Getting married in a Church of England or Church of Wales church from 4 May 2021

New marriage legislation means that the way a marriage is registered in England and Wales will change from the 4 May 2021.

Each person will still be required to complete legal preliminaries ie the Calling of Banns through the church, and the marriage ceremony is remaining the same. However, the manner of registration is changing.

You will no longer sign a marriage register, nor receive a Marriage Certificate during the ceremony. Instead you will sign a Marriage Document, details of your marriage will be recorded on this Marriage Document.

The Marriage Document will be issued by the clergy at the church where your marriage is taking place.

In addition to the father’s details, other parents will be able to be recorded ie mother or step-parent.

Signing the Marriage Document

The Marriage Document will be signed after your marriage ceremony. You will be asked to check the details entered on the Marriage Document to confirm they are accurate and spelt correctly. Once checked and signed, your witnesses and the officiating clergy will sign the Marriage Document. If after registration, an error is noticed on the entry, correction will be subject to a £90 fee.

Registering the marriage

The officiating clergy will forward the completed signed Marriage Document to the Register Office in which the church is located. This should be done as soon as possible, but within 21 days of your ceremony.

The details will be entered into the electronic marriage register within seven days of the Marriage Document being received and only then, will a marriage certificate be available. With the consent of all the parties, a family member or friend can be nominated to return the Marriage Document to the Register Office.

Obtaining a Marriage Certificate

As soon as you have arranged your marriage with the Church of England you can apply in advance for a copy of your marriage certificate. This will mean the certificate can be issued as soon as the marriage is registered. Alternatively, you can apply after you have been married if you prefer. There will be a fee payable for the certificate.

To pre-order your marriage certificate please email A registrar will then contact you to take full details and arrange payment.

Further questions

If you have any questions that have not been answered in this leaflet, you should check the details on GOV.UK website. If you still require further assistance, contact the clergy at the church where your marriage is taking place or the register office in the area of your marriage.

To contact the Salford Register Office email

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