The beautiful island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands is a hidden gem, filled with beautiful beaches, wonderful food and luxurious hotels, making it truly perfect for an unforgettable wedding. We visited to find out more and stake out the very best spots and venues for a wedding – and all the advice you need about having a Guernsey wedding.
[words by Elizabeth Kenyon]
I have visited Guernsey before, just for a day, to St Peter Port as a foot passenger on the fast Poole ferry. A beautiful day out, but little did I know what my three-day trip and a fast flight from Southampton (around 30 minutes in the air) held in store.
Our Top Venues in Guernsey
If you choose to get married here, you can expect secret coves, beautiful hotels and the warm welcome of the people of Guernsey and its sister islands. I’ve listed my top tips and venue choices below.
Les Caches Farm
Our first stop was Les Caches Farm, a collection of fine Guernsey farmhouses and outbuildings dating from the 15th to mid-19th century, owned, restored and managed by National Trust, Guernsey; an ideal location for your rural wedding in a beautifully restored building and with plenty of outdoor space for after the ceremony.
The south coast of the island provides beautiful coves and places for wedding ceremonies including Petit Bot, set at the base of two wooded valleys with two more valley locations, Jerbourg and Fermain Valley providing their own unique characters and hotels conveniently positioned for the big day.
Another popular location is Les Cotils which is located high on the hill and benefits from beautiful views. Notable is the area of wildflower meadow in their ground when in season, ideal for photo and video shoots.
In fact, Guernsey in springtime is overflowing with rich wildflower verges and the constant sound of birdsong, providing the perfect accompaniment to your outdoor ceremony.
Guernsey is rich with history, fortifications and castles due to its strategic military location. This has the benefit of supplying a wealth of unusual wedding locations such as Vale Castle or Castle Cornet at St Peter Port harbour.
Little Big Group Hotels
We stopped off at some key bays and beaches on the west coast of the island; Pembroke beach in Cobo Bay where you could be lucky enough to catch a ‘balcony gig’, and Vazon, before heading back to the Hotel Peninsula which sits on a picturesque headland with views over Grand Havre Bay.
This hotel is part of the Little Big Group which also includes Les Douvres and Le Fleur de Jardin. All three hotels provide unique settings for a wedding.
Guernsey really does have a wealth of venue choices, another being The Farmhouse which is set in extensive grounds amongst the scenic Guernsey countryside, just minutes away from beautiful sandy beaches and spectacular cliff walks. The gardens are lovely and the food is pretty good too!
Red Carnation Hotels
Candie Gardens in the centre of St Peter Port provide a beautiful, lush backdrop for your photos and are a convenient step away from both Red Carnation hotels in the capital, The Duke of Richmond and the Old Government House Hotel and Spa where you could stay in their brand new rooftop Governor’s Suite if you have the budget. This provides spectacular views across St Peter Port, the harbour and beyond.
The White House Hotel, Herm
From the Inter Island Quay you can catch the ferry to the other islands, all of which have their own characteristics, from rolling countryside to rugged cliffs. Herm Island is a scenic, short getaway stop, situated just off the coast of Guernsey and just 20 minutes by ferry from St Peter Port across the beautiful Channel Island waters.
If you are lucky, you might even spot the dolphins on your journey across. There are no cars on Herm, just lovely beaches and coastal walks. As you approach the jetty, the White House Hotel is clearly visible and holds a most enviable position on the water’s edge, complete with direct access to the beach.
The lawn is the perfect place to enjoy the view and a bottle of fizz. After the day visitors have returned on the ferry you will be left to enjoy the tranquillity and the romance of the evening.
The Imperial Hotel
Our final location visit was to The Imperial Hotel, located in one of the Channel Island’s most picturesque settings and overlooking the beautiful Rocquaine Bay. With fabulous food and seafood a speciality, the views from the terrace and restaurant are just perfect. Visiting at sunset made this extra special.
Charming Transport Options
Intransit ‘Twinkle Bus’
Greeted at the airport by the Intransit ‘Twinkle Bus’, a vintage island service bus full of character, and available for wedding and event hire, you can be taken around the island to some photogenic coves ideal for creating memories and fabulous photographs.
Tuk Tuk Guernsey
Tuk Tuk Guernsey, complete with floral decoration on the lead vehicle, created by island florist Claire Galliott, owner of Simply Bespoke, allows you to view unique viewpoints around the island with a fantastic and fun mode of transport during your wedding – perhaps to drive guests around from ceremony to reception?
Why It’s a Fabulous Wedding Destination
Island Wedding Planners
Everything you need to plan and host your wedding is available on the islands and the island people are truly the best to understand how to create your special day for you. Their knowledge and understanding of climate, facilities, supplies and seasonal variations, not to mention the best locations for photos and video, will certainly contribute to ensuring your day run smoothly.
Just book your island wedding planner and your chosen celebrant and they will do the rest. Your only other job will be to arrange your licence with the Her Majesty’s Greffier, the Registrar-General (known locally as the Greffe).
You Can Get Married Anywhere
Guernsey marriage law has recently changed meaning that you can get married anywhere on the islands. There are one or two legal requirements to adhere to, such as completing the marriage within an hour of the licensed time and in the place declared.
You will also have to provide an alternative indoor venue in case of inclement weather if planning an outdoor wedding. For full requirements visit gov.gg.
Extra Activities Galore
There are plenty of other activities for couples and wedding guests away from the celebration day itself from archaeological sites to museums and a lively night out in St Peter Port.
The Visit Guernsey Walking App can assist in discovering the island on foot, encompassing a range of Guernsey’s wonderful ancient settlements and wetland habitats. The walks include beautiful sea views and gorgeous spots to host weddings. In fact, it’s also the ideal place for a honeymoon so you can enjoy your day then stay on to experience the islands to the full.
Many of the islands’ celebrants are also experienced tour guides and have great knowledge and tips for making the most of your stay. Jayne White is the founder and Celebrant Director of White Dove and Jackie Ward, also of White Dove is also a Tour Guide.
Jayne and her team will tailor your ceremony to just the way you want it, as will Annette Henry, who, as an independent Celebrant and Tour Guide can be just as flexible as you wish! Another Anett (different spelling), a wedding planner from The Wedding Company, has a thorough knowledge of the people, locations and most suitable businesses on the island that will make your day just that bit more special.
Beautiful Weather – Rain or Shine!
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is renowned for its good climate, similar to Northern France, but like anywhere else it can rain. Don’t let this put you off. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor locations to make your day special.
Before flying back to reality, we met with Caleb Zunino from Evoke Photographers who shared his passion and knowledge of what makes Guernsey such a beautiful place to get married. His photographs and images speak for themselves – you may find him booked up for some way ahead. He can also recommend excellent other island photographers and videographers.
My eyes have been opened and should I be planning a wedding, Guernsey would definitely have my vote!