Frequently Asked Questions


Q.  Once I’ve chosen the Celebrant/s I’m considering contacting or booking what do I do next?

A. Please contact your chosen Celebrant/s directly using the contact information on their own websites. You can find the link to their website on our Celebrants page

If you need any help with this then please contact the Agnostic Scotland Team through our online contact form.

Q.  How long before our ceremony should we book our Celebrant?

A. We encourage you to start looking for the Celebrant that feels right for you as soon as you know the date of your event. 

At Agnostic Scotland, we tend to get most bookings about 6 months to a year ahead for weddings and civil partnerships.  We are currently taking bookings for the next two years. 

In regard to Life Celebrations and Memorials we would advise you to contact us or your chosen Life Celebrant as soon as you can as that gives more time to help you plan a meaningful ceremony for your person.

Q.  We’d really like to book an Agnostic Scotland Life Celebrant to conduct our ceremony. Do we have to join your organisation first?

A. No, you do not have to join our organisation. We do welcome supporters and they are anyone who shares an interest in the philosophy and values of Agnostic Scotland. This includes some of the couples and families who have booked ceremonies with us, as well as individuals who have attended our events, and those who just like what we do. We put no pressure on anyone to support Agnostic Scotland.

Q.  We’ve been told that we may not be permitted to mention any reference to God in our ceremony – or include prayers or any sacred words or religious music. Is this true?

A. Our ceremonies are Agnostic, not Atheist. 

We endorse no single belief or religion. 

In addition to offering entirely secular ceremonies for those who prefer non-religious content, we also work with many families who wish to include some aspect of spirituality, faith-based content or sacred wording (even if they do not personally identify as being religious). Many mixed-faith families who wish to combine their beliefs into one ceremony also choose an agnostic ceremony. 

Some families, even though they have opted for a secular ceremony, may want to include a hymn or sacred reading – perhaps because they are familiar with it from their upbringing, or because they feel that it is important for their attending family and friends. 

We work with you to create a ceremony that reflects your choices, beliefs and values.

Q.  We, and our families, are not at all religious. Can we still book an Agnostic Scotland ceremony?

A. Absolutely! We are often asked to conduct entirely non-religious ceremonies for families who consider themselves to be secular or atheist in their beliefs. We are respectful of all beliefs, provided they adhere to our moral and ethical values and do no harm. 

Joanna Eliza Photography

Q.  Some Celebrants have told us we would need to write our own ceremony. Is that true?

A. We love creating ceremonies! Every couple and family are different. Some like us to write the whole ceremony based on their thoughts and ideas. Others like to work with us to co-write their ceremony. Some like to write the entire ceremony themselves. We are happy to work with you as per your choice.

Q.  We’d love to have our ceremony on a mountain top or beach on the West Coast of Scotland. Is this a suitable location as it’s pretty remote? 

A. We all love to travel and some of our celebrants love to hike, climb and create walking ceremonies that unfold on the journey! If you are keen to book any of us for a remote ceremony, we recommend getting in touch as far in advance as possible to ensure we can meet your requirements.

Q. My ceremony request doesn’t fit within the ‘usual’ parameters of weddings, namings and funerals or life celebrations. Is that OK? 

A. Yes, absolutely! We are delighted to support you in creating a ceremony that celebrates any life transition or moment that is important to you. Often when families, couples, individuals and communities approach us they are not entirely clear how they wish to celebrate or honour their life moment. Our role is to help support you in creating a ceremony that is all you wish it to be.

Little Kat Photos

Celebration of Life, Funeral and Memorial

Q. Do we have to go with the Celebrant suggested by our Funeral Director?

A. No, not at all. We are aware it’s a vulnerable time but we would encourage families to explore all the choices available to them, to take their time and find a Celebrant that feels right for them, their family and their person. 

We are very experienced Funeral Celebrants and take the time to work with you in a way that is person-centred, compassionate, flexible and creative. 

Q. How much does it cost?

A.   An Agnostic Scotland Celebration of Life/ Memorial Ceremony fee may vary depending on how you wish to celebrate your person or how your person wishes to be celebrated.

The suggested fees range from £250 for single-slot funeral ceremonies to £450 for bespoke life celebrations and memorials (plus travel costs and accommodation where applicable).

Please confirm fees with the Life Celebrant you are considering booking.

Funeral/Memorial Ceremonies for children under the age of 16 are always free of charge.


Q. My wife has just passed away and she didn’t want to have a church funeral. She was a scientist but she was also quite spiritual. She always used to say she was a closet Buddhist, even though she didn’t believe in reincarnation. Is it possible to have a ceremony that reflects these beliefs?

A. Yes, most definitely! We always put the beliefs, values and wishes of the family and the individuals involved at the heart of their ceremonies. Many people we work with tell us they don’t identify with any one belief system or religion and instead they say they feel they relate to certain aspects of a number of different belief systems or thoughts. We enjoy creating ceremonies that are uniquely tailored to the individual(s) being celebrated.

Naming, Welcome and Family Ceremonies

Q.  We are worried our children will get bored during their Naming Ceremony/our Family Celebration. Is it better to wait until they are older?

A. We have many years of experience working with families with children from babies to teenagers. Our Celebrants are wonderfully creative at helping to make sure your ceremony will cater to the interests of all the people involved.

Q. How much would a Naming or Family Celebration cost?

A.  A Naming Ceremony fee is from £450 regardless of number of children or family members involved (plus travel costs and accommodation where applicable).

Please confirm fees with the Life Celebrant you are considering booking.

Q.  My husband is Atheist but I am a devout Catholic. Would we be able to book a Blessing for our baby daughter with you leading the ceremony and our family priest doing the Catholic Blessing?

A.  From our side, yes! We are collaborative in our approach and always open to working with members of other secular and faith-based organisations. It will depend, of course, on whether your family priest is happy to work in this way but we would welcome the opportunity to be involved.

Marriage, Civil Partnerships, Renewal of Vows, Wedding and Life Partnership Ceremonies

Q.  Does a Marriage or Civil Partnership ceremony conducted by an Agnostic Scotland Celebrant have the same legal status as a Registrar, Humanist or Church wedding?

A. Yes. Our Celebrants are authorised by the National Records of Scotland to apply for Wedding Licences to conduct legal weddings anywhere in Scotland.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Fees for the above ceremonies, legal or non-legal, are from £550 (plus travel costs and accommodation where applicable). 

You are advised to confirm fees with the Life Celebrant you are considering booking.

Please confirm fees with the Life Celebrant you are considering booking.

Q. Do we still need to complete forms with the local registrar?

A. You do need to complete forms that notify your intention to marry with the local registrar and your celebrant will ensure you understand the process. It is quite straightforward once you know what to do. You can find out more from the National Records Scotland here 

Q.  We are a gay couple and we’d like to be married. Is this fully legally recognised?

A.  Yes, in December 2014, Scotland introduced equal marriage legislation. Same sex couples can now be legally married, although a civil partnership is also an option. At Agnostic Scotland, we are delighted to conduct legal wedding ceremonies for gay couples. If you live overseas and same sex weddings are not recognised in your home country, sadly that would mean that your marriage would not be recognised. We very much hope that all countries will soon follow the example of those like Scotland, where we have successfully campaigned for marriage equality.

Q. If we are not from Scotland, would we need to register our wedding again in our own country?

A. Agnostic Scotland ceremonies carried out in Scotland are fully legal and recognised world-wide. You would not need to have any other form of service or registration. However, if you are a same-sex couple and same-sex weddings are not recognised in your home country, sadly that would mean that your marriage would not be recognised. We very much hope that all countries will soon follow the example of those like Scotland, where we have successfully campaigned for marriage equality.

Natalie Holt Photography

Q. Will our Celebrant stay for the whole of our wedding or civil partnership day?

A. We make a promise to all the couples and families we work with that we will only book one ceremony per day. As such, we can ensure we give you our full attention on the day of your ceremony. It’s about what you want as a couple and we are very happy to work flexibly. We are available for as much or as little of your day as you need us. We can arrive in good time for your ceremony and stay for a short while afterwards or we can spend time with you and your guests as your ceremony unfolds over more than one location or as you embrace a mountain adventure together.

Q. Do your Celebrants help with any wedding planning like sorting the venue or the food?

A. No. We are Marriage and Civil Partnership Celebrants and as such are there to ensure that your ceremony unfolds exactly as you have planned and that you are legally married. We do not take part in any other planning or preparation for your wedding day. 

Q. My partner and I are not religious but consider ourselves to be a bit spiritual. We would like to include some spiritual elements in our ceremony and some sacred words as part of our handfasting. Is this ok? 

A.  How lovely! Yes, absolutely. We are led by you in terms of the content you wish to include in your ceremony and will explore these aspects with you. We are led by you but do have boundaries. We would not conduct religious rituals or lead prayers, blessings but can explore and support how you can bring these aspects into your ceremony if you wish.

It’s also important to us that the ceremony and its content is safe, respectful, does no harm and, if outdoors, leaves no trace.

Q. Do you conduct non-legal weddings too? My partner and I are already legally married but we would like to have an elopement ceremony in Scotland.

A. Absolutely! All our Celebrants are happy to conduct non-legal weddings. We are always thrilled to co-create any ceremony that is important to you and your family.

Emily Black Photography