The first same sex weddings in England and Wales will be able to take place from Saturday 29 March 2014, Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller announced today (10 December).
Following the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 successfully completing its journey through Parliament in July 2013, the government has been working to ensure that all the arrangements are in place to enable same sex couples to marry as soon as possible.
As a result of this work, the first weddings in England and Wales will now be able to happen several months earlier than the government anticipated.
Miller said: ‘Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.
‘This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married.’
Those couples wishing to be among the first to marry will need formally to give notice of their intention to marry on 13 March 2014.
Scotland is currently considering its own same-sex marriage legislation which is expected to pass soon.
The UK government has also announced: