National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

I Want to Get Married in Scotland. How Do I Go About It?

I Want to Get Married in Scotland. How Do I Go About It?

You will need to book a place, date and time for your ceremony. You should also be aware that, whether you intend to have a civil marriage ceremony solemnised by a registrar or a religious/belief marriage ceremony solemnised by an approved celebrant, you must by law lodge marriage notice forms and the associated documents, and pay the statutory fee, to the registrar in whose district you intend to be married.

You may find it useful to download the following documents about our requirements.

If you are subject to Immigration Control please read the attached information (27 KB PDF) carefully.

If you wish to change your existing civil partnership to a marriage, the information you need is on this page.

 (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF)): Get Acrobat Reader

The RM1 leaflet should answer most of your questions, but please bear in mind the following points:

  • Always telephone the selected local Registrar before filling in the Marriage Notice Application (Form M10).
  • If you want a civil rather than religious or belief marriage, the Registrar will be able to help you choose a day and time, and tell you what fees you are likely to pay.
  • It will also enable you to confirm what form of payment the Registrar can accept.
  • Both parties to the marriage should provide the Registrar with a postal address and a contact telephone number (and if possible, a fax number).
  • You must post (not email) the completed forms to arrive normally 10-12 weeks before the date of the proposed marriage and certainly no later than 29 days before. You must include:
    • the questionnaire if you are submitting divorce or dissolution documents from outside the United Kingdom;
    • original or certified copies of documents provided by the issuing authority;
    • the Declaration of Immigration Status form if you are subject to Immigration Control;
    • the Witness Details form (if you have chosen your witnesses);
    • the appropriate payment to the relevant local Registrar (not to the National Records of Scotland). The registrar will not be able to accept forms without payment.
  • If you intend to submit the completed forms in person please be aware the opening hours of registration offices vary between local authorities and some operate an appointments system. You should check with the relevant local authority before attending an office.

If you want a religious or belief marriage the marriage schedule needs to be collected in person by one of the parties to the marriage from the registrar no more than 7 days prior to the date of marriage during office hours.  The marriage schedule must be returned to the registrar within 3 days of the marriage so the marriage can be registered.  If you cannot take the marriage schedule back personally, you can ask someone else to take it for you or you can post it so that it is received by the registrar within that 3 day timescale.

Are you subject to immigration controls?

If you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland such as, for example, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States etc., and you intend to visit Scotland to get married or to register a civil partnership, then you will need an entry clearance.  You should check the information which is available on the GOV.UK website.

If you are just visiting Scotland to change your civil partnership registered in Scotland to a marriage, you do not need entry clearance but will need to provide evidence to show that you are in an existing civil partnership when you enter the UK.

If you have any questions, contact the Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration Contact Centre (Tel no:  0300 123 2241).

Registrars have a statutory duty to report any marriage they suspect has been registered for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.