If you intend to marry in Scotland you can have either a civil or a religious/belief marriage:
- A civil marriage is conducted by a registrar or assistant registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General
- A religious/belief marriage is conducted by a clergyman, pastor, priest, minister or another person authorised by the Registrar General to do so.
Whether you choose a civil or religious/belief marriage the legal requirements remain the same. Both parties to the marriage are required by law to complete and sign Marriage Notice forms and submit them to the registrar in whose district the marriage is to take place. Marriage Notice forms can be obtained from any registration office in Scotland. If a couple are having a religious/belief or civil marriage in the registration district of East Ayrshire their Notice Forms can be submitted to any of the registration offices in East Ayrshire.
A signed Marriage Notice form is only valid for three months. By law the minimum period of notice that you must give the registrar before the date of your marriage is 28 days. The leaflet Marriage in Scotland (RM1), available from any registration office in Scotland, gives more guidance to marrying in Scotland.
Submitting your marriage notice form
It is recommended that Marriage Notice forms are submitted to the registrar eight weeks prior to the date of the marriage together with any additional documents the registrar may require and the appropriate fees.
Additional documents include:
- birth certificate for both parties
- proof of termination of a previous marriage where applicable
- Passports (if applicable)
- proof of place of residence (utility bill no older than 3 months, bank statement no older than 1 month, most recent council tax bill or valid UK Driving License)
Please Note: From 1st March 2015 the Immigration Act 2014 came into force. For further information please refer to www.gov.uk
An appointment should be made with the registrar to hand in Marriage Notice forms. This can be done in person or someone can do it on your behalf. Please see our contact details below.
If any of these documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation must be included.
All documents must be original - photocopies are not acceptable.
The registrar will check the documents and may retain them for examination later.
You will need to arrange for two people to be present to act as witnesses to your marriage. The two witnesses must be aged 16 or over and must be capable of fully understanding the proceedings. The registrar must be notified of the full names and addresses of both witnesses, please use our witness sheet provided. If, for any reason, you wish to change the names of the witnesses please tell the registrar as soon as you can.
If you are having a religious/belief ceremony the registrar will give you details of when to collect your Marriage Schedule. The Marriage Schedule is the legal document the celebrant conducting your marriage requires; without this your marriage cannot proceed.
After your marriage, the schedule is returned to the registration office where the marriage is registered and you can obtain copies of your marriage certificate on payment of the appropriate fee.