Frequently Asked Questions

The following must be presented to the marriage officer at anytime before the wedding:

  • Your ID Books
  • If you have been married before: Divorce decree
  • If you are a widow or widower: Death certificate
  • Confirmation of a contract if you have chosen to do one
  • If you are not South African, certified copies of your passport picture page and visa page

Your Marriage Officer will give you a marriage certificate immediately. This is a handwritten “manual” certificate. There are two other versions of the marriage certificate:

Abridged Certificate: This is a printed version of the one you get on the day. This can be obtained from Home Affairs in a single visit. It might a long visit but you’ll get it nonetheless.

Unabridged Certificate: This has more detail on it and it signed and stamped. This is usually required when doing anything involving another country, i.e. immigrating, obtaining a foreign passport and the like. This certificate can take anything from 4 to 8 weeks to obtain.

If you need help obtaining any of these certificates, get in touch. We can help!

There is no real fixed rule about this. However, if there is a specific person you want as your Marriage Officer then the sooner you book the better. It comes down to their availability. If you are not particular about who takes care of ceremonials then you will probably be able to find someone up to a week before. 

Your Marriage Officer is required to submit all documentation to Home Affairs within 3 days of your wedding ceremony. Once submitted they will capture the marriage onto their system. 

In our experience they are pretty good with this and will do it the day it is submitted, in some cases the following day.  This all means your marriage should be on the system within 3-5 days of your wedding. 

On the day of the wedding once the ceremony has been concluded you will sign a marriage register along with the marriage officer and two witnesses. The Marriage Officer will submit this register to Home Affairs who will then enter the information onto the system and you will be classified as married. This process can take up to two months depending on the efficiency of the department.

In South Africa there is no requirement to obtain a license prior to getting married.