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   Home  > Articles

The where and how of getting married

By Kate

Getting Married in Scotland

You can get married in Scotland even if you are not resident there, but you will be required to provide documents such as your birth certificate and evidence that you are free to marry if you have been married previously (death certificate or decree absolute of divorce). Further documentation may be required in certain circumstances and the registrar will advise you of this.

You can choose between a religious and civil ceremony at one of the register offices around Scotland. You will need first of all to contact the minister or registrar concerned, to book a date. You will also have to give notice of marriage. The appropriate forms and charges can be obtained from any register office, but must be submitted to the registrar of the office or district where you intend to marry. Notice must be given in the three month period before the marriage date, but at least 15 days beforehand, although 4-6 weeks is preferable especially if one of you have been married previously.

Religious ceremony

A religious ceremony can be conducted by a minister or person entitled to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. When you have given notice to the registrar of the district where you are marrying, you will be given a time in the week before your wedding to collect the marriage schedule in person. This schedule must be handed to the person marrying you, signed and witnessed after the ceremony and then returned to the registrar to register the wedding. After the marriage has been registered, you may collect copies of the marriage certificate for an appropriate fee.

Civil Ceremony

You do not need to collect the marriage schedule in this case, as the registrar will produce it for signing at your wedding and register the marriage and issue the marriage certificate, subject to a charge.

If you are not resident in Scotland

If one of you live in England or Wales, you can opt to give notice to the superintendent registrar of the district of England and Wales you are resident in, while your partner gives notice in Scotland. The certificate of marriage will then need to be sent to the registrar in Scotland as soon as possible.

If you are resident outside the United Kingdom, you will need to check with the registrar what additional documentation you need.

Further information from:

Our Marriage in Scotland page or from the Scottish General Register Office's web site

Documents and Charges (England and Wales)

Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands


In this article
- Introduction
- England and Wales
- Marriage at a Place of Worship
- Documents and Charges (England and Wales)
- Getting Married in Scotland
- Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands

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