Getting married in South Africa is a truly magical experience. With its stunning natural scenery and diverse culture, there really is nowhere quite like it in the world.

So whether you’re originally from SA or just looking for somewhere special to tie the knot, follow our guide and make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!

A guide to getting married in South Africa

Getting married in South Africa is a wonderful experience that many couples choose to pursue. The country is blessed with a diverse range of landscapes and cultures, making it an ideal location for a memorable wedding.

South Africa also has a well-developed legal framework for marriages, which ensures that the process is straightforward and transparent.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting married in South Africa, from legal requirements to venue selection and planning.

Legal requirements for getting married in South Africa

To get married in South Africa, both partners must meet the following legal requirements:

Age: Both partners must be at least 18 years old to get married in South Africa. If either partner is under 18, they will need to obtain parental consent or a court order before they can get married.

Identity: Both partners must provide a valid South African identity document (ID) or passport. If either partner is not a South African citizen, they will need to provide a valid passport and may need to provide additional documentation, such as a visa or work permit.

Marital status: Both partners must be legally single and not married to anyone else. If either partner has been married before, they will need to provide a divorce certificate or death certificate if their previous partner has passed away.

Witnesses: You will need at least two witnesses to your wedding ceremony. These witnesses must be over 18 years old and must have valid identification documents.

Once you have met these legal requirements, you can proceed with planning your wedding in South Africa.

Same-sex marriage in South Africa has been legal since 30 November 2006, so these legal requirements are exactly the same for gay marriages.

Venue selection for getting married in South Africa

Here you will find South Africa offers a wide range of venues for weddings, from picturesque vineyards to sandy beaches and stunning mountain ranges. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a venue:

Location: Think about the location of the venue in relation to your guests. If most of your guests are coming from out of town, you may want to choose a venue that is close to the airport or that offers accommodation.

Size: Make sure that the venue is large enough to accommodate all of your guests comfortably. You don’t want your guests to feel cramped or uncomfortable during the ceremony or reception.

Style: Consider the style of the venue and whether it matches the theme or style of your wedding. For example, if you are having a traditional wedding, you may want to choose a venue with a chapel or church on-site.

Weather: South Africa’s weather can be unpredictable, so make sure that the venue has a backup plan in case of rain or other inclement weather.

Catering: Consider the catering options available at the venue and whether they can accommodate any special dietary requirements or preferences.

What do I need to do to get married in South Africa?

First things first, let’s get the legal side of things out of the way. In order to get married in South Africa, both parties must be over the age of 18 and unmarried. If either party has been married before, they must provide proof that the marriage has ended via divorce or death certificate.

You will also need to provide your ID book or passport, and if you’re not a South African citizen, you will need to provide proof of residency.

Documents needed

  • Passport
  • A letter of Non-Impediment from your embassy or consulate
  • Copies of 2 witnesses’ passports
  • Divorce certificate (if necessary)
  • Death certificate (if you have been widowed)

Once you have all of the required documents, you can visit your local Home Affairs office to give notice of your marriage. This needs to be done at least three months before your big day.

Choosing Your Venue

Now that the formalities are out of the way, it’s time to start planning your dream day! One of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a venue. South Africa is blessed with an abundance of stunning natural scenery, so if you’re looking for breathtaking backdrops for your photos, then this is the country for you. From Cape Town’s Table Mountain to Durban’s Golden Mile, there are plenty of locations to choose from.

If you’d prefer something a little more urban, then Johannesburg or Pretoria may be more up your street. Whichever location you choose, make sure you book your venue well in advance as dates can fill up fast!

Preparing for Your Wedding Day

Once you have your date and venue sorted, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of wedding you want. Will it be traditional or modern? Big or small? Formal or informal? These are all important questions that will help shape the rest of your plans.

Once you have a general idea of what kind of wedding you want, start thinking about things like flowers, decorations, food and drink, music and entertainment, and stationery. There are endless possibilities when it comes to weddings these days, so try to narrow down your options early on so that you don’t get overwhelmed closer to the big day.

  1. Marriage certificate: After your wedding ceremony, you will need to register your marriage with the Department of Home Affairs. You will need to provide your identity documents, witnesses’ identity documents, and the marriage officer’s certificate of marriage. The Department of Home Affairs will issue you with a marriage certificate, which is a legal document that proves your marriage.
  2. Marriage contracts: You may want to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement or an ante-nuptial contract before getting married. These contracts can protect your assets and clarify the distribution of property in the event of a divorce.
  3. Cultural considerations: South Africa is a diverse country with many different cultures and traditions. If you are planning a wedding that incorporates cultural elements, make sure that you are respectful and sensitive to the traditions of the culture you are borrowing from.
  4. Budget: Weddings can be expensive, so make sure that you have a realistic budget in place before you start planning. Consider all of the costs, including venue hire, catering, photography, and decorations, as well as any additional costs such as transport and accommodation.
  5. Legal advice: If you are unsure about any of the legal requirements or contracts related to getting married in South Africa, seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. They can provide you with the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions.

In conclusion, getting married in South Africa is a wonderful experience that offers a range of options for couples. Whether you are planning a traditional wedding or something more unique, there are many venues and vendors available to help make your special day unforgettable.

Just remember to consider the legal requirements, venue selection, and planning details, and seek advice when needed to ensure a smooth and successful wedding.

Wedding Resource Material