Make your day a Milestone and not a Millstone!
The Milestone guide to wedding law in Scotland
England and Scotland are historically two different countries and the
Scots kept their own legal system even after they became part of the UK.
This section applies to all weddings held in Scotland.
- You must both be over sixteen.
- Both parties must be free to marry, and not too closely related.
- You must both be capable of understanding the nature of the
ceremony, and be acting of your own free will.
- Your proposed marriage must be valid in your own countries.
- Civil - Performed by a Registrar.
Can take place in a Register Office or anywhere approved for marriage
by a local authority. Venues may be temporarily licensed if deemed to
be suitable. Ceremonies can take place any time a registrar is
- Religious - Performed by a licensed clergyman.
Can take place anywhere and any time that is deemed to be suitable.
- All paperwork can be completed in advance by post. It is best to
allow at least six weeks for processing.
- If either one of you is a non European Economic Area passport holder
(ie if you are NOT from the EC, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or
Switzerland), you will only be allowed to marry if entry clearance has
been granted expressly for the purposes of marriage (contact your UK
consulate or embassy to apply for a 'Marriage Visitor Visa'), or you
have a written ’Certificate of Approval’ from the UK Home
Office Immigration and Nationality Department (contact your existing
UK IND office), or you already have official settled status in the UK
(such as Indefinite Leave to Remain).
- You need to submit a Marriage Notice to the registrar in whose
district you want to marry, at a current cost of UKP 20 each. You need
to have decided the date and the place where you intend to marry.
During the application process, you will also need to name your
There is no residency requirement.
After a minimum of 15 days, and when he/she is satisfied the marriage
would be legal, the Registrar produces a Marriage Schedule which must
be collected personally by one of you no more than seven days before
The Marriage Schedule is only valid for the date and place specified
on the Marriage Notice.
- The Registrar will now always ask to see your passport, ID card, UK
visa etc and/or other documents as evidence of nationality, name,
address, age, divorce etc. If you live outside the UK, you will also
need to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment from your own
authorities to prove you are free to marry. Any documents not in
English will need to be officially translated.
- You will also need to make arrangements with a Registrar or
clergyman to actually perform the ceremony.
- Due to all paperwork being verified in advance by post, you only
need to spend a day or two in Scotland before your wedding.
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