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How to Marry in the UK

The UK offers a wide choice of stunning venues for a marriage abroad, from Scottish castles to English country manors, from Welsh cottages to London bars, there are many stunning venues where you can plight your troth. The laws are slightly different in Scotland to those in England and Wales, so make sure you have decided on your venue location before you go to the registrar.  

Below are the legalities for marrying in the UK, to help you plan your perfect wedding.

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England and Wales Civil Marriage Law Requirements

What are the legal requirements to get married in England and Wales?
Legal age for marriage without parental consent is 18 years for both men and women, or 16 years old if you have parental consent.
Bride and Groom may not be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses are required.

 

How long do I have to be resident in England or Wales before I can get married?
You must give at least 28 days notice of your intent to marry at the Register Office in the district in which you wish to marry, so you will need to register your intent at least 29 days before your marriage date.
If one of you is not an EEC national then the notice period may be extended to 70 days.
You may also need to apply for a marriage visa if one of you is not usually resident in the UK. 

 

Getting a marriage licence
You must take the relevant papers below to the registry office where you will give notice of your intent to marry.

 

What legal papers do I need to take with me?
When giving notice to marry you must provide evidence of your name, address, date of birth and nationality.
This evidence includes: Birth Certificates, passports, driving licence (you must bring 2 of these), recent utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill .
If one of you is not a UK or EU/EEA/Swiss citizen then you will have to apply for a visa or permit to marry in the UK. Either a marriage visitor visa if you do not intend to live in the UK; a family visa if your partner is British or permitted to live there; or a family permit if your partner is not a British citizen but is an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown.

See more details here about marriage requirements and visas.

Scotland Civil Marriage Law Requirements

What are the legal requirements to get married in Scotland?
Legal age for marriage is 16 years for both men and women. No parental consent is required once you reach 16 years old.
Bride and Groom may not be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses are required.

 

How long do I have to be resident in Scotland before I can get married?
You must give at least 28 days notice of your intent to marry at the Register Office in the district in which you wish to marry, so you will need to register your intent at least 29 days before your marriage date.
If one of you is not an EU/EEA/Swiss national then the notice period may be extended to 70 days. 
You may also need to apply for a marriage visa if you are not usually resident in the UK.

 

Getting a marriage licence
You must take the relevant papers below to the Register Office in the district in which you wish to marry.
You must give notice to marry and the registrar should have your notice at least 29 days before the wedding, or, if you have been married before then at least 6 weeks before.

 

What legal papers do I need to take with me?
Birth Certificates
Passports
Civil Partnership notice form
Witness form
Declaration of Status of Immigration form if you are not from the UK/EU/EEA/Switzerland
Civil Partnership Schedule form if you are having a religious ceremony. Collect this 7 days beforehand in person from the Registrar and return it to them 3 days before the ceremony.
If you live outside the UK and are not a British, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian citizen then you may have to provide a Certificate of No Impediment.
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown.

Download Scotland marriage forms here.

All documents must be translated into English by a certified translator

Please note: this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner in resort or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up to date details before you marry.

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UK Marriage Registrar's
Office

Scotland

National Records of Scotland
Marriage/Civil Partnership Section Room 38
New Register House
3 West Register Street
Edinburgh
EH1 3YT
Tel: +44 131 314 4447
civilpartnership@nrscotland.gov.uk





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