In England and Wales, marriage certificates will now contain the names of the mothers.
For the first time, mothers of brides and grooms will be listed on marriage certificates in England and Wales.
Previously, marriage certificates only included the names of the couple’s husbands, but thanks to a reform in the Marriage Act, both parents’ names will now be included.
The step, according to the Home Office, would “correct a historic anomaly.”
As one of the most significant improvements to the system since 1837, marriages will now be registered electronically rather than in a registry book.
The government claims that the introduction of a single electronic registry, which will go live on May 4, will speed up the process and eliminate the need to retrieve information from hard copies.
The Church of England was consulted before the amendments to the Marriage Act were made.
The Reverend Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church of England’s director of mission and public relations, believes the new rules will become second nature quite quickly.
“Changing long-standing traditions is never easy,” he continued, “but we believe the new method alters the couple’s experience of their church wedding as little as possible.”
According to the BBC, MPs from both parties have been working for many years to amend the legislation to enable both parents’ names and occupations to be registered.
The step aligns England and Wales with the rest of the United Kingdom. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, couples are already required to list both parents’ names on marriage certificates. The same is true for those who are getting married in a civil union.