The present law of marriage in Scotland is governed by the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. The current position is that there is no restriction on places where religious marriages may be solemnised but a civil (non-religious) marriage may be solemnised only within a registration office, unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. where an individual is unable to attend a registration office as a result of serious illness or serious bodily injury and there is a good reason why the marriage cannot be delayed.
This Act amends the 1977 Act to permit civil marriages to be solemnised in places approved for the purpose by local authorities. It will therefore provide couples, who wish to have a civil marriage in Scotland, with a wider choice of venue for their wedding.