Guidelines for marriages in the University chapels
You can find all information about wedding ceremonies taking place in University chapels in the guidelines below.
St Salvator’s Chapel
St Salvator’s is the large chapel on North Street, and it seats approximately 180 in the nave with an additional 110 in the ante-chapel. The pews face each other across the chapel in collegiate style in the nave, with chairs facing forward in the ante-chapel, behind a decorative screen. The chapel is equipped with wheelchair access and an induction loop.
St Leonard’s Chapel
St Leonard’s Chapel is situated within the grounds of St Leonard’s School and is much smaller and more intimate, seating approximately 50. It is built in traditional mediaeval style and the pews face each other across the chapel in collegiate style. It is particularly suitable for weddings where there are fewer guests. Wheelchair access is fairly easy.
Always check with the Chaplaincy secretaries before deciding on your date and time.
There are some restricted periods in the year when weddings are discouraged in St Salvator’s, most usually due to examinations taking place in Upper and Lower College Halls. These periods are as follows:
St Salvator's Chapel
- April – Kate Kennedy Procession, typically the second or third Saturday
- May – exams in surrounding buildings, typically the last two weeks of the month
- June – graduation (weekdays only) during the third or fourth week in June
- August – exams in surrounding buildings (weekdays only), typically the last two weeks of the month
- October and November – Raisin Weekend
- December – exams in surrounding buildings from mid-December onward.
St Salvator's Chapel and St Leonard’s Chapel
- Christmas Eve (after the New Year Holiday) – no weddings are possible as the University is closed during this time.
Other events to be aware of:
- University Orientation Week – the town is exceptionally busy during the weekend before and immediately after Orientation Week, and as such access in and out of town is heavily congested making it difficult for guests to travel.
- Graduation – around the third or fourth week of June, graduation ceremonies take place for about 1,000 people, and they nearly all bring guests, making accommodation less readily available.
- Lammas Fair – around the second week of August, the Lammas Fair is in town, meaning access and accommodation can be very difficult.
- Golf tournaments – there are occasional accommodation problems linked to golf tournaments (for example, the British Golf Open). The Dunhill held annually in October rarely causes any problems; however, you should consider any issues pertaining to guests wishing to find accommodation around this time.
See semester dates for more information.
If you have guests who require wheelchair access to the chapels, please make the chaplaincy secretaries aware so that arrangements can be made for access.
St Salvator’s Chapel has a ramp from the North Street entrance and a ramp into the main chapel.
St Leonard’s Chapel has a four-inch step to be negotiated.
St Salvator's Chapel
On-street parking in front of the Chapel is reserved as part of your wedding booking. There is space for between 4-5 cars. Wedding cars are not permitted access to the quad.
There is a ‘pay and display’ parking scheme in operation in the rest of the town centre, with a maximum of 2 hours allowed, and parking may be available on roads nearby but spaces do tend to fill
up quickly in the summer.
There is a free car park at Petheram Bridge which is a 10-15 minute walk from either Chapel.
St Leonard’s Chapel
Although the Chapel belongs to the University, the immediate ground around it is part of a school. The school does not allow vehicles into that immediate area apart from the
bridal car. Your guests may park their cars on The Pends, the road running down to the harbour, with a short walk to the Chapel, or on-street parking in town. On no account must they park in the lane leading to the Chapel.
There are on-street disabled parking bays across from Chapel; however, we cannot guarantee that these will be free. We recommend that disabled guests are dropped off at the Chapel doors and the
driver then goes to park. If you prefer you may allow immediate family with mobility issues to use the parking space reserved in front of the chapel for the wedding cars, if space allows. For weekend weddings the Chaplaincy may be able to help arrange disabled parking on nearby university property.
The space in front of the chapel cannot be reserved for bus collection and must be kept clear for the arrival of wedding cars. There is a dedicated bus parking area at the Bruce Embankment car park
which is situated next to the British Golf Museum, just a short walk from the grounds of the chapel, heading down Butts Wynd along The Scores.
Only those with a University or a local connection may marry in the University chapels, and the University Chaplain only conducts weddings with a University connection.
In line with recent changes in the law, the University chapels are available for weddings between members of the same sex and for religious registrations of civil partnerships.
One or both of the parties to the marriage must be a current member of staff, student or a graduate of the University of St Andrews, or a child or grandchild of a current member of staff, student or graduate.
Local, St Leonard’s School and other connections
Permission is given for local people to marry in St Salvator's or St Leonard's chapels. Anyone with a postcode beginning with KY16 is eligible to use the chapels. This must be your permanent residence and evidence of such will be requested. You must provide their own minister or priest to officiate.
Those at, or who have been at, St Leonard’s School may also use St Leonard’s Chapel or occasionally St Salvator’s Chapel, again providing their own minister or priest.
Occasionally wider access is allowed, but normally there must be a clear University connection.
The Religious Council of the University passed the following resolution:
“The Council agreed that only denominations who were members of, associates of, or in agreement with the aims of the World Council of Churches might be granted the use of the Chapels for services."
In practice, most mainstream Christian denominations do fall within these guidelines. If you have any doubts, please contact the Chaplaincy for advice.
For more information please contact the University Chaplain, Revd Dr Donald MacEwan by email: email@example.com.
In line with recent changes in the law, the University chapels are available for weddings between members of the same sex and for religious registrations of civil partnerships.
The University Assistant Chaplain, Revd Samantha Ferguson, is an approved celebrant who may solemnise marriages of same-sex couples. A member of our Honorary Team is also able of conduct same-sex marriages, and will be appointed, if for any reason, Revd Ferguson is unavailable.
Booking your wedding
See the booking your wedding web page.
Provisional bookings should be made at least 12 weeks before the intended wedding date.
Weddings may not take place on Sundays during term-time unless in exceptional circumstances by special permission. Other events may occur in the chapels, especially on weekdays, so it is always advisable to confirm a date with the Chaplaincy secretary before booking a reception venue. Full details can be found in the wedding payment policy below.
In order to make a provisional booking, in the first instance, please contact the Chaplaincy to ascertain availability for the date and time you would like.
Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2866 or +44 (0)1334 46 2492
Once availability has been checked and agreed you may request that a provisional booking be made. Provisional bookings, for which payment is not required, are held for four weeks which allows you time to arrange and confirm your reception venue etc.
In order to confirm the booking, the Chaplaincy office must receive both the completed wedding booking form, which you will find on the Booking your wedding page, and deposit. The status of your booking will change from provisional to confirmed once we have received both the completed booking form and the £200 deposit payable through the University online shop. The deposit must be made within four weeks, and if it is not received within the specified period will result in your provisional booking being cancelled automatically without prior notice.
Once the booking form and deposit are received your confirmation paperwork will be prepared and confirmation letter issued, typically within three weeks.
The University Chaplain is happy to perform wedding blessing ceremonies of those with a University connection.
You are also very welcome to make arrangements to bring your own minister.
The Chaplaincy will accept bookings every two hours, with the confirmed booking time marking the start of your ceremony (e.g. 2pm), for which brides must arrive on time. Your groom and ushers may arrive 40 minutes (e.g. 1.20pm) ahead of this time, with guests arriving at the chapel no earlier than 30 minutes (e.g. 1.30pm) before.
Couples who request more time than that specified above maybe subject to additional hire charges, which will be advised on request.
Your ceremony should last approximately 40 minutes with an additional 15 minutes to sign the wedding schedule (register), after which you will be ushered to the grounds of Upper College Lawn or Lower College Lawn. You should clear the chapel (including flowers) within one hour of your allotted time. Our experienced janitorial team will ensure the smooth running of this process to allow for the guests of any subsequent weddings to arrive without impinging your booking.
For Roman Catholic weddings, where appropriate and in agreement with Father Michael John Galbraith, the Chaplaincy will consider two and a half hour booking slots. This must be requested at the time of making your provisional booking, otherwise, a standard time slot will be allocated. This would allow for a 1-hour Nuptial Mass with an additional 15 minutes to sign the schedule (register), after which you will be ushered to the grounds of Upper College Lawn or Lower College Lawn. You should clear the chapel (including flowers) within 1 and a half hours of your allotted time.
If you are planning a Catholic ceremony, you are required to seek permission from Father Michael John Galbraith who can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written confirmation of your booking will be returned, usually within three weeks of submitting both the Chapel wedding booking form (Word) and deposit payment. Bookings made during the Christmas vacation period will take longer to process on account of the University Christmas shutdown. If you are at all worried, please contact the Chaplaincy by phone (01334 46 2866).
Weddings bookings can only be secured when both the £200 deposit, paid via the University Online Shop and Chapel wedding booking form (Word) have been submitted. You will receive a
confirmation letter, usually within three weeks of submitting the deposit and wedding booking form.
Wedding balance payments are due no later than ten weeks prior to your wedding day, payable via the University online Shop. Wedding balance reminders are not normally issued, and you should note the date to ensure payment reaches the University on time.
Unpaid accounts will be passed to the University's credit control department who will contact you and request payment within five days. Should payment remain unpaid, despite reminders, your wedding booking may be cancelled.
Wedding fees include:
- janitorial services
- light and heat
- minister (if University chaplain or honorary chaplains)
- organist (if University organist or his deputy)
- parking in front of St Salvator's Chapel for up to five wedding cars (St Salvator's Chapel bookings only)
- administration and VAT.
For costs, please see the Chapel price list web page.
Couples planning to marry in Scotland are required, by law, to complete and submit a Marriage Notice (Form M10) at least 29 days before the date of their wedding. Normally, notice should be in the Registrar’s hands 10 to 12 weeks in advance.
For those being married by the University Chaplain, Revd Donald MacEwan please quote his denomination as Church of Scotland Minister in question 24 of the M10 marriage application form. For the Assistant Chaplain, Revd Samantha Ferguson, please quote her denomination as Assistant Chaplain, Scottish Episcopal Church.
For weddings in St Andrews, all paperwork is processed through the Cupar office at:
St Catherine Street
Phone: 03451 555 555 (ext 452850)
If all the paperwork is in order, the Registrar will produce a marriage schedule which must be collected in person by one or both parties to be married, no more than seven days prior to the date of the marriage. You should check with the Registrar in advance as to when you can collect the schedule. The marriage schedule should be brought to the rehearsal and handed to the minister as evidence of permission to marry. If there is no marriage schedule, the wedding cannot go ahead.
The Registrar’s office is now based in Cupar, an estimated 40 minutes round trip from St Andrews. You should factor this time into your travel plans, especially if you plan to collect your schedule on the day of your rehearsal.
The signed marriage schedule must be returned to the Registrar within three days of the marriage to ensure the marriage is registered. If you are unable to take the marriage schedule back personally, you can ask someone else to do this for you. The most usual practice is for the best man or a relative to take it to the Registrar's office within the allotted time or place it in the letterbox in a sealed envelope marked for the attention of the Registrar.
Where both parties live outside Scotland, or where one is not a British subject, or where one is divorced or widowed, it is essential to contact the Registrar as soon as possible to clarify what legal requirements may need to be satisfied. If you have any questions, please ask the Registrar.
This information is for guidance only. Please contact the Registrar in all circumstances. Further information can be found at the National Records of Scotland website.
In the event that you have to cancel your wedding, please submit notification in writing as soon as possible.
The £200 deposit for your wedding and £60 deposit for bell ringing services (where applicable) is non-refundable.
Cancellations made after the ten week final balance payment due date will be charged at the full amount.
Both the University Chaplain (Rev Dr Donald MacEwan) and Assistant Chaplain (Rev Samantha Ferguson) are happy to officiate at the weddings of those with a University connection. Revd Samantha Ferguson can solemnise over marriages of both opposite sex, and same-sex couples. If either is unavailable during part of the year due to prior diary engagements, we will ask an honorary chaplain or a local minister to take the service after consulting with you.
For those being married by the University Chaplain, Revd Donald MacEwan please quote his denomination as Church of Scotland Minister in question 24 of the M10 marriage application form. For the Assistant Chaplain, Revd Samantha Ferguson, please quote her denomination as Assistant Chaplain, Scottish Episcopal Church Priest.
You are also very welcome to make arrangements with your own minister. If you do, please include full details on the booking form, as this information is often checked with the Chaplaincy by the Fife Council Registrar. If the minister is not from the UK, it is vital that you take advice from the Registrar. There are certain legal conditions which must be fulfilled before an overseas minister may conduct a wedding in Scotland.
Those wishing a Roman Catholic wedding must first seek approval from the parish priest of St James’, St Andrews (Fr Michael John Galbraith, email: email@example.com). He himself maybe able to conduct the ceremony; however you may wish to approach another
priest/deacon (e.g. your own parish priest) to preside at the wedding.
The date and time of the wedding must not be booked until the couple have spoken to the priest or deacon who has agreed to preside at the service. We are however happy to make provisional
wedding bookings, so that you may hold your preferred date and time.
The couple must meet with their parish priest or deacon to undertake pre-marital preparation, which includes the completion of all the necessary paperwork. This may or may not be the same priest/deacon who presides at the service.
Once all paperwork has been completed it should be sent to:
Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh
100 Strathearn Road
Once processed, the documentation will be forwarded to the parish of St James’, St Andrews.
If you have elected to have one of the University Chaplains officiate at your wedding you will receive a Wedding Preparation Order of Service booklet.
You will be required to meet with them in person which is best, or via Skype if you do not live locally, at least 4-6 months before your wedding. Appointments typically take place on weekdays during normal office hours. At this meeting, he will explore with you your hopes for married life, and will also help you put together the order of service for your wedding.
The University Chaplain normally uses the Church of Scotland order of service. If you would prefer that another order of service be used (e.g. an Anglican one) please discuss this with the Chaplain. If you are providing your own minister please discuss with them the order of service to be used.
It is a good idea to have a rehearsal for your wedding. Please arrange this with the Chaplaincy office; the content of the rehearsal can be discussed with the Chaplain or your officiating minister.
Whenever possible, it is helpful if rehearsals finish by 5.30pm as janitors go off duty. 45 minutes is allocated for each rehearsal, and if more time is required it must be requested. Please be on time, as the Chapel may be booked for other rehearsals or events.
As another wedding may follow yours, your wedding service must begin on time. If the service is for any reason running late, the service must finish no more than 45 minutes from the time the next wedding is scheduled to begin, and this may result in your ceremony being drastically shortened. This allows the Chapel to be prepared for the following wedding.
If your wedding begins more than half an hour late, and there is a University choir, members of the choir may have to leave due to prior engagements, and no refund can be given. If members of the choir are able to stay and perform, an additional fee will be incurred.
The Chaplain normally uses the Church of Scotland order of service. If you would prefer that another order of service be used (for example, an Anglican one) please discuss with the Chaplain.
If you are providing your own minister, please discuss with them the order of service to be used.
One or more passages of scripture should be read during the service. Many couples like to choose one scripture reading and a poem (you should check the latter with the officiating chaplain or minister). The following readings are all suitable for your service and are written out in full in the order of service booklet which is sent to all couples who ask the Chaplain to conduct their wedding. You may, of course, choose readings from the Bible which are not among these suggestions.
- Genesis 2: 15-24
- Ruth 1: 16-17
- Psalm 128
- Ecclesiastes 3: 1- 8
- Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
- Song of Songs 8: 6-7
- Jeremiah 31: 31-34
- Mark 10: 6-9
- John 2: 1-11
- John 15: 9-12
- 1 Corinthians 13
- Ephesians 3: 14-21
- Colossians 3: 12-17
- 1 John 4: 7-12
Hymns, songs and music should be chosen to express praise and thanksgiving to God, and to celebrate God's love for us, our love for God, our love for one another, and the love of husband and wife. Hymn books can be provided, although most couples print the words of the hymns in an order of service.
Once you have chosen your hymns, the Chaplaincy can send you the words of the hymns for printing. Copyright is required if the hymn is within an author’s lifetime or 70 years of his or her death. Please include ‘© <author’s name>’ and the University's licence number ‘CCL 55085’ in your order of service.
The words of the following hymns are printed in full in the order of service booklet which is sent to all couples who ask the Chaplain to conduct their wedding. They are all suitable for weddings. You may, of course, choose hymns which are not among these suggestions.
- All people that on earth do dwell
- Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all Joy ©
- As man and woman we are made ©
- Lord of creation, giver of gladness ©
- Bind us together, Lord ©
- Love is the touch of intangible joy ©
- Christ is made the sure foundation
- Love Divine, all loves excelling
- Come down, O Love Divine
- Now thank we all our God
- From all that dwell below the skies
- O God the Bethel! by whose hand
- Glorious things of thee are spoken
- Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
- Glory be to God the Father
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation
- O God of Love, to thee we bow ©
- The grace of life is theirs ©
- Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
- The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want
- How lovely is thy dwelling-place
- Your love, O God, has called us here
- Let’s praise the Creator who gave us each other ©
- We come, dear Lord, to celebrate ©
Both University chapels contain very fine pipe organs which provide wonderful music for weddings. As well as leading the hymns, the organ provides music at several important points before, during and after the service:
- before the service (as guests arrive for the service, the organ can provide background music)
- entrance of the bride
- signing of the register
See examples of suitable organ music for the service.
Your wedding fee includes the services of an organist provided by the University. All arrangements for music at the service should be made through the deputy University organist, Andrew Macintosh, who is always happy to discuss or suggest music. Please make contact with Andrew at least six weeks in advance of your wedding. You should read the music for weddings (PDF) before contacting Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the entrance of the bride and during the recessional, it is inadvisable for music to be provided by a recording or any instrument other than the organ. This is because the sound of the organ is ideally suited to a processional mood. However, during the signing of the schedule, music can, if wished, be provided by a choir, a solo singer or by instruments other than the organ. See below for details.
If you wish to bring your own organist, please bear in mind that you must obtain the permission of the University organist first. This is because the organs in both Chapels are very valuable and must only be played by those who can satisfy the University organist of their level of competence.
A choir can make your wedding service an even more memorable occasion. As well as leading the congregation through the hymns, they can sing during the signing of the schedule. The University Deputy Organist, Andrew MacIntosh, will always do his best to accommodate requests for choirs. Please contact him by email ajrm@st-
A wedding choir consists of between four and eight singers. Singers are readily available during University semesters (around February to May and September to December). At other times of the
year, it can be difficult to find singers, so please contact Andrew Macintosh in the first instance if the date of your wedding lies outside University semesters.
If your wedding is during the period from January to September, please contact the organist before 31 October in the preceding year. If your wedding lies in the months from October to December, please make your request before 31 May.
Instrumentalists and soloists
You are welcome to provide your own instrumentalist or soloist to play during the signing of the schedule or during the ceremony. If they require a rehearsal in the chapel, and if you would like the University organist to accompany them, this may incur a charge – please see the price list for details.
The organist is also happy to book solo instrumentalists, where possible. In all circumstances, please contact the University organist well in advance. It is especially important that, if the organist is required to accompany a soloist, the sheet music in the appropriate key is received not less than one month in advance.
St Salvator’s Chapel has six bells. There is a possibility that these can be rung for your wedding, although it depends upon the availability of bell ringers. Please see the price list for costs.
If your wedding falls within University term-time, bell ringers are fairly easy to obtain from the student population, but during holiday periods this can more difficult.
The bell ringers are entitled to a fee, part of which goes towards the maintenance of the bells. If you would like to bells to be rung at your wedding, please contact the Bell Ringing Society via email: email@example.com.
Couples expecting their wedding to last longer than 45 minutes must indicate this at the time of booking. Cancellation of bookings must be done in writing to the email address provided, noting the cancellation policy.
There are no bells at St Leonard’s Chapel.
Be aware that while the piper is playing, the organist will refrain from playing in order that there is no ‘clash of sound’.
Recordings: visual and audio
If you wish to make an audio or video recording of the service, you must obtain the permission of the officiating minister and the organist well in advance.
Video recordings are subject to copyright law. If the current University chaplain is conducting the service, a video recording may only be made from the balcony at the back of the Chapel.
Photographs may be taken inside the Chapel only at the discretion of the officiating minister, who should be consulted at your wedding preparation meeting.
The official photographer is welcome to take photographs during the service from the gallery and/or from the rear of the Chapel. He/she is welcome to come forward to take pictures of the signing of
the schedule, and of the couple and witnesses at the table. All guests, as well as the photographer, are welcome to take photographs as the couple process down the aisle at the end of the service.
The current University Chaplain strongly advises against photographs or recordings taken by wedding guests during the actual service itself, as this can be very off-putting for all concerned.
Photography in St Salvator’s Quad.
After your wedding, you may go on to St Salvator’s Quad for photos. However, St Salvator’s Lawns are public spaces and may be used by Conference and Event Services for functions and wedding
receptions. As such please be aware there may be times when you will not have sole use of the lawn for photographs. However, every effort will be made to ensure such events do not impinge on your photographs.
If there is another wedding in St Salvator’s Chapel directly after yours we kindly ask that you and all guests clear the area no less than 15 minutes before their wedding is due to commence.
Photography in St Leonard’s Chapel
The area surrounding St Leonard’s Chapel is part of a private school and does not belong to the University. The school authorities technically have the right to charge for using the grounds for photographs, although in practice they do not do so.
Photography in St Mary’s Quad
St Mary’s College Quad and Gardens, off South Street, may be used for photographs with permission from the University Security Officer. This is also a public space meaning that exclusive use
cannot be guaranteed. The Chaplaincy office can provide you with contact details if required.
Photography in Lower and Upper College Hall
If you are using Lower and Upper College Hall for your reception, should there be another wedding taking place in St Salvator’s Chapel, you will be asked to move down to the lower lawn, if
available, no less than 15 minutes before the next wedding is due to commence. You will be free to use the upper lawn again after the other wedding party have left the quad.
Normally the services of a florist are employed to arrange flowers, but you are very welcome to ask a friend. Whoever is used, it must be emphasised that the flowers must be removed from the chapel as soon as possible after the service, especially if another wedding is to follow soon after.
If you are happy to share flowers with others being married on the same day, please indicate on the booking form. Closer to your wedding, please contact the Chaplaincy secretaries and they will provide you with contact details for others being married on the same day also willing to share flowers. You must conduct your own negotiations with others sharing flowers. You may not put flowers into the Chapel before another wedding if that couple are not willing to share.
Typically, flowers can only be put into chapel 45 minutes before your allotted time. Your florist should contact the senior chapel janitor to discuss a mutually convenient time for delivery. To arrange access to the Chapels for flowers to be delivered, please contact the senior janitor:
- St Salvator’s Chapel: 01334 46 3985
- St Leonard’s Chapel: 01334 46 2853
The Chaplaincy cannot provide flower pedestals; however, you are welcome to provide them or have your florist provide them, as long as they are removed at the end of the wedding before the next wedding party arrive.
St Salvator’s Chapel
Candles are provided on the communion table for each wedding. No candles are permitted on window ledges or along the aisle. Candles secured within flower displays are permitted on the communion table or on stands at the front of chapel only.
St Leonard’s Chapel
St Leonard’s can be lit by candlelight: wax candles are in wall-sconces and three central chandeliers. Lighting the chapel by candlelight is particularly suited to late afternoon winter weddings, but candles are generally lit for all weddings.
Typically, decoration can only be put into chapel 45 minutes before your allotted time, which is the time allocated for flower decoration.
Decorating the aisle
The aisle of either chapel cannot be decorated with
candles, flower petals or such like.
The aisle must be kept clear.
Decorating pew ends
Hand-tied flowers can be hung with ribbon on pew ends near the front of St Salvator's Chapel. Pins must never be used to secure items to the pew ends.
Confetti should not be used at either chapel or on University property or in St Leonard’s School property; this also applies to rice and similar items. Please make this rule is clear to your guests.
After the ceremony
The University boasts a stunning, historic venue for wedding receptions. The impressive Lower and Upper College Halls, which lies just across the quadrangle from St Salvator’s chapel, is the perfect setting for exclusive wedding receptions. Find out more about booking a wedding reception in St Andrews.
Accommodation is available within some University residences over the months of June, July and August.
The University is delighted to offer all wedding guests a 10% discount on accommodation at Agnes Blackadder Hall, David Russell Apartments, University Hall and McIntosh Hall (discount does not apply to twin rooms or self-catered apartments). In order to benefit from this special offer, please contact the Accommodation, Conferences and Events team to obtain a discount code which can be circulated to your guests.
Find out more about booking accommodation.