In my role as a Celebrant, I am of course asked lots of questions by the couples I meet. I am always happy to answer questions as best I can and openly encourage couples to ask away- it’s important to know all the little details in advance.

Here’s some of our most frequently asked questions:

1. How long will the ceremony last?
This depends on the choices for the ceremony content made by the couple, but I usually recommend that the ceremony lasts around 25-30 minutes, not too long, but equally not too short, as time flies when you’re having fun!

2. Do we have to say anything?
Again, this is dependent on the couple’s choices when it comes to the personal vows, as they can be posed in the form of a question, whereby the bride and groom simply answer ‘I do’ or ‘I Will’. But when making their legal commitments to each other, the bride and groom do need to repeat their legal vows to each other after the Celebrant, in order for the marriage to be solemnised legally.

3. What If I get really upset?
I always reassure couples that feeling emotional on the day is perfectly natural, and that everyone expects a few tears, and that we always have tissues to hand!

4. What If I get a fit of the giggles?
Again, I reassure couples that this too is perfectly normal. It’s a joyous and happy occasion, it’s a celebration, and it’s okay to laugh and enjoy this part of the day.

5. Can we involve other family members or friends in the ceremony?
I openly encourage couples to create a truly inclusive ceremony by inviting family or friends to say a few words or give a reading, whether they have written it themselves, or come across a reading of their choosing it makes the ceremony even more personal.

6. What kind of music should we have?
Most couples don’t have any problems choosing music for the ceremony, but for some, trying to narrow down the choices can be a real challenge! Music for the ceremony doesn’t have to be anything wedding related, but can simply be songs that are meaningful to them both, favourite tracks or perhaps something a little leftfield!

7. What time should the ceremony start?
This can be decided between the couple and the venue, as we will always work around the chosen timings for the day, but in most cases, having a ceremony time of 2pm seems to work best. This allows plenty of time in the morning for getting ready, it allows the guests to assemble plenty of time beforehand and perhaps enjoy a small refreshment. It also means that we can allow for any delays. The ceremony can then be finished by 3pm at the very latest, allowing plenty of time for photographs and mingling with guests before being called to dinner at 4.30/5pm.

8. What if something happens to you (the Celebrant) on the day?
We have a full back up process, so that if the worst happens and a member of our team becomes unwell, or has some other kind of emergency, that another of our Celebrants would be able to step in at the last minute and perform the ceremony, so that the couple don’t lose out in any way.

9. Do we need to buy anything for the ceremony?
This depends on the choices made by the couple for their ceremony. If they have chosen symbolic gestures, for example, a hand fasting, then ribbons or cords are required. If they wish to drink from the Quaich, they may wish to ask a friend/family member to buy the Quaich as a gift. Or if they choose to go with the Sand Blending Ceremony or candle lighting, then again the couple should arrange to buy these keepsakes.

10. If the weather is nice on the day, can we move the ceremony outdoors at the last minute?
In short, Yes! We encourage couples to make the most of our limited Scottish summers and our authorisation allows us to perform ceremonies both indoors and outdoors, so if you wake up on the morning of your wedding, and the sun is splitting the trees, then ask the venue staff to grab those chairs, but just make sure sun cream is at hand!

By Victoria Bisland