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Arranging your Ceremony

If you are planning a wedding or civil partnership ceremony the Registration staff are here to help. With over 50 years combined registration experience our staff will provide a professional service to help you arrange your ceremony whether it is taking place in the Gretna Registration Office or at one of the approved venues in Dumfries and Galloway.

We will provide help with the appropriate paperwork and discuss your requirements to make your special day a truly memorable occasion.

In this section we will give you advice on how to start planning your wedding.  Follow our easy step guide so you know what you should be doing when.

Who can be married or enter into a civil partnership in Scotland

Weddings: image copyright Alistair Woodman Any 2 persons, regardless of where they live, may marry or enter into a civil partnership in Scotland provided that:

  • Both persons, are at least 16 years of age on the day of their marriage/civil partnership
  • They are not related to one another in a way which would prevent their marrying or civil partnership
  • They are free to marry (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence  that the previous marriage or civil partnership registration has been ended by death, divorce, annulment or dissolution)  
  • Entering into a Civil Partnership - They are of the same sex
  • They are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marriage or they are capable of consenting to the civil partnership
  • The marriage or civil partnership would be regarded as valid in any foreign country to which either party belongs

Reporting of Suspicious Marriages and Civil Partnerships

Please note that under the terms of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act), registrars have a statutory duty to report any marriage or civil partnership they suspect has been registered for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls.

Note: The 1999 Act defines a "Sham marriage" as "... a marriage ... entered into ... for the purpose of avoiding the effect of one or more provisions of United Kingdom immigration law or the immigration rules."

Are you subject to immigration controls?

If you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland such as, for example, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States etc., and you intend to visit Scotland to get married or to register a civil partnership, then you will need an entry clearance. The application form is available on the UK Border Agency website.

Other arrangements apply if you intend to come to the UK to get married, or have a civil partnership, and settle here - you should check the UK Visa website for more information about that.

If you have any questions, contact the UK Border Agency Immigration Enquiry Bureau (Tel no:  0870 606 7766).

In this section we will give you advice on how to start planning your wedding.  Follow our easy step guide so you know what you should be doing when.

Next - Step 1

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