Same sex couples can register for marriage from today, ahead of the first ceremonies on March 29.
Couples intending to marry must give their local registrar a minimum of 16 days’ notice, so anyone doing so today will be able to tie the knot on the first possible day, the government has announced. Giving notice requires contacting the registrar and making an appointment.
However, same sex couples who have already entered a civil partnership will not be able to convert these to full marriage until later this year.
People have already married overseas will also have their unions legally recognised from today, the BBC reports. Previously overseas same sex marriages were treated in English law as civil partnerships, but now they will be “ recognised as being married in England and Wales”.
Meanwhile, the Queen has now signed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill into law. Same sex couples from north of the border will be able to marry from the end of this year.