Marriage in Scotland
By law, both parties to a proposed civil or religious marriage, which includes other belief systems, are required to submit marriage notice forms to the registrar of the district in which the marriage is to take place informing him of their intention to marry.
Forms for giving notice can be obtained from any registration office in Scotland or from the General Registrars Office for Scotland (GROS) Website.
Notice must be given in the three month period prior to the date of the marriage and not later than 28 days before that date.
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Who can be married in Scotland?
Any two people, regardless of where they live, can marry in Scotland, provided that both parties:are at least 16 years of age on the day of marriage are not related to one another in a way which would prevent their marrying
- are unmarried and not in a civil partnership (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership registration has been ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissolution)
- are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marrying
and that the marriage would be regarded as valid in any foreign country to which either person belongs.
Types of marriage?
You can be married in either of two ways in Scotland - by a religious ceremony or by a civil ceremony.
A religious marriage, which includes other belief systems, may take place anywhere and may be solemnised only by a minister, clergyman, pastor, priest or other person entitled to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977.
A civil marriage may be solemnised only by a registrar or an assistant registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General and may take place in a registration office or at a venue/place approved by the local authority for that purpose.
East Dunbartonshire has marriage suites at Bearsden (Antonine Suite) and Kirkintilloch (Lennox Suite) and has approved the following venues:
- Glazert Country House Hotel, Lennoxtown (01360 310790)
- Kincaid House Hotel, Milton of Campsie (0141 776 2226)
- Smiths Hotel,Kirkintilloch (0141 775 0398)
- Kirkintilloch Miners Welfare, Kirkintilloch (0141 578 0024)
- Kirkintilloch Rangers Club, Kirkintilloch (0141 775 2907)
- Cyan Restaurant, Milngavie (0141 956 1325)
- Cadder Freestone Social Club, Bishopbriggs (0141 772 1584)
- The Eagle Lodge, Oregano, Bishopbriggs (0141 772 5951)
Notice of marriage
You can obtain marriage notice forms and information about fees from any Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland. In most cases you can get the address of the relevant local registrar from the telephone directory or the operator.
Each of you must complete and submit a marriage notice, along with the required documents and appropriate fee, to the registrar for the district in which the marriage is to take place. This means that both parties must be aware of the marriage and independently complete and sign the declaration on the marriage notice form. Failing to give proper notice can result in a marriage being postponed or prevented from proceeding.
The notices must be submitted early enough to enable the registrar to satisfy himself that you are free to marry one another. Normally notices should be submitted about four weeks before the marriage, but if either party has been married before, the notices should ideally be with the Registrar six weeks beforehand. The minimum period is 28 days before the date of the proposed marriage, but if you leave things as late as this, you could be faced with the need to postpone your marriage.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Registrar General authorise a marriage to take place if 28 days' notice has not been given.
When giving and sending marriage notice forms to the registrar, both parties must supply the following:
- birth certificate
- If you have been previously married or in a registered civil partnership and the marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled, a decree of divorce or dissolution or annulment or a certified copy decree is required. A decree of divorce or dissolution granted outside Scotland must be absolute or final - a decree nisi is not acceptable
- if your spouse or civil partner is deceased, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner
- if your domicile is abroad, a certificate of no impediment issued by the competent authority to the effect you are free to marry
- if any of the above documents are in a foreign language, a certified translation in English must also be provided.
Do not delay giving notice simply because you are waiting for any of the above documents.
All documents must be produced to the registrar prior to the date of marriage.
If you are subject to immigration controls you may have to provide additional documentation to that outlined above. If you require further clarification you should consult your local registrar.