THE ending of a marriage ban means you can now say “I do” at the same time as “I don’t” on the Channel island of Guernsey.
That’s “I do” take this man or woman in the marriage vows – and “I don’t” live on Guernsey.
A change in marriage law now allows non-residents to exchange vows on the island and its near neighbours – and in a wider range of locations too.
It means that the small archipelago, which also includes Herm, Sark and Alderney, can now pick up wedding bookings from outsiders, adding to the choice for couples.
You have to give notice of intention to marry at least 21 days in advance of the ceremony, either electronically or in person at the Greffe registrar’s office.
And before the wedding takes place, both partners must attend the Greffe in-person, for identity checks and a review of freedom to marry documentation.
Creux Harbour, Sark
Then the islands are your oyster, as it were.
With miles of picturesque cliff paths, golden sandy beaches and venues with panoramic sea views, they offer a spectacular backdrop without having to travel too far.
From castles, forts and historic sites, to remote island beaches, brightly coloured gardens and clifftop retreats, more and more locations are opening up for weddings.
Among them is Castle Cornet, an 800-year-old castle overlooking St Peter Port harbour, with views of the historic town and surrounding seascapes.
Fort Grey, meanwhile, is situated along the west coast of Guernsey and is affectionately known as the ‘Cup and Saucer’, due to its distinctive shape, providing a unique backdrop for photographs.
Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey’s only stately home and once occupied by the family from which it takes its name, boasts original architecture, artefacts and art acquired from adventurers, artists and soldiers over the centuries.
Les Caches Farm
Couples looking for a more low-key wedding can tie the knot at Les Caches Farm. The main farmhouse lends itself well to weddings with a simple layout and beautiful natural lighting.
Further afield, the tiny island of Herm is known for its white sandy beaches and clear waters – making it a destination for a British beach wedding with a Caribbean-like backdrop.
St Peter’s Church, Sark
And with no cars on the island of Sark, brides can have the fairytale wedding of dreams and arrive to St Peter’s Church by horse and carriage.
Last, but by no means least, Alderney is known as one of the wildest places in the British Isles and is the ideal destination for a laidback wedding on the beach, in one of the island’s coastal forts, or even at sea on a boat.
Beach wedding: nickdespres.com