F.A.Q

Q. Do we have to get married in a structure with 4 walls and a roof?

A. The law states that a marriage may be take place “in” a public office, a church or building used for religious services or a private residence. The law makes no reference to a “roof” or “walls” so it all comes down to the interpretation of the word “in”. Generally speaking it is considered okay or a wedding to take place within the boundaries of the venue. If asked, Home Affairs will state that this must take place inside with open doors. Many weddings today take place out of doors with the signing taking place under a covered roof. (The requirement is currently under review and Pastor Roy can inform you of current developments in this regard)

Q. What documentation is required to get married?

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

• Your ID Books. (2 clear copies will be needed which Pastor Roy can certify) If you have been married before

• Divorce decree

• If you are a widow or widower: Death certificate

• If you intend to enter into an ante-nuptial contract this must be concluded prior to the day of the wedding. (A letter will be supplied by the lawyers drawing up such a contract that must accompany the registration documentation submitted to Home Affairs by pastor Roy)

• If you are not South Africa, certified copies of your passport picture page and visa page (a Commissioner of Oaths/marriage officer will be able to certify your copies – Please see additional information in answers below).

• Your ID Books. (2 clear copies will be needed which Pastor Roy can certify)

• If you have been married before: Divorce decree

• If you are a widow or widower: Death certificate

• If you intend to enter into an ante-nuptial contract this must be concluded prior to the day of the wedding. (A letter will be supplied by the lawyers drawing up such a contract that must accompany the registration documentation submitted to Home Affairs by pastor Roy)

• If you are not South Africa, certified copies of your passport picture page and visa page (a Commissioner of Oaths/marriage officer will be able to certify your copies –

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, the Bridal couple 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 “ a manually written abridged marriage certificate” which is a form filled in with your details by the Marriage Officer. Once the marriage is registered you will be able to obtain either a printed abridged or unabridged certificate from Home Affairs. This is not done automatically and would have to be specifically applied for by the bridal couple.

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

A. Home affairs are in the process of having the law changed in this regard. Currently the following applies: For two foreigners, the actual signing/marriage must take place in a Home Affairs office. (a Marriage officer can then conduct an actual wedding ceremony as per normal) For a South African getting married to a foreigner, the following currently applies (this is the section that will eventually change and then the above will apply): The Marriage Officer will need to have certified copies of your passport visa page and picture page as well as ID for the SA citizen. The marriage officer will have you fill in and sign a form required by Home Affairs in such cases. Addition documentation such as multiple letters of no impediment will also be needed. The couple will also need to undergo a spousal interview with an immigration officer at Home Affairs (Please speak to Pastor Roy concerning these very important and rather complicated issues)

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 Pastor Roy to discuss the date and what you want (or don’t want as the case may be). A provisional booking will be made at that time but will only be confirmed after a “no strings attached” meeting with Pastor Roy (this can be conducted in person or on skype call or telephonically)

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 hand written certificate issued by the pastor on the day of the wedding. 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 upwards of 12 weeks. The couple will have to apply for this personally at Home Affairs (Speak to Pastor Roy about this and he will advise you as to the best path to follow in this regard).

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED for Marriages conducted in South Africa

Please note: If you are planning to be married OUT OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY, you are required to have a lawyer draw a pre-nuptial agreement and a letter from such lawyer dated before the wedding date stating that this has been done. Such letter needs to be made available to the wedding pastor. This is only applicable for South African couples.

SOUTH AFRICANS

If you are a South African Citizen or if you have a South African Identity Document and or Passport the following documents are required

  1. Clear copy of your ID (both parties)

  2. Clear copy of Divorce Decree if applicable

  3. Clear copy of Death Certificate of deceased spouse if applicable

  4. Clear copy of ID of 2 witnesses who will countersign the register.

  5. For the marriage of minors (persons under 18 years of age) several requirements need to be satisfied. Please contact the marriage officer who will inform you of forms, letters etc that need to be provided.

NON SOUTH AFRICANS

If one or both parties is not South African, the following documents are required from you

  1. Clear copy of your Passport photo page

  2. Clear copy of the Customs Entry stamp in your Passport valid for the date of the marriage

  3. Clear copy of divorce decree if applicable

  4. Clear copy of death certificate of deceased spouse if applicable

  5. Clear copy of ID or Passport of 2 witnesses who will countersign the register

  6. Signed BI31 form which the Marriage Officer will complete for you

  7. Letter of no impediment from the government of the country of origin.

Further to this, if one of the parties is South African and the other is a foreigner, the couple will need to meet with a home affairs immigration officer before the wedding (who will then provide a letter to the couple stating that he/she is satisfied that the couple may indeed get married.)

Legalities:

  1. Form Bl 32 to be completed and signed by either both parents or legal guardians for each party under the age of 18.

  2. If the Bride is younger than 15 and/or the Bridegroom is younger than 18, permission for the marriage is needed from The Commissioner of Child Welfare.

  3. If any party is divorced a copy of the final decree of divorce is required

  4. If any party is a widower or widow a copy of the death certificate is required.

  5. If any party is not a South African Citizen, a copy of your Passport, entry visa and a Form Bl 31 is required.

  6. Two witnesses, one for each of the couple to sign the register. Must be 18 or older.

Please make sure that the witnesses either know their ID numbers or have their ID documents with them on the day of the wedding. (Not required for Non SA Citizens)

The following is required BEFORE the date of your wedding:

  1. Clear Copies of your ID Documents.

  2. Above mentioned documents – if applicable.

  3. Letter from your Lawyer if you have set up an Ante-Nuptial Contract. NB: Ante-Nuptial Contract MUST be signed at the Lawyer BEFORE the date of the wedding.

  4. Form Bl 31 to be completed by ALL Non South African Citizens without South African Identity Documents.

  5. A Letter of No Legal Impediment or final divorce decree is needed from your Country of Origin if you are not a South African Citizen. This letter must first be certified at the South African Embassy or Trade Mission present in the Country of Origin. Check your Marital Status here or SMS ID Number to 32551 Cost of sms R1.00