Civil, religious or belief marriages: who can get married, what you have to do and how to obtain your certificate via the marriage notice and schedule.
Who can be married in Scotland
Any two persons who are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage, regardless of where they live, may marry in Scotland provided that:
- They are not related to one another in a way which would prevent their marrying
- They are unmarried and not in a registered civil partnership (any person who has already been married or in a registered civil partnership must produce documentary evidence that the previous marriage or civil partnership has been ended by divorce or dissolution or annulment
- If the former spouse or civil partner is deceased , the death certificate of the former spouse or civil partner
- They are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marriage
- The marriage would be regarded as valid in any foreign country to which either party belongs
What do I have to do?
Both parties to a marriage must complete and return Marriage Notice Forms to the registration office for the district they intend to marry in, along with the required documentation and the appropriate fee.
When and Where?
- Marriages Notice Forms can not be submitted more than 3 months before a wedding and not less than 29 days. Usual notice period is 10 weeks, or 12 weeks if either party has been married before
- Only in exceptional circumstances will the Registrar General authorise a marriage to take place if 29 days notice has not been given
- Marriage Notice Forms can be collected from either of our two registration offices or downloaded from the General Register Office for Scotland website.
- A civil marriage may take place in the registration offices in Barrhead or Giffnock. There are also licensed venues in East Renfrewshire where the registrar is authorised to conduct civil marriages: Civil marriage and civil partnership venues [49kb].
- You can get married in East Renfrewshire by a registrar or assistant registrar every day of the week including public holidays
What do I need to provide?
- both parties birth certificates
- Proof of nationality - usually in the form of a current passport
- Evidence of your usual residence
- If you have been married or in a registered civil partnership which has been dissolved or annulled, a decree of divorce or dissolution or annulment or a certified copy decree. A decree of divorce or dissolution granted outwith 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
- You must provide the names and addresses of your two witnesses (16 years of age or older) normally your best man and bridesmaid
- You will also need to pay the marriage fees: Marriage and civil partnership registration fees.
- Please note that we do not accept photocopies of documents and if any of these documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation must be provided.
If you are subject to immigration controls, you may have to provide extra documentation to that outlined above. If you are in any doubt about what is required, or if you need information you should consult the Registrar.
A marriage cannot proceed without the marriage schedule. This is the licence that allows the ceremony to take place.
For a civil marriage the schedule will not be issued prior to the ceremony. The registrar will make it available for signatures on the day.
For a religious or belief marriage the marriage schedule will be issued to one of the parties to the marriage and cannot be issued more than 7 days before the marriage. The registrar will advise you when the schedule may be collected. After the marriage ceremony the signed schedule should be returned to the registrar within 3 days so the marriage can be registered.
After the marriage has been registered you can obtain copies of the marriage certificate from the registrar on payment of the appropriate fee: