Now both parents will have their names on marriage certificate: Mothers of bride and groom can be included on the document for first time after historic rule change
- Mothers of bride and groom can be named on marriage certificates from today
- Now both parents will be included on legal paperwork instead of only fathers
- The reforms will also see the creation of a single electronic marriage register
Mothers of the bride and groom can be named on marriage certificates from today in the biggest shake-up of the registration system for 200 years.
The long-awaited modernisations mean that both parents will be included on the legal paperwork instead of only fathers.
Reforms will also see the creation of a single electronic marriage register, which is expected to make it easier to detect sham marriages. Ministers said this system is more secure and eliminates the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.
And in a break from centuries of tradition, couples taking their vows in a church will not be issued with a marriage certificate straight away.
Mothers of the bride and groom can now be named on marriage certificates. (Stock image)
They will instead receive a ‘marriage document’ which will be sent to the register office so details can be recorded before the formal certificate is sent out.
The changes to the Marriage Act in England and Wales are the biggest shake-up to the registration system since 1837, ministers said.
Home Office minister Kevin Foster said: ‘These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.
‘When Hazel and I got married in 2017, my dad and Hazel’s mum shared the day with us, but sadly my mum and Hazel’s dad could not be with us, both having passed away beforehand.
‘Whilst Hazel’s dad could still be part of the day by being listed on our marriage certificate, one was missing – my mum.’
The Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, from the Church of England, said: ‘We are very pleased that the marriage registration system can now include the names of mothers as well as fathers on registers.
The changes to the Marriage Act in England and Wales are the biggest shake-up to the registration system since 1837, ministers said. (Stock image)
‘Changing practices that go back many years is never straightforward but we believe the new system changes as little as possible in terms of the couple’s experience of their church wedding and the clergy will find the new regulations become second nature very quickly.’
Under the current system, the couple – and witnesses – sign a register book held at each church, place of worship or register office.
The new arrangements in a civil ceremony will see couples and witnesses sign a ‘marriage schedule’ which will include both parents’ names from both sides.
In the Church of England and the Church in Wales, the vicar will issue a ‘marriage document’.
The document will be sent to the register office and recorded in the electronic register. A marriage certificate can then be issued to the couple.
Civil partnership certificates already include mothers’ names, so the changes update marriage documents to match them.