In order to get married with Orkney Pagan Weddings, you have to communicate with three parties:
1. The Celebrant(s) (Helen and / or Mark)
2. The Registrar in the district which you want to get married in
3. The landowner
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proposed date and you can decide with us if we are appropriate to perform your ceremony.
Please provide us with as much notice as possible. We will also advise you of the likely costs
on our Sample rituals page to get you thinking about the form your own ceremony might take.
2. Contact the Registrar in the district which you want to get married in.
The Registrar will carry out checks to confirm there are no legal impediments to your
marriage. This stage can all be done by telephone and post; you do not need to
visit the Registrar in person. There is a fee at this stage, payable to the Registrar. The
Registrar does NOT attend the wedding and does NOT communicate with the Celebrant
(unless there is a problem or query).
The supporting documentation and legal requirements are listed here.
3. Contact the landowner to ensure that the venue you want is available on the date you
require and that you are allowed to get married there. We have the local contacts to
facilitate this in Orkney. If you want to get married at a Historic Environment Scotland site
contact firstname.lastname@example.org Below (blue buttons) are links to Historic Environment Scotland's
Scotland's permission is needed to get married at the Ring of Brodgar or the Standing Stones
What happens next?
Whilst we work with you to create a unique and perfect ceremony, the Registrar will prepare a Marriage Schedule no earlier than 7 days before the marriage. This provides you with permission to get married on a specific date, at a specific place, with a named Celebrant. One of the couple getting married – preferably both – should collect the Marriage Schedule IN PERSON from the Registrar. This should be at least the day before the wedding. You must check with the Registrar and the Celebrant that the details on the Marriage Schedule are correct.
Legal requirements on the day:
It is a criminal offence under the Marriage (Scotland) Act of 1977 for a Celebrant to solemnise a wedding unless a relevant Marriage Schedule has been produced.
For a marriage to be legal, both parties to the marriage (the couple) must be present during the marriage ceremony. The Celebrant must be present, and there must be two witnesses to the marriage who must be over 16 years of age. An interpreter may be present (seek permission and advice from the Registrar) but the couple, the witnesses, and the Celebrant must be able to understand the wording of the legal parts of the ceremony.
On the day of the wedding, the Celebrant must be confident that both parties to the marriage understand that they are entering into a legal marriage and are fully capable of understanding this. It is illegal for the Celebrant to proceed with the wedding if there is any doubt about this.
Immediately after the solemnisation of the marriage, the Marriage Schedule must be signed by the couple, by both witnesses, and by the Celebrant. The Marriage Schedule must be returned within 3 days to the issuing Registrar to enable the marriage to be registered. At this stage a marriage certificate is issued by the Registrar. This does not have to be done by the couple but it is their responsibility – traditionally the “Best Man” does this!
Please note that if the marriage does not go ahead for any reason, the marriage schedule must be returned to the Registrar - it cannot be destroyed by the couple - usually the Registrar will return part of the fee to you at this stage if it is necessary for you to return the unsigned schedule.