These are some of the most commonly asked questions - and answers! If you can't find answers to your questions here, please feel free to Contact Me and I will do my best to help.

How do I book and pay for a wedding date?
What do you charge?
We have limited funds - can we pay off your fees?
Can you refuse to marry us?
What if I arrive late for my wedding?
Will you travel to ...?
What is the difference between a marriage ceremony and a renewal of vows?
We were married in court. Can we get married again in a ceremony with our friends and family?
We were married under Muslim law - not considered a "legal" marriage in South Africa. Can we get married again "legally"?
This will be my fourth marriage, and I have been divorced three times. Is that a problem?
We want a non-religious wedding, do you do that?
What will the ceremony be like?
Can we write our own vows?
What if we decide to get married within a few days - or today?
Will you marry us at midnight?
Suppose we want a short legal/civil service only?
Can you marry us on a cruise ship?
Do we need a marriage license?
Do we need to have blood tests before the wedding?
Do we need a "Certificate of no Impediment"?
I am from Europe (or another country) - how do I ensure that my marriage is legal at home?
Do we need to be in South Africa for any length of time before the wedding?
Do my witnesses need to be South African citizens? How old must they be?
Do we have to get married in a church?
My fiancé is Christian and I am Jewish. We are not converting. Can you do an interfaith ceremony incorporating the best of both?
Must I take my husband's surname?
What is the difference between Ante-Nuptial and Pre-Nuptial?
Do we need an Ante-Nuptial contract?
We want an Ante-Nuptial contract - What is involved?
We both have children from previous marriages - do we involve them in the ceremony?
What do you wear for the ceremony?
Will we meet you in person before the wedding?
My sister and I want to get married to our fiancés at the same time. Will you do a double wedding?
My fiancé and I want to have a medieval theme wedding. Will you be prepared to conduct the ceremony in a Friar Tuck outfit?

Q: How do I book and pay for a wedding date?
A: After contacting me to determine availability, simply fill out the Booking Form and submit your retainer fee.To book a date and time for your wedding, a retainer fee as specified on the Booking Form MUST be paid in advance. Retainer fees are not refundable should the wedding be cancelled for any reason. The balance of payment is due no later than one week prior to the ceremony date. If the balance is not received on time, your booking may be cancelled and may be booked by other parties without notice. Bookings made with less than 21 days notice require a 100% non-refundable payment. You may pay via cash or EFT.
Back to Top

Q: What do you charge?
A: Prices vary depending on the day and the type of ceremony, but you can find all of that info under "Ceremonies" on the main page.
Back to Top

Q: We have limited funds - can we pay off your fees?
A: Discounts or trade-offs may be available in certain cases. Contact Me for more information. I will help where I can.
Back to Top

Q: Can you refuse to marry us?
A: I reserve the right to refuse any request for a booking and I further reserve the right to refuse to perform any service that I am not comfortable with, even if a booking has been accepted. If a wedding service that has been booked is not performed due to my refusal, then a refund will be made in the same form received.
Back to Top

Q: What if I arrive late for my wedding?
A: I may charge an additional R100 per half hour if I have to wait more than 30 minutes past the scheduled starting time of any ceremony. Be aware that at certain times of the year, I may be unable to wait more than 30 minutes as I may need to be at another wedding - and this willl be solely at my discretion. I may also waive the late charge, at my discretion. No refund will be given if I am not able to perform the ceremony because of any delays within the stipulated time period.
Back to Top

Q: Will you travel to ...?
A: Yes, but be aware that any travel of over 10 Kilometres or more than 20 minutes from my home will be charged for. Please note that the AA rate would be R6.94 per km, so my rates are competitive!

Round Trip Travelling Fee (from Kirstenhof, Cape Town.)
0-20km : No charge.
21-40km : R100.00.
41-60km : R200.00.
61-80km : R300.00.
81-100km : R400.00.
100 km+ : Negotiable.

For example:
Hout Bay : R100.00
Sea Point : R200.00.
Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Wellington : R600.00
Yzerfontein : R700.00

Additional travel expenses may include a one or two night hotel stay, if the wedding and / or rehearsal is more than 80 Kilometres (one way) away. You MUST please discuss this prior to signing of contract. Hotel accommodation may be required for any of the following conditions:

  • If the wedding is before 11:00 am and more than 80 Km away - for the night before the wedding
  • If the wedding is after 3:00 pm and more than 80 Km away - for the night of the wedding
  • If the wedding is more than 80 Km away with a rehearsal - for the night before the wedding as well.

All travel expenses should be included in the total ceremony cost and need to be paid prior to the ceremony.
Back to Top

Q: What is the difference between a marriage ceremony and a renewal of vows?
A: They are similar in that they are used to express love and commitment to one another. For a marriage ceremony, you must comply with certain legalities and have a marriage certificate issued, which gives the legal component to the ceremony. A ceremony to renew vows is not a legal ceremony and there is no official marriage certificate. Renewal of vows is typically done at special anniversaries, when a couple reunites after a separation, or perhaps even after a life-altering event, but any time is a good time to re-affirm your love and commitment to each other. These services can be even more special than the initial wedding, because as years go by, there are so many memories and loving moments to reflect upon. I do provide a custom vow-renewal certificate.
Back to Top

Q: We were married in court. Can we get married again in a ceremony with our friends and family?
A: Absolutely. You're already "legally" married, so there is no official paperwork involved. Just enjoy the special day with your family and friends. By the way, I can perform a small civil ceremony in the privacy of your own home or in mine - much better than standing around at Home Affairs!
Back to Top

Q: We were married under Muslim law - not considered a "legal" marriage in South Africa. Can we get married again "legally"?
A: Yes. We can do a "quickie" ceremony to comply with the law, or you can do an all-out major bash! Whatever you want.
Back to Top

Q: This will be my fourth marriage, and I have been divorced three times. Is that a problem?
A: Well, legally, no. However, I would encourage you to consider couples counselling beforehand, and of course be sure that your prospective husband is aware of the reasons that your previous marriages did not last.

Back to Top

Q: We want a non-religious wedding, do you do that?
A: Yes. I am willing to perform virtually any ceremony that makes your day special for you. It is your day, after all! If I'm not comfortable with it, I'll simply let you know.
Back to Top

Q: What will the ceremony be like?
A: I am here to perform your ceremony, be it traditional with religious or spiritual references or no religious reference at all. Your ceremony is a reflection of you, so I am happy to include (almost) anything you can dream of to make your day unique. It is, after all, your special day and the ceremony should reflect your personalities.
Back to Top

Q: Can we write our own vows?
A: Yes and I encourage it. I provide customised ceremony writing, but still encourage couples to take the opportunity to compose and read personal vows to each other. You may have as little or as much control as you'd like over the content of the entire ceremony. Be aware though, there *is* a reason that there are 'standard' vows :-)
Back to Top

Q: What if we decide to get married within a few days - or today?
A: As long as the date is free on my schedule, I can probably officiate on short notice. Give me a call and I'll make every effort to accommodate your needs. You must both be sober though!
Back to Top

Q: Will you marry us at midnight?
A: There is no legal restriction as to when a marriage ceremony may take place. As long as I am able to be there, you can be married at any time of the day or night - 24/7/365. There will be an after-hours premium though.
Back to Top

Q: Suppose we want a legal/civil service only?
A: Technically, a legalities-only signing could take less than five minutes. I would not encourage this type of wedding, but if you are certain, and the circumstances warrant it, I would be happy to do it for you.
Back to Top

Q: Can you marry us on a cruise ship?
A: Yes - as long as it is in South African waters - or with special dispensation, almost anywhere else!
Back to Top

Q: Do we need a marriage license?
A: No, a marriage license is not required in South Africa.
Back to Top

Q: Do we need to have blood tests before the wedding?
A: No, A blood test is not a legal requirement for marriage in South Africa.
Back to Top

Q: Do we need a "Certificate of no Impediment"?
A: If you are a foreign national from a country that issues them, yes. If you are from a country that does not issue these certificates, you will need an affidavit sworn in front of a notary either in your home country, or your embassy, stating that there is no legal impediment to your marriage. (I have templates for these available if you need one).
Back to Top

Q: I am from Europe (or another country) - how do I ensure that my marriage is legal at home?
A: A South African Marriage Certificate is legally valid in almost every country in the world, but it will be subject to the law of whichever country the husband chooses as his domicile. Please check with your local authorities before leaving your home country what is required in order to register your marriage when you get home. Some countries are satisfied with the South African Marriage Certificate that I issue you with immediately after the ceremony, whereas other countries (e.g. Germany) will require an "unabridged" certificate, issued by the Department of Home Affairs. If you are both foreign nationals, an unabridged certificate may be obtained within a few days after the wedding - depending on how long you are still in South Africa.
Back to Top

Q: Do we need to be in South Africa for any length of time before the wedding?
A: Legally, no - but if possible allow yourself at least a few days in which to acclimatise and do some 'tourist stuff'. Also to complete the legal stuff (like seeing the immigration department if you are a foreign national marrying a South African), as well as to check out your proposed venue and arrangements. These basic meetings will go a long way towards making your great day everything you have dreamed of.
Back to Top

Q: Do my witnesses need to be South African citizens? How old must they be?
A: Any person who is present at the ceremony may sign the register as a witness, providing they are at least 18 years of age. Witnesses must produce a copy of either their South African Identity Document or foreign passport (and entry stamp page or visa for non-SA citizens), as this information is required for the Marriage Register.
Back to Top

Q: Do we have to get married in a church?
A: No, you can get married just about anywhere! That includes public and private buildings, parks and beaches, wine estates and more. Be aware though, that some locations may require a permit (beaches come to mind). Make sure that all usage permits are secured (if necessary) and special details and arrangements made well in advance of your wedding day.
Back to Top

Q: My fiancé is Christian and I am Jewish. We are not converting. Can you do an interfaith ceremony incorporating the best of both?
A: Yes, but combining two sets of traditions while keeping the peace with both families can be tricky. Invite both sides to listen to your ideas and contribute their expectations for your wedding day. You'd be surprised how an honest group discussion can bring about solutions. Depending on how important it is to you that your wedding ceremony reflects your religious backgrounds, I can incorporate aspects of both traditions quite easily. I can tailor the vows to suit both of you. You can be married under the traditional huppah (canopy), you can have a custom Ketubah signed before the ceremony (or a brit ahuvim - which allows for each spouse to share in an equal partnership), I can do the sheva brachot in Hebrew (seven blessings) - a key part of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, and you can break a glass. Mazel Tov!
Back to Top

Q: Must I take my husband's surname?
A: No, according to South African law, a woman after her marriage may:-
(a) Assume her husband's surname;
(b) Resume a surname, which she bore at any prior time;
(c) Join her maiden surname or previous married surname with that of her husband's; or
(d) Retain her Maiden name.
Simply let me know which choice you will make before the ceremony.
Back to Top

Q: What is the difference between Ante-Nuptial and Pre-Nuptial?
A: Nothing! In South Africa, a contract concluded between spouses prior to the marriage is usually referred to as an Ante-Nuptial contract, while in other parts of the world it is called a Pre-Nuptial contract. Both prefixes (Ante and Pre) mean the same thing.
Back to Top

Q: Do we need an Ante-Nuptial contract?
A: In terms of South African law, if no ante-nuptial contract (also known as a pre-nuptial contract, or a pre-nup) is signed prior to the wedding, you are automatically married 'in community of property'. This means that all property owned by either spouse becomes part of the joint estate upon marriage, whether it is theirs at the time of the marriage or is acquired by them afterwards. This also means that you are liable for each other's debts.

If you decide after the wedding that you should have entered into an ante-nuptial contract, you will require a High Court application, which can be very expensive. In addition, you will be expected to produce a valid reason as to why you did not conclude an ante-nuptial contract before your marriage. I can arrange for an attorney to draw up a contract for you before the time at a reasonable cost.

If you are a South African woman marrying a man from a foreign country, bear in mind that the law of your prospective husband's home country at the time of the marriage applies. In this case it is best to contact an attorney prior to the marriage.
Back to Top

Q: We want an Ante-Nuptial contract - What is involved?
I asked my good friend (and attorney), Giles Buswell - and here is his reply -
A: A brief consultation with the attorney (at no charge) to explain the various marital regimes available in South Africa, the history of these regimes, the pros and cons of each regime, and advising what suits your situation best. After getting the relevant instructions from you, the contract may be drawn up. If the consultation becomes involved by virtue of complexities in your particular estates then there may be a charge for it - i.e. if the advice starts to head towards estate planning / tax planning / etc. But for the most part if it is young couples starting out it is very quick and easy.

The bill would be in the R1250.00 to R1500.00 range for the drafting of the contract and its registration in the Deeds Registry. Remember that the ante-nuptial contract needs to be executed by the attorney in front of a Notary Public BEFORE THE MARRIAGE - otherwise it's not valid! We would need from each of the intended spouses a copy of their ID Book, a list of their assets and liabilities showing nett values - i.e. house worth R1 Mil with bond of R900 000 = nett value of R100 000. We need values of everything significant - not personal belongings such as clothing and surfboards but could perhaps include the equipment of a hobby e.g. R250 000 worth of photographic equipment. Would definitely include cars, houses, shares, unit trusts, insurance policies, cash in bank, etc. You must agree on the values, otherwise we will need valuations. And thats it - Easy and simple!
Back to Top

Q: We both have children from previous marriages - do we involve them in the ceremony?
A: It is entirely up to you, but if children are coming into the marriage, it is appropriate to mention in the ceremony that not only is a marriage being formed, but also a family - and depending on the children's age, they could also play a part.
Back to Top

It is far more important that children hear their names mentioned in the ceremony than it is that they play any major part of the ceremony. Mentioning their name during the wedding assures them that they are an important part of the occasion and have special status. Children need to feel important to their parents.

Most couples are careful to take time to talk to the children about the marriage before the wedding day and involve children in some aspect of the ceremony. Where children tend to be left out is immediately after the ceremony. The bride and groom walk away and are surrounded by adults. This is easily avoided. The couple should simply take a moment to hug their child/children, thank them for helping in the ceremony, and then tell them they are free to play. This 30 seconds of recognition is very important.

Finally, remember that while your children (and children coming into a marriage) are very important to consider, the wedding is for the couple getting married!
Back to Top

Q: What do you wear for the ceremony?
A: I will dress in a style that reflects the personality of your ceremony. I would normally wear my official vestments, or a 'dog collar', but if the ceremony is not religious, I will fit in with your style. For themed weddings, almost anything goes. In summer, I've done shorts and a t-shirt on the beach!
Back to Top

Q: Will we meet you in person before the wedding?
A: That is entirely up to you. Some choose to meet with me in person while others choose to do everything via telephone and/or email, especially for reasons of distance and convenience. If possible, however, I would like to at least have a face-to-face chat with the two of you - also so that you can approve your ceremony beforehand!
Back to Top

Q: My sister and I want to get married to our fiancés at the same time. Will you do a double wedding?
A: With pleasure! Double weddings do, however come with their own logistical complications, but nothing insurmountable. We can discuss this beforehand to make sure that all goes well.
Back to Top

Q: My fiancé and I want to have a medieval theme wedding. Will you be prepared to conduct the ceremony in a Friar Tuck outfit?
A: Of course! Themed weddings are always my favourites, and medieval-style weddings are especially beautiful. Be aware that costume hire is for your expense though.
Back to Top