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How to Get Married in South Africa

South Africa's diverse countryside gives couples a great choice of wedding backdrop. From getting married on safari, perhaps at a lodge with wildlife wandering by outside? Or by the sea, in a vineyard or in a luxurious hotel, you'll be spoilt for choice!
Below are the legalities for marrying in South Africa, to help you plan your ideal wedding abroad.

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South Africa Marriage Law Requirements

What are the legal requirements to get married in South Africa?
Legal age for marriage is 18 years old for both men and women.
Bride and Groom may not be related.
Only a magistrate, Justice of the peace, commissioner or certain ministers of religion are legally allowed to marry you.
The ceremony has to take place in a church or other building used for religious services; in a public office; or in a private home. The venue must have 'open doors' and the service must be conducted in the presence of two witnesses.


How long do I have to be resident in South Africa before I can get married?
There are no minimum residency requirements for South Africa.


Getting a marriage licence
You must bring the documents mentioned below to the Home Affairs Office in any major town in South Africa.


What legal papers do I need to take with me?
Valid identity documents or passports.
If you have been divorced then the final divorce papers must be shown.
If you are widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse and your former marriage certificate must be shown.
If you are adopted then your adoption certificate must be shown.


Please note: this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner in resort or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up to date details before you marry.


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South Africa Marriage Registrar's

Department of Home Affairs, Head Office

Pretoria, Gauteng,

South Africa

Tel: +27 12 406 2500