Marriage Ceremonies

How to arrange a ceremony in West Lothian

How to arrange a Ceremony in West Lothian

Following the announcement by the First Minister on 14 July 2020 we are working to ensure that our team are prepared to offer our service in line with the government's requirements.

From July 15 onwards, further relaxations of the lockdown rules on marriage and civil partnership will begin:

 

  • The maximum number of people allowed to attend a marriage or civil partnership will be 20,with physical distancing in place andwhere venues are able to allow that numberto attend safely

  • This figure sets marriage and civil partnership on a different footing from wider gatherings (where household and number restrictions remain); the maximum attendance of 20 people does not include any limitation on numbers of households,but does include the registrar or celebrant, any interpreter and so on

  • The maximum figure encompasses all those at the ceremony, including children, carers supporting any attendee, photographers, musicians or any other person employed by the couple, and so on

  • This figure also applies to both outdoor and indoor ceremonies (where venue capacity allows the ceremony to take place safely).

 

These restrictions are a legal requirement for all ceremonies regardless of who is conducting the ceremony and where they are taking place about.

These restrictions will be reviewed again towards the end of July.

The current numbers we are able to hold with the registration offices for ceremonies are as follows -

Livingston Office  12 people (including the couple and witnesses)

Bathgate Office 8 people (including the couple and witnesses)

 

  • To minimise the chance of exposure to COVID-19, we advise that any potential participant in a ceremony or other attendee who has symptoms or is self-isolating should not attend

  • If either party, the witnesses or anyone else attending the ceremony shows clear symptoms of COVID-19 on the day, the marriage or civil partnership should not go ahead

  • Any person who is shielding should continue to follow Scottish Government guidance on shielding

  • Any person who becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home, and advised to follow guidance on what to do when you develop symptoms

  • Attendees should continue to practise good hand and cough hygiene (including the handling of rings and other objects, such as those associated with hand-fasting, and so on)

  • Face coverings can be worn as a desirable, precautionary measure by parties, witnesses and guests at an indoor ceremony (additional guidance on face coverings is available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/face-coverings/)

  • the ceremony or registration should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time. The content of a ceremony or registration should be limited as far as reasonably possible to the elements required for the marriage or civil partnership to be validly constituted under the law of Scotland

  • For the purpose of Track and Trace you will be required to provide Name Address and Contact details when arriving at the venue

    How much notice do we need to give?

You can submit your Marriage Notice between 29 days and 3 months prior to your wedding however, we are requesting all documents 10-12 weeks prior to your ceremony.

Where do I hand in my paperwork?

Due to Coronavirus, we are no longer accepting marriage paperwork in a face to face capacity. We are asking that you send your Marriage Notice forms and supporting documents to our office in Livingston at the following address -

Registration Office

West Lothian Civic Centre

Howden South Road

Livingston

EH54 6FF

 

Please enclose contact details so we can able to get in touch with you with any questions that we may have. We understand you may not be keen to send your original birth certificates, divorce decrees or passports etc. however, we are happy to accept copies of these on the understanding you must bring the originals to our office when we arrange an appointment for you to collect your marriage or civil partnership schedule.

We will also be able to take payment over the telephone by credit or debit card for your fees as well once we receive the paperwork in the post.

If your wedding ceremony is being held in the Bathgate Registration Office, you can submit your marriage paperwork to the following address-

 

Bathgate Registration Office

Bathgate Partnership Centre

South Bridge Street

Bathgate

EH48 1TS

 

Bathgate Office cannot accept any marriage paperwork for weddings outside the Office.

 

 


What documents do we need?

Please read this list carefully and ensure you bring all documents, fully completed to our office as this may delay in processing your Marriage Notice.

  • Icon for pdf Marriage Notice guidance and application form (M10) [101.09KB] Print off 2 x pages 7 & 8 (one for each party to the marriage)
  • Icon for pdf Witness Form [165.79KB]
  • Birth certificates (translated in to English if necessary)
  • Proof of address i.e. utility bill, dated within the last three months
  • Valid passport
  • If a registrar is conducting your ceremony, please complete a Icon for pdf Ceremony Requirements Questionnaire [28.48KB]
  • If you are travelling from a non EEA country or are non EEA national further documentation will need to be completed please also download and complete a Icon for pdf Declaration of Immigration Status form [23.95KB]
  • If you have previously been married,divorce or dissolution documents, or if you are widowed, a copy of your spouses death certificate.
  • If your domicile is abroad, a Certificate Of No Impediment (CONI) issued by the authority in your home town or country to the effect that you are free to marry (translated in to English if necessary)

All the paperwork must be handed into the  Livingston Registration Office with, original documents. If your wedding is to be held in Bathgate Registration Office, you can hand your documents into there. 

It is also possible to send these documents into the registration office, we can take photocopies of your birth certificates and passports, but will need to see your original documents prior to your ceremony. When we receive these we will give you a call on receipt and take your payment over the phone with a debit or credit card.

How much does it cost?


What kind of ceremonies are there?

There are three types of ceremonies in Scotland- Civil, Religious and Belief Ceremonies.

Civil Ceremony

A Civil marriage between two people (this includes same sex couples) can take place in a registration office or at a venue agreed by the Registrar.

Civil marriages can only be carried out by;

  • A Registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General
  • or Assistant Registrar who has been authorised by the Registrar General
  • see information on same sex marriage

Religious Ceremony

A Religious marriage (Christian or non-Christian) can be carried out by;

  • Minister
  • Member of the Clergy
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • or other person entitled to do so under the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977.

Belief Marriage

A Belief marriage can be carried out by someone authorised by the National Records of Scotland.


We are having a Civil Ceremony, how do we book a Registrar?

You can book a registrar online whether having your ceremony in a registration office or a venue of your choice.

You should contact the Registrar in the district where your marriage will take place well in advance to book your wedding. This is very important to secure the date and time. Advanced booking is very important for popular venues and times of the year.

For further information, please call us on 01506 281897 or 01506 282916 or email us registration@westlothian.gov.uk

  • Complimentary services can be discussed with registration staff. (hand fasting etc.)

Marriage schedules

Religious or Belief Marriage

If you are having a Religious or Belief Marriage, either party to the marriage will need to collect the Marriage Schedule from the registration office, no earlier than 7 days prior to the wedding. This will not be issued to anyone other than the parties to the marriage.

The schedule then needs to be returned to the registration office within three working days of the ceremony, anyone can hand this into the office and your marriage certificate will be produced at this time.

Civil Ceremony

If you are having a Civil Ceremony, the registrar will bring the schedule to the ceremony. Once the ceremony is complete the registrar will return the schedule to the office to create your marriage certificate. This can then either be picked up from the office or posted out second class post.

Your fees include one marriage certificate. If you require further certificates please discuss this with the registrar.


Are you subject to immigration controls?

You should contact the UK border agency for advice on entry requirements to the UK under immigration rules for marriage and civil partnerships.

If you are unable to provide proof of your Immigration status in the UK or a valid Visa, your Marriage Notice period may increase to up to 70 days pending Home Office Clearance. 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. If you intend to visit Scotland to get married or to register a civil partnership, then you will need relevant entry clearance to enter the UK.

An image relating to Livingston Registration Office Marriage Room
Our marriage room in the registration office in Livingston is based within the Civic Centre.
An image relating to Bathgate Registration Office Marriage Venue
The ceremony room is situated within Bathgate Partnership Centre
An image relating to Howden Park Centre Marriage Venue
Our ceremonies in the registration office on a Saturday in Livingston are held in the Howden Park Centre.