Changes to marriage legislation

The way that marriages are registered changed from 4 May 2021. The process moved away from the paper register and was replaced by a new marriage schedule system and electronic register.

 What are the main changes?

  • A marriage schedule must be completed and signed by the couple, their witnesses and the Superintendent Registrar and Registrar (or Minister) officiating on the day. 
  • On the marriage schedule you will be able to record more than one person as mother/ father/ parent.
  • No certificates will be provided at the ceremony.  

How will the marriage be registered?

  • If you are getting married in a religious building without the presence of a Civil Registrar, the marriage schedule will need to be returned to the Local Registration Service within 21 days.
  • This will be done by the Civil Registrar if they are present at your religious ceremony.
  • Once the schedule has been received, your marriage will be registered within seven working days.

How will you receive your certificate?

  • Marriage certificates cost £11 each.
  • If you are getting married in a religious venue, please pre-order your certificate(s) online up to two weeks before your ceremony.
  • If you are due to get married or have a civil partnership at one of our registration offices or other civil venues, please contact the Customer Services Centre.
  • Please remember that marriage certificates cannot be issued until the marriage schedule has been received and registered, and a payment has been received. 

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