Renfrewshire Council

Marriage ceremonies

Book a civil marriage ceremony, what you need to do before your ceremony, religious marriage ceremonies, costs, what forms and documents you need, marriage schedule, where you can have a civil or religious marriage ceremony in Renfrewshire, who you can marry in Scotland, getting married abroad.

On this page:

Book a civil marriage ceremony

You can book a marriage ceremony up to one year in advance.

To book a civil marriage ceremony in Renfrewshire, call us on 0300 300 0310.

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

You will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit to confirm your booking. See the marriage fees for the costs.

What you need to do before your ceremony

You will need to give us the necessary marriage forms, documents and fees before your ceremony.

If it's a civil ceremony, your forms, documents and fees must be returned to us:

  • no earlier than 3 months before the marriage date
  • no later than 29 days before the marriage date. 

If you or your partner are subject to immigration control, meaning you need leave to enter or remain in the UK, we recommend you give us three months' notice.

You'll need to make an appointment to give us your forms and documents, at least 8 to 10 weeks before your ceremony. Call us on 0300 300 0310 to make an appointment to submit your forms and documents.

Once you have submitted your forms, you will receive a call from us to take the relevant payment for the fees. The marriage notices will then be published.

Costs to marry

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

What forms you must complete

There are a variety of forms that will require completion depending on your individual circumstances. All forms must be originals and be made available to the registrar before the marriage. You will need to provide us with a telephone number and email address so that we can contact you.

Each of you must print, complete, and submit a marriage notice form (M10) 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 submit:

If you, your partner or both of you are not British, you might need to submit a declaration of status. For further information, check the National Records of Scotland website if you are a non-UK national.

    What documents you must give to the registrar

    All documents must be originals and be made available to the registrar before the marriage. A certified translation if any of these documents are in a language other than English.

    Along with the completed original forms, each of you are required to submit the following:

    • passport
    • proof of residence
    • your birth certificate or an abbreviated certificate and a passport and utility bill. You can order a copy of a birth certificate online.
    • a decree of divorce or dissolution or annulment or a certified copy decree 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 granted outside 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 UK, you will need to complete and submit the foreign marriage divorce questionnaire or the civil partnership dissolution questionnaire
    • a death certificate of your former spouse or civil partner if they are deceased
    • a certificate of no impediment issued by the competent authority to the effect that you are free to marry if your permanent residence (home) is abroad.

    If you are waiting for any of the documents mentioned above, please give notice first and then pass the documents to the registrar when they become available.

    Provided the documents are in order, the marriage can proceed as arranged. 

    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 and 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 only issue it to either one of the couple being married. 

    Before the ceremony, you must provide the marriage schedule must be provided 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
    • the 2 witnesses.

    You must return the marriage schedule 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 will register the marriage on your behalf, and they will post a marriage certificate to you.

    Civil marriage ceremonies and venues

    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 on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Paisley Registration Office, or Monday to Sunday at a venue agreed between you and the Registrar within Renfrewshire. 

    As well as Paisley marriage suite, civil marriages can be conducted at another venue agreed between you and the registrar. 

    By law, you only need two 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.

    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.

    We provide music and silk flowers at all registration offices. If you want your own music, please discuss this with the registrar before the day of the marriage. You can arrange to see each marriage room before your wedding day.

    All our premises are no smoking venues.

    Paisley Registration Office in Renfrewshire House

    Paisley Registration Office has a purpose built marriage suite at Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley. The marriage suite seats 64, including the bridal party.

    A photo of the wedding suite showing the couple's chairs at the front left of the registrar's desk and another chair on the right.
    Photo of the registrar's desk and the couple's seats in the wedding suite

    A photo taken at the back of the wedding suite showing a column of chairs on each side and the registrar's desk in front of the window at the other side of the room.
    Photo of the chair arrangement at the wedding suite

    OneRen venues

    Paisley Town Hall, Renfrew Town Hall, Johnstone Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre venues are managed by OneRen.

    Our registrars can be booked for these venues, depending on availability.

    You should contact OneRen directly to discuss booking one of these venues before booking a registrar.

    Other venues

    If there is another venue you want to use, you can discuss this with our registration staff.

    Religious marriage ceremonies and venues

    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 8 to 10 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.

    See the

    Who you can marry in Scotland

    Any two people, 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 as explained in the information leaflet RM1
    • 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
    • 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 (M10), 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.

    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 this letter, you should include:

    • your full name and address
    • the reason for requiring a letter
    • your date and place of birth
    • your mother's maiden surname
    • the name of your previous spouse or civil partner, date and place of divorce or civil partnership dissolution, if you have been married or in a civil partnership before
    • if you are a widow / widower or a surviving civil partner.

    There is a search fee of £5 for the letter. This is 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:

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