Will civil marriages be able to take place anywhere?
No. Civil marriages will only be able to take place in an easily identifiable building that has been approved by the Connétable of the parish as a suitable venue for civil marriages. It will not be possible to marry in the open air (i.e. on beaches, cliff tops, parks or gardens), on moving vehicles or other forms of transport and in temporary structures apart from marquees erected adjacent to the approved premises.
What sort of premises have been approved?
Premises such as leading hotels, heritage sites, manor houses, parish halls and other such similar premises providing that the nature of the premises is secular and does not detract from the solemnity or dignity of the ceremony or compromise the fundamental principles of the marriage law.
It will be possible for a private home to apply for approval for a one off marriage for a family member.
What are the criteria for approving premises?
The Marriage and Civil Status (Approved Premises)(Jersey) Order contains the criteria and procedures to be followed for applying and granting of approval. Approved Premises must have permanent and immoveable structures that will be seemly and dignified venues for civil marriages. Apart from a private home an approved premises must be regularly available to the public for that use and must have no recent or continuing connection with religious practice.
What are the procedures for approving premises?
The owners or trustees of a premises may apply to the Connétable of the parish in which their building is located for approval. An application form can be obtained from any parish hall or from the Register Office. The application must be accompanied by a plan of the premises showing which room or rooms will be used for marriages. To support the application any literature showing the facilities provided on the premises should also be included.
The Connétable or his representative will visit the premises to ensure that the room or rooms are of a suitable standard in terms of décor, lighting, heating, ventilation and meet basic fire and health and safety standards. Other facilities such as toilets, disabled access, parking and changing rooms for the bride and groom and for the celebrant will also be taken into account. Consideration may be given to possible annoyances such as noise and the clearance of confetti.
Once satisfied that the premises is suitable for civil marriages the Connétable with notify the applicant and send a certificate of approval. In the case where an application is refused the applicant will be notified in writing giving the reasons for refusal. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal to the Minister for a review of the application.
When will marriages be able to take place in approved premises?
Marriages may not take place in approved premises until they have been granted approval by the Connétable.
How do I go about arranging a marriage in approved premises?
Couples wishing to marry in approved premises will need to make their own arrangements with the management of the premises concerned. Having agreed on the date and time of the marriage with the management of the approved premises the couple must call on the Superintendent Registrar at the Register Office in the Royal Square, St Helier to arrange for their marriage license. Couples will have to produce their full birth certificates and if previously married their divorce decree absolute or if widowed the death certificate of their late spouse. Couples will be expected to give formal notice of their intention to marry approximately one month before the date of their marriage. They will be required to collect their marriage licence three working days before their marriage.
Can an approval once granted be revoked?
Yes. If the terms and conditions of the approval are not complied with or if the format of the marriage ceremony breaches the requirements of Article 20 of the law or if changes are made to the premises so as to make it unsuitable as a venue for marriages, the Connétable of the parish may revoke the approval.
How do couples wishing to marry know which premises are approved?
The Superintendent Registrar keeps a register of approved premises at the Register Office in the Royal Square, St Helier, which is available to members of the public. Her leaflet Getting Married in Jersey also lists them. Copies are available in the Register Office or by post. Please phone +44 (0)1534 441335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for a copy (please include your full postal address).
Who performs marriage ceremonies in approved premises?
Marriages in approved premises will be celebrated either by the Superintendent Registrar, her deputies or her delegates. It will be the responsibility of the management of the approved premises to ensure that there is a delegate available to celebrate the marriage. Couples may request a particular delegate to celebrate their marriage with the agreement of the Superintendent Registrar but they need to do this at least a couple of months before their wedding.
Can couples have a marriage ceremony of their choice?
Yes. Provided that at some stage of the ceremony they make the declarations stipulated in Article 20 of the law and that no religious service is being used during the civil marriage. Couples may have music of their choice and any non-religious readings such as love poems. Couples should consult the Superintendent Registrar on the desired format of their marriage and on the music and readings that would be available.
I am not a United Kingdom citizen. Can I get married in Jersey?
If you, or the other party to the marriage are not United Kingdom citizens, you need to make sure that the laws in your own country are observed, to ensure that any marriage contracted in Jersey is recognised. You should seek the advice of the consul for your own country.
If you are a citizen from outside the European Economic Area, and you wish to marry a British Citizen you should ensure that your immigration status permits you to marry. You must also check that you have the necessary immigration clearance before coming to Jersey.
Further information can be obtained from the Customs and Immigration Department at Maritime House, La Route du Port Elizabeth, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1JD.
I am under eighteen. Can I get married?
Only if you are over the age of 16, and have the written consent of both parents or guardians. People under the age of 16 are not allowed to marry.
The Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 came into force on 2 April 2012. For further details about arranging your civil partnership in Jersey please visit www.gov.je/LifeEvents/GettingMarried.