Getting Married in South Africa

Marriage LAW in South Africa

If you are planning to get married in South Africa then here is some info that you might need to know.

Three types of marriages are recognized under South African law:

  1. civil marriages
  2. customary marriages
  3. civil unions


The solemnization and registration of these marriages are managed by the Department of Home Affairs.

When you enter into a civil marriage or civil union, the marriage officer will issue a handwritten marriage certificate at the ceremony. You can apply for a copy of the marriage certificate from the Department of Home Affairs if you have been married in South Africa and your marriage is registered. The first issue of an abridged marriage certificate is free, but you will have to pay for a second issue or an unabridged certificate. Where one partner has passed away and you need to prove that you had been married, an unabridged marriage certificate will be issued.

The definition of a customary marriage is one that is “negotiated, celebrated or concluded according to any of the systems of indigenous African customary law which exist in South Africa”. You must register your customary marriage within three months of the date of celebration or entering into the marriage to make it legal. This can be done at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or through a designated traditional leader in areas where there are no Home Affairs offices.


If you are looking for an internationally experienced female reverend to marry you in South Africa then we can recommend Rev Elise Theunnesen call her manager Tracey on +27829299755 for booking inquiries.