The names of both parents, and not just the father, will now be included on marriage certificates in England and Wales, following new changes to the registration system by the Home Office.
A new electronic system – which goes live on May 4 – will be introduced to modernise and speed up the process, helping to support the backlog of marriages.
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.
The Home Office said the creation of a single electronic marriage register would save time and money and be more secure, as the new system eliminates the need for data to be extracted from hard copies.
The department said that as well as simplifying the registration system, the changes would “correct a historic anomaly” by allowing for the names of both parents to appear on the marriage entry.
“These regulations to amend the Marriage Act mark the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837,” a spokesperson said.
The changes have been made in consultation with stakeholders, such as the Church of England.
The Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, director of mission and public affairs for the Church of England, said:
“We are very pleased that the marriage registration system can now include the names of mothers as well as fathers on registers.
“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.”
Weddings can currently take place with up to 15 attendees in premises that are permitted to open, in line with Government guidance.