Getting married on or after 4 May 2021? There will be some changes which you need to know about…

The Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019 comes into force on 4 May and will modernise how marriages are registered for the first time since 1837.

The current paper marriage register will be replaced by an electronic register, creating a more secure system for keeping marriage records. The electronic register will allow for the names of parents of the couple (mother / father / parent / step-parent) to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates, instead of only their fathers’ names as is currently the case.

What will change?

Ceremonies at the Register Office and Approved Marriage and Civil Partnership Venues:

Couples will not be invited to sign a marriage register but will be invited to sign a marriage schedule which is an A4 document.

Couples will have the option to include up to 4x parents in the schedule and subsequently their marriage certificate i.e. Mother, Father, Parent, Step-parent.

Couples will not receive marriage certificates on the day of the marriage. These will be produced and posted to the couple as soon as possible after the ceremony. 

Marriages in Religious Buildings (other than Church of England):

From the date of implementation, if they have already collected their Certificates for Marriage (blue paperwork) couples will need to arrange to collect the marriage schedule for their ceremony to take place.

On or after 4 May couples can no longer use previously issued Certificates for Marriage (blues). Marriages cannot go ahead without the new schedule document.

Please contact the Register Office in the district in which you gave notice of marriage to arrange collection of your marriage schedule.

On the day of the ceremony, couples will not be invited to sign a marriage register but will be invited to sign the marriage schedule.

Couples will have the option to include up to 4 x parents in the schedule and subsequently their marriage certificate i.e. Mother, Father, Parent, Step-parent.

Couples will not receive marriage certificates on the day of the marriage.

Your church official is expected to return the signed schedule to the Register Office in the District where the marriage took place within 21 days.  You may order copies of your marriage certificate online by visiting www.warrington.gov.uk/certificates. Once you have ordered your certificate(s) we will post them out to you as soon as we have received the schedule and registered your marriage. Please do not select the priority service when ordering, you are automatically prioritised without extra charge

Church of England Marriages:

On the day of the ceremony, couples will not be invited to sign a marriage register but will be invited to sign a marriage document which is an A4 document.

Couples will have the option to include up to 4x parents in the schedule and subsequently their marriage certificate i.e. Mother, Father, Parent, Step-parent.

Couples will not receive marriage certificates on the day of the marriage.

Your church official is expected to return the signed marriage document to the Register Office in the District where the marriage took place within 21 days.  You may order copies of your marriage certificate online by visiting www.warrington.gov.uk/certificates. Once you have ordered your certificate(s) we will post them out to you as soon as we have received the document and registered your marriage. Please do not select the priority service when ordering, you are automatically prioritised without extra charge.

Marriage of British Subjects Facilities Acts (BSFA):

There will no longer be any provision to give notice to marry in countries that were formerly covered by these acts and therefore transitional arrangements will apply to couples who have already given notice to marry here or in one of the relevant countries after the implementation date.

For BSFA notices given in advance of the implementation date,  for a marriage in one the counties covered by these acts an Authority may still issue their certificate, subject to the usual caveats about marrying in these countries.  On or after the implementation date, couples will need to speak to the High Commissions of the countries concerned for further advice.

For BSFA notices given abroad for marriages in England and Wales then both parties will need to give notice under the Marriage Schedule System, most likely at a Designated Register Office and may in some instances need to apply for a reduction in the statutory waiting period.

What won’t change:

  • Civil preliminaries (notice of marriage) or the reading of Banns (CofE) must still be completed before a marriage can take place
  • Civil preliminaries (Certificate of no Impediment) will still be available, where appropriate, for couples marrying overseas
  • Marriage ceremonies (including declaratory and contracting words) remain unchanged.