Civil Partnership

Legal Requirements Civil Partnership & Same Sex Marriage Scotland

"In recent years Scotland has become a leading light on LGBTI equality, with one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world, helping to create the fair and equal society we all want to see."             Tom French, Equality Network

You've probably heard of running away to Gretna Green to be married. Well the same rules apply to civil partnerships and same sex marriages.

There are no residential qualifications required for those registering their civil partnership north of the Border or parental consent required. Scotland thus has the competitive edge for British couples who do not wish to be bound by these regulations, or for overseas couples who want to fly in just for the ceremony.

But why stop there?

Where would you like to go and what would you like to see or do to complete your Scottish experience? That's where Black Kilt Tours come in. Whether it's to pick you up from the station or airport and transport you to the venue or hand you over to a coordinator for your big day your trip begins the moment you arrive. With your own personal discreet driver/guide completely at your disposal.

Do you want a romantic trip into the Highlands for a few days to spend quality time together; or a chance to take part in activities you never usually have time for; anything from walking to white water rafting? Black Kilt Tours can arrange it for you and make it possible.

As part of your tour of Scotland I can coordinate your civil partnership into a wider Scottish experience. If you just want a low key affair I will organise kilt hire for the day even act as a witness.

The Law in Scotland is not the same as England

Since Scotland retained its own legal system when it was united with England by the Act of Union in 1707, some differences between the laws of the two countries still remain. These make it still much easier to get married or form a civil partnership in Scotland.

Scotland is divided into registration districts which mirror the Local Authority boundaries.Contact the local Registrar who can also supply a list of approved venues and advise on the documention you will be required to produce before the date of the ceremony.

Civil Partnerships have been recognized since 2005, same sex adoption since 2009. The first same-sex weddings took place on 31 December 2014
Tartan Partnerships
The Planning Service For You.
Tartan Partnerships

If you are a same sex couple and are looking to organise a civil partnership or any other event with a Scottish experience, we offer a full range of services which are catered to your specific needs.

Planning your Civil Partnership or Gay Marriage in Scotland

Planning your Civil Partnership or Marriage

You may just want a simple signing of the Civil Partnership Schedule (prepared in advance), by you and your two Witnesses in the presence of the Registrar, who will then register your Civil Partnership. This can be done during normal hours of business with only yourselves and your two Witnesses present.

You may, on the other hand, opt for a more elaborate ceremony of commitment to each other, with your family and friends present to celebrate the occasion with you. In either case, you cannot make a better choice than Coldstream, where sympathetic attention to your wishes and friendly discretion are guaranteed.

The Civil Partnership Ceremony can take place at the Registration Office or in the Marriage Room.

There is no requirement for couples entering into a Civil Partnership to make declarations or vows to one another but this can be arranged, in consultation with the Registrar. They will do their best to ensure that your ceremony is as dignified, meaningful and memorable as you would wish it to be.

Many large hotels are approved wedding /CP venues and can also arrange these things for you when you book your accommodation. They will have a relationship with the local Registrar who will conduct the ceremony and will also contact you regarding the forms that need to be filled out in advance (within 3 months of the CP).  A word of warning, the costs can soon mount up.

Given the weather, if you wish to have your CP outdoors it is also advisable to have a backup indoor venue either the local Registry or a wedding room in a hotel.  The Registrar will only carry out the ceremony in an approved setting. Local Councils have lists of approved venues Outdoor and Indoor.
Gay Marriage Scotland
You can have a personal and unique legal Same Sex Marriage Ceremony or legal Civil Partnership Ceremony written JUST for you?  Creative or traditional, it's your CHOICE!

The Legal Requirements

Age of consent
The age at which couples can form a civil partnership in Scotland still remains lower than that in England. Couples have to be 18 years in England without parental consent but in Scotland they have to be aged only 16 years or over on the day of their registration. Whilst love should always be the driving force it also means that you can protect your partners inheritance in secret without the family even knowing should anything happen to you.

You may only form a civil partnership in England and Wales if one of you has lived in a registration district for at least seven days immediately before giving notice. This applies to all couples, including those travelling from overseas.

There is no such residential qualification required for those marrying/registering their civil partnership north of the Border. Scotland thus has the competitive edge for British couples who do not wish to be bound by these regulations or for overseas couples who want to fly in and out of Scotland just for the ceremony.


What is the legal minimum Notice period?

You can submit your Notice Forms during the 3 months before your civil partnership. The legal minimum notice period is 29 days but leaving it this late is not advisable: if there is a problem, it may be necessary to postpone the event.Please submit your forms as soon as possible in the 3 months prior to your chosen date.The registrar will have to satisfy themself that you can legally form a partnership and will require birth certificates and any divorce papers etc., if you have been married or in a previous civil partnership.

For further information you should contact the Registrar who will be glad to guide you through the process. Leaflets are also available for download from the General Register Office for Scotland' official website. These include a list and the location of Registrars in Scotland.

If you are coming from outside the EU please ensure you apply for your visa in time! For more information and to check whether you require a visa visit the Home Office website.

The Equality Network

Over the last 15 years the Equality Network has worked hard to secure an equal age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, Gender Recognition, Civil Partnership, adoption and fostering rights, hate crime laws, and the Equal Marriage legislation (now passed), amongst other improvements to the lives of LGBT people in Scotland.

Changing Civil Partnerships Registered outside Scotland into Marriages

Download the guide, converting Same Sex Marriage Guide to Marriage & Civil Partnership conversion in Scotland (pdf file) via The Scottish Government
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