Frequently asked questions

[Q] What documentation is required to get married?

[A] Please see "Legal Registration" under "The wedding" for this infoformation.

[Q] How is our marriage registered?

[A] 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.

[Q] Do we require a marriage license?

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

[Q] We are planning a very small wedding, how many people need to be present?

[A] By law both of you need to be present along with two witnesses and the marriage officer.

[Q] What documentation do we get once married?

[A] On the day of the wedding you will be given a “manual marriage certificate” which is a blank form filled in with your details by the Marriage Officer. Once the marriage is registered you will be able to obtain either an abridged or unabridged certificate from Home Affairs. This is not done automatically and would have to be specifically applied for. I can obtain either or both of these for you, should you require it. See below for details.

[Q] One or both of us are not South African – can we still get married?

[A] Yes, absolutely. In the case of either of you not being South African, Mike will advise as to what documentation us required.

[Q] So we are ready to get married, what do we do now?

[A] Very simply, call or email to make an appointment to meet with Mike to discuss the date and what you want (or don’t want as the case may be)

[Q] What is the difference between an abridged and unabridged certificate and do we need either?

[A] An abridged certificate is a certificate printed by Home Affairs which contains both your personal details such as full name and ID number as well as the date of the marriage. It is a good idea to get this as it generally more acceptable than just the manual certificate. The unabridged certificate (also known as a full marriage certificate) is also printed by Home Affairs and contains more detailed information. This is the most formal form of certificate and is required if you plan to travel extensively, emigrate or obtain a foreign passport. Additionally if one or both of you are not South African the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country. In short, your unabridged marriage certificate is ultimate proof of your marriage and is usable in all circumstances. Obtaining this certificate takes up to 12 weeks. I am able to obtain this on your behalf, should you require it, at an additional cost.