Frequently Asked Questions
What does a ceremony involve?
The ministers offering their services in and around Gretna use recognised forms of ceremony from their respective denomination or body, but are always happy to accommodate your specific requests. Ceremonies usually last 10-15 minutes, so it’s a little simpler than a regular Church based wedding, but still full of meaning and emotion. Click here for an example of a typical ceremony. If you have your own vows, readings or things you’d like to incorporate, just tell your minister and he/she will be very pleased to accommodate your wishes.
All the ministers are very approachable.
What if I don’t go to Church?
Many people would love to have a minister take their wedding ceremony, but don’t go to Church. Gretna ministers are here to help, providing a Christian ceremony for people from all backgrounds, in a way that’s not alien or uncomfortable. In fact, most people we serve don’t have a Church back home, but we’re delighted to give you a heartfelt, non-judgemental personal service to remember your whole lives. Our desire is that your marriage gets off to a great start!
What is the step by step process?
There’s a little more to arrange to get married by a minister in Scotland, rather than a registrar, but the flexibility and personal nature of it is well worthwhile. Here’s our step by step guide:
1. Apply to the Registration Office with an M10 form (download here). Submit that not less than 29 days and not more than 3 months before your wedding date.
2. Collect your Marriage Schedule from the Registration Office before your wedding. The Gretna Registration Office is open 7 days; closed on Scottish bank holidays.
3. Bring your Marriage Schedule with you to your wedding (this is essential, as the wedding cannot go ahead without it!).
4. Your minister will make sure everything is signed and witnessed correctly following the ceremony.
5. You return the completed Marriage Schedule to the Registration Office within 3 days.
6. The Registrar will post out to you your final Marriage Certificate in due course, which is an Extract of your Marriage Schedule.
What do I do next?
If you’re booking your wedding through an agency or wedding planners at a venue, just say you’d like to have a ‘religious celebrant’, rather than a registrar to conduct your marriage ceremony. Each agency/venue have a list of celebrants they know and regularly work with. They may also give you some guidance over which minister would best suit your needs and preferences.
If you’re planning your own wedding, we can supply a list of ministers and some descriptions of who they are.
What’s the difference between denominations?
There are many denominations of Churches in the Christian faith – it’s rather like the range of supermarkets, e.g. Tesco, Morrisons, or the shop around the corner; they all sell the same things, but the presentation may be slightly different. All the ministers serving at Gretna Green venues are fully vetted and approved by the local wedding planners and are well experienced in conducting marriage services. Broadly speaking, these are the denominations from which ministers come:
Assemblies of God – pentecostal denomination with people at the heart; modern and friendly.
River of Life – a vibrant contemporary independent community focused Church in Dumfries, with a family atmosphere.
Methodist – an international denomination formed by John Wesley in the eighteenth century.
Church of Scotland – the national presbyterian Church in Scotland – dating back to the days of John Knox in the sixteenth century.