blank [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]

Get Married Here

…a memorable place

blank [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]

When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.
Friedrich Nietzsche

If you want an unusual place for your wedding, choose St Helena.

This page is in indexes: Island Detail

Get Married Here [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]

Below: Change is coming…(but when?)PhotosSome history

Change is coming…(but when?)

While it is already perfectly possible for non-residents to get married on St Helena, at present there are a few restrictions. These are intended to be removed by the Marriage Ordinance 2016 (the first significant revision of this Ordinance since it was first enacted - in 1851!), but Legislative Council{1} is having difficulty passing this Ordinance because it also permits same-sex marriage{2}, to which some religious members object{3}.

So at present, you can only get married in either a Church or in The Castle, and only if you are heterosexual - one man and one woman.

When the Marriage Bill is (eventually) passed you will be able to get married in any place licenced for the purpose - expected to include the island’s more interesting hotels and other historic buildings - and same-sex marriage will be permitted.

The Marriage Bill was debated by Legislative Council{1} on 11th December 2016, but Legislative Council{1} became confused about its responsibilities and the bill was withdrawn. We will publish a new date for the Bill’s debate as soon as we have it.

If you want to get married in St Helena under the current restrictions you should first contact the Tourist Office.

Wedding party in the Charabanc [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]
Wedding party in the Charabanc{a}

Photos

At present, whether you get married in The Castle or a church, the normal place to take the wedding photos is Castle Gardens.

Some history

In 1847 Robert Gray was appointed by the Anglican Church as Bishop of Cape Town, and hence the island’s Anglican Bishop. One of his first actions was to challenge how marriages were arranged here. Up to this point people were married exclusively by the Governor, on payment of a fee. The couple could then hold a service in church if they so wished. Bishop Gray argued that licences were issued indiscriminately and wanted to impose Anglican Church rules on all marriages. This was not acceptable to the Government. The dispute continued until sometime between 1852 and 1857 when it appears a compromise was arrived at; the Church could marry people without the Governor marrying them first, but those seeking marriage outside the church could still seek marriage by the state. This is more-or-less the position today, except that today non-Anglican churches can also marry people.

Official marriage records began in St Helena in 1849. The Church may have kept records before that. If you want to trace old marriages, see our page Family & Friends.

19th Century wedding photo (bride on the right) [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]
19th Century wedding photo (bride on the right){b}

closinghumourimage [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]

Laugh at funny weddings humour - LOL [Saint Helena Island Info:Get Married Here]

A reference to the unusual Nicknames encountered on St Helena.


Credits:

{a} Corker’s Tourist Services

{b} Hilary Maidment, 3rd Great Granddaughter of James Ellick.



Footnotes:

{1} Effectively the island’s parliament. More on our Government page.

{2} As required by our Constitution and by various Human Rights Treaties.

{3} The populus is apparently in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, according to a straw-poll conducted in July 2016.



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