Markinch and Thornton Parish Church


Marriage is a big step, possibly one of the biggest steps you will take in your whole life. It is good that you are considering taking that step in the Church, making your vows in the presence of God. 

As an open, welcoming, and inclusive church, our minister is delighted to be able to conduct both opposite and same sex marriages.

What we believe

The Church of Scotland encourages people to get married in their local church to enable ministers to carry out a code of good practice where a pastoral relationship is formed – making preparation before marriage and support after the wedding possible. Ordinarily, therefore, our minister will only conduct weddings within a church building.

When we come together at a wedding service, we are making a public statement about two things: 

  1. Our belief in God who created us and made us to love each other and God. 
  2. Our belief in Christian marriage as a vitally important commitment between two people to lifelong companionship and support. 

The content of a church wedding service, including the vows, is designed to give expression to that deep sense of commitment.


The Minister would normally meet with you 2 or 3 times: 

The initial meeting: to discuss the possibility of a wedding and what is involved. 

The interim meeting [optional]: to see how the preparation is going and discuss legalities and the details of the wedding service. This can also be an opportunity to chat about important issues within marriage and any questions or, indeed, anxieties you may have. 

The final meeting: in the weeks before the big day, to finalise arrangements and have a wedding rehearsal with key people. 

Just as there are a lot of things to prepare in practical terms for a wedding like: flowers, outfits, photographs etc., the wedding service itself deserves some time and attention too. Make sure to check with the Minister what limits there might be on photography during the service and details such as where you will sign the register (in full view of everyone or in a separate room? Will there be music while this happens or not?). It is always better to be over prepared for the ceremony than under. 

The Minister is there to make sure everything goes smoothly, so if you have any questions or worries contact him at any time. 


Fees are usually paid for: the use of the church building; the Organist; and the Church Officer. Details will be provided on request.

Important Documents: Between 28 days and 3 months before the wedding, you should contact the local Registrar (see and arrange an appointment to see them. You must then pick up the Marriage Schedule the week before your wedding. A MARRIAGE SCHEDULE IS A LEGALLY REQUIRED DOCUMENT – NO WEDDING CAN TAKE PLACE WITHOUT IT! IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN IT & BRING IT TO THE REHEARSAL, OR ON THE DAY, then to return it to the Registrar within 3 days after the wedding. 


Wording varies but is usually along the lines of – “Before God and in the presence of our families and friends, I (name) declare my love for you (name) and give myself to you as your husband/wife. I promise you my love, my loyalty and my trust for as long as we both shall live. 

A selection of vows will be given to you at the first meeting or you are welcome to write your own vows but these must be approved by the Minister before the wedding.


Your wedding ceremony will be taking place in the context of a church service – an act of worship – so it’s important that the music reflects this. Think about any favourite hymns or music you would like to have on the day and why they would be appropriate. Will you require the services of an organist or will you use CDs? Will you be hiring a piper? What music might you like for entering and leaving the church? The organist would normally play a Bridal March and Wedding March but if you’d like something different, feel free to discuss this with them. Please contact any musicians at the earliest opportunity. 


If you wish to leave your flowers in the Church after the service, our Flower Convenor will arrange for them to be distributed to the sick and / or elderly within the Parish. Please advise the Minister.

Involving Family and Friends

If you would like anyone to read/sing/speak during the service, please discuss this early on with the minister as he needs to have an overall view of everything that might be involved in order to shape the service appropriately. A copy of any words being used should be given to the Minister in advance to ensure that everything flows and fits together. 


If there are going to be children involved e.g. as page boys or flower girls, be sure to discuss the practicalities of this with the Minister in advance. 

The Minister’s job is not only to help you prepare to share in the service together but to help you to prepare for marriage and not just the big day. Therefore, if at any time you want to talk over anything mentioned here or any other issues, please feel free to get in touch.

For more information please contact the Minister