Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Published: 25 Jun 2021
Last updated: 21 Jul 2021 - see all updates

Rules and guidance for people involved in planning a wedding in Scotland during COVID-19, including how many people can attend a ceremony and reception.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations, receptions and celebrations
Private homes and gardens

Private homes and gardens

This can include:

  • private homes and gardens
  • holiday accommodation
  • other exclusive-use venues that are unstaffed

Wedding ceremony outdoors

If you are holding a wedding ceremony in the garden of a private home, the maximum wedding numbers apply, as long as physical distancing rules can be followed. A marquee in the garden of a private home is classed as outdoors if more than 50% of its sides are fully open.

Wedding ceremony indoors 

You should only hold a wedding ceremony inside your home or other private place if it is not possible to hold it outside or at a public venue. This might be, for example, because of illness or disability.

If you are holding a marriage ceremony inside a private home then you should keep the gathering to the minimum number of people necessary.

At protection levels 2, 3 and 4 only the minimum number of people needed should attend - this will be either 5 or 6 if an interpreter is required.

This means:

  • the couple
  • two witnesses
  • the person doing the ceremony
  • an interpreter if needed

At protection levels 0 and 1 your numbers should be no more than the maximum allowed in the rules on gatherings indoors in a private home, ignoring the limits on household numbers. At levels 0 and 1, any interpreter required does not count in those numbers. At Level 0, any children under 12 also do not count in the numbers.

Safety considerations

If you are planning to hold a ceremony in a private home or garden you should discuss your plans with the person carrying out the ceremony. If they think that the arrangements are not safe they may refuse to carry out the marriage.

When planning a ceremony in a private garden you should:

  • think carefully about the available space and the need for physical distancing when deciding on guest numbers
  • think about whether you need to provide additional toilet facilities
  • not go into a private house if the weather is bad - instead, consider using an open-sided temporary shelter such as a gazebo

Reception

For receptions at private homes and gardens, numbers must follow the rules for household gatherings at each level.


First published: 25 Jun 2021 Last updated: 21 Jul 2021 -