Fort William Kilmallie Church of Scotland

Weddings

Getting married in church

"My command is this. Love one another as I have loved you.” John 15.12

We want to make your special day a wonderful and memorable occasion. It is a time when you will make promises to each other and we ask for God's blessing on your relationship. 

Our ministry team will work with you to create a very personal service that will reflect your wishes. We are aware that many couples, families and guests are unfamiliar with church services, and we are sensitive to this while, at the same time, offering a Christian wedding service as part of a long tradition.  

Our talented musicians can be part of your service, or you can bring along your own musicians or use recorded music. 

Both of our buildings have seen many couples getting married over their long life, and today offer a very special place for your very special day which is difficult to find elsewhere. Our church in Corpach is smaller and more intimate; the view from outside looking towards Ben Nevis has been the backdrop of many a wedding photograph! The Duncansburgh Church in the heart of Fort William is a larger venue with stunning stained glass windows and a traditional pipe organ. You are welcome to visit either or both as you decide on the most appropriate venue. We also have halls in our churches which you are welcome to consider for a reception, although many wedding parties will go on to a hotel or restaurant. 


Contact

If you wish to arrange a wedding in one of the churches, or to enquire about a member of the ministry team leading a service in another venue, please make early contact with one of the ministry team. If you or your family have a particular link to a member of our ministry team we'll try to make sure that person is able to help.

As our church buildings can be busy, it is important to make provisional arrangements with the minister before confirming the reception arrangements to avoid disappointment.

Registrar

Weddings that take place in church need to conform to some legal requirements. We will be happy to help talk you through this. 

A wedding can only take place legally if a valid marriage certificate issued by the Registrar is present at the time of the service. The legal minimum time period of notice for a wedding is 29 days.  Normally, you should make an appointment with the Registrar 8-12 weeks before the proposed date to arrange a marriage schedule. If either of you is not a British citizen, contact the Registrar for advice as early as possible, as you may need Home Office permission to marry in the UK.

The Registrar will need to see various documents in advance. These include birth certificates and, if appropriate, evidence that you are free to marry in the form of death certificates or divorce papers relating to a previous marriage, or naturalisation certificates if you have become a UK citizen.

The marriage schedule will be available for collection a few days before the wedding and must be collected by the bride or groom in person. It is normally brought to a wedding rehearsal, and after the service it must be returned to the Registrar afterwards within three working days.

The Registrar in Fort William can be contacted on 01397 704583 or at fortwilliamregistrars@highland.gov.uk

The Church Service

A wedding service will typically last for about 30 minutes, depending on what you choose to include. The Minister will help you to work out the content and format of the service. 

Music

Most people have hymns during the service (usually 2), and you can discuss options with the Minister. Organ music or recorded music can be used before and after the service, and as the schedule is signed. 

Flowers

You may, if you wish, decorate the church with flowers. Please let us know whether or not flowers are being left in the church for the following Sunday.

Confetti

You are welcome to throw confetti outside, but please avoid using it within the church building or immediately outside the front door. Biodegradable confetti is the most environmentally friendly option.

Rehearsal

The minister will offer to arrange a rehearsal, usually a couple of days before the service. This is to help you to feel comfortable with the service, and it usually involves whichever members of the bridal party are available. Remember to bring the Marriage Schedule with you to the rehearsal, just to be sure!

Suggested  Fees and Donations

As a rough guide, for church weddings we normally suggest a minimum church donation of £200 and a fee of £103 for the organist (if required.) However, special arrangements are in place to ensure no-one is excluded from a church wedding on grounds of cost, so do let us know if this is likely to be a barrier.

Please note that no part of any church donation you make is paid to the minister for conducting a service. Their services are offered at no charge. 

Photographs/Videos

The Minister will advise on arrangements for photography or video recording. Our aim will be to preserve the special atmosphere of your wedding while letting you make a permanent record of it. Essentially we’ll ask photographers to restrict themselves to a few unobtrusive shots during the service, but invite them forward when you sign the register, and let them set up the shots they wish before and after the service. 

The Wedding Day

Ushers should be at the church around 45 minutes before the service time. The Groom and Best Man should arrive about 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. The Bride is expected to be at the church at the agreed time. Please note that we cannot guarantee that weddings which have not started within 30 minutes of the booked time will be able to proceed. 

Sunday Services

Details of our Sunday services are on the Welcome page of the website. Try to come along before your wedding so the church feels familiar to you. You don’t have to be a church member or regular attender to get married in our church, but it can be particularly special to get married in a place where you feel you a sense of belonging. 

If you want to know any more about church membership or any aspect of Christian faith please speak to the minister. We believe that there is no better start to married life than to be part of a church family and to receive the encouragement and support that is there for all.

The rest of this website provides full details of the Church and its activities.