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Getting married in Jersey

Anyone can get married in Jersey. There are three different types of marriages in Jersey:

  • civil marriage
  • religious marriage
  • Anglican marriage

Civil and religious marriage

If you want a civil or religious marriage, the marriage process  is the same for residents and non-residents, except that non-residents: 

  • must provide a Certificate of Freedom to Marry
  • may need a visa

This includes non-residents who are marrying Jersey residents.

Anglican or parish church marriage

Anglican marriage has very different procedures to a civil or religious marriage. If you want an Anglican marriage, you will need to contact the church of your choice.

Marriage process in Jersey

These steps apply if you are having a civil or religious marriage:

  1. applying for Notice of Intended Marriage     
  2. giving notice
  3. publication of notice
  4. requesting a Marriage Schedule
  5. your wedding day

Applying for Notice of Intended Marriage

You need to apply to the Superintendent Registrar to give notice to get married in Jersey.

Your application should:

  • be completed by yourself, your partner or a third party if you’re using a wedding planner 
  • be accompanied by copies of all required supporting evidence
  • be submitted a maximum of 12 months before your wedding day

Your application must include:

  • the date and time of your wedding
  • the approved location of your wedding
  • the name of your marriage celebrant
  • details of whether you want the Superintendent Registrar to solemnize your marriage

If you don’t live in Jersey, you’ll need to state on your application from whether you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss national. If you are not from an EU, EEA or Swiss National, the Superintendent Registrar will contact you. They’ll give you a letter confirming a provisional booking for marriage. This means that you can then apply to the Home Office to obtain a Marriage Visa.

Application for marriage or civil partnership

Application fee

It costs £200 which needs to be enclosed when returning your form. You’ll also need to pay a further fee when you request your marriage schedule.

The Superintendent Registrar will consider your application to give Notice to Marry. They may request additional information from you.

Giving notice

The Superintendent Registrar will tell you once your application for Notice of Intended Marriage has been approved. At this point you can give Notice to Marry.

To give notice, you and your partner must:

  • have lived at your current address for at least seven days before you give Notice
  • have given original or certified copies of the required supporting evidence to the Superintendent Registrar
  • signed a Freedom to Marry Declaration

You can give notice in person. You and your partner need to book an appointment at the Office of the Superintendent Registrar to go to the Office to sign:

  • a Freedom to Marry Declaration
  • the Notice to Marry book

You should do so at least six weeks before your wedding day, otherwise there is a risk your wedding may not be able to do ahead on your chosen day.

If you don’t want to go to the Office of the Superintendent Register, you’ll be sent:

  • the Freedom to Marry Declaration
  • a Notice of Intended Marriage Form

Both you and your partner must sign and return these forms. Once received, the Superintendent Registrar will enter the details of your marriage into the Notice to Marry book.

You should do so at least eight week before you wedding day, otherwise there is a risk your wedding may not be able to do ahead on your chosen day.

Publication of Notice

The Superintendent Registrar will publish your Notice to Marry at their Office, on their website and anywhere they think appropriate.

There must be 25 clear days between the date of notice and your wedding. The date of notice is either the day you signed the notice of marriage book, or the date that the Superintendent Registrar entered detail of your notice into the book.

Requesting a marriage schedule

Once your notice has been published, contact the Superintendent Registrar to ask them to issue a Marriage Schedule. This is the legal document that permits you to marry.

Before your Marriage Schedule is issued, you and your partner must visit the Office of the Superintendent Registrar no less than three days and no more than 10 days before your wedding day to:

  • sign a Signature Verifier Form
  • give the Superintendent Registrar an original copy of the Freedom to Marry Declaration you signed
  • pay the Marriage Schedule fee (£300)
  • provide your Certificate of Freedom to Marry, if required
  • confirm the name of your marriage celebrant, if you have not already done so.

If you’re travelling from outside Jersey make sure you leave enough time. If you and your partner don’t both attend your appointment you may not be able to marry.

The Superintendent Registrar will issue the Marriage Schedule and three copies of your marriage certificate to your marriage celebrant.

Wedding day

If you’re having a civil marriage ceremony you’ll have agreed the format and content of your ceremony with your marriage celebrant. You must do this in advance as your celebrant may need to consult with the Superintendent Registrar

At any ceremony (civil or religious), you and your partner will need to make your marriage vows to each other in the presence of the marriage celebrant and two witnesses.

You, your partner, your witnesses and the marriage celebrant will need to sign the marriage schedule and the marriage certificates. You’ll be married on the signing of the Marriage Schedule.

After your marriage ceremony, the celebrant will give you two copies of the marriage certificate and will return one certificate and the Marriage Schedule to the Superintendent Registrar.

The Marriage Schedule will be placed in the Marriage Register in the Parish in which you got married.

Freedom to Marry declaration

If you want to get married in Jersey, you need to sign a Freedom to Marry Declaration form. You’ll need to sign this after the Superintendent Registrar has approved your application for Notice of Intended Marriage but before your Notice is given.

The declaration asks you to confirm that you are not related to your partner, you are free to marry and that you are not already married to another person 

Certificate of Freedom to Marry

A Certificate of Freedom to Marry is a document that provides official confirmation of any marriage or civil partnership that you’ve entered into in that country. It’s issued by the marriage authority in the country where you’ve lived no more than three months before the date of marriage.

Different countries call it different things, for example, a no trace letter, or statement of civil status.

If the certificate includes an expiry date, it must expire after the date of your marriage.

The certificate should contain you and your partner’s:

  • full name
  • civil status
  • address
  • occupation
  • period of your residence at your home address

It should also contain:

  • the date and full address of your wedding
  • sworn declaration by a marriage authority stating that you’re free to marry in that country

If you don’t live in Jersey

You need a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, regardless of whether you:

  • need a visa
  • live in the UK
  • have previously lived in Jersey but no longer live here

Contact the marriage authority in country where you live. If you live in the UK, that will be your local marriage registrar. If you live in a country that doesn’t provide certificates of freedom to marry contact the Superintendent Registrar for advice.

Some marriage authorities require you to give notice to get married in that country before they issue a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, so make sure you leave enough time and plan ahead.

If you live in Jersey

You don’t usually require a Certificate of Freedom to Marry if you live in Jersey. However, the Superintendent Registrar may ask you to provide one if:

  • you’ve lived in Jersey for less than two years
  • the Superintendent Registrar thinks it’s necessary to do further checks

When to give your certificate to the Superintendent Registrar

You should give your certificate to the Superintendent Registrar when you attend your appointment to obtain a Marriage Schedule. This appointment is usually three to ten days before your marriage date.

Changing your notice to marry

You can make changes to the date, time or location set out in your notice to marriage if:

  • it is more than 30 days before your wedding date
  • you pay a fee of £50

Apply to change your notice to marry

If you want to make changes less than 30 days before your wedding, you need to contact the Superintendent Registrar for more information. Late changes can only be made in exceptional circumstances.

Your marriage ceremony

When planning your marriage ceremony, you will need to consider:

  • the content of your ceremony
  • what time you want to get married
  • your vows
  • your witnesses

Content of marriage ceremonies

The content of a marriage ceremony will depend on what type of marriage you are having.

Civil marriage 

A civil marriage is solemnized by a civil marriage celebrant. It must include the marriage vows which are defined in law.

A civil marriage can’t include any religious ritual or religious service, such as prayers religious worship and religious symbols. However, you can have:

  • hymns and songs (including those that include religious references)
  • readings from bibles or other holy books
  • vows or statements of commitment that include religious references (providing they don’t replicate a religious marriage ceremony)

The civil marriage celebrant:

  • is responsible for making sure that a civil wedding doesn’t include religious ritual or service
  • may refuse a couple’s request to include certain things if the marriage celebrant believes they are acts of religious ritual or service
  • must agree (with the couple) to the content and format of the ceremony in writing
  • may share the content or format with the Superintendent Registrar if they have any concerns 

Religious marriage (not including Anglican marriage)

A religious marriage, which is solemnized by an authorised religious official must:

  • include the marriage vows which are defined in law
  • include the ritual or religious service of the religious organisation

You will need to discuss this with your chosen authorised religious official.

Anglican marriage

An Anglican marriage ceremony will be in accordance with Anglican religious rites. 

Anglican marriages have different legal requirements to other religious marriages and civil marriages. If you wish to marry in a Church of England church in Jersey, you should contact the church directly as they will administer your marriage.

Time of your marriage ceremony

You can get married, or convert your civil partnership to marriage, Monday to Sunday, at any time between 8am and 7pm.

Vows (civil and religious marriage ceremonies)

When you marry, or covert your marriage to a civil partnership, you and your partner will need to make vows to each other. 

These vows are set out in law and cannot be altered, except that you may choose whether you refer to your partner as your husband, wife or spouse.

Whilst you must say the vows, you are not legally married until you, your partner, your witnesses (if required) and marriage celebrant have all signed your marriage schedule or your conversion declaration form.

There are different vows for a marriage ceremony and for a conversion of a civil partnership to a marriage.

Witnesses

You must have two witnesses to your marriage. You can choose who the witnesses are. They will need to sign the marriage schedule and the certificates to marriage during the wedding ceremony.

If you are converting a civil partnership to a marriage, you do not need witnesses.

Restrictions on marriage

You can't get married in Jersey if you are

  • under 16 years old
  • under 18 without parental or a legal guardian consent
  • already married or in a civil partnership (unless you are converting your civil partnership to a marriage
  • marrying someone in your immediate family or adoptive family or former adoptive family

If you are related in anyway to your intended spouse, check with the Superintendent Registrar surrounding the laws.

Visa requirements for non-residents getting married in Jersey

You don’t need a visa to come to Jersey or to get married in Jersey if you’re a:

  • British national
  • European Economic Area (EEA) national
  • Swiss national

If you’re a visa national

You can get married in Jersey if the visa:

  • grants permission to enter Jersey
  • is endorsed with permission to marry

Visa Nationals counties include Thailand and South Africa.

If you’re a non-visa national

You need a visa to get married in Jersey but don’t need a visa to visit Jersey.

Non-visa national countries include the United States of America.

For information about applying for visas for marriage, contact the Jersey Immigration Office.

Supporting evidence

Marriage

Your application to give notice to marriage will need to be accompanied by:

  • Your birth certificate or adoption certificate (your full full standard version is required, not Short Form)
  • Your passport or national identity. This will need to be endorsed with your Visa if you a require a visa
  • Deed poll certificate if you have one
  • A utility bill or bank statement showing your name and home address (this must be less than three
  • months old)
  • If previously married, your decree absolute/s
  • If previously in a civil partnership, your dissolution certificate
  • If your previous spouse or civil partnership has died, their death certificate

All documents must:

  • Provided in relation to you and your partner
  • be valid (i.e., have not expired)
  • be in English or French. If not they must be accompanied by a certified translation

You can provide copies of this evidence alongside your application but, before the Superintendent Registrar can issue the marriage schedule you and your partner must both go in person to the office of the Superintendent Registrar and provide either original copies or certified copies.

You and your partner can go to the office separately or together.

Conversion of civil partnership to marriage

Your application to covert a civil partnership to a marriage will need to be accompanied by:

  • all the documents detailed above
  • your civil partnership certificate

Witnesses

You must have two witnesses to your marriage. You can choose who the witnesses are but they must be over the age of 18 years and able to understand the ceremony.

They will need to sign the marriage schedule and the certificates to marriage during the wedding ceremony.

If you are converting a civil partnership to a marriage, you do not need witnesses.

Getting married in special circumstances

If you need to get married in special circumstances, contact the Office of the Superintendent Registrar.

This includes if either you or your partner:

  • dying
  • housebound
  • detained in prison / in hospital / in other secure facility

You can make changes to your notice to marry date / time / location set out in your notice to marriage

Apply to change your notice to marry

If you need to change your marriage schedule you must contact the Office of the Superintendent Registrar.

Signature Verification Form

If you’re getting married or converting your civil partnership to a marriage, you need to visit the

Superintendent Registrar to complete a Signature Verifier Form. You can either do this separately or as a couple.

You’ll sign the Signature Verifier Form in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar. The form will include a photo of you both taken during your appointment.

The Superintendent Registrar will issue the form to marriage celebrant solemnizing the marriage.

The marriage celebrant will check that the couple they are marrying are the same couple who applied to the Superintendent Registrar to get married. This is to help protect against sham or forced marriage.

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