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Coldstream Marriage Room: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I visit the Marriage Room?
You are more than welcome to arrange to view the Marriage Room by contacting the Registrar. It is a wonderful, dignified setting for both small, intimate ceremonies and also for ceremonies with up to 90 guests.

What do I do first?
Please contact the Registrar as soon as possible to discuss the availability of the Marriage Room and arrange a viewing if you so wish. We can then advise you on the timescale for submitting your paperwork, etc.,  if you decide to proceed. It is possible to book the Marriage Room, and the Registrar, months - even years- ahead, in order to secure your preferred date.

Do we need to submit Marriage/Civil Partnership Notice Forms?
Regardless of where you live, you are each required to submit signed and dated Marriage/Civil Partnership Notice Forms in the 3 months before your marriage/civil partnership to enable the Registrar to ensure that you are free to marry each other or form your civil partnership.

What is the legal minimum Notice period?
You can submit your Notice Forms during the 3 months before your marriage/civil partnership. The legal minimum notice period has recently increased to 29 days but leaving it this late is not advisable: if there is a problem, it may be necessary to postpone the event. Please submit your forms as soon as possible in the 3 months prior to your chosen date.

What else is required?

  • Your original birth certificates, 
  • evidence of the termination of any previous marriage or civil partnership, i.e: your absolute decree of divorce if you have been previously married (please advise the Registrar as soon as possible if you were divorced outside the UK), your decree of dissolution if you have been in a registered civil partnership, 
    the death certificate of your former spouse/civil partner if you have been widowed,
  • Your original passports (or parents Birth Certificates if no passport)
  • Proof of address (i.e. Utility Bill, Bank Statement etc)
  • Signed Terms and Conditions.
  • the full names, addresses and postcodes of two Witnesses. (You, and your Witnesses, must be at least 16 years of age on the day of your marriage/civil partnership registration.)
  • and the appropriate fee (please contact the Registrar). Cheques should be made payable to Scottish Borders Council.

What if my partner or I are not UK citizens?
You may need appropriate documents showing that a person satisfies immigration eligibility requirements. Please contact the Registrar as soon as possible.

What happens next?
When the Registrar receives the forms, required documents and fee, and is satisfied that you are free to marry/form a civil partnership, your names (only) and the proposed date of your marriage/civil partnership  will be displayed publicly outside designated registration offices in the Scottish Borders. Meanwhile, the Registrar prepares your Marriage/Civil Partnership Schedule. This is the legally binding document that you, the Registrar and your two Witnesses will sign on your special day.

Can I have a say in the form of the ceremony?
Of course. We like to meet with you at least once prior to the date of your ceremony to check the details in the Schedule and to discuss your wishes for the day. If you are travelling here from outside the area or country, these details can be discussed by telephone and/or email.

Contact is also important so that the Registrar's speech of welcome to those present at your ceremony can reflect your own wishes and circumstances. You may also wish to discuss seating arrangements, flowers, video, photography and music.

We have a standard Ceremony text that may suit you perfectly but this can be adjusted in accordance with your wishes. You can include readings of appropriate poems or other material, by yourselves, relatives or a close friend, and also music. These, however, must be of a non-religious nature. You should agree your readings with the Registrar in advance so that the ceremony is appropriate and runs smoothly.

What about photography, flowers and music?
You may want a photographer or videographer to record your ceremony. This can be arranged during your visit with the Registrar beforehand. You may wish to provide your own fresh flowers for the occasion, in which case, access can be arranged on the morning of the ceremony. If you prefer, we can provide silk flowers of our own. You can provide music of your own choice, as long as it is not religious. This can be live or recorded.

You may consider music appropriate whilst the guests assemble, when you enter, during the signing of the Schedule or when you leave.  You may not wish to have any fuss or embellishment made at all. If you prefer a small, private ceremony, with no guests present, and without the cost of hiring the Marriage Room, this is also an option. It is entirely up to you.

What happens during the ceremony?
The Registrar will conduct the ceremony in the form agreed beforehand. The couple and their Witnesses will take their parts: the Bride and Groom/Civil Partners will make their legal declarations and vows to each other by repeating the words in manageable portions after the Registrar has spoken them.

The documents are then signed by the Bride and Groom/Civil Partners, the Registrar and the Witnesses. (The Bride signs with the surname she used before the ceremony). Afterwards, the details are added to the Register and the  Marriage/Civil Partnership Extract (you may know it as a certificate) is sent to you, or it can be collected.

Can we arrange to have refreshments?
Refreshments are not permitted in the Marriage Room prior to the ceremony. For a small fee we do offer the facility for you to host a post-ceremony reception drink.

What have I forgotten?
Probably something! - but keep in touch with us and we will be delighted to help you organise your special day.

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