Births, marriages, deaths and funerals - Coronavirus update

Marriages - 22 May 2020 update

The Scottish Government has recently mentioned a move towards the possibility of ceremonies beginning under strict social distancing guidelines in Phase 2. As yet there is no time set for the beginning of this phase.

Recent legislation amendments regarding marriage and civil partnership reported on in some media outlets does not signal an imminent return to marriages or civil partnership as they imply.

At present the situation remains the same.  Only under extreme circumstances, such as where one of the parties is seriously ill, will a ceremony be permitted by National Records of Scotland. Information on the link below.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s registration service is working on processes for acceptance of notice etc when ceremonies can begin.

At present we are not accepting any notice of marriage or civil partnership. Please visit these webpages for any update on this situation

Please refer to our FAQs and this link to the National Records for Scotland

If you had a marriage or civil partnership ceremony that was due to take place in a venue to be performed by a Registrar, Religious or Belief System Celebrant ONLY on a date after the Government lockdown was enforced, please contact us by email if you have not already done so to notify us of your future plans.In the email please include:-

  • Both full names
  • Date and place the ceremony was due to take place
  • Date and place the ceremony has now been moved to

Or, you if intend to hold off making a decision until later

  • Contact details

Our web pages will be updated as things change for couples who have existing bookings with the registration service and those who have postponed their ceremony.

Question:  I’m due to get married on 20 June and hope it will go ahead. I need to lodge notice?

Answer :    Marriage and civil partnership are currently suspended under emergency legislation introduced by Scottish Government for the duration of the pandemic period. This followed an announcement by the First Minister on 23 March and guidance for the registrars was issued in the following days.     

The legislation means all Scottish registrars cannot process marriage and civil partnership paperwork including marriage notices, the issue of marriage schedules or Certificates of No Impediment to Marry for those getting married outside Scotland.

The exception to this is marriage paperwork for those in exceptional circumstances, such as people receiving end of life care for a terminal illness.

The restriction to services is in place to allow the registrars to focus on death and still-birth only registration during this period.

Registration offices are now closed which also means the legally required marriage notices cannot be posted for the purpose of marriage.

Question: I wish to postpone my ceremony to later in the year, I have already lodged marriage notice forms?

Answer: Please email with the following information so that we can amend your booking  (both parties names, date of marriage, place of marriage, new date and place of marriage (if applicable)

The validity of your notice forms will automatically be extended to 31/12/2020. 

Question: I have already lodged notice and wish to postpone to next year?

Answer:  Please email with the following information so that we can amend your booking  (both parties names, date of marriage, place of marriage, new date and place of marriage (if applicable)

We will require you to lodge fresh marriage notice forms 10-12 weeks before your new date.  As you have already paid to lodge notice you will not be charged again.

Question: I couldn’t be married on the date we had planned 11 April 2020 however would like to be married as soon as possible when the government restrictions are lifted?

Answer:   In the case of civil ceremonies in our offices and registrars conducting a ceremony in a venue we will endeavour to re allocate new dates to all our existing bookings before engaging with any new bookings.  We will indicate via our website when we can begin to address ceremonies once again. 

Question: Could there still be restrictions for ceremonies when they can go ahead?

Answer: Unfortunately, we are unsure until there is further government advice regarding social distancing or restrictions as we exit lockdown.