Marriage certificates are government-issued documents which declare two people are married.
These documents are legal proof that the marriage officially took place. It is important to keep them safe for future reference.
In the eighteenth century, marriage certificates were first introduced in England and Wales. This is when the country was separated into registration districts, which are still to this day controlled by a superintendent registrar in local districts.
A marriage certificate records and confirms the marriage in a central database.
In the UK, officially issued marriage certificates are protected by Crown copyright. This means that they cannot be photocopied. If you require a copy, you must request a certified copy from the General Register Office.