Scotland is a fantastic place to get married. If you’ve always dreamed of a Church Wedding but are not a regular member of a church we would like to invite you to share our beautiful 17th Century Kirk, in Fenwick, Ayrshire.
A Church Wedding is a traditional celebration. People have been coming to Church to mark the most significant events in their lives for generations.
Our Minister is delighted to welcome anyone with a belief in God who would like to get married in our historic Church. The best way of inviting our minister to conduct your wedding is to fill in our wedding enquiry form. If she can, the minister will normally be delighted to arrange your wedding. She will want to be sure that you are fully aware that a Wedding Service in Fenwick 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.
Here are some questions that we often get asked:-
Where is Fenwick?
Fenwick is a village in East Ayrshire with excellent transport links to Glasgow which is just 30 minutes away.
How much does it cost to get married in Fenwick Parish Church?
There are two charges depending upon whether you are a member of Fenwick Parish Church or not.
If you are a member there is an all inclusive charge of £300 and if you are not a member the charge is £420.00 which covers the cost of the organist, beadle (Church Officer),sound desk, heating, lighting, cleaning and which includes a contribution to the ongoing maintenance and continued renovation of this beautiful village Church. If you are a taxpayer you can gift-aid this at no additional cost to yourself, as the Church is a Charity. We do required a non-returnable deposit of £100 when the parish minister agrees to arrange your wedding, the remainder is due 2 weeks before the date of the wedding. (Unfortunately this deposit has had to be introduced because weddings have been cancelled and right up until the day of the rehearsal we have not been told – by which time the Church has been made beautiful for the weddings and others have been denied that date). No wedding can be considered to have been ‘booked’ until this deposit has been received by the Church.
Wherever you are from, there is, of course, no charge at all for the services of the parish minister. It is their privilege to give their services to you freely and without charge – a reminder that even today there are some things which money cannot buy.
What about our vows?
You might like to be aware of the vows that are exchanged at a traditional Church of Scotland wedding:
In the presence of God
and before these witnesses,
give myself to you,
To be your husband/wife,
and take you now to be my wife/husband.
I promise to love you,
to be faithful and loyal to you,
for as long as we live.
The minister will prompt you phrase by phrase – you don’t need to learn the words by heart. But think about them, for they sum up the deep commitment you will make to each other on your wedding day.
What about flowers for the Church on our Wedding Day?
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 (often the best time for the rehearsal as well), 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 Beadle 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.
Do I have to ask the Parish Minister to arrange my wedding?
Wedding services at Fenwick 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 out with 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 Fenwick 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.)
Is it expected that we invite the minister to the wedding reception?
Absolutely not. The minister will not expect to be invited to your wedding reception. If you do invite them they 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 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, all of these things will be dealt with at the appropriate rehearsal which we suggest you have at 6pm on evening before your wedding (when everyone is available).
I’ve been married before, can I still get married in Church?
Yes. The Church of Scotland marries a lot of people who are doing this for the second time around. Just make sure you discuss this with our minister.
Will getting married in Church save me from dealing with the Registrar?
No, everyone who gets married in Scotland has to produce a Marriage Schedule from a Registrar. The Registrar will make a charge for providing this.
I can’t afford a big Church wedding, what should I do?
There is no reason for a Church wedding to be any more expensive than any other sort of wedding. We have to pay to heat and maintain our building and we ask you for a donation for this – details are above but wherever you are from, there is 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 – a reminder that even today there are some things which money cannot buy!
Can we book a wedding on a particular date?
Talk to us as soon as possible and confirm your dates before booking a reception.
Why do you do the same service for everyone – we would rather make it special to us?
We don’t – weddings in the Church of Scotland allow couples to make lots of choices so that they get a wedding tailor-made for themselves. Here is our traditional Order of Service and some suggestions for Music, Hymns and Readings.
Can I have the full works – bells, organ and horse-drawn carriage?
You will have to supply your own horse and carriage but our Church definitely has a Bell which we’ll ring to help you celebrate and an organ to make your music special.
Can I get married in any colour?
Absolutely, we don’t have a dress code.
We are living together, why can’t we get married in Church?
You can. Very many weddings that take place in Church these days are of people who are living together….
but we have children, the minister will never agree to us being married?
Can we be married in your Church if one partner is Catholic and the other Protestant?
Yes, but it would be appropriate for the Catholic partner to speak to their priest first.
We have decided to get married abroad but would like a Church blessing. Is this possible?
Of course, simply complete the enquiry form and note that you are enquiring about a blessing.
Hopefully this has answered some of your initial questions. For more information on all the important details such as flowers and photography that will make your Fenwick Wedding fabulous and unique take a look at our FAQs.
The day you get married is the most important day of your life, and the ceremony is more important than the reception! Please complete the Fenwick Wedding Information Form so that we can help you to arrange your perfect wedding day.