UK Marriage Certificate Information

Marriage Certificates (otherwise known as Wedding Certificates) supplied by Vital Certificates are an official replacement of the original document. We can supply any replacement marriage certificate issued within the UK over more than the past 150 years.

We can additionally supply any certificates for UK marriages registered overseas at an Embassy, Consulate, High Commission, or with the Armed Forces (British Army Overseas Records - BAOR).

Of real interest to our overseas clients, our 'Scan & Send' service provides an advanced copy of the marriage certificate by email - sent as the document is dispatched. This can be very helpful for family history research, or preparing legal paperwork.

For overseas clients needing to prove the wedding certificate has been produced in the UK, we also offer a legalisation service where the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office will attach a dated Apostille to the reverse of the certificate. You should check with whomever you are presenting the certificate to as to whether this is necessary in your situation. As a rule of thumb, if the document is to be given to an overseas authority (such as when filing a residency application or visa), or is to be used in an overseas court of law, you are likely to need the marriage certificate to be legalised through the addition of an Apostille.

For the purpose of clarity, the UK (or United Kingdom) includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The term 'UK' is sometimes confused with Great Britain which refers to the mainland only and excludes Northern Ireland.  

Which Marriage Certificates can I request?

We supply replacement marriage certificates, taken for the archived version stored at the time of registration.  Any marriage certificate within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be re-issued, as well as marriages that took place overseas but were registered with the appropriate UK authority within the country of marriage. These would include Armed Forces, Consular, High Commission or Embassy registrations.

Please bear in mind that marriage registration with the British authorities is not compulsory when overseas, and a duplicate certificate can only be issued if the marriage certificate has been deposited with either the Embassy or Consulate within the country of marriage, or at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London upon return to the UK.

Our marriage records are limited to the beginning of civil registration within each country. For England and Wales this dates back to July 1st 1837, for Scotland it is January 1st 1855 and for Northern Ireland it is July 1st 1864. We are also unable to supply marriage certificates from England or Wales after 2006 unless the marriage took place at a Register Office. If you need a duplicate certificate after 2006 then you should contact the church directly.

Can I request someone else's Marriage Certificate?

Under UK law, marriage certificates are known as Public Records which means that any person can apply for a copy of any certificate, providing that they know the details of the marriage that is required. Marriage certificates issued by Vital Certificates are frequently used as evidence for divorce proceedings, applications for passports and visas, or simply to locate new ancestors for family history or genealogy research.

Please note that where we believe an application to be connected with an attempt to obtain information for the purposes of identity fraud, the application may be rejected and details passed to the relevant police authority.