Changes to Marriage Ceremonies FAQs


Changes to Marriage Ceremonies From 4 May 2021

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act will come into force on 4 May 2021

The Act provides for the modernisation of marriage registration for the first time since 1837, by introducing a marriage schedule system and registration in an electronic register. Paper marriage registers will no longer be used by Registrars attending Civil ceremonies or be used for ceremonies taking place at churches and places of worship.

You will no longer receive a handwritten marriage certificate at the ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What will this mean for couples on the day of their ceremony?

You are now able to include more than one person, as mother/ father/ parent/ stepparent, can now be recorded in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates, instead of only fathers' names as is currently the case.

There will be a schedule to be signed by the couple, their witnesses and the Superintendent Registrar and Registrar officiating on the day.  This will replace the handwritten marriage registers currently in use.

You will no longer receive a handwritten marriage certificate at the ceremony and Registrars will not be able to produce a marriage certificate on the day.

How will the wedding be registered?

The schedule will be returned to Worcester Registration Service, County Hall, Worcester whereby the schedule will be input into the electronic register as a record of the event

If you are having a civil wedding, or a ceremony in a religious building where a civil Registrar will be present, they will return the schedule for you

If you are having a wedding in a religious building without the presence of a Registrar, the marriage schedule will need returned to Worcester Registration Service, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester WR5 2NP as soon as possible and no later than 21 days after the ceremony, so it can be registered.

How can we purchase official certificates of the marriage?

After your ceremony you can order certificates online at copy and replacement certificates

Please note that we are unable to produce the certificate until the Marriage has been entered into the electronic register.

Why are we moving to this new system? 

The current system for registering a marriage is outdated and only allows for the father's name of the parties involved to be recorded.  It is also a more secure way of recording and keeping information.

Will the marriage certificate look different?

Yes due to the required legal changes to the marriage registration, a new look certificate has been introduced to capture the additional information. The main difference between the new certificate and the old is that it is no longer in landscape format but will be in portrait format instead, this doesn’t alter the validity of the certificate.

When will the changes being introduced? 

4 May 2021.

Any queries relating to your Marriage Ceremony and/or Certificate please email registeroffice@worcestershire.gov.uk