Getting Married in Scotland
The legal preliminaries to marriage in Scotland are fully explained in a separate leaflet called Marriage in Scotland.
You do not have to live in Scotland to be married in Scotland.
Whether you are having a civil or religious marriage, both bride and groom have to complete and sign marriage notice forms that should be returned to the Registrar for the district where the marriage is to take place, within three months, but at least 15 days prior to the marriage. We would recommend that marriage notice forms be submitted to the Registrar four to six weeks before the date of the marriage.
Marriage Notice forms (Form M10) and the Marriage in Scotland leaflet can be collected from any registration office in Scotland. Once completed, the forms must be returned to the registration office in the district you are being married. If you have internet access, these documents can be downloaded from the National Records of Scotland's marriage website.
The appropriate fees and both birth certificates should be submitted with the completed marriage notice forms. The fees are explained on a separate leaflet.
Depending on your circumstances, the following documents may also be required: -
Decree of Divorce, Dissolution or Annulment - if you have been previously married or in a previous civil partnership which has been annulled, dissolved or ended in divorce you will need to produce a Decree of divorce or annulment issued and stamped by the court where the decree was granted.
Death Certificate - if you are widowed, you will need to produce an extract of your previous spouse's or registered civil partner's death certificate.
Translations - if any of your documentation is in a language other than English or is not multilingual, you will need to produce certified translations of these documents.
Entry Clearance - if a person is subject to immigration controls, they will need to satisfy certain immigration eligibility requirements before notice can be accepted. Please contact the Registrar for further information.
If either party to the marriage is a foreign national, please seek advice from the Registrar as to what additional documents you may have to obtain. If you are a foreign national, it is advisable to allow sufficient time for submitting marriage notice forms where additional documentation is required.
Please note that all documentation submitted to the Registrar must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted.
You will need to arrange for two people to be present to act as witnesses to your marriage (traditionally best man and bridesmaid). The two witnesses must be aged 16 years or over and be capable of fully understanding the proceedings. The Registrar must be notified of the full names and addresses of both witnesses.
If the bride, groom or either of the two witnesses to the marriage are unable to understand or converse fluently in English, an interpreter will have to be present at the marriage, which you will have to provide. Please consult the Registrar for advice.
Civil Marriage at an Approved Venue
A Registrar is authorised to conduct a civil marriage at any venue within the local council area, which has been approved by the relevant local council for the conduct of civil marriages.
You may wish to have your ceremony at any of our registration offices or at a hotel, castle, private home, on board a boat on a loch, on Ben Lui etc. The only limit is your imagination.
A list of permanently approved venues can be obtained from any of our Registration Offices or viewed on the
relevant council's website.
If you wish to obtain temporary approval for a venue or specific location which has not been approved by the local council e.g. for a home residence or a marquee in a garden, an application has to be made to the local council for approval of your venue.