The National Records of Scotland (NRS) have released their yearly life vital events report for 2021 – we deep dive and tell you the headlines on all things marriages and weddings

Pictured above: Mabbie Forest in Dumfries hosted Liam and Kate’s wedding ceremony, conducted by Fuze Celebrant Sue Earnshaw – photo credit: Jenny Appleton

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) recently released their yearly report on vital life statistics in Scotland for 2021, which included the number of marriages that took place.



Weddings in 2020 were massively affected by the global pandemic with only 11,831 weddings taking place. 2021 was the start of the bounce back and despite some restrictions still in place at times, the number of marriages that took place in Scotland soared to a near normal level of 24, 284 – the last full year being 2019 where 26,007 were recorded.

The status of each party also makes for interesting reading. 75% of males were batchelors, 2% were widowers, 22.2% were divorcees and 0.2% were previously in a civil partnership. The female break down was 76.4% spinsters, 1.8% divorcees, 21.6% widowers and 0.1% were from a civil partnership.

2022 is already shaping up to be a bumper year with the NRS reporting first quarter marriages as 21% higher than the average number of first quarter marriages. It definitely feels like weddings are back.

Same Sex

819 same sex marriages took place – 298 male and 521 female. These numbers include those who have converted their previous Civil Partnership to a legal marriage of which there were 30. In addition the remaining status of each party was 676 single, 110 divorced, 3 widowed.


Left: Fuze Celebrant Gina Williams and pictured right, Fuze Celebrant Amy Lawson

Ceremony Types

Humanist and other non Christian marriage ceremonies continue to overtake religious with 7,274 recorded against 5,817. The Church of Scotland declined by a further 660 to 1,565 in 2021 and the Roman Catholic Church by 99 to 812. Civil marriage ceremonies make up the rest with 11,193 recorded.

Humanist ceremonies are growing every year in popularity. Too often, ceremonies are delivered in the same tone, by the same sort of officiant, using the same tired script,  skimming over the most important element of the ceremony – the individuals at the heart of it. Humanist ceremonies give couples more choice and flexibility and are 100% legal in Scotland as Humanism has been a recognised belief body since 2005. The Fuze Foundation is recognised as this.

Here at Fuze we have been creating unique and bespoke Humanist Wedding Ceremonies since 2012 and this year celebrate 10 years of tying the knot for thousands of happy newlyweds – We have over 60 celebrants in our team and boast in excess of 850 FIVE STAR Trustpilot reviews that really do speak for themselves.


Fuze Celebrant Alicia MacDonald – photo credit: Michael Carver Photography


The average age of a male who married for the first time was 34.8 and 33 for a female. The average has now been in the 30s since 1999 for a male and 2006 for a female with the average age increasing every year. In fact, you would have go all the back to the 1970s to see the average age of men and women getting married in their 20s.

30 males and 71 females between the age of 16-19 were married in 2021. 6,489 males and 6,353 females aged between 30-34 were married, and 3,207 males and 2,267 females aged 55+ were married.


Fuze Celebrant Maurice Boyle at the Old Course Hotel St. Andrews- Photo Credit: Claremont Photography

Civil Partnerships

We seen a welcome change to the law in 2021 which allowed mixed sex couples to enter into a Civil Partnership. The Scottish Parliament passed a new law which made Civil Partnerships available to mixed sex couples from 30 June 2021. Up until then only same sex couples could choose this form of ceremony. A total of 499 Civil Partnerships subsequently took place in 2021 with the biggest share of 411 going to mixed sex couples. The same sex breakdown was 49 for male and 39 for female.

Fuze Celebrant Marjorie Russell – Photo Credit White Rose Photography

weddings humanist fuze ceremonies

Fuze celebrant Wendy Dallas keeping the happy couple and witnesses right during their wedding

Getting Ready To Get Legally Married In Scotland

Not only is Scotland stunningly beautiful, it is also one of only a few countries where couples are free to marry anywhere their hearts desire. Our team of Celebrants are authorised by the Register General of Scotland to solemnise marriages and are chosen for their creativity, energy, personality and genuine love of life. Each member of the team has benefited from our comprehensive Celebrant training programme and is fully insured and disclosed.

The National Records of Scotland website details every step to be taken and the forms needed to apply for a marriage licence. Of course our amazing Celebrant team will guide you all the way during the process and talk you through this important element of your big day.

Check out our blog – You’ve said ‘YES’ to your Celebrant – DON’T forget the legal stuff!!


Fuze Celebrant Thomas Slaven – Photo Credit Dave Fallon Photography

Add our smiles to yours

No two couples are the same so no two ceremonies should be the same. At Fuze we work alongside our couples to make their ceremony script is unique, personal and bespoke. It’s your day your way with us, so let us add our smiles to yours. To check our amazing celebrant’s live availability for your special date click here!


Fuze Celebrant Neil McKenzie at Voco Grand Central Glasgow – Photo Credit: Weddings by AR


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