On the 14th October 2020, Her Majesty in Council gave Royal Sanction to the Projet de Loi of the States of Guernsey, entitled the Marriage (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020, which was registered in the Royal Court today.
The Law is due to come into effect on Monday 1st March 2021.
The new Law replaces the Marriage Law of 1919 which was considered outdated and did not meet the requirements of modern society. The new Law has simplified the administrative procedure required before a couple are married, whilst ensuring that the necessary safeguards are in place to prevent illegal marriages.
Under the new Law couples can choose to be married in the same way that is available today, or choose a number of different venues around the island, including hotels. It will also be permitted to be married outside, be that in the garden of a house or hotel, on the cliffs or on the beach.
There will also be a new category of celebrant licenced to solemnise marriages called a Civil Celebrant.
Civil Celebrants 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. These Civil Celebrants will not be employed by the Registrar General, they will operate in a private capacity, either self-employed or through one of the Islands businesses that provide wedding services.