Major changes to the way marriages in England and Wales are registered are being introduced to help modernise the system.
From today a single electronic marriage register will be created to make the system simpler and more efficient.
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.
These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837.
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.
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.
The changes have been made in consultation with stakeholders, such as the Church of England.
"We are very pleased that the marriage registration system can now include the names of mothers as well as fathers on registers," said Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs for the Church of England. "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 and that the clergy will find the new regulations become second nature very quickly."
James is the Editor of GovX Digital, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.