Are same-sex marriage recognised in South Africa?
Since the Civil Union act was passed in 2006 same-sex marriages have been legally recognised in South Africa.

What is an Abridged Marriage Certificate?
This certificate is issued by default to all couples married in South Africa. They are presented to the couple immediately after the ceremony. For couples living in South Africa, this is the only certificate they require.

What is an Unabridged Marriage Certificate?
These are issued to all Non-South African couples or couples where one party is Non-South African. These are only issued if the couple are not living in South Africa or by special request due to plans to travel extensively or emigrate in the fore-seeable future.

What is an Apostille?
Unabridged marriage certificates get stamped "Apostille" at the Cape Town High Court as authentication of certificate and issue. Apostille's are not needed for country's which are part of the Common Wealth, but are issued for all other countries who align with the Hague Convention. Should a country not be aligned with the Hague Convention, then an "Authentication" stamp is affixed to the marriage certificate also by the Cape Town High Court.

Who May Perform a Marriage Ceremony?
Only a marriage officer may conduct a marriage. Every magistrate, special justice of the peace, and commissioner is a Marriage Officer, as are those ministers of religion (and only those) so designated by the Minister of Home Affairs.

Where May I Marry?
You may marry anywhere that you choose in South Africa, indoors or outdoors. The register must be signed under a permanent structure. A marriage service conducted without two witnesses is not considered legal.

May I Marry Outside?
Yes, you ,may marry in a garden or on the beach or any outdoor venue you choose.


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