Marriage and Civil Ceremonies

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Planning your Wedding Ceremony Order


Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day, it is the point in time where you officially go from being two single people to a married couple.


The Argyll and Bute registrars want to help to make this part of your day perfect for you and are happy to tailor the ceremony to suit you and add in special extras or remove any elements that you are not comfortable with.


Although each registrar will have a slightly different way of creating the ceremony for you the below is a guide to give you an idea of how it will flow.


You might be feeling slightly nervous about the ceremony and feel that you want to keep it short and sweet. It is worth remembering however that on the day it will pass in an instant and you want to have a ceremony that both you and your guests remember for years to come.


Without adding anything into the ceremony, it will only last around 15-20 minutes (this will vary depending on the registrars own words) so we really recommend working with the registrar and including your choices of readings, involving your guests and family with additional ceremonies and letting us get to know you as a couple so that we can make your ceremony perfect for you!

Alison and Andrew - Crear - Euan Robertson Photography
 The Processional

The processional is where the party/parties to marriage make their grand entrance and walk down the aisle.

The registrar will ask your guests to stand for your entrance and take their seats when you’re all at the front.

This can happen in a few different ways. Typically, one party will be waiting at the altar for other party to walk down the aisle, with any bridesmaids going first.

Traditionally a bride will walked down the aisle by her father but of course this can be any loved one or you can walk in alone.

If you’re having flower girls and page boys, they’ll walk down just before the party walking down the aisle

You may both choose to walk down the aisle together or decide it isn’t right for either of you.

This part of the ceremony is really completely up to you and you can choose which members of your wedding party and family take part.

You may wish to ask your registrar to make an announcement before this happens if you do not wish photographs taken by guests during the ceremony.


The Welcome

Once everyone is in place the registrar will open the ceremony with some welcoming words, introducing themselves and their capacity for conducting the ceremony.

They will usually thank your guests for attending and this may be an appropriate time to mention any loved ones who are not able to join you on your special day.

Depending on the registrar they may choose to open the ceremony with a reading or poem, if there is anything specific you would like to open your ceremony please discuss this with the registrar.


Courtesy of David Grant Simpson
Rachel and Aaron - Silver Photography
Words on Marriage

The registrar will now usually say some words about marriage, this is a good time to include a brief story about you as a couple, what marriage means to you as a couple.

You can write this information yourself or download the questions  which will help the registrar to put something together for you.

They may give an outline of the ceremony and what it represents.

Image Supplied by Crear Weddings
Readings & Extra Ceremonies

Although these things can be included at almost any time during the ceremony, before you say your vows is a great time to include something a little bit different.

It can be very special to include a member of your wedding party or family and friends to read something during your ceremony or to help perform a traditional Hand-fasting so that your hands are bound together as you make your vows to each other.

Readings of your choice and other ceremonies can also be performed by your registrar, please discuss your choices with them.


Photos courtesy of Pixies in the Cellar
The Vows

All marriages in Scotland are formed by vows and these are a legal part of your ceremony however you can personalise them by choosing wording that you feel suits you both or even write your own.

If you choose to write your own vows the wording must include each of you stating that you accept the other as your husband or wife, that you accept the other in marriage, or both.

This is a very special moment in the ceremony where you make your commitment to each other.


Courtesy of Lena Sabala Photography
Courtesy of Chic Photo by Jacqui
The Rings

Although it is not a compulsory part of the marriage ceremony in Scotland, most couples will choose to exchange rings or jewellery as the traditional way of sealing your vows.

At this part of the ceremony you will also say some words as you exchange your rings.

Again, these words can be chosen from options available on our page or can be written completely to suit you.

If you are having a ring bearer they will be called forward to hand the rings to you, please ensure you let the registrar know who will have the rings.


The Kiss

The registrar will officially declare you married or as Husband/Wife and Wife/Husband, please let the registrar know if there a certain way you would like to be pronounced.

You will then be told you may kiss. There will be lots of clapping and cheering from your guests as you share your first married kiss.

TIP: This is a very important shot for your photographer to capture so try and make sure your kiss lasts for a couple of seconds to give them the best chance.


Courtesy of Chloe Jane Photography
Courtesy of Margaret Soraya Photography
The Signing

Once you have been pronounced as married the registrar will invite you and your two witnesses to sign the marriage schedule.

If you are setting up your venue it is a good idea to have a small table available for this however if you are being married outdoors the registrar will help you to improvise.

For signing the marriage schedule each of you should use your current signature even if you plan to change your name following your marriage.


Time for a drink?

A traditional way to toast your marriage in Scotland is to share a drink from the Quaich.

A Quaich is a small, usually pewter, two handled cup and can be filled with Whiskey or any drink of your choice.

Each of you will take a handle and help each other to take a drink from the Quiach, symbolising your lives joining together.

Please let your registrar know if you would like to include a Quaich in your ceremony.

My Islay Wedding
The Recessional

Once the signing of the schedule has been completed the registrar will invite you back to the head of the aisle to conclude the ceremony.

They will offer their congratulations and ask your guests for a round of applause. If you are having confetti, they will also ask your guests to get prepared.

You will then make your way back down the aisle as a married couple followed by your wedding party as your guests cheer and throw their confetti.