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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

Image of weddings taken by 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 or enter a civil partnership (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)  
  • They are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony/civil partnership 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 not a British Citizen and wish to be married or enter into a civil partnership in Scotland you must complete a Declaration of Status by Non-UK Nationals.  Your application will not be accepted without this completed form.

You may also need entry clearance to come to the UK to be married.  The application form and information are available here UK visa  (

You must apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if:

  • you want to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK
  • you want to give notice of a marriage or civil partnership in UK
  • you're not planning to stay or settle in the UK after your marriage or civil partnership
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements


You do not need a Marriage Visitor visa to convert your civil partnership into a marriage - you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

You also do not need a Marriage Visitor visa if one of the following is true:

  • you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • you have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, and have not got a decision yet