4th May 2021
Major changes to the way marriages in England and Wales are registered are being introduced to help modernise the system.   As from today (4th May), a single electronic marriage register will make the system simpler and more efficient.   It will also correct a historic anomaly to allow for the names of both parents of the couple to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates for the first time, instead of only their fathers’ names.

These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837.   Before today marriages were registered by the couple signing a register book, which is held at each register office, in churches and chapels, and at religious premises registered for marriage.   Creating a single electronic marriage register will save time and money and is a more secure system, eliminating the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.

The changes have been made in consultation with stakeholders such as the Church of England and, as per the government’s Covid-19 roadmap, weddings can currently take place with up to 15 attendees in premises that are permitted to open.   Very detailed information about all of this can be found in Newsletter numbers 9, 10 and 11 within the “Clergy” section of the this website's Newsflash Archives.
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