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Marriage in the Church of England or Church in Wales after 3rd May 2021

New marriage legislation means that the way a marriage is registered in England and Wales will change, from 4 May 2021.

Each person will still be required to complete legal preliminaries either through the Church via the calling of Banns or by giving notice of marriage at a register office. The marriage ceremony will remain the same, it is only the manner of marriage registration that is changing.

You will no longer sign a marriage register or be given a marriage certificate during the ceremony instead you will sign a marriage document. This is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage.

The Marriage Document will be issued by the Minister at the Church where your marriage is taking place and will contain all the details required to complete a marriage registration.

A Marriage Document will include the details of each person getting married: name and surname, date of birth, condition, address and occupation. You can record your mother, father or parents’ details on the Marriage schedule and in the marriage registration. There is now provision to include step-parents. If you didn’t give these details when calling Banns or giving notice at the register office, you can provide the details on the day of the ceremony.

The officiating minister will forward the completed, signed Marriage Document to the register office in the area where the church is located. This will be done within 21 days of your ceremony taking place. The details will be entered onto the electronic marriage register within 7 days of the signed Marriage Document being received at the register office; only then will a marriage certificate be available.

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