Renfrewshire Council

*** This service is affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Check our COVID-19 pages for the latest information ***

Please bear with us as we concentrate resources on delivering essential services. Our registration offices at Renfrew, Renfrewshire House and Johnstone Town Hall are now closed.

For latest information on registration services visit our Births, marriages and deaths page


Book a civil marriage ceremony

You can book up to 1 year in advance.

To book a civil marriage ceremony in Renfrewshire, please phone 0300 300 0310 or visit our Customer Service Centre on Cotton Street, Paisley (alternatively call Johnstone Registration Office on 0300 300 0310). 

One of our customer service advisors will then take you through the process of booking a ceremony.

You will be asked to pay a £59.00 non-refundable deposit to confirm your booking.

You will have to return the necessary marriage forms, documents and fees before your ceremony. For civil ceremonies, forms, documents and fees must be returned no earlier than 3 months before the marriage date, and no later than 29 days before the marriage date.

An appointment will be made for you to come into the office in the district where you are going to be married to hand over the necessary forms, documents and fees.  If you are unsure of the district your venue falls within, please phone 0300 300 0310.

Please note: if you are having a religious marriage ceremony, you will also have to hand in the necessary forms, documents and fees to the office in the district where you are being married. If you are unsure of the district your venue falls within, please phone 0300 300 0310.  

For religious marriages, marriage notice forms can be submitted to the registrar approximately 4-6 weeks before the proposed marriage date.  

How much does it cost?

Visit our page on marriage fees for detailed information of the costs involved.

What forms do I need?

Each of you must complete and send a marriage notice form (M10), along with the required documents, to the registrar for the district in which the marriage is to take place. Both parties must be aware of the marriage and independently complete and sign the declaration on the marriage notice forms.

You will also need to complete a marriage witness form. For civil marriage ceremonies in Renfrewshire, you need to complete a civil marriage information form. You must produce both passports and proof of residence.

The relevant forms are available to download from the related documents area.

What documents do I need?

All documents must be originals, we don't accept photocopies.

When giving or sending the marriage notice forms to the registrar, each of you must supply the following:

  • Your birth certificate or an abbreviated certificate and a passport and utility bill. Order a copy of a birth certificate.
  • If you have been married or in a registered civil partnership before and the marriage or civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled, a decree of divorce or dissolution or annulment or a certified copy decree. A decree of divorce or dissolution granted outwith Scotland must be final and absolute - a decree nisi is not acceptable. If you are divorced or your civil partnership has been dissolved or annulled and has been granted outside the United Kingdom, you will require to complete the foreign marriage divorce questionnaire or the civil partnership dissolution/annulment questionnaire.
  • If your spouse or civil partner is deceased, the death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner.
  • If your permanent residence (home) is abroad, a certificate of no impediment issued by the competent authority to the effect that you are free to marry.
  • If any of these documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation.

Do not delay giving notice because you are waiting for any of the documents mentioned above to come to hand. It is better to give notice first and then pass them to the registrar when they become available; but they must be made available to the registrar before the marriage. Provided the documents are in order, the marriage can proceed as arranged.

If you are subject to immigration controls, you may have to provide extra documentation to that outlined above. 

What is the marriage schedule?

When the registrar is satisfied that there is no legal impediment to the marriage, they will prepare a marriage schedule from the information you have given. The marriage schedule is a most important document - no marriage can proceed without it.

If you are having a religious marriage (which includes all belief systems), the marriage schedule will be issued to you by the registrar. The schedule cannot be issued more than 7 days before the marriage. The registrar will advise you when to call and collect it. The marriage schedule cannot be collected on your behalf by a relative or friend - the registrar will issue it only to the prospective bride or bridegroom.

The marriage schedule must be provided before the ceremony to the person performing the marriage. Immediately after the ceremony, the schedule must be signed in permanent black ink using a fountain pen by:

  • both parties
  • the person performing the marriage, and
  • the 2 witnesses.

It must be returned to the registrar within 3 days of the marriage ceremony so the marriage can be registered.
If you are having a civil marriage, the marriage schedule will be kept by the registrar who will have it ready for signing at your wedding. The registrar register the marriage on your behalf, and a marriage certificate will be posted to you.

Where can I have a civil marriage ceremony in Renfrewshire?

A civil marriage may take place in a registration office or a venue agreed between you and the registrar, and may be solemnised only by a registrar or assistant registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General for Scotland.

Civil marriages can take place Monday to Saturday at the Paisley and Johnstone and Renfrew registration offices, or Monday to Sunday at a venue agreed between you and the registrar within Renfrewshire.

As well as Paisley marriage suite,  Renfrew Registration Office and Johnstone registration office, civil marriages can be conducted at Paisley Town Hall , a particular venue agreed between you and the registrar. 

By law, you only need 2 witnesses, who must be aged 16 years or over to your marriage. 

Guests should arrive 20 minutes before the ceremony and the bridal party should arrive 15 minutes beforehand. Traditionally, the bridegroom and best man arrive before the bride. The bride should tell the registrar at least 1 day before the ceremony if she is being escorted in to the ceremony.

Subject to the approval of the registrar, you can personalise your civil marriage ceremony to include your own marriage vows, music, poems or readings. Please discuss any requirements that you have with the registrar.

If you want, you can have your marriage ceremony video recorded. You should tell the registrar before the ceremony. After your marriage, you can have photographs taken in the venue. You must arrange videos and photographers yourself.

There is limited parking at the Paisley & Johnstone marriage suite. There are no car parking facilities at Paisley Town Hall. At weekends, free parking is available at the Paisley marriage suite. The nearest public car parking facility nearby is at Lawn Street. Please note that the top deck car park at Renfrewshire House is not suitable for large limousine style bridal cars. Please discuss any requirements with the local registration staff.

Paisley Town Hall, Paisley marriage suite , Renfrew registration office and Johnstone registration offices have disabled access and toilets. If disabled guests are coming to the ceremony, you should tell the registrar beforehand so that seating arrangements can be made.

Where can I have a religious marriage ceremony in Renfrewshire?

A religious marriage (which includes other belief systems) may take place anywhere in Scotland and may be solemnised only by a minister, clergyman, pastor, priest or other person entitled to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977.

You will also have to hand in the necessary forms, documents and fees to the registrar approximately 6-8 weeks before the proposed marriage date. If you're marrying in the Paisley or Johnstone area, phone our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 300 0310 or alternatively telephone Johnstone Registration Office on 0300 300 0310 and make an appointment to come into the a registration office. If you're marrying in the Renfrew area, contact Renfrew registration office on 0300 300 0310  to make an appointment.

Details of churches and places of worship located in Renfrewshire are available in the related documents area.

Who can be married in Scotland?

Any 2 persons, regardless of where they live, may marry in Scotland 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 (this is explained in information leaflet RM1 below)
  • They are unmarried and not in a civil partnership (any person who has already been married or registered as a civil partner must produce documentary evidence that the 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 and of consenting to marriage, and
  • The marriage would be regarded as valid in any foreign country to which either party belongs.

Getting married abroad

Contact the consulate or embassy for the relevant country and ask what documentation is needed. This will vary from country to country.

If you are asked to provide a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI) and you are resident in Renfrewshire, you can apply to the local registration office by completing and submitting a marriage notice form, along with the following documents:

  • Your birth certificate, passport and utility bill
  • Your extract decree of divorce, dissolution or annulment
  • Death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner
  • Marriage Notice fee (£30 for each notice)

The registrar will then be able to issue the Certificate of No Impediment (CONI) 29 days after submission of the marriage notice and fee. The Certificate of No Impediment (CONI) is valid for 3 months from the date of issue if you are being married abroad or 3 months from the date of your notice received  if you are being married in England or Wales.

If you are not resident in Scotland, you will not be able to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CONI). However, if the authorities of the country where your wedding is to take place require evidence that you are free to marry, the General Register Office for Scotland can provide you with a 'To Whom it May Concern' letter. This letter will state that a search has been made and no trace of a marriage or civil partnership involving you has been found. The letter can also be provided for other purposes, for example, taking up residence in another country.

If you need such a letter, you should forward following:

  • your full name and address
  • the reason for requiring a letter
  • your date and place of birth
  • your mother's maiden surname
  • if you have been (i) married or in a civil partnership before, name of previous spouse or civil partner date and place of divorce; or date and place of civil partnership dissolution or (ii) widowed or surviving civil partner.

The fee for the letter is £5 for every 5 years, or part of 5 years, searched from:

  • age 16 if you were born in Scotland and have never been married before or in a civil partnership
  • the date of divorce or dissolution of civil partnership/death of spouse if widowed or are a surviving civil partner, or
  • date of taking up residence in Scotland if you were born outside Scotland.

Write to the General Register Office to request a search at:

Nation Records for Scotland
Marriage and Civil Partnership Section
Room 38
New Register House
3 West Register Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YT