In Scotland you can be married by a religious or belief ceremony, or by a civil ceremony:
- A religious or belief marriage may take place anywhere and may be solemnised only by a minister, clergyman, pastor, priest or other person approved to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977.
- A civil marriage can take place in a registration office, or at any place agreed between the registration authority and the couple, and can only be solemnised by a Registrar or Assistant Registrar.
The National Records of Scotland website provides full guidance on how to get married in Scotland.
Who can be married in Scotland
Any 2 persons, regardless of sex or where they live, may marry in Scotland as long as they meet the criteria as highlighted in the Marriage in Scotland RM1 leaflet (PDF, 36kb). Couples in an existing Scottish Civil Partnership can change their Civil Partnership into a marriage, if they wish.
Booking your wedding
It is important to make early arrangements for the date, time and place of your wedding. Find out about booking a civil marriage ceremony.
Submitting a marriage notice
By law both parties to a proposed civil, religious or belief marriage are required to submit marriage notice forms to the registrar of the district in which the marriage is to take place informing them of their intention to marry. If you wish to submit your marriage notice in person, you will need to make an appointment by calling 01294 310000.
Notice must be given in the 3 month period prior to the date of your marriage and not later than 29 days before that date.
Marriage notice form
You much each compete a marriage notice form, available to download here, Marriage notice and guidance notes - Form M10 (PDF, 240kb), or available from any Registration Office in Scotland.
Return the completed forms to your registrar along with:
Please note: any persons born on, or after, 1 January 1983 must also prove nationality when submitting notice. A valid passport is sufficient, or their mother's birth certificate.
What happens next?
Each person giving notice must sign the marriage notice stating that the information on their notice form is correct. As a safeguard against bigamous marriages, a further check is made by the Registrar General's Office.
The marriage schedule
When the registrar is satisfied the marriage can go ahead, a marriage schedule will be prepared. A marriage cannot take place without a marriage schedule. At the ceremony, the schedule will be signed by:
- the couple
- the person carrying out the marriage
- the 2 witnesses aged 16 years or over
If you're having a religious marriage the registrar will issue the marriage schedule less than 7 days before the wedding. You'll be advised when to collect it. It can only be collected by the couple themselves.
The marriage schedule must be produced before the ceremony to the celebrant carrying out the marriage. The marriage schedule must be returned to the registrar within 3 days of the wedding. This can be done by a relative or friend of the couple. The Registrar will then register your marriage and post out your marriage certificate.
If you're having a civil wedding, your marriage schedule will be available at the ceremony for signing. The Registrar will then register your marriage and post out your marriage certificate.
Up to 1 month after your marriage: £10
Please note that there is an additional £1 administrative charge for posting certificates.