Marriages and civil partnerships

Civil, same sex and religious marriages, civil partnerships and ceremony venues.

Changes to marriage legislation

New marriage legislation means that the way a marriage is registered in England and Wales will change, from 4th May 2021

Marriage in a Civil or Religious Building (other than Church of England/Wales) after 3rd May 2021

You will no longer sign a marriage register or be given a Marriage Certificate during the ceremony, instead you will sign a Marriage Schedule. This is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage

The Marriage Schedule will be provided by the Superintendent Registrar in the registration district of your marriage and will contain all the details required to complete a marriage registration.

From this date, in addition to father details, other parent details will be able to be recorded i.e. mother, step-parent.

Each person will still be required to give notice of marriage and the marriage ceremony will remain the same, it is only the way in which a marriage is registered that will change.

Marriage Schedules

The Marriage Schedule will be provided by the Superintendent Registrar in the registration district of your marriage.

  • If you are marrying in a civil or religious ceremony, as now, you will still be required to give a notice of marriage, at the register office in the district where you have spent the preceding 7 days.
  • The schedule will be issued by the Superintendent Registrar following the 28 day waiting period.
  • If you are not marrying in a religious building the Superintendent Registrar will retain your Schedule until the ceremony.
  • If you are marrying in a religious ceremony, you must arrange for the Marriage Schedule to be collected and taken to the person who will perform the marriage at the religious building before your ceremony. The Superintendent Registrar will explain in more detail how this process will work.
  • If you are marrying in the Church of England / Church in Wales you will need to contact the Church in the parish where you intend to marry.

Information included on the Marriage Schedule

A Marriage Schedule will include the details of each person getting married: name and surname, date of birth, condition, address and occupation.

You can record your mother, father or parents’ details on the Marriage schedule and in the marriage registration. There is now provision to include step parents.

You will be encouraged to provide this information when you give notice. However, if you didn’t give these details at your notice appointment, you can provide the information either prior to or on the day of your marriage

Signing the Marriage Schedule

After your marriage ceremony, you will be asked to check that the details contained in the Marriage Schedule are accurate, including spellings of names etc.

Once checked you, your witnesses and the registration officers or relevant person from the religious building will sign the Marriage Schedule.

Registering a marriage

If you marry in a civil ceremony the registration officer will keep the signed Marriage Schedule and add the details onto the electronic register at the register office.

If you marry in a religious ceremony, the relevant person from the religious building will return the completed, signed Marriage Schedule to the register office in the area where your marriage took place within 21 days of your marriage. Once the completed, signed Marriage Schedule is received at the register office the details will be entered onto the electronic marriage register within the following 7 days; only then will a marriage certificate be available.

Marriage registers

From 4th May 2021 paper marriage registers will no longer be used; instead a central electronic registration system will become the legal register. The change in the law means that the details of your marriage will be recorded on a Marriage Schedule. It is from this document that your marriage registration will be created.

When you can get a Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate will only be issued after the details have been entered on to the electronic marriage register. This means that you will not be able to obtain a marriage certificate on the day of your marriage. This applies whether you marry in a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony.

Your marriage details will be entered onto the electronic registration register within 7 days of your signed Marriage Schedule being received at the register office, in the area where you got married.

How to get a marriage certificate.

Marriage certificates will be available from the register office in the area where your marriage took place.

To obtain a marriage certificate please contact us.

Lost Marriage Schedules

If you lose your Marriage Schedule before your ceremony, you should contact the Superintendent Registrar at the register office where the Marriage Schedule was issued.

Marriage in the Church of England or Church in Wales after 3rd May 2021

Each person will still be required to complete legal preliminaries either through the Church via the calling of Banns or by giving notice of marriage at their local register office. The marriage ceremony will remain the same, it is only the manner of marriage registration that is changing.

You will no longer sign a marriage register or be given a Marriage Certificate during the ceremony instead you will sign a Marriage Document. This is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage.

The Marriage Document will be issued by the Minister at the Church where your marriage is taking place and will contain all the details required to complete a marriage registration.

From this date, in addition to father details, other parent details will be able to be recorded ie mother, step-parent.

Should your Church ask that you complete legal marriage preliminaries at your local register office you should refer to the information about marriage at a civil or religious building.

Information included on the Marriage Document

A Marriage document will include the details of each person getting married: name and surname, date of birth, condition, address and occupation.

You can record your mother, father or parents’ details on the Marriage Document and in the marriage registration. There is now provision to include step-parents.

If you didn’t give these details when calling Banns or giving notice at the register office, you can provide the details either prior to or on the day of your marriage

Signing the Marriage Document

The Marriage Document will be signed after your marriage ceremony.

You will be asked to check the details entered on the Marriage Document to confirm they are accurate and spelt correctly. Once checked, you, your witnesses and the officiating minister will each sign the Marriage Document.

Registering the marriage.

The officiating minister will forward the completed, signed Marriage Document to the register office in the area where the church is located. This will be done within 21 days of your ceremony taking place. The details will be entered onto the electronic marriage register within 7 days of the signed Marriage Document being received at the register office; only then will a marriage certificate be available.

Marriage registers

From 4th May 2021 paper marriage registers will no longer be used; instead a central electronic registration system will become the legal register. The change in the law means that the details of your marriage will be recorded on a Marriage Document. It is from this document that your marriage registration will be created.

When you can get a marriage certificate

Once the details of the signed Marriage Document have been entered onto the electronic marriage register, you will be able to obtain a marriage certificate from the register office or the General Register Office. This means you will not be able to obtain a marriage certificate on the day of your marriage.

How to get marriage certificate.

Marriage certificates will be available from the register office in the area where your marriage took place.

To get marriage certificate please contact us.

Further enquiries

If you have any questions that have not been answered in here you should check the details on www.gov.uk website

If you cannot find the answer to your question you should contact the register office in the area of your marriage, the minister at the Church where your marriage is taking place or contact the General Register Office on tel: 0300 123 1837 or email: GROcasework@gro.gov.uk

Marriage certificates are also available from the General Register Office at www.gov.uk