Saturday, 28 June 2008

Legalities and Vows

My esteemed colleagues, Mary Wallace and Juliet Wilson have both been applying their fingers to the keyboard recently and giving some valuable advice about taking care of the legal aspects (Mary) and how to choose wedding poetry and readings (Juliet). They're both well worth reading.

I suspect that Mary's latest post was prompted by an experience I had recently which made my life even more exciting than it usually is...

I met my couple for their wedding rehearsal two nights before the big day and while we were talking about all the necessary arrangements I asked if they'd collected the marriage schedule from the Registrar's office yet. They gave me a rather blank look and said "did we have to give some papers to the Registrar?" As gently as I could, I reminded them that they should have done this six weeks ago, as we'd discussed several times and as specified, not just in my correspondence but also in our Legal Marriage Form, the simple form of contract that we use.

Some tears and a few phone calls later, we adjourned the rehearsal having agreed that at nine o' clock the following morning, I would call the Registrars and do some very special pleading on their behalf. To cut to the chase, the Registrars were both understanding, helpful and very forgiving; apparently this wasn't the first time they'd had to take a call like this and - because the couple could produce receipts and correspondence that showed that the wedding had been planned for several months - the Registrars were able to make a judgement in their favour and create the all-important Marriage Schedule there and then.

SO if you're thinking of having a humanist wedding ceremony, please, please PLEASE remember that the most important thing is not the dress, not the meal, not the venue, not even the best man's speech: it's THE SCHEDULE. No Schedule, No Wedding.

Still, at least my couple have a story they can dine out on for years.

If you're getting married in the Edinburgh area, you will find the contact details for all the offices in the Edinburgh area below.

Registrar's Office
Lothian Chambers, 59-63 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1RN
Telephone 0131 529 2600
Fax 0131 529 2613

The Leith Suite
Registrar’s Office
30 Ferry Road, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 4AE
Telephone 0131 554 8452
Fax 0131 554 6568

Kirkliston Registrar's Office
Kirkliston Council Office, 19 Station Road, Kirkliston EH29 9BD
Telephone 0131 333 3210

Queensferry Registrar's Office
Queensferry Council Office, 53 High Street, South Queensferry EH30 9HP
Telephone 0131 331 1590

In East Lothian, you need to call and make an appointment. The numbers are below and you can find all the addresses here:

Musselburgh - 0131 653 5225
Haddington - 01620 827308
Prestonpans - 01875 818100
Tranent - 01875 824101
North Berwick - 01620 893957
Dunbar - 01368 863434

Here's a link to all the Registrar's Offices in West Lothian The numbers and partial addresses are below:

Bathgate Registration Office, 76 Mid Street - Tel: 01506 776192
Broxburn Registation, Strathbrock Partnership Centre, 189a West Main Street - Tel: 01506 775509
East Calder Registration, Library, 200 Main Street - Tel: 01506 884680
Linlithgow Registration, County Buildings, High Street - Tel: 01506 775373
Livingston Registration, Lammermuir House, Owen Square - Tel: 01506 773754/3755
West Calder Registration, 24-26 Main Street - Tel: 01506 874700
Whitburn Registration, 5 East Main Street - Tel: 01501 678005

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