1837 Marriage Act

The biggest change as a result of the Marriage Act was that, from 1837, marriages didn’t have to take place in a church and now had the alternative of having the marriage ceremony take place in a local register office.  Anglicans, Jews and Quakers continued to conduct and register their own marriage ceremonies. For religious ceremonies, there were two new registers, one of which stayed with the church, synagogue or meeting house and the other was sent to the registrar. Other denominations had to apply for their places of worship to be licensed to conduct marriages and could only conduct a ceremony there if, as well as the minister, a registrar was also present to record the events in a Register Office marriage register.   Similar civil registration systems were introduced in other parts of the British Isles