Births, deaths and ceremonies

Frequently asked questions:

You can provisionally book an appointment to register a birth.  

Once you have provisionally booked your appointment, a Registrar will call you to gather some more information and to confirm your booking.  

Do not attend until you have spoken with a Registrar and had your appointment confirmed. 

This will remain regardless of the tier restrictions Aberdeen City is placed into, in relation to Covid-19. 

Travelling across level 3 and 4 local authority boundaries to meet a legal obligation will be regarded as a legitimate exemption to the travel restrictions.  This will include travel for registering a birth

There will be strict social distancing measures in place to keep staff and customers safe. This includes limiting the number of customers in the Customer Service Centre at any given time through an appointment only system, hand sanitiser provided at the entrance and in the Registrar rooms and signs directing customers to stay 2 metres apart.  

There will be protective screens in the Registrar rooms where you will need to interact with staff.   Payments are restricted to card only so that cash is not handled.  The Registrar’s rooms will be cleaned after every registration takes place, so the area is ready for the next customer.


Following the introduction of the UK Emergency Coronavirus Bill on 26 March 2020, registrars now undertake death and still birth registrations by telephone. Face to face still birth registrations and face to face death registrations have been suspended until further notice. 

During the pandemic period the opening hours for telephone death registrations are;  Monday - Friday 9am-5pm.

Please call Aberdeen Registrars on 01224 522616 to make a telephone appointment.

If you would like to use the Tell Us Once service, which is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go, we will take additional information from you by phone and complete the Tell Us Once process as normal.

Funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20, provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing. 

Services are taking place at Aberdeen Crematorium with national social distancing rules for funerals being applied. A maximum of 20 people will now be able to attend a funeral service at Aberdeen Crematorium and at graveyards and these are no longer limited to just ‘close family’. 

Cremations will continue and may be booked through the normal channels described below.

With regard to burials and/or memorial facilities, initial enquiries to be made by telephone or email; 01224 522485 or e-mail

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Find out more about the Scottish Government guidance.

Find out more about burials and cremations.

The contact details of individuals or a ‘lead member’ of a household attending funeral services at Aberdeen Crematorium or at any of the city’s cemeteries will be collected from Wednesday 15 July by Aberdeen City Council, helping to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service.  

This measure is in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance. Test and Protect is being applied in a range of community settings – from hairdressers to restaurants – and forms part of the national effort to suppress COVID-19 and support the country to return to a more normal way of life.

Anyone providing contact details are advised that their details will be destroyed after 21 days in line with Data Protection. 

People have the right to refuse to give details.  However, we would ask individuals to bear in mind that the contact details of individuals or a ‘lead member’ of a household attending funeral services at Aberdeen Crematorium or at any of the city’s cemeteries will be collected from 15 July by Aberdeen City Council, helping to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service.  

Anyone providing contact details are advised that their details will be destroyed after 21 days in line with Data Protection. 


The Scottish Government’s latest guidance allows for cremation authorities to open for all services in addition to funeral services, for example, to view the book of remembrance or for ashes to be collected by individuals.

The crematorium reception and book of remembrance area is open at the following times:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am-4pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: Closed

The Books of Remembrance can also be viewed online

Funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20, provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing. 

Unfortunately post funeral gatherings such as wakes and cannot take place. 

At all times, social distancing guidelines must be complied with. This will require attendees, Funeral Directors, officiants, and staff to maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres from other persons unless they are members of the same household.

The numbers attending funeral services and any other easing of restrictions will be constantly reviewed in line with government guidance.

Yes, the Garden of Remembrance at Aberdeen Crematorium is open to the public. We ask that social distancing guidelines are respected. 

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 5 people (including the couple, the witnesses and the person conducting the ceremony, 6 if an interpreter is required), provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing. 

Please contact Aberdeen City Registrars on 01224 522616 if you have any queries or need to make any changes to your marriage/civil partnership. 


Following a recent policy decision, marriage/CP ceremonies are allowed in outdoor spaces at a private dwelling.

There are a number of conditions which must be fulfilled to allow such ceremonies to go ahead (which align outdoor ceremonies at private dwellings with outdoor ceremonies at public venues):

  • The ceremony must observe physical distancing
  • Numbers should be kept to the minimum possible
  • A maximum of 5 people can attend
  • This maximum includes the couple, registrar or celebrant, witnesses, children, guests and carers supporting attendees at the ceremony, as well as any professionals such as photographers employed by the couple
  • It does not include any necessary interpreter.

The definition of a private dwelling includes self-contained, self-catering and other private hire holiday accommodation.  The use of private hire exclusive use premises (such as castles and historic houses) for ceremonies will depend on the arrangements in place. 

If the venue is managed and regulated, with venue staff to ensure that the relevant guidance, including this guidance and statutory hospitality guidance is followed, then the ceremony or registration will comply with the applicable regulations and guidance.  The venue would not be classified as a private dwelling and indoor marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships could proceed there under this guidance

Wedding or civil partnership receptions cannot take place. 


Parties, witnesses and guests to marriage/CP ceremonies are permitted to travel across level 3 and 4 local authority boundaries to attend a marriage or CP ceremony.  In level 3, this includes travel for the purposes of attending a reception which follows a ceremony, which are still permitted at that level); in level 4, travel to a reception is not a legitimate excuse for travel, as receptions are not permitted to take place in this level (and this includes travel out of a level 4 to a lower area for the purposes of attending a reception, rather than a ceremony).

Travel from the rest of the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey into Scotland for the purpose of attending a marriage or civil partnership ceremony is no longer allowed other than for the couple, the witnesses or celebrant, as well as any necessary interpreter.  (The same applies for travel from within Scotland to other parts of the common travel area.)

Under amended Health Protection regulations, travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey to attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony will no longer be considered a reasonable excuse other than in terms of the minimum legal number of attendees.

At this time, Scottish Government is strongly advising against car-sharing.  People should only share a vehicle with those from their own household or extended household.  If they have no other option, they should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely.

Live music is permitted but must be included in your limit of 20 attendees.  Safeguards should be put in place to ensure that physical distancing is observed and that it is not necessary for attendees to shout or be unnecessarily close to be heard.  Communal singing is still be avoided to prevent any aerosol production.  Scottish Government guidance for marriages and civil partnerships advises that if musical instruments require to be played, only those instruments that do not require to be blown into should be played.  An organ can be played but should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.   

If a marriage or civil partnership has to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, authority has been given for the notice period to be extended without new notices being submitted, providing the marriage is to take place before 31 December 2020.  All fees will be transferred to the new date.

Where a couple has already submitted notice to be married and cannot re-arrange their ceremony to take place by 31 December 2020, new Marriage Notice Forms must be submitted within 3 calendar months of the re-scheduled date. Providing a refund has not been requested, all fees paid will be transferred to the new date and no additional fee will be payable.

Should you wish to cancel a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible on 01224 522616 and you will be entitled to a full refund.

Couples who choose to postpone their ceremony, as a result of their area moving to level 4 restrictions, will be eligible for an extension to their notices

To ensure the health and safety of all attending the celebrant or registrar will ensure physical distancing measures take place.  To minimise the chance of exposure to COVID-19, any potential participant in a ceremony or other attendee who has symptoms or is self-isolating should not attend.  If either party, the witnesses or anyone else attending the ceremony shows clear symptoms of COVID-19 on the day, the marriage or civil partnership will not go ahead.  Any person who is shielding should continue to follow Scottish Government guidance on shielding. 

At indoor weddings, face coverings should be worn by all parties including witnesses and guests. Following an announcement by the Scottish Government the couple are no longer required to wear face coverings for the duration of their marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration but must wear a face covering whilst getting to the ceremony room.

In addition, to assist with contact tracing where a potential outbreak of COVID-19 is linked to specific premises, venues hosting gatherings such as marriages and civil partnerships will be required to collect minimal contact details from attendees at such gatherings.  This includes name and contact details. Where people are attending as part of a household, details can be recorded for a single ‘lead member’ of the household rather than every member.  This information will support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service and form part of the effort to suppress COVID-19 and support the country’s return to a more normal way of life. 

The full Scottish Government guidance on Test and Protect can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.

If your marriage is to take place in Aberdeen, you can now give notice of marriage or civil partnership to this office if;

You have a minister/celebrant etc. arranged to deliver your ceremony in Aberdeen and require the Registrar's service to produce a schedule document permitting the ceremony to take place.


You have an existing booking to be married with Aberdeen Registrars, in our office or by one of our Registrar's in a third-party venue.


Your planned date of marriage is between 29 days and three months ahead of the arrival of your notice forms and documents at the Registrar’s office.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus restrictions that are in place, it does not guarantee that your ceremony will proceed in the place or with the number of guests that you may have expected or planned.

If you wish to proceed, please refer to the National Records of Scotland for further advice on how to give notice.

Please note, original copies of the form and supporting documentation must be posted to this office.  The Registrars will not accept forms or documents that are submitted to them by any other means.

Please post notices to: Registrars Office, Business Hub 3, Ground Floor South,  Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

If you are in any doubt as to what forms and documents apply to your circumstances, please contact this office on 01224 522616, where one of the Registrars will be happy to help you.

Request for historical certificates are only be available via our online service at present. 

Aberdeen City Registrars are now in a position to arrange British Citizenship Ceremonies for candidates who have received their ceremony invitation from the Home Office.  If you have received your letter inviting you to arrange your ceremony, please email the registrars office – with the following information; 

  • Your Full Name 
  • Your Home Office Reference Number 
  • The date you received your letter from the Home Office  
  • The contact telephone number to reach you on. 

We will contact you to arrange your ceremony.  Your patience is appreciated as we will be dealing with candidates in date priority order meaning you may not hear from us straight away 

Christenings, bar mitzvahs and other life events apart from weddings, civil partnerships or funerals should not take place. 

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