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Photo of gold wedding ring placed on open bookPhoto of gold wedding ring placed on open book

These public health measures are in place to keep you, your guests and celebrants safe during the period of COVID-19.

Who the guidance is for

This guidance applies to:

  • any marriage taking place on or after 12 April 2021
  • all couples who are still planning to marry or hold a civil partnership in Jersey during the period of COVID-19. It is not currently possible to state how long the period of COVID-19 will last
  • legal marriage ceremonies (whether they are in a church or a civil venue) and to all civil partnership ceremonies
  • both indoor and outdoor venues
  • private homes and gardens
  • hospitality venues such as hotels, heritage sites and other commercial venues
  • any person present at a marriage or civil partnership ceremony

This guidance does not apply to wedding receptions and parties. There are separate public health measures in place for these events. 

Public health guidance on gatherings and events

Ceremony venues

All wedding ceremony venues need to comply with public health guidance. This includes

  • hotels
  • places of worship
  • heritage sites
  • other hospitality venues
  • a private home

It will be their responsibility to ensure that each room or area being used for a ceremony complies with public health guidance.

If your ceremony is taking place at a private venue such as someone’s home, garden or field, it will be the owner and responsible person’s role to ensure that they comply with public health guidance.

Marriage celebrants - religious officials and authorised civil celebrants responsibilities

The person responsible for conducting your ceremony has a legal duty to make sure that the ceremony complies with public health guidance.

If your ceremony does not comply with public health guidance, they can halt or delay the ceremony to take the steps to make sure it is compliant.

If physical distancing requirements are not adhered to or the attendance number exceeds 46 persons without public health measures being enforced, the celebrant must refuse to conduct the ceremony until these measures are complied with.

Temporary Register Office

As the Office of the Superintendent Registrar is currently closed to the public, a temporary Register Office has been created at the Old Magistrate’s Court, Seale Street, St. Helier where small ceremonies can take place. Email weddings@gov.je for more information.

If you wish to marry at the temporary Register Office you will need to arrange for an Authorised Civil Celebrant (ACC) to conduct your ceremony.

The maximum attendees at this location remains 5 persons. This includes the couple getting married, the two witnesses and the celebrant.

Number of attendees at a ceremony

There is no limit on the number of people who may attend the solemnisation of a marriage or civil partnership if it is held in an indoor or outdoor venue.

However, if more than 50 people are present and the event is indoors all attendees aged 12 or over must wear a mask and provide contact details.

The exception is for those who are practicing or performing brass or wind instruments, or singing. Those who are singing are still strongly encouraged to wear masks while singing, even if not required to do so by law.

The exception for the solemnization of marriage and civil partnership is:

  • outdoors in private garden the maximum number of people is 50 excluding anyone who lives in the home and any one aged 4 or under but including the celebrant and any event organiser or service provider ( this does not include marquees which are classed as ‘indoors’)
  • indoors in a private home the maximum number of people is 20 excluding anyone who lives in the home and any one aged 4 or under but including the celebrant and any event organiser or service provider

Even where there are less than 50 people, it is recommended that 2 metre physical distancing, and always a minimum of 1 metre, is adhered to wherever practicable and that masks are worn, even though this is not a requirement in law.

2 metres (with a minimum of 1 metre) is recommended because it helps to keep people safe and helps ensure that, in the event that one person has COVID, a significant number of other people are not required to self-isolate as a result of being identified as a close contact. Bear this recommendation in mind when reading the guidance below.

There must be a designated lead organiser with responsibility for the event, who is accountable under health and safety legislation for each wedding ceremony. The organiser's  risk assessment must fully address and take steps to mitigate all COVID-19 risks associated with the event in accordance with the public health guidance.

The solemnisation of a marriage or a civil partnership is the formal ceremony at which a person gets married or enters a civil partnership. This is different from the reception, breakfast or celebration that is usually associated with a solemnisation ceremony (see separate guidance)

Public health requirements at the ceremony

All aspects of the ceremony must comply with public health requirements.

Arrival and departure of guests

In line with public venues, ceremonies taking place in private venues must coordinate guests to enter and exit the location in a controlled way and not to congregate in any one area or areas.

Orders of service

Handing out of orders of service is not in line with public health guidance and therefore should not take place.

Orders of service should be made available to your guests in digital format. If this is not possible, paper copies should be available on chairs or in a pile at the entrance and safely disposed of after the ceremony.

Singing, brass and woodwind instructions during a marriage ceremony

Those attending the ceremony should have physical distancing of 2 metres where possible and always a minimum of 1 metre, particularly if there will be singing by those attending.

Those attending the ceremony are strongly encouraged to wear masks when singing even if not required to in law.

If the service / event includes a group of performers who are singing or playing brass and woodwind (for example, a choir) it is accepted that they are unlikely to be able to perform while wearing a mask. It therefore becomes more important to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres wherever possible, rather than 1 between performers. This may limit the number of performers able to safely participate. 

Any performers should be positioned side by side, and should keep at least 3-5 metres wherever possible from anyone they are facing (for example, if they are standing on stage, or at the front of the venue, facing other people)

The above applies to marriages or civil partnership ceremonies but does not apply to wedding receptions or funeral wakes. Music in these settings should adhere to the general music guidance. Wedding receptions should also adhere to the guidance on weddings.

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