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Mothers' Names Can Be Listed On Marriage Certificates In England And Wales From Today

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Mothers' Names Can Be Listed On Marriage Certificates In England And Wales From Today

In a long-overdue update to marriage law in England and Wales, the mothers of brides and grooms can finally be named on marriage certificates.

Prior to the changes that came into force on Tuesday, the certificate only requested the name and occupation of the couples' fathers. Archaic, much?!

The major shake-up to the Marriage Act will also see the system undergo a digital update with weddings recorded electronically, rather than written in a registry book.

The names of the mothers of the couple will be included in marriage certificates for the first time (Credit: Unsplash)
The names of the mothers of the couple will be included in marriage certificates for the first time (Credit: Unsplash)
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Before Tuesday, marriages were registered by the couple signing a registry book which is typically kept at the register office or religious venue.

The new updates to the Marriage Act were developed in collaboration with the Church of England, and will finally bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland where brides and grooms have long been able to list the names of both parents.

The Home Office said the move to include mothers on the marriage certificate would "correct a historic anomaly" and called the reforms "the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837."

Marriages will now be recorded electronically rather than in a registry book (Credit: Shutterstock)
Marriages will now be recorded electronically rather than in a registry book (Credit: Shutterstock)
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The government said the creation of the single electronic register would save time and money by speeding up the process and will be more secure; the new electronic system means data no longer needs to be extracted from hard copies.

The Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, director of mission and public affairs for the Church of England, said in a statement: "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,"

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies have been allowed to go ahead in England since 12th April as part of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown. These ceremonies can take place with up to 15 people in Covid-19 secure venues that are allowed to open.

The changes brings England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland where brides and grooms were already asked to provide their mother's name (Credit: Unsplash)
The changes brings England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland where brides and grooms were already asked to provide their mother's name (Credit: Unsplash)
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From 17th May weddings and civil partnerships are permitted for up to 30 people in Covid-19 secure venues and receptions can go ahead with up to 30 people in indoor or outdoor venues, including private gardens.

You can read the government's full guidelines here.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Weddings, Life News, News, Life

Gregory Robinson
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