Following advice on the prevention of public gatherings from the UK and Scottish Government, and to help delay the spread of COVID-19, a decision has been taken that marriages and civil partnerships will not take place in the pandemic period.

We understand this is an extremely worrying time for anyone who has a wedding booked over the coming months whether with the Argyll and Bute Registrars or another celebrant. We are taking guidance from the UK and Scottish Government and as you will all be aware this is an ongoing situation.

We will do our best to keep you all updated on any changes as and when we receive them.


What happens if postpone my Wedding?

If you have booked your wedding with Argyll and Bute Registrars then we will certainly try to accommodate a new date for you, working with yourself and your venue or other suppliers to get a date that suits.

If your wedding is being conducted by another celebrant then you should check with them what their procedure is for postponement.

 If you are able to reschedule your marriage for a date including the 31st of December 2020 then your registrar will apply to National Records of Scotland to have your current notice period extended.

If the date falls after this then you will have to submit your marriage papers again within the normal timescales however if you have already paid to lodge notice this will be honoured.


Will I lose the money I have paid if I cancel/postpone?

If your wedding is booked with us then the fees you have paid can be transferred to another date,

 If you are able to reschedule your marriage for a date including the 31st of December 2020 then your registrar will apply to National Records of Scotland to have your current notice period extended.

If the date falls after this then you will have to submit your marriage papers again within the normal timescales however if you have already paid to lodge notice this will be honoured.

If your wedding is to be conducted by another celebrant the marriage notice fees you have paid to us can be transferred to another date within the as above. Please contact your celebrant for their procedure on other fees.

If you are looking to cancel your wedding due to covid19 the fees paid to us can be refunded.


Can I change the location of my wedding?

If you have your ceremony booked with us and have submitted your marriage notices then the location of your marriage can be changed to anywhere within our council area which could be another venue or any other suitable place, as long as you have the permission of the landowner and Public Liability Insurance to cover the event.

If you are looking to change your booking to another council area then we can return your paperwork and fees to you and you can submit it to the relevant office. However the 29 day notice period will start again before you are legally free to be married.

If you have not yet submitted your marriage notices then you can choose to submit them to another council area.

This information also applies to weddings which are to be conducted by another Celebrant.


My overseas Wedding has been cancelled can I be married here instead?

We are sorry to hear that so many couples have lost their overseas weddings in recent weeks. If you contact the registrar of the area within Argyll and Bute that you wish to be married, they will be more than happy to give guidance and assist with booking your wedding. 

We advise everyone to follow the latest guidance from NHS Inform

What difference is there between a Registrar and a Non Belief/Faith Celebrant?

If the ceremony is conducted by a Registrar the paperwork and ceremony arrangements are all included as one service. A civil ceremony is conducted by a registrar who can add personalised content to a ceremony.

When using a non-belief or faith celebrant you still need to contact the local registrar to complete the legal paperwork. The schedule you sign on the day of your ceremony must be collected on the week of the wedding which can only be done by the couple being married or civilly partnered. The Schedule must then be returned to the Registrar within 3 days of the ceremony.


What time/days of the week do you conduct your ceremonies?

Ceremonies are carried out Monday to Saturday during times set by the local registrar. If you have special requirements, please discuss these with us and we will look at the options available.


Where can I have my ceremony?

Any venue with owner’s permission. This could include a hotel, on a boat, family home, woodland, a beach, a field, your old school, your garden, a tea room, the place where you first met.  You can book any venue that hires out rooms for social events or gives you permission to do so as long as we receive a copy of the public liability insurance. Before the ceremony we would make arrangements to carry out a visit to the venue. Each area of Argyll and Bute has their own ceremony rooms for holding a ceremony.


Do I need to pay a deposit when I book my Marriage Ceremony?

Yes, we require a £60 non-refundable deposit at the time of booking.


If we are getting married outside, what happens if it’s raining on the day?

When you are booking your ceremony, your registrar will explain that you must have a wet weather alternative in case of poor conditions on your wedding day.


How much does it cost for a civil wedding?

The cost of your wedding can vary and will depend on where and when your wedding is to take place. Please see are fees and charges page on this website, if you need more information please contact us. 


How long can a ceremony last?

We want to help you in making your ceremony a memorable day for you and your guests. The ceremony can be as long as you wish it to be, ideas and suggestions can be discussed with the registrar beforehand once you have handed in your paperwork.


How can I make my ceremony special or unique?

Ceremonies tab has many suggestions on different enhancements that can be included in your marriage ceremony. When submitting your paperwork for marriage to the registration office you can make arrangements by phone, email or in person to discuss your ideas with the registrar.


Can we include music?

A selection of music is available at our offices but please feel free to discuss choosing your specials pieces of music. Our main registration offices have facilities to play music either by Bluetooth or CD player. You can also decide to have lice music to compliment your ceremony if you wish.


If I wanted my ceremony to have some religious element to it, would that be okay?

You can have whatever you want in your ceremony; after all, it is your day, we would just request that a guest or family member reads out the religious wording.


What pen can I use to sign my marriage schedule?

All Marriage schedules are permanent records and therefore all signatures on the schedule must be made with a fountain pen with archive quality permanent black ink.


What name do I sign on my marriage schedule?

You sign with them name on the marriage schedule which will be the same as the details you gave on your marriage notices.


How long do I need to wait after my wedding before getting my marriage certificate?

If having a civil ceremony then once the registrar returns to the office they will register your marriage and post your marriage certificate to you that day.

If you have had a religious or other belief ceremony, the marriage schedule has to be returned within 3 days of the wedding. Once it has been returned, it will be registered and your certificate posted out to you that day.


I have lost my marriage certificate how much does it cost for a replacement?

£10 within the calendar month thereafter £15


Can you provide witnesses?

You will need two witnesses for your wedding, both aged 16 years of age or older. Your registrar may be able to provide witnesses for you if your ceremony is due to take place Monday to Friday; this will of course be discussed when booking your ceremony.


Do we have to have wedding rings?

You can choose whether to exchange rings or not during your ceremony, if you choose not to have rings be assured it will not affect the validity of your marriage. The registrar will check this over with you before the day of your wedding


Can we have photographs taken and a film recording of our ceremony?

Our registrars are happy for photographs/video recording to be taken during the ceremony as long as it doesn’t distract from the dignity and solemnity of the ceremony. The registrar will discuss this with you before your wedding day.

If being married by a registrar you will be asked if we can have permission to use some for your photos for inclusion on our social media pages, registration page or for promotional purposes.


Can we throw confetti?

Confetti can be used, but only outside the building. Please remind your guests to dispose of empty boxes carefully.


Chinese Lanterns and Helium Balloons

Council decision in January 2017, Chinese Lanterns and helium filled balloons cannot be released on Council properties and Council owned land

Contact the Registration Team