Marriage schedule

From 4 May 2021 you will no longer sign a marriage register or be given a marriage certificate during the ceremony, instead you will sign a marriage schedule. This is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage.

The marriage schedule will be provided by the Superintendent Registrar in the registration district of your marriage and will contain all the details required to complete a marriage registration.

From this date, in addition to father details, other parent details will be able to be recorded i.e. mother, step-parent.

Each person will still be required to give notice of marriage and the marriage ceremony will remain the same, it is only the way in which a marriage is registered that will change.

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How you will get the marriage schedule

The marriage schedule will be provided by the Superintendent Registrar in the registration district of your marriage

  • if you are marrying in a civil or religious ceremony, as now, you will still be required to give a notice of marriage, at the register office in the district where you have spent the preceding 7 days
  • the schedule will be issued by the Superintendent Registrar following the 28 day waiting period
  • if you are not marrying in a religious building the Superintendent Registrar will retain your schedule until the ceremony
  • if you are marrying in a religious ceremony, you must arrange for the marriage schedule to be collected and taken to the person who will perform the marriage at the religious building before your ceremony. The Superintendent Registrar will explain in more detail how this process will work
  • if you are marrying in the Church of England / Church in Wales you will need to contact the Church in the parish where you intend to marry

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Information included on the marriage schedule

A marriage schedule 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.

You will be encouraged to provide this information when you give notice. However, if you didn’t give these details at your notice appointment, you can provide the information either prior to or on the day of your marriage.

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Signing the marriage schedule

After your marriage ceremony, you will be asked to check that the details contained in the marriage schedule are accurate, including spellings of names etc.

Once checked you, your witnesses and the registration officers or relevant person from the religious building will sign the marriage schedule.

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How your marriage registration will be made

If you marry in a civil ceremony the registration officer will keep the signed marriage schedule and add the details onto the electronic register at the register office.

If you marry in a religious ceremony, the relevant person from the religious building will return the completed, signed marriage schedule to the register office in the area where your marriage took place within 21 days of your marriage. Once the completed, signed marriage schedule is received at the register office the details will be entered onto the electronic marriage register within the following 7 days; only then will a marriage certificate be available.

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Why you can't sign a marriage register

From 4 May 2021 paper marriage registers will no longer be used; instead a central electronic registration system will become the legal register. The change in the law means that the details of your marriage will be recorded on a marriage schedule. It is from this document that your marriage registration will be created.

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When you'll be able to obtain a marriage certificate

A marriage certificate will only be issued after the details have been entered on to the electronic marriage register. This means that you will not be able to obtain a marriage certificate on the day of your marriage.  This applies whether you marry in a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony.

Your marriage details will be entered onto the electronic registration register within 7 days of your signed marriage schedule being received at the register office, in the area where you got married. 

After your ceremony has taken place you can obtain a marriage certificate by visiting City of York Registration Service.

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What to do if you lose your marriage schedule.

If you lose your marriage schedule before your ceremony, you should contact the Superintendent Registrar at the register office where the marriage schedule was issued.

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