Marriage and civil partnership
Getting married or entering into a civil partnership? Discover how we can help you with the legalities and the ceremony.
Marriage and civil partnership in Scotland
Anyone,regardless of gender, over age 16 can get married or form a civil partnership in Scotland. You don't need to live here or be a British citizen or provide evidence of parental consent.
You can choose to have either:
- civil partnership ceremony – which is similar to a civil marriage ceremony
- civil partnership registration – where both parties and the witnesses come to a registration office to complete the registration.
No matter what kind of union you intend, you'll need to have two witnesses at the ceremony. For marriages, the witnesses are usually the best man and bridesmaid. They must be 16 or over and be capable of understanding the proceedings. You'll need an interpreter at the ceremony if either party or witnesses are unable to understand or speak English.
Conversion from a civil partnership to a marriage
If you are in an existing civil partnership and want to convert this into a marriage we offer a clear process to do this.
If your civil partnership was in Scotland, you can have either:
- a marriage ceremony – conducted in the same way as any other marriage, and can include exchanging vows and rings
- an administrative conversion – where your partnership is altered to marriage by completing documentation with the registrar
Both of these options result in marriage in accordance with the law of Scotland.
If your civil partnership was in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you cannot get married in Scotland through the administration process, but you can have a marriage ceremony.
If your civil partnership was outside the UK you may still be able to apply for conversion to marriage. As the legalities vary by country please contact a registration office for guidance.
Legal preliminaries and forms
You need to register for a marriage or civil partnership at least 29 days before the event, and no earlier than three months before. We recommend that you submit forms to the registrar ten to twelve weeks before the date of the event.
There are different forms to complete for civil partnerships and marriages:
You'll also need to complete a celebrant and witness details form.
If either party to the union is a foreign national they'll need to meet certain immigration eligibility requirements. In particular, they need to complete a declaration of status by non-UK nationals form, which you can get from the National Records of Scotland website.
Register a marriage or civil partnership
Changing your name
If you decide to change your surname when you get married or form a civil partnership, you do not need to complete any official forms. You can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate as evidence of your change of name.
Renewal of vows
We can provide a personal and professional non-religious ceremony for couples who wish to renew their vows. Our staff will help you to arrange your day and will deliver a personal ceremony tailor-made for you. You can include the exchange of rings, new or old!
There is a fee for this service, which is inclusive of a pre-ceremony consultation, ceremony and certificate. Please contact the Registrar who will advise you of this.
Marriage or civil partnership registration - £45 per person
Civil marriage fee - £55
Marriage or civil partnership certificate - £10 per certificate
The minimum statutory fee for a civil partnership registration is £155.
Depending on where and when your marriage or civil partnership takes place, some of the following additional fees may also apply:
Provisional booking fee
Ceremony at a registration office
- £225.00 Saturday
- £289.00 Sunday or Public Holiday
Room hire at Stirling (Viewforth)
Bruce Room – up to 6 people (including bridal party)
Bruce Room – 6-30 guests
Council chambers – up to 60 guests
Ceremony at an alternative venue
- £187 Monday to Friday
- £268 Saturday
- £342 Sunday or public holiday
A full list of registration fees can be found on our registration fees and charges page.
To request a replacement certificate please call your local registration office.