Changes to marriage registration

New marriage legislation means that the way a marriage is registered in England and Wales changed on 4 May 2021.

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019 successfully completed its passage through Parliament on 15 March 2019 and attained Royal Assent on 26 March 2019. 

The Act will modernise how marriages are registered for the first time since 1837, through issue of a marriage schedule system and registration in an electronic register.

It will move away from the current paper register creating a more secure system for keeping marriage records, that is also more efficient and far simpler to administer and amend, if necessary, in the future. The electronic register will also allow for the names of parents of the couple (mother / father / parent) to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates, instead of only their fathers’ names as is currently the case. 

How this change will affect you

  • Signing of registers will be replaced by signing a A4 document called a schedule
  • The ability to record up to 4 parents details including; mother, natural parents, step parents
  • Ability to record up to six witnesses
  • If you are getting married abroad you need to follow local law. We will no longer issue a certificate of no impediment (CONI/CNI). You will need to meet the requirements of the country where the ceremony will take place.  Guidance is provided on the website or contact the Embassy/Consulate of the country you wish to marry.

Ceremonies at Church of England or Church of Wales

  • The Church of England and Church of Wales will continue to publish banns. The marriage will not be registered at the ceremony; instead the clergyman will issue a marriage document which the couple, their witnesses and the clergyman must sign.
  • The document must be returned to the registration district where the marriage took place so it can be formally registered electronically.
  • Once the marriage document has been received from the Officiating Minister, the information will be entered on to the electronic register.  The Register Office has 7 days to issue the certificate.  You can then purchase certificates online at 

Ceremonies in Religious buildings other than Church of England or Church of Wales

  • You will need to collect from Brent your ceremony schedule, if you are getting married or joining in civil partnership in a religious building in the borough of Brent.  You will need to collect the schedule 29 or 71 days after giving legal notice.  If your notice is in a Designated Register Office, the schedule and immigration photo document will be collected by the authorised person or religious leader.
  • Following the ceremony, the signed schedule will be returned within 21 days to the Register Office.
  • The marriage certificate can only be issued once the schedule has been entered on the electronic register.  Certificates will be issued within 7 days of receipt of the Schedule.