UK Marriage Certificates

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Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in England and Wales in 1837. Registration at the local Registrars office was required for births and deaths. However, the local church was able to register marriages in addition to the registers office. This means that there are three potential sources for a UK marriage certificate.

The information required to be supplied on applying for a UK marriage certificate is:

Date of Marriage
Place of Marriage
Name of bride
Name of groom

The actual age of the bride and groom may not be listed on a marriage certificate; instead, it may list age as either 'over 21' or 'of full age'. If either male or female was under 21, the age may be recorded as 'minor'.

The certificate should also inform whether the marriage was by banns, licence or certificate.

For Scottish marriage certificates have in addition to listing the name of the father of both parties, also lists the name of the mother.

In England and Wales in 2000, there was two hundred and sixty seven thousand, nine hundred and sixty ones marriages. This compares with 1999, when there was two hundred and sixty three thousand, five hundred and fifteen marriages.

For current marriages, The Marriage Act 1949 which on January 1st, 2001 was amended, informs the current procedure require for marriages to be completed.

The Superintendent Registrar of the district in which the couple reside (or both districts if the couple live in different register districts) must be given notice separately. The person giving notice should have a usual residence in England and Wales, and must have lived for at least 7 days at the address in that district.

Once the Superintendent Registrar has issued the Authority to marry, this Authority is valid for a year from the date of issue.

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