St Mary’s is a fantastic place to have a wedding or the blessing of a Civil Partnership. We have small chapels which are appropriate for quieter and more intimate services and a large church for a big occasion. St Mary’s is one of the few churches in the West of Scotland where it is possible to have a wedding or blessing service with a good choir and bells.
Some couples want to decorate the church with flowers, others simply enjoy the stunning building without flowers. It is often preferable for the couple to make their own arrangements for flowers if they want them. It is possible for those who organise the flowers in St Mary’s to arrange for flowers for weddings. The cost will depend on how many flowers are requested.
Video recording is only allowed by prior arrangement and fees are doubled for the minister, the organist and the choir.
No charge is made for the building for simple weddings taking place in St Anne’s Chapel.
In cases where either of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership are on benefits and choose not to have the choir and bell-ringers, the charges for the cathedral and the celebrant are waived.
The following fees are charged for marriages and services of blessing for civil partnership.
Use of the Cathedral – £423
Celebrant – £228
Organist – £130
Choir – £417
Bells – £234
Why get married in St Mary’s?
People get married here for all kinds of reasons. For some people its because they are local, for others its because they belong to the congregation, for others its because they know about the good music on offer and for others its because this is one of the few churches in Scotland to have real bells. Most people coming into St Mary’s Cathedral comment on how stunningly beautiful the building is.
Do I have to be a church member to get married in St Mary’s?
No, but if you want to talk about it one of the clergy would be happy to talk to you about this.
Are you more married if you get married in Church than in a Registry Office?
I’ve been married before, can I still get married in Church?
The Scottish Episcopal Church marries a lot of people who are doing this for the second time around. The clergy can agree to marry people in that situation with their bishop’s permission. The important thing to do is to talk to one of the clergy about this. Clergy at St Mary’s will not agree to perform a marriage or bless a civil partnership if doing so would lead to a scandal, for example, if you have children from a previous relationship whom you are not supporting financially.
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.
Can you read my “banns”, I’m getting married in England?
No – banns have no validity in law in ay Scottish Episcopal Church. Contact the vicar in England to ask for a different procedure. (Hint – ask whether a Special Licence would be appropriate).
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.
Can we book any particular date?
You need to speak to our Wedding Organiser about dates. Try to sort out the date you want with St Mary’s before booking a reception.
Can we be married on any day of the year?
No, you have to fit in with what’s going on in St Mary’s. We are a busy church and the clergy are sometimes away on holidays. We don’t usually conduct weddings in Lent, the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter each year.
Can I have the full works – bells, organ, choir and horse drawn carriage?
You’ll have to provide the horse and carriage yourself but we can supply the rest. Remember though that there are charges for all these things which are applied separately.
Why do you do the same service for everyone? Can’t we have something more special to us?
We don’t do the same thing for everyone. Indeed, weddings in Scottish Episcopal Churches allow couples to make lots of choices themselves so that they get a wedding tailor made for themselves. You can read the Marriage Liturgy online here.
We are living together, why can’t we get married in church?
You can. Most of the weddings that take place today, including those conducted in St Mary’s are of couples who are living together.
…..but we have children – the priest will never agree to us being married…..
Can we be married in St Mary’s if one partner is a Roman Catholic and the other Protestant?
Yes, but it would be appropriate for the Catholic partner to speak to their priest first. There are a number of couples who belong to St Mary’s where one or other of them comes from a Roman Catholic background. If you would like to speak to someone who has that experience, it would be easy to arrange a chat about it.
Can I get married in any colour?
Can one of your priests come to a hotel/golf course/mountaintop to do the service?
Not without the permission of the local Bishop. Generally speaking, we operate in the church which is a fabulous setting for a wedding. If you are looking for someone to officiate at a wedding that needs to take place in a hospital or hospice, then please get in touch as soon as you can.
We have decided to get married abroad but would like a Church blessing. Is this possible?
Can our own pastor/priest/minister/celebrant marry us in St Mary’s?
People who are not licensed clergy here can only take services in St Mary’s Cathedral with permission of the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway and also that of the Provost of St Mary’s. If the person is in good standing with an Anglican diocese then it is unlikely that they would be refused permission. More details are likely to need to be discussed regarding clergy from other denominations. It may be that the bishop will recommend having a local member of the clergy take the service and ask the other person to take part in it. Scots Law prevents non-religious celebrants from conducting weddings in St Mary’s.
Are your priests married or celibate – how do they know what this feels like?
Clergy in the Scottish Episcopal Church can get married or enter into a Civil Partnership if they want to, so some are single and some have been through all this themselves. Most clergy have a lot of experience and expertise in marrying people. They can make helpful suggestions and try to help you work our what will work for you on the big day and beyond.
One of the most exciting parts of planning for a wedding at St Mary’s is the range of musical possibilities.
Music for weddings is organised in conjunction with the Director of Music who is always happy to give advice to anyone about what might be possible and what might be appropriate.
Most weddings have an organist and hymn singing from the congregation. St Mary’s can often also offer an excellent choir to help lead the singing too. The choir of this cathedral church can be regularly heard on BBC Radio and sing twice every week on Sundays during term time.
It is also possible to arrange for soloists to sing or for collaboration to take place with other groups of musicians.
Part of the process of planning a wedding at St Mary’s is talking to the person conducting the ceremony. This person will then ensure that contact is made with the Director of Music who will be delighted to help.
It used to be that all wedding services were more or less the same. Priests had a simple wedding service in the Scottish Prayer Book and that was what was used for all weddings. In modern life, people have become much more used to making choices about things. Inevitably, couples getting married wanted to vary the wedding service to reflect their own experiences of life.
In 2007, the church agreed to adopt a new service which has a whole range of options. Part of the planning for a wedding at St Mary’s is the task of working through the various options. The clergy are happy to act as resource people and have lots of ideas for readings and hymns that might be suitable and are willing to guide any couple through the process of making choices.