Getting Married In Scotland

Scotland is a country synonymous with ancient, stone castles, stunning scenery and quaint traditions.  The history, rugged landscapes and heritage combine to give it an unmistakable sense of romance, that offers perhaps the closest thing to a fairy-tale that the modern-day bride and groom can hope to find when looking at potential locations for their wedding.

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All of this combines to make Scotland a very attractive choice for a wedding destination -but is it a practical choice, and how easy is it to get married in Scotland?

In the mid 1800s, couples from England began crossing the border into Scotland to take advantage of the more “relaxed” legal requirements for marriage, and even now Scotland still offers a great deal of flexibility for couples in choosing where and when and how to be married.

In Scotland, any two persons, regardless of sex or where they live, may marry provided that:

  • Both persons are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage.
  • They are not related to one another in a way which would prevent their marrying
  • They are unmarried and not in a civil partnership
  • They are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marrying.

For a detailed look at the requirements for a marriage in Scotland, please read over the LEAFLET RM1 which has all the information you will need included.

With a heritage founded on welcoming visitors from near and far for marriages, Scotland offers an easy application process, plenty of flexibility and a warm and friendly attitude to visitors from overseas looking to get married in Scotland.

From a practical perspective, Scotland offers some key advantages as a destination location for visitors from overseas:

There is no residency requirement

Scotland is the only country in the UK where couples do not have to be domiciled  in the area for a week before the wedding, this makes it much easier and more practical for couples travelling in for their nuptials

You are free to marry whenever and wherever you like

In Scotland, provided that the person you expect to conduct the ceremony is an approved celebrant registered to conduct marriages,  you can get married almost anywhere you wish at a time to suit you.  

Religious ceremonies are easy to arrange

Most churches and chapels in Scotland, provided they are not Catholic, will generally be more than happy to host the weddings of international visitors.  If you would like a religious ceremony elsewhere,. then many ministers will happily agree to marry you at a location of your choice. 

Humanist ceremonies are legal

Scotland is one of only 7 countries in the world where humanist wedding ceremonies are recognised as legal. This offers couples the chance to choose a non-religious and yet deeply personal celebration for their marriage.  This is particularly good news for same-sex couples, who would often only have the option of a legal ceremony.

 It’s no surprise given both the beautiful countryside, charming heritage and welcome attitude that Scotland is one of the world’s best loved destinations for weddings for couples all over the world.