WEDDINGS in the Parish of Braemar and Crathie
Congratulations on your decision to get married.
Whether you are to be married in The Parish of Braemar and Crathie or elsewhere, there are certain things you will need to know as you begin to make your plans and preparations for the big day.
By law you are required to give Notice of Marriage to the local Registrar between 3 months and 3 weeks before the date of your wedding. You might also be required to supply such documents as birth or death certificates, or divorce papers. Up in this area the contact address is:The Aboyne Registration Office, Bellwood Road, ABOYNE AB34 5HQ Telephone 013398 87373
You will need to contact that office in order to make an appointment to lodge the forms. All being well the Registrar will issue a Marriage Schedule shortly before the wedding. It should be collected by the bride or groom and brought to the Minister as soon as possible – usually at the time of the rehearsal. This is the document that will be signed on the day, and without it the marriage cannot go ahead. It’s as important as that! After the ceremony the Schedule must be returned to the Registrar within 3 days and a Marriage Certificate will be issued in due course. The fee for this process is currently £70.
Most couples like to arrange a rehearsal, usually a day or two before the wedding. This is a good opportunity to bring along the Marriage Schedule, and also the other fees required for a Church wedding. For people who would like to be married in Braemar Church, but live outwith the parish, the fees are currently £60 for the organist, £40 for the church officer and a donation of not less than £250 to the church. Ideally this should all be combined in one cheque made payable to The Parish of Braemar and Crathie. If you are a taxpayer and kindly sign a declaration form, we can claim Gift Aid on part of this at no further cost to you. Also, it is customary to leave flowers in place for the following Sunday service. Prior access for florists should be arranged through the Minister and /or Church Officer. Parking in the Church grounds should be restricted to official cars, and to vehicles transporting elderly or disabled guests.
Due to the fact that Crathie Kirk is open to the public daily between April and October, we encourage couples to choose Braemar Church as a venue for their weddings. However, we do not altogether rule out the use of Crathie Kirk, and each request will be given careful consideration. This is likely to involve more cost, to help compensate for the closing of the church, but no decision will be made without face to face discussion with the minister.
Initial contact can be made via the parish website www.braemarandcrathieparish.org.uk
but it is important a meeting then be arranged at our earliest convenience to discuss such details as the music to which you will come in and go out, and the hymns and readings to be incorporated into the service. In this regard, a leaflet with some suggestions is available from the minister. The couple will be responsible for the printing and production of the Order of Service, but the final proof should be emailed to the Minister before it goes to print. You’d be amazed at the number of errors that get past the spell-checker!
You might like to be aware of the vows that are exchanged at a traditional Church of Scotland wedding:
I, A...now take you, B..., to be my wife/husband. In the presence of God and before these witnesses I promise to be a loving, faithful and loyal husband/wife to you, so long as we both shall live.
These are not set in stone (we do permit slight variations), but we do not encourage couples to produce their own unique form of words, regardless of how romantic or meaningful they may seem at the time of writing! Nor do you need to learn the form of words phrase by phrase – you will be prompted.
As time goes on you will need to make arrangements for flowers and photographs etc. Please note that photographs are only permitted before and after the ceremony, and during the signing of the register. (For information about use of DVD please speak to the Minister). The day you get married should be one of the most important days of your life, and the ceremony is more important than the reception! If you have any requests or questions - and soon you will have lists of them - don’t hesitate to get in touch with the minister at the address below.
If they are not already members elsewhere, those getting married are encouraged to consider becoming communicant members of The Parish of Braemar and Crathie as a means, amongst other things, of maintaining a link beyond the date of your wedding and this too is something we can discuss. In the meantime you would be warmly welcome at the worship services each Sunday in Braemar (9.45 a.m.) or Crathie (11.30 a.m.).
The Reverend Kenneth I MacKenzie