As Interfaith Ministers and Celebrants 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.
No matter where you marry or who you choose to officiate your wedding ceremony on the day, your advance legal marriage will be administrated by a Registrar. All couples who wish to marry legally have to make an advance application to marry via a Registry Office.
There are District Registry Offices across Scotland and you make your application to the Office which covers the location where your ceremony will take place. The District Registrar will not accept your legal application until three months before the date you’ll marry on. The District Registrar will also not accept your legal application less than 29 clear days before the date you’ll marry on. So you have a two month window within which to submit your legal application.
- What To Do When - Legal Marriage In Scotland
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 provide supporting documents to send by post, or show the Registrar in person. These are 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.
Please ask and we can send you some guidelines to give you a full initial overview about what you need to do when – we can also direct you to useful government websites.
- Legal Marriage If Previously Married
If you've been married or civilly partnered before and are divorced or widowed you’ll need to provide divorce or death or annulment certificates - for your most recent marriage or civil partnership if you’ve been married or civil partnered more than once before.
- Non British Nationals Marrying In Scotland
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 in the form of Marriage Entry Visas or CONIs (Certificate of No Impediment). Investigate your legal application and Visa and Entry Requirements by going online on to the National Register of Scotland website.
If you don’t have time to lodge the application to have a legal aspect to your ceremony, we can offer a non legal ceremony of betrothal or commitment or handfasting or blessing.
- Same Sex Marriage In Scotland
We are delighted that Scotland's progressive marriage laws now allow any couples who wish to be LEGALLY married by us, to have a beautiful, meaningful ceremony HOWEVER and WHEREVER they wish. Same sex and opposite sex couples have the same options of marriage held indoors or outdoors at the location of choice.
As Interfaith Ministers and Marriage Celebrants we refuse to discriminate in any shape or form, and absolutely not on account of what gender you are and whom you love and choose to spend the rest of your life with.
LGBT+ couples can choose to have a religious or non religious legal ceremony of marriage, or a religious or non religious civil partnership. There is lots more information on our dedicated same sex website www.gaymarriagescotland.org
- Short Notice Legal Weddings In Scotland
If you would like your marriage to be legally recognized, your legal application to marry must be received by the Registrar who covers the location where you’ll marry, at least 29 days before the date you’ll marry.
If you don’t have time to lodge the application to apply to have a legal ceremony, we can offer a non legal ceremony of betrothal or commitment or handfasting or blessing.
- Elopement - Secret Marriage in Scotland
If you’re eloping or planning to marry in secret, or planning to only announce your marriage to your guests on the day of your wedding, it's useful to know that the District Registrar might post a list of forthcoming marriages on a public notice board outside the Registry Office in the locality where you’ll marry. Some post all the marriages happening in their area three weeks in advance of the events. It could mean that someone spots this by chance, and your secret comes out!
If you're eloping and not telling anyone and have no wish for guests we can help organise two legal witnesses for you.
- Secret Marriage - Surprising Your Partner
If you’re thinking of planning your wedding as a surprise for your fiancé(e) please know you and your fiancé(e) each have to fill in and sign an M10 form to apply for your marriage to be legally recognized. This means you would need to make them aware of what you're asking them to fill in and sign. Other than that you can make everything else about your special day a surprise for them if you wish.
- Non Legal Ceremony In Scotland
On occasion we have been asked if we would hold a ceremony of marriage to appear legal which is not. This is usually because the couple have already undertaken the legal aspect of the marriage, perhaps for ease if coming from overseas.
Please note we cannot lie or intentionally mislead your guests as this is a criminal offense, and we risk our licence to hold legal ceremony being withdrawn. The easiest solution to remedy this situation is for us to be honest with your guests and to openly let them know that the legal formalities are not included in the ceremony we are holding for you - perhaps they have taken place already, or they will take place on a date still to come.
We do use particular wording during a legal ceremony that we don’t use in a non legal ceremony.
We can offer a non legal ceremony of betrothal or commitment or handfasting or blessing.
- Legal Handfastings
If you dream of having a full blown handfasting ceremony, and if you could you would choose to include a legal aspect to your ceremony, we can do this. You can make personal vows, and then if we also include legal vows, a legal pronouncement of you as married, and have your vows and the pronouncement and you and me signing the legal paperwork witnessed by two people aged at least 16, you can be married according to Scottish Law (subject to you making the necessary advance application to legally marry).