Applying to be legally married in Scotland is easy if you have the necessary paperwork to hand and can adhere to the specific timings - you cannot apply more than three calendar months before, and no later than 29 days before. Some couples have found it time consuming to bring together all the paperwork needed to apply, but if you do everything you need to do in advance, it's then very simple to include the necessary legal elements as part of your ceremony on the day, so read on to find out what's involved.
As Interfaith Ministers we can hold legal wedding ceremony for you literally anywhere in Scotland - indoors, outdoors, on the beach, in a castle, in a hotel, in a private house or garden. Because of the freedom here in Scotland with where and how to have a ceremony, and no need for a period of residency, couples come from all over the world to marry here. All couples who wish to marry legally have to make an advance application via the local Registrar - we'd be happy to send some guidelines to give you an initial overview about what you need to do and when but in summary.
Three months prior to the date of the wedding you each need to apply to be married by filling in an M10 form and each providing supporting documents to send or show the Registrar (usually birth certificates, passports and a utility bill for proof of address) together with a payment to the local council for the administration of your application. This application can be done by post or in person but your travel plans must accommodate being able to attend the Registry Office in person on a week day during the 7 day period leading up to your wedding day.
To be legally recognised a marriage ceremony must include the following which it's our job to ensure we include -
- a declaration by the wedding couple, in the presence of each other and the celebrant and two witnesses, that they accept each other as husband and wife (or husbands, or wives if a same sex couple)
- following this, a declaration by the celebrant, that the couple are husband and wife, or husbands, or wives, or married
- following this, signatures from the couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses on the legal piece of paper - the Marriage Schedule - this paperwork then needs to be returned to the Registry Office within three days by the wedding couple or a family member or friend
If you've been married or civilly partnered before and are divorced or widowed you’ll need to provide divorce or death certificates (for your most recent marriage or civil partnership if you’ve been married or civil partnered more than once before). If you do not hold a British passport, depending on where you currently live and how long you’ve lived there, you may need additional supporting paperwork from your country of nationality. Investigate your legal application and Visa and Entry Requirements as soon as you can by going online to the NRScotland.gov.uk website.