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. This will replace the handwritten marriage registers currently in use.
  • 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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