Getting married

Marriage in Scotland

In Scotland you can either have a Civil Ceremony or a Religious/Belief Ceremony.

Civil ceremony

This ceremony may take place in a Registration Office or at any place mutually agreed between the couple and the local registration authority, other than religious premises. Once you have decided on a date you should contact the Registrar as soon as possible.

Religious or belief marriage

Religious or belief marriage ceremonies vary greatly, depending on the religion or belief involved. They include marriages by celebrants of many Christian denominations, and celebrants from other religions such as Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. They also include celebrants from other belief systems, notably Humanists.

Who can be married in Scotland?

Any two persons, regardless of where they live, may marry in Scotland provided that:

  • both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage
  • they are not related to one another in a way which would prevent them from marrying
  • each person is unmarried or not already registered as a civil partner (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership has been ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissolution)
  • they are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marriage
  • in the case of opposite sex marriage, the marriage would be regarded as valid in the party's country of domicile

What if I live outside of the United Kingdom?

The normal procedure of giving notice to the Registrar in Scotland must be followed.

Additionally, if you live in a country outside the UK, you are subject to the marriage laws of that country. You should obtain if relevant a certificate issued by the competent authority (usually the civil authority) in that country to the effect that there is no impediment to your proposed marriage.

If the certificate is in a language other than English, you should also produce a certified translation. In the absence of such a certificate without good reason being shown, it may not be possible for you to marry in Scotland.

If you are now resident in the UK and have lived here for the last two years or more you don't need to submit such a certificate.

If you are a non EEA national further documentation will need to be completed. Please also download and complete a Declaration of Status by non-UK nationals.

If you are in any doubt about what is required, or if you require further information, you should consult the Registrar as soon as possible.

You can find out more information about getting married in Scotland on the National Records of Scotland website.

Registration enquiry

Telephone: Monday to Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-12noon

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800