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Marriage Certificates in England and Wales to Include Mothers’ Names for First Time

4 May 2021 4:57 PM | Anonymous

A new electronic system to modernise the way marriages are registered.

Major changes to the way marriages in England and Wales are registered are being introduced to help modernise the system.

From today (May 4), a single electronic marriage register will be created to make the system simpler and more efficient.

It will also correct a historic anomaly to allow for the names of both parents of the couple to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates for the first time, instead of only their fathers’ names.

These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837.

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:

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.

These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.

Marriages are currently registered by the couple signing a register book, which is held at each register office, in churches and chapels, and at religious premises registered for marriage.

Creating a single electronic marriage register will save time and money and is a more secure system, eliminating the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.

You can read more in the GOV.UK web site at


  • 5 May 2021 3:20 AM | Anonymous
    A strange anomaly indeed.
    Civil Registration didn't come into effect in Scotland until 1855 - but from inception, marriage certificates there have included the names of both parents.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 5 May 2021 10:18 AM | Anonymous
    I wonder how this system works in other places that require the parties to initiate registration. Do some weddings go unregistered, especially when the registering authority has not authorised the ceremony, as with most church weddings in England and Wales?
    Of course, it is possible that some, but probably fewer, alleged mothers will be as fictional as some alleged fathers have been.
    Link  •  Reply

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