The Rector can officiate at the marriage of  couples where one or both have been married before, however, the consent of the bishop will be required. The Rector will be very happy to speak you about this.



It is important to note that no-one can get married in Scotland without first dealing with the local Registrar. On the day of the wedding (but preferably the day before) a couple need to produce a Marriage Schedule from the Registrar Service which is run by the local council. During the course of the service, the schedule will be completed by the Rector and the wedding party, and this then needs to be returned to the Registrar’s Office within three (3) days. 

The marriage service itself is, of course, the focal point of the day and there is a lot of fun to be had in making it your own.  Although, by law, there are particular aspects of your wedding that cannot be changed, you can be inventive in your choice of appropriate music and hymns, readings, poetry and prayers.  You may also want to involve friends or family in the service.

Weddings in the Scottish Episcopal Church tend not to be just done off the peg but are tailored to the pastoral need of couple who are getting married. For example, if the couple are parents, there may well be creative ways of involving the children on the big day.

A church wedding adds a spiritual dimension to your special day, and offers God’s blessing on the couple. You make wonderful, personal vows – and your family and friends are asked to promise their support for you. You can choose many of the words that you use, and the music. The church has a serene, historic and special atmosphere for a memorable event. The Rector will help you to prepare for your special day and all that it means. We have many years’ experience of doing weddings well! 

We wish you every joy and blessing as you prepare for this new step on the journey through life together.

Some questions you may be thinking about:

Do we have to be  members of the congregation or go to church to have our wedding at St Mary's?

No, every couple will be responded to based on pastoral need.

We are a same-sex couple, can we get married at St Mary's?

Yes! God is love and we are all God's children. Following a change in the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church, same sex marriages may be conducted in church on an 'opt-in' basis for Congregations and Clergy. Following on from this, in March 2018, after prayerful consideration and in response to pastoral need, St Mary's Vestry took the decision to fully 'opt-in' to this change. The Rector is licensed to conduct all  marriages.


How many people can St Mary's Church accommodate?

130+  – so there should be plenty of space for everyone.

Is there disabled access?

Yes, we have two options for disabled access, including a ramp at the main church door.

How long does the service take?

About 45 minutes.

Can we have music?
Yes. We have a very fine organ and Organist(s) at St Mary's.

Do we have to marry on a Saturday?

Not necessarily – Sunday's may be difficult due to our other services but this can be discussed with the Rector. You need to check that the church and the Rector are available on your preferred date(s). We do not marry couples during the season of Lent - the 5 weeks before Easter. 

What about photography?

Couples arrange this themselves. We are happy for photographs or  video to be taken, but not in such a way as to distract the couple, Priest or congregation from the important ceremony taking place.

How much does it all cost?

  • The church fee is £250 however a reduction may be possible for particular circumstances e.g. low income.  This can be discussed, in confidence, with the Rector. 
  • There is a fee for the Organist. This fee is currently set by 'The Scottish Federation of Organists' at £80.
  • There is a  cost for the Marriage Schedule from the Registrar. More details are available by clicking HERE

 

Where can I get more information?

marriage-in-scotland-information-leaflet-rm1a

It would be advisable to read this leaflet, produced by The National Records of Scotland’s Marriage and Civil Partnership section, which should answer most, if not all of your questions.  But please to also speak to the Rector if you are unsure.