Many people from all over the world choose to get married in Scotland. It is possible to have a religious or civil wedding, or a civil partnership. The Scottish Parliament has now legislated to allow homosexual couples to marry in the same way as heterosexual couples.

Marriage in Scotland is regulated by law under the terms of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. The legal requirements are different from that in England. In all cases, at least 28 days notice must be given to the Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships in the local council area where you plan to get married. For example, if you plan to get married in Stirling you cannot apply to the Registrar in Edinburgh. The Registrar will issue a "marriage schedule" to couples planning to get married in church; other procedures exist for civil weddings. You MUST contact the Registrar in good time - otherwise there can be no wedding, no matter how many other preparations you have made. It is best to contact the Registrar several months in advance; he/she can give full details of paperwork needed.

If choosing a religious wedding, it is usually possible to be married in a church or other place of worship, or in another location such as a hotel. Under the law of Scotland, a Church of Scotland minister can marry a couple anywhere in Scotland - including in the open air. Other clergy or officiants can be licenced by the Registrar General. You should contact a church as far in advance as possible; many historic and picturesque churches can be considerable demand on Fridays and Saturdays in summer months. Unlike many other countries, it is not necessary to have a civil ceremony before a religious ceremony (the "marriage schedule" is instead signed at the religious ceremony and must then be returned to the Registrar within three days). As of 2015 most churches (including the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church) have not agreed to solemnise marriages of homosexual couples.

Civil weddings are usually conducted in the Registry Office, but for an extra fee can take place in a number of other officially approved locations.

More information is available at

Gretna Green (just to the north of the England-Scotland border) is a popular venue for weddings, because of the historic legal differences between Scotland and England. In Scotland it is possible to get married at 16 without parental consent, but nowadays a minimum of 15 days notice must be given to the Registrar, so it is not legally possible to organise a "surprise" wedding. More information on weddings at Gretna Green is available from the Registrar's Office at Gretna, see