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The way marriages are registered is about to change

Published Tuesday, 27th April 2021

A new system of marriage registration will be introduced in England and Wales on 4 May 2021 when The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act comes into force.

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

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

From 4 May couples will be able to include more than one person as mother/ father/ parent, to 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.

The schedule will be returned to the Register Office whereby the schedule will be input into the electronic register as a record of the event. Couples are then able to purchase their marriage certificate online at

Hannah Perrott, Assistant Director for Communities, Worcestershire County Council said: “We really welcome the changes to the Regulations under the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act 2019. The new electronic registers will make the process of certification more secure, efficient and simpler to amend if the content of the marriage entry needs to be changed now and in the future.”

“The registration service continues to evolve to reflect society and the opportunity to modernise the content of the marriage register to include all parents is really positive.”

Registration Services in Worcestershire are open and continue to operate by pre-booked appointment only.

For more information on Worcestershire Registration Services, please visit: Birth, Death, Marriage, Civil Partnership and Citizenship | Worcestershire County Council