What do I Need to Know About My Wedding Now?

The Coronavirus and governmental decisions thus far have impacted weddings in South Africa for almost one year. The most recently updated gazette did not particularly and explicitly outline the guidelines specific to the Wedding Industry. Read our previous article on this topic for more insight. Engaged couples are asking: “What do I need to know about my wedding now?”

Bride Bianca (31 years old, Durban):  “Can we have our wedding during lockdown and still apply for our marriage registration?”

What do I need to know about my wedding?

An agent can guide you. 

It is favourable and sough-after for newlywed’s to use an agent in South Africa to take care of their marriage registration. Sometimes the Unabridged Marriage Certification can be timely to retrieve from Home Affairs directly. An agent takes the headache out of queue shuffling and can often accelerate the process of applications.  Agents know the ins and outs.

Marriage certificates can be submitted to an agent.  The cost an application via an agent is approximately R2,250 (price may differ between agents). It will take approximately six weeks to process. This timeline may vary accordingly.

Agents can provide services to newlyweds both nationally and internationally who need assistance on processes in South Africa.

What do I Need to Know About My Wedding?

Some helpful tips for all Engaged Couples:

  1. Be sure to check your marriage status pre-marriage (before your wedding day!), irrespective of previously been married before or not.
  2. If a person’s marriage status is incorrect – the agent can fix this, case dependent. If a person was previously married, but is divorced – the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) system could still show the status as married. The agent can support you in making these urgent and very necessary corrections. The needful documentation would be required by the agent.
  3. When you get married, ensure you receive a legible copy of your bi30 or wedding register document. You’ll obtain this document from your Minister/Marriage Officiant. This will enable your agent to apply for your unabridged marriage certificate at Home Affairs.
Things to consider:
  1. If a newlywed wife chooses to change her surname after marriage, she will need a marriage certificate to change surnames. Thereafter her changed surname needs to reflect on the DHA system accurately. For example, when she goes to update her driver’s license (ie: surname), the driver’s license department will ONLY change her surname with a valid ID (reflecting her married surname).
And also Remember to: 
  1. Obtain your unabridged marriage certificate sooner rather than later!
  2. And once a baby is on the way, you will need your marriage certificate to register the baby’s birth.

Now the Current Legal Stuff

The Gazetted Guidelines must be adhered to

The gazette informs that to name a few: “Museums, conferencing, galleries, restaurants – are limited to 50 persons or less for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues. If these mentioned venues are too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other – then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.”

The following regulations apply: 

  1. 21h00-05h00 curfew.
  2. Face Masks in public places.
  3. Distribution and sale of alcohol is prohibited.
  4. Beaches, parks, public pools, dams, lakes and rivers, inclusive of all recreational facilities are closed to the public in all the areas declared as hotspots.
  5. Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses are allowed full capacity of the available rooms for accommodation, with patrons observing a distance of at least one and half metres from each other when in common spaces.

And a few more…
  1. Conferencing, dining and entertainment facilities are subject to a limitation of a maximum of 50 persons or less for indoor venues and 100 persons or less for outdoor venues and if the venue is too small to hold 50 persons observing a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used.
  2. Traveling to and from the Republic is allowed, subject to sub-regulation.
  3. International travel is permitted, subject to the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative Covid-19 test, which is obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.
  4. Closing Time: The following establishments (to name a few), whether indoors or outdoors, is 20H00: Museums, galleries, restaurants.”

A Hopeful Future

According to the most recent update, on 19 January 2021, South Africa recovery rate has improved to 84%. This is a noticeable improvement.  Often, the daily new cases has also decreased by more than half, when compared to the festive season figures some weeks ago.

We are clearly moving in the right direction…

President Cyril Ramaphosa said “we will undertake a massive programme of vaccination so we can achieve immunity.”

In summary: What do I need to know about My Wedding? 

Further restrictions specifically upon weddings in South Africa is not made mention in the most updated Gazette.

It is however clearly gazetted of regulations such as: The 9pm-5am curfew, accommodation venues, closing times, sale of alcohol and travel regulations.

It is valuable to learn that there are capable and competent agents whom can process marriage registrations, on behalf of the newlyweds.

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Need to know about my wedding

Get started with planning your Dream Day with some useful Wedding Tips

This article will be updated in our blog as wedding information progress onwards. Watch this space! Most importantly, check into our  Blog Page for more insight into Hot Wedding Topics.

*Note from the Editor:  By no means is this article a comprehensively seamless analysis or by any means official information. However this article is merely intended to explore grounding information proposed to sober wedding indecision during the national state of disaster. This information is accurate to the date of publishing.  More information will unveil as the government releases further information.