Any two persons, .....
regardless of where they live, may marry in Scotland, by either a religious or civil ceremony, provided both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage, they are not related and are unmarried and not the same sex. Although, civil unions can take place and are a legally recognised union, similar to marriage, for same sex couples.
A religious ceremony may take place anywhere and may be solemnised by a minister, priest or any other person entitled to do so under the marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. A civil ceremony may take place within a registration office or at an approved place, such as a hotel that is licensed for such ceremonies.
A marriage notice form must be obtained from and submitted to the registrar at least six weeks beforehand, provided that either of the party has not been married before. Some legal documents must be provided on submission.
Arrangements for the Marriage Ceremony must be made early. If you are planning a religious ceremony, go and see the minister or clergyman who is to take the service before completing the notice of marriage. For a civil ceremony advanced arrangements must be made with the registrar. This is important as, if it is to be in the registration office or in another approved place in towns and cities, there will be large numbers of people who want to be married at certain times of the year. Arrange for two people, aged 16 year or over, to be present at your marriage to act as witnesses. They are required whether it is a religious or civil ceremony. Be sure to let the clergyman or the registrar know if you change your plans or decide to postpone your marriage.
Once the registrar is satisfied there is no legal impediment to the marriage, the registrar will then prepare a Marriage Schedule from the information you have given him. The Schedule is the most important document – no marriage can proceed without it. If you are having a religious ceremony the Marriage Schedule will be issued to you by the registrar. The Schedule cannot be issued seven days before the marriage and the registrar will advise when it can be collected. The registrar will issue it only to the prospective bride and groom. A fee for the civil ceremony and, if applicable, the attendance of an authorised registrar at an approved place is payable to the registrar in advance. Once the marriage has been registered you can obtain copies of the marriage certificate from the registrar on payment of the appropriate fee.
If you are a non-UK resident, some documentation may be required. If you are subject to the marriage laws of that country, you should obtain, if practicable, a certificate issued by competent authority to prove there is no impeachment to your proposed marriage. In absence of such a certificate without good reason being shown, it may not be possible for you to marry in Scotland.