In this section
What should I look for when choosing a wedding Celebrant?
What is the difference between a Humanist and a Celebrant?
Why would I choose a wedding Celebrant over a Registrar?
We married abroad but would like a ceremony in my home town, can this be done?
Getting Married in Spain: The ultimate guide to a Spanish destination wedding
Getting married in Scotland – The ultimate guide to a Scottish destination wedding
Getting married in Greece: The ultimate guide to a Greek destination wedding
Getting married in The Middle East: The ultimate guide to a UAE destination wedding
Getting Married in New Zealand – The ultimate guide to a Kiwi destination wedding
Getting Married in Edinburgh: Tips for getting married in Scotland’s capital city
Getting Married in Edinburgh: Tips for getting married in Scotland’s capital city
It’s amazing that you are thinking of getting married in Edinburgh! Couples often come to Scotland to get married in the breathtaking landscapes of the Highlands, and for good reason, but it’s worth considering what Scotland’s capital city has to offer when it comes to tying the knot.
Edinburgh is a magical city to get married in, whatever you’re looking for. Whether it’s a grand ballroom, a spooky underground cave, or the rugged outdoors, Edinburgh has it all. One of the best parts of getting married in Scotland is that it is the celebrant and not the venue that holds the license, which means you can get married anywhere you like!
The city has so much to offer, with art galleries, gardens, and food, so make sure you don’t just come for your wedding day – take some time to enjoy it!
The Celebrant Directory member Hazel Jane shares her top tips for getting married in Edinburgh.
How do we legally marry in Scotland?
In Scotland, there are a variety of options for a legal wedding. Unlike in England, Humanist Celebrants, Interfaith Ministers, and celebrants from other Faith-Based bodies can marry you legally here. You will need to book a date, place and time for your ceremony and by law, you need to fill out marriage notice forms and pay the statutory fee.
You’ll need to download M10 forms online, fill them out and hand them into the registered office closest to your wedding location at least 29 days before the wedding (allowing more like 8-10 weeks is better!). M10 forms are essentially a notice to the local authority that you are planning on getting married. There is a £30 fee each for the form. What will you need to fill out these forms correctly?
Original copies of supporting documents – You will both need to bring along your birth certificate and another form of photo ID as well as a utility bill dating from the last 3 months. If you are divorced, you will need to bring documentation for this. If you are widowed, you will need to bring your former spouse’s death certificate and finally, if you are a foreign national, a certificate of ‘no impediment of marriage’ is required.
You can send off your M10 before supporting documentation – Before the date of your wedding, you can register three months prior. You can still send off your M10 forms before having other documents to get the process going.
Two forms for one couple is essential – Ensure you both fill out an M10 form and do several thorough proofreads to ensure there are no spelling mistakes and all required information has been provided.
Witness details are a must – You need to provide the full names and addresses of your witnesses within your application. These should be the witnesses who will be with you on the day. If for any reason your witnesses change, you will need to notify the registered office.
Time to submit! – There is an option to send the forms back in the post (not email) or, if you prefer, you can hand them in directly but do check the opening times for the office you need to go to. Always check in with your celebrant throughout this process with any questions.
One or both of you will then need to collect the marriage schedule sometime 7 days before the wedding, and this will need to be handed back in within three days of the ceremony. This is important – no marriage schedule, no marriage!
Make sure to look at the advice from your local registrars if you’re unsure of anything.
Top Places To Stay In Edinburgh For Your Wedding
Here are some of the top places you might want to consider when looking for places to stay in the city.
Porteous Studio – This is a perfect, stylish getaway looking up to the Castle in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s the ideal getaway for a couple looking to mix some modern architecture with the history of Edinburgh.
Eden Locke – Situated on George Street, Eden Locke is great for couples who want to be in the middle of it all. There are hundreds of restaurants and bars nearby and stunning views of the castle and Princes Street Gardens right on your doorstep.
House of Gods – Edinburgh’s coolest new hotel, House of Gods is decadent and opulent. Book well in advance if you’d like their coveted suite and make sure you carve out time to enjoy the luxury!
The Scotsman – This is one of Edinburgh’s best-known hotels, and for good reason. It’s gorgeous and has one of the best locations in Edinburgh.
Top Wedding Venues in Edinburgh
Getting married in Edinburgh doesn’t have to be really expensive, there is a venue for any type of wedding and budget. Here are some amazing venues in the city.
Dovecot Studios – A bright and airy venue with different spaces that can accommodate up to 250 guests. Your hire fee also supports their work as a charity.
The Free Company – If you’re looking for something small and intimate, The Free Company is situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh. They’re known for putting on incredible dinners and
Botanic Gardens – Edinburgh’s botanical gardens are many people’s favourite place to visit. They have multiple venues to choose from and a dedicated team to help put your day together.
Calton Hill – In Scotland, we have the right to roam, so you can take yourself up Calton Hill, find a spot that feels right, and make your vows there and then! This is better for smaller weddings or elopements. Many couples love Arthurs Seat, which is a little more of a climb – and don’t forget it can get very windy up there!
Ghillie Du – If you want the full Scottish experience, Ghillie Du is a great location. They’re used to putting on Ceilidhs, so if you want to get your guests moving and grooving, this might be the place for you!
Top tips for an Edinburgh wedding
Have a rain plan – even in the middle of summer, it’s known to rain in Edinburgh, so make sure you have an indoor location or the right attire if the heaven’s do decide to open on your day. Don’t worry, Edinburgh is just as beautiful in the mist and the rain, you just need to be prepared.
The middle of town for photos can be busy
While Edinburgh boasts cobbled streets and quaint shops, it’s still a capital city with plenty of locals and tourists hanging out. Expect traffic around the train stations and the North and South Bridges.
Here are some great spots to consider for taking photos!
Calton Hill – If you are looking for a stunning backdrop overlooking the city, Calton Hill is your top spot.
Dean Village – If you are opting for something more enchanting and picturesque, Dean Village is where you want to head, just a brief walk from the busy city centre with bright coloured houses and quirky buildings.
Circus Lane – Although it’s very central, it’s totally Instagrammable with pretty cobbled streets and lots of stunning flowers scattered throughout.
Princes St Gardens – Underneath Edinburgh Castle lies Princes St Gardens, the gardens are also a public park but have the most peaceful and stunning aesthetic. The gardens are perfect for wedding photos.
Include Scottish traditions
Why not include a handfasting in your ceremony? This is where we get ‘tying the knot’ from, and it’s an ancient celtic tradition. It’s symbolic of two families (or clans) coming together and represents your promises being bonded together.
Or you could drink from a quaich. This would usually be whisky, but you can have anything you like. You each help the other to take a sip, showing your trust and support for one another. You can even pass the quaich around to all of your guests (but not during Covid times, sorry!)
There are lots of great tips for getting married in Edinburgh! The Celebrant Directory is home to Celebrants all across the world. Find your ideal Scottish Celebrant here, or UK Celebrant who is able to travel, to deliver a Celebrant-Led ceremony of dreams!
Celebrant | Hazel Jane
Photography Credits | Bernadeta Kupiec