Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations

Published: 26 Oct 2020
Last updated: 9 Jun 2021 - see all updates

Guidance to assist couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in Scotland, as well as celebrants.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations


The Scottish Government recognises the importance of marriage and civil partnership to couples and to society more widely.

This is why it has remained possible during this pandemic, subject to restrictions, for couples to continue to marry or enter a civil partnership.

There will continue to be a risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARs-CoV-2) wherever families and friends come together. This is why there is a continuing need for both restrictions and guidance, including for marriage ceremonies and civil partnership registrations, to help minimise the opportunities for transmission of the virus.

We have published a strategic framework update to take account of important developments, including:

  • new and highly infectious strains of the virus
  • progress with the vaccination roll-out

In addition, the First Minister announced a timetable for easing restrictions. For more information on the anticipated dates of these easings, see the protection levels guidance.

Up to 50 people can attend a marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration, or reception in a protection level 3 or level 2 area. Up to 100 people can attend in a level 1 area.  These limits are  provided the venue size and layout will permit the necessary physical distancing between households to be in place. This means the number of people able to attend may be less, and sometimes significantly less, than 50 or 100. For further information, see attendance and travel.

Our guidance is different where the ceremony is taking place inside at a private dwelling.

For more information, see:

We keep this guidance under review and update it regularly.

This guidance is about marriage ceremonies and civil partnership registrations. There is separate guidance for receptions.

This guidance is not legal advice. 

We have published this guidance alongside sector specific and other guidance. These should be used together to ensure public safety. For the latest guidance visit Coronavirus in Scotland.


First published: 26 Oct 2020 Last updated: 9 Jun 2021 -