The Bailiwick’s new Marriage Law is due to come into effect from 1 March and will allow couples freedom to marry at any venue.
In Alderney this will now include the island’s beaches – once the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
‘Couples don’t need to be resident in Alderney before the wedding, so couples from Guernsey, Jersey, France, the UK and beyond can visit Alderney with their guests for their beautiful island wedding,’ said the greffier, David Knight.
‘This is an exciting opportunity for people to come forward as wedding celebrants to provide bespoke Alderney weddings.’
It follows last year’s royal sanction to the projet de loi of the States of Guernsey, entitled the Marriage (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2020, which was then registered in the Royal Court of Guernsey. The new law, which replaces the current marriage law that was considered outdated and did not meet the requirements of modern society, has simplified the administrative procedure required before a couple are married, while ensuring that the necessary safeguards are in place to prevent illegal marriages.
It also allows couples to marry as before or have the option to choose a number of different venues around the island, including hotels, as well as being permitted to be married outside, be that in the garden of a house or hotel, on the cliffs or on the beach.
In addition, a new category of civil celebrant licensed to solemnise marriages has been introduced.
These will undergo training arranged by the registrar general of marriages so that they can help arrange the marriage and conduct a legal, recognised marriage ceremony.
They will operate in a private capacity, either self-employed or through one of the island’s businesses that provide wedding services.
Anyone in Alderney who is interested in applying to become a civil celebrant should contact the Alderney court office on 820050 to discuss the opportunity before registering with the Guernsey registrar-general.