How to Get Married in South Africa

getting married in South Africa

South Africa is one of the most popular places for destination weddings, due to its magnificent scenery, reliable weather, and relatively affordable prices. There are plenty of options for post-ceremony honeymoon.

If you want to hold the legal ceremony in South Africa or the wedding party, you’ll need to have some planning. Here are some of the things or options you can opt for if you want to plan a destination wedding.

If you are planning to get married in South Africa, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Check the requirements: In South Africa, both parties must be over the age of 18 and must not already be married. You will need to provide proof of identity and, if either party has been married before, proof of the dissolution of the previous marriage.
  2. Choose a venue: South Africa has a wide range of wedding venues to choose from, including gardens, beaches, wineries, and more. Consider your budget, guest list, and personal preferences when selecting a venue.
  3. Hire a wedding planner: A wedding planner can help you with the logistics of planning your wedding, including finding vendors, coordinating the ceremony and reception, and more.
  4. Apply for a marriage license: You will need to apply for a marriage license at your local Home Affairs office. This process can take up to three weeks, so be sure to allow enough time.
  5. Plan the ceremony: Choose your wedding party, officiant, and any special touches you would like to include in your ceremony.

Getting Married in South Africa

The most important thing is to ensure when getting married in South Africa is that your marriage is legal. South Africa has a specific set of rules for foreigners planning a wedding in South Africa. Make sure to check the Department of Home Affairs website carefully before starting your preparations. You need to obtain proof of ID – both you and your partner. Any proof of previous marriage, proof consent, and declaration for marriage.

South African law requires you to provide a Letter of No Impediment. It is a statement from your home country’s marriage registry. You must be “resident” in South Africa for at least 24 hours before the wedding. Also, your wedding must take place in a religious building, a public office or a private dwelling in the presence of two witnesses.

You need to get all of your documentation (except originals like your passport) notarized by a Commissioner of Oaths.

Marriage Certificates


The hand-written marriage certificate is immediately issued on your wedding day, which will be converted into a formal abridged certificate once your officiant registers your union with the Department of Home Affairs. To register your marriage in your country, you will require an apostilled unabridged certificate. For a small fee, agencies like Docassist can expedite the process so that it takes around one week. 

Ante-Nuptial Contracts

Ante Nuptial Contracts

In South Africa, all couples are by default married in community of property, which means that assets and liabilities of the couple are merged into a joint estate. This means each spouse is entitled to a half share of all assets in the event of a divorce, and they should take on equal responsibility for financial debts. To exempt from this law you need a lawyer to draft an ante-nuptial contract (ANC) that must be signed before the wedding

Selecting the best time and place

Selecting the best time and place

Location and timing are also necessary. The more off the beaten track your will choose, the more expensive you wedding will become in getting all of your suppliers to the venue. Keep a track of the weather before deciding on a date.

Hiring a wedding planner in South Africa

There are a few things you should consider when hiring a wedding planner in South Africa:

  1. Experience: Look for a wedding planner with experience in planning weddings in South Africa. They should have a good understanding of local vendors and venues, and be able to navigate any potential challenges that may come up.
  2. Services offered: Determine what services you need from a wedding planner, such as venue selection, vendor coordination, or event design. Look for a planner who offers the services you need and has a proven track record of delivering them effectively.
  3. Portfolio: Review the planner’s portfolio to get a sense of their style and the types of weddings they have planned in the past.
  4. Reviews: Look for a planner with positive reviews from past clients. This can give you a sense of the planner’s reliability and the quality of their work.
  5. Personality: It’s important to choose a wedding planner with whom you feel comfortable working. You will be spending a lot of time with them, so be sure to choose someone you feel you can trust and who shares your vision for your wedding.

About the author

Mamta Sharma