Weddings

If you live in the parish, or have a connection with the congregation, you can celebrate your wedding, conducted by the Minister, in one of our church buildings.

Please contact the Minister before you make any arrangements.

Almost all the practical information you’ll need is on this page. You may want to print it off for reference. Please check back for updates nearer the date of the wedding.

You may also like to read this information about marriage in the Church of Scotland, from the Kirk’s website.

There are fees for the Church Officer and the Organist (see below). Although there is no fee for the minister or for the use of the church, we do ask for a donation. When you pay the first £50 of the donation we can confirm your booking.

Contacting the Minister

If you email, please give the following information if you can:

  1. Bride and groom details: full names, addresses, landline and mobile phone numbers, emails
  2. Whether either have been married before
  3. Proposed date and time of wedding
  4. Venue Old High or St Stephen’s

You can contact the Minister here.

Practical information

We’re glad that you have decided to get married in Church, and wish you every happiness as you prepare for the big day, and God’s blessing on your life together in the future.

Our congregation uses two places of worship. The Old High Church is the historic town church of Inverness, the oldest church in the city. St Stephen’s is a lovely little church dating from the early part of last century. The buildings are home to a lively congregation, who would happily welcome you!

This information should help you plan your wedding at either of the two buildings. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

First steps If you would like to be married at The Old High Church or St Stephen’s, you must first speak to the Minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo (contact details below).

1. The Service, which lasts around 30 minutes, comes from the Church of Scotland’s Common Order. Usually the Church is open to all during the services, so please encourage your “evening guests” to come to the Church service, as well as close friends and family, as the Service is the most important part of your wedding day. See below for the vows

2. First contacts– the minister, of course. You also need to organise an organist and a beadle (who will let you into the Church etc.). Details below.

3. Preparation The Minister is also happy to advise you about the service, but also about any aspect of your relationship. Feel free to contact him to arrange meetings at any time.

We would love to welcome you to our Sunday worship services. Our two Sunday services are at 10am at St Stephen’s Church and at 11.15am at the Old High Church. We also have evening services, as announced- please see this website.

A wedding can be a time to explore faith as you embark on a new part of your life journey. We run a course called Christian Basics which you’d be welcome to come along to- informal and relaxed, it’s a chance to explore what faith might mean for you. We will let you know about this, and warmly invite you to join us!

4. Music Usually two hymns are sung, and you may also wish to select music for the entry and departure of the wedding party. This must be discussed with the Minister in advance of you making any selection. In addition, it is your responsibility to arrange for the church organist- well before the wedding- and to ensure that they are told the music to be played. A contact number for each of our organists is provided below. You can use the hymn books in the church or use a printed sheet.

5. Flowers are a traditional part of the wedding service. Wedding flowers are normally kept in Church for the Sunday service, and then distributed to the bereaved, housebound or sick of the parish who greatly appreciate them. If you wish to do anything different from this, please contact our Flower Convenor. Your flower suppliers must arrange with your beadle of access to the Church.

6. Fees and donations
Please bring your fees and donations in separate envelopes to the Wedding Rehearsal.

  • Organist: standard fee £70. Please note that an additional fee of £70 is payable to the organist if a recording of the ceremony is to be made
  • Church Officer: £70
  • Use of the Church: There is no fee as such for the use of the Church. Instead, we request that wedding couples make an appropriate donation to the work of the Church. The suggested minimum donation is £200. Please pay the first £50 of this as soon as you arrange your wedding- this will ensure that the church is booked for you.
  • Please make your cheque payable to ‘Old High St Stephen’s Church’. If you are a tax payer, we ask that you give donations to the Church as Gift Aid. This has the effect of increasing the value of your gift significantly since we can claim back extra money from the Inland Revenue, with no extra cost to yourself. Please enclose your completed Gift Aid form with your donation. Download a Gift Aid form here.

7. Photographs and videos You can take as many photos as you like on your wedding day, but photographs may not be taken during the service itself– please inform your wedding guests and any professional photographer of this rule. If you appoint a person to be the “official photographer”, whether professional or not, they should make themselves known to the Minister on the day, well before the service begins, and follow his instructions. Congregation members must also not use videos during the service. If you would like a video of your service, this should be done professionally, or by one designated person. You must consult with the Minister well in advance to get permission for this.

8. Rehearsal This should be arranged with the Minister. Only those who are in the “wedding party” need be present, i.e. the Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids and Best Man or other legal witnesses, and the Bride’s Father if he is to bring the Bride into the Church.

Please bring to the rehearsal:

  • The Marriage Schedule
  • Order of Service Sheets
  • Fees for organist and church officer, and donation to the Church (in separate envelopes)
  • Gift Aid Form (if not already handed in). Download a Gift Aid form here.

9. Law You must comply with all the requirements of Civil Law. You must seek advice from the Inverness Registrar (address below) about the requirements as early as possible, as you need to give the Registrar a certain amount of notice of your intention to get married (if one party has been divorced or is a foreign citizen it is longer.) You must obtain from the Registrar a Marriage Schedule (often called “the Licence”.) On the day of the wedding, the Minister must be in possession of the Schedule, or the ceremony cannot go ahead. It is best to bring the Schedule along to the Rehearsal the night before. It is your responsibility to ensure that the duly completed Schedule is returned to the Registrar within three days. Please appoint someone (e.g. the Best Man or a parent) to do this. The Minister will give them the Schedule as soon as it has been signed.

10. Changes You must let the Minister, Church Officer and Organist know if either of you change your address or phone number, so that we can contact you if necessary at any time before the marriage. You must also contact the Minister if you are considering changing the time or date of the wedding or rehearsal, or we might not be there!

Useful contacts
Minister
The Rev Peter W Nimmo, 24 Damfield Road, Inverness IV2 3HU
Tel. 01463 250 802 E-mail peternimmo[a]minister.com (replace [a] with @

Church Administrator: Pat MacLeod 07934 285 924 invernesschurch[a]gmail.com

For organists, flowers and beadle, please call our Church Administrator who can give you up-to-date details.

Inverness Registry Office: The Highland Archive and Registration Centre, Bught Road, Inverness IV3 5SS. Tel: 01463 256 400

Wedding vows

The Church of Scotland’s service book, Common Order, provides three different sets of marriage vows.

You also have the option of repeating the vows, or having the minister put them as a question, to which you reply ‘I do’.

Either partner may take the vows first.

Here are the options available:

FIRST SET

1(a) As statements

The man says:
In the presence of God
and before these witnesses,
I, A . . . ,
give myself to you, B . . . ,
to be your husband,
and take you now
to be my wife.
I promise to love you,
to be faithful and loyal to you,
for as long as we live.

The woman says:
In the presence of God
and before these witnesses,
I, B . . . ,
give myself to you, A . . . ,
to be your wife,
and take you now
to be my husband.
I promise to love you,
to be faithful and loyal to you,
for as long as we live.

1(b) as questions

The minister says:
In the presence of God
and before these witnesses,
do you, A . . . , give yourself to B . . .
to be her husband,
and take her now to be your wife?
Do you promise to love her,
to be faithful and loyal to her,
for as long as you both shall live?
I do.

In the presence of God
and before these witnesses,
do you, B . . . , give yourself to A . . .
to be his wife,
and take him now to be your husband?
Do you promise to love him,
to be faithful and loyal to him,
for as long as you both shall live?
I do.

Second set
2(a) as statements

The man says:
I, A . . . ,
take you, B . . . ,
to be my wife.
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
I promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal husband to you
so long as we both shall live.

The woman says:
I, B . . . ,
take you, A . . . ,
to be my husband.
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
I promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal wife to you
so long as we both shall live.

2 (b) as questions

The minister says:
Will you, A . . . ,
take, B . . . ,
to be your wife?
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
do you promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal husband to her
so long as we both shall live?
I do.

The minister says:
Will you, B . . . ,
take, A . . . ,
to be your husband?
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
do you promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal wife to him
so long as we both shall live?
I do.

Third set
3(a) as questions

The minister says:
Do you, A . . . ,
take B… to be your wife?
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
do you promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal husband to her
so long as you both shall live?
I do.

Do you, B . . . ,
take A…. to be your husband?
In the presence of God
and before this congregation,
do you promise and covenant
to be a loving,
faithful, and loyal wife to him
so long as you both shall live.?
I do.

3(b) as statements

The man says:
Before God,
and in the presence
of our families and friends,
I, A… , declare my love for you, B… ,
and I give myself to you
as your husband.
I you promise you my love,
my loyalty,
and my trust,
for as long as we both shall live.

The woman says:
Before God,
and in the presence
of our families and friends,
I, B… , declare my love for you, A… ,
and I give myself to you
as your wife.
I you promise you my love,
my loyalty,
and my trust,
for as long as we both shall live.