Playfully dubbed “the original Love Island”, Jersey is a place loved-up couples flocked in the mid-1900s to celebrate their nuptials at a time when air travel was exclusively for the super rich. Today, the largest of the Channel Islands is still accessible by ferry (or by air) and still a hot spot for brides, grooms and newlyweds.
As Jersey is part of the UK’s Common Travel Area, these visitors – and their wedding guests – don’t need to cross any international borders. In addition, upon arrival both vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers are given a free Covid-19 PCR test when they step foot on Jersey soil. They can go from the mainland to the sunniest spot in the British Isles in just one hour by plane from London or four hours by car ferry from Poole (or eight hours from Portsmouth).
The island, known for being both reassuringly familiar and home to international flair, has laws that make it easy to plan and execute a wedding. Couples simply need to apply for an application by post, then, once the paperwork is complete, arrive three working days before their chosen date, complete the formalities and collect their licence. Civil partnerships are also warmly welcomed, along with same sex and transgender couples, and brides and grooms with all religious beliefs and from all backgrounds.
Visitors have a plethora of unique indoor and outdoor venues in which to take or renew and celebrate their vows. Available to book throughout summer, winter and the shoulder seasons, there are fairy-tale castles, coastal forts, majestic townhouses, country estates and cutesy chapels to suit every taste and interest. Brides and grooms can choose to wed with their toes wiggling in the sand or strapped into stylish footwear, and if there’s a spot on the island that’s special to the duo, they can have it approved for marriage.
In the happy days after their big day, couples want to revel in their romance. Jersey has this covered with promises of roaring fires, striking sunsets and candlelit dinners. Suggest lovebirds clear the cobwebs at Beauport or Plemont beaches and stop for a seafood picnic and a glass of bubbly on the sea wall at St Ouen’s Bay. St Brelade’s Bay is also great for a seaside stroll – it’s home to Oyster Box beach restaurant where diners can gorge on the day’s catch including the famous aphrodisiac; oysters.
Whatever couples are looking for in their wedding, civil partnership or honeymoon, Jersey is sure to tick all the bride’s (and groom’s!) boxes.
La Hougue Bie, a Neolithic ritual site in use around 3500 BC, is one of the oldest structures in the world. Couples choosing to tie the knot in the shadow of the site’s 12th-century chapel, or within Notre Dame de la Clarte itself, can invite 25-130 guests to share their special day.
The vineyards of La Mare Wine Estate make a picture-perfect backdrop for a wedding. Brides and grooms can choose to host their ceremony in an intimate farmhouse drawing room, a pretty garden room or a grand marquee, while wedding favours such as table chocolates and apple brandy or gin miniatures are all produced on site.
One of the most popular spots in Jersey for weddings; Hotel Cristina boasts sweeping sea views over St Aubin’s Bay. Happy couples will enjoy a complimentary overnight stay on their wedding night with breakfast the next morning, while family and friends are offered special rates.