Arranging your civil ceremony

Bespoke ceremonies by South Lanarkshire's Registrars

The maximum number of people allowed to attend the ceremony will be in accordance with Scottish Government guidance. This guidance is subject to change and you will require to confirm the proposed number of people attending prior to the date of the ceremony.

Current guidance is that the registrar (or celebrant) and any necessary interpreter now do not count towards the cap on numbers, so should an interpreter be necessary, a marriage or civil partnership could have 20 attendees (including parties, witnesses and guests) as well as an additional 2 people in attendance (registrar/celebrant and interpreter). This depends on the size of your venue.

New rules on face coverings

From 8 August 2020 wearing a face covering became compulsory at certain indoor premises. Everyone attending an indoor marriage or civil partnership service in a place of worship or wedding venue is required by law to wear a face covering.

There are some exemptions, for example, the registrar leading the service if they can remain at least two metres away from others or if there is a protective screen between them and others. There are also reasonable excuses for removing a face covering (temporarily) where it’s in response to a request by “a relevant person or another person” to do so, which for instance could include where a registrar makes such a request to check your identity, or to enable a registrar to remove the face covering if it is inhibiting their ability to communicate with those attending the service.  Children under the age of five are not required to wear a face covering.

For couples who require to submit marriage/civil partnership notice forms (within three months of the date of marriage/civil partnership and no less than 29 clear days):-

National Records of Scotland has authorised registration offices to accept and process marriage/civil partnership notice forms. Our offices remain closed to the public at present however notice forms for ceremonies taking place within South Lanarkshire can be posted to Licensing and Registration Services, Floor 11, Council Offices, Almada Street Hamilton ML3 0AA together with the supporting documents. Please make sure you provide a daytime contact phone number with your documents to allow us to contact you for payment.

Before the marriage/civil partnership schedule is issued we will require to see the original documents. An appointment will be made for you to attend the Council Offices, Almada Street, Hamilton ML3 0AA to collect the schedule and to check the documents. We recommend that you wear a face covering when attending the registration office.

Ceremonies postponed due to COVID-19

If your ceremony has been postponed due to the health pandemic and you wish to arrange a new date you will not need to submit new marriage notice forms if the date is this year and no additional fees for notices will be due. If the date is in 2021 you will need to submit new marriage notice forms no less than 29 clear days from the date of marriage however no additional fees will be payable.

Arranging your civil ceremony

To arrange your civil ceremony please contact our booking centre on 01698 454781 or email

Please do not hand deliver notices and documentation as they will not be accepted.

Bespoke ceremonies by South Lanarkshire's Registrars

Related content

  1. Arranging your civil ceremony
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Licensing Services

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Phone: 0303 123 1015
Email: Licensing Services