Changes to marriage certificates see both parents named

Changes to marriage certificates in England and Wales will include both parent’s names in a change that the Home Office says would “correct a historical anomaly”.

From the start of this week, 4th May 2021, both parents of the bride and groom will now be recorded on the marriage certificate. This change will have a great knock on effect in year’s to come, with a geneaology expert sharing her views in our sister publication, Today’s Wills and Probate.

This isn’t the only alteration when it comes to marriages. In what has been deemed the biggest change to the system since 1837, marriages will now be recorded electronically rather than written in a registry book.

It is estimated that there are approximately 84,000 marriage registry books held at registry offices, churches, chapels and registered religious premises. The introduction of this new electronic register will help to improve efficiencies in the process and remove the need for details to be extracted from the hard copies in years to come.

Changes to the Marriage Act were done in consultation with the Church of England, with the Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs commenting:

“Changing practices that go back many years is never straightforward, we believe the new system changes as little as possible in terms of the couple’s experience of their church wedding.”

This move brings England and Wales inline with the rest of the UK.

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