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Registering your marriage

Since 4 May 2021, couples have been asked to sign a marriage schedule/document at the ceremony, rather than a marriage register.

We will use this document to enter your marriage in an electronic marriage register.

Paper marriage registers will no longer be used by registrars attending civil ceremonies or ceremonies taking place at churches and places of worship.

How you will receive your marriage certificate

If you are having a civil ceremony, you will have purchased your certificates when you booked the registrars to attend your ceremony. If your ceremony is taking place in a Norfolk church or place of worship you can order your certificates from us before the day of your ceremony. The authorised person at the church or place of worship can't produce your certificates for you. To purchase certificates for your religious ceremony, visit our copy certificates page

Once we have entered your marriage into the electronic register, we will produce and post your certificate to you within seven days of the schedule/document being returned to our office. You will no longer receive a marriage certificate at the ceremony. All certificates will be produced electronically and are no longer handwritten.

If your ceremony is taking place with registrars in attendance, then they will return the marriage schedule to the office.

Where we are not in attendance at the ceremony, for example at most church ceremonies, the authorised person at the church or place of worship is responsible for ensuring the signed marriage schedule or document is returned to our registration office. The authorised person may ask the couple or a nominated guest to return this on their behalf. Signed marriage schedules or documents can be returned to these locations only - County Hall in Norwich, Great Yarmouth Library or King's Lynn Town Hall. The authorised person conducting your ceremony has the full details on how to return your signed marriage schedule or document. 

The signed schedule or document can be returned via post to Norwich Registration Office, Archive Centre, County Hall, Norwich, NR1 2DQ. Due to the importance of the schedule or document if you are going to return your schedule to us via post, we would advise you to consider using signed for 1st class delivery.

Why the process changed

The introduction of the electronic register on 4 May 2021 gives the couple the opportunity to add parents (mother/father/parent) to their marriage certificate, instead of only their fathers' names, which used to be the case.

The Marriages, Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019 modernises how marriages are registered for the first time since 1837, through issue of a marriage schedule system and registration in an electronic register.

Please note that there is no requirement for the couple to register a legal marriage or civil partnership ceremony that took place abroad with the registration service upon their return to Norfolk.

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