South Africa is an extraordinary beautiful yet surprisingly budget friendly location for a destination wedding.
In Part 2 of our South Africa Wedding Guide, Event Affairs, one of the country’s leading wedding planning agencies, cover the key points to consider when planning a destination wedding including the legalities, best time of year to marry, the cost of a wedding in South Africa and the best way to plan.
If you missed Part 1 of our Mini Guide, Event Affairs provided an overview of the diverse range of settings for a destination wedding in South Africa, including their top picks for best venues.
Essential Key Points
At first glance, it would seem that South Africa’s greatest attribute is her epic landscapes, but when it comes to weddings this is not all it has to offer. For those wanting to keep within budget without having to compromise on quality, it’s an attractive alternative to some of the more popular European wedding destinations. We take a look at the following important points:
- Cost of a Wedding in South Africa
- Ceremonies and Legalities
- Best Time of Year to Marry
- Communication and Planning
Cost of a Wedding in South Africa
When it comes to having a dream wedding at a fraction of the cost, South Africa is a fantastic option with the pound, euro and dollar trading strong against our rand.
Even after including the cost of flights, the cost of a wedding in South Africa remains great value and you will certainly get your money’s worth with all our world class service providers and culinary excellence.
Here is a breakdown of what you can budget on spending on your South African destination wedding in 2020/21 (exchange rate May 2020):
Food and Drink
When it comes to wedding catering for an excellent quality 3 course meal and canapes the cost will be on average between R450 – R650 per head (£20-£30)..
With so many wine farms and quality breweries South Africa has a large offering of alcoholic beverages at reasonable costs. Depending on the crowd, bar costs will vary, but a very decent budget per guest is R250 per person (£11.60). This will see your guests merrily through the entire wedding until the last song plays out and the dancefloor is put to rest.
Just you and your partner for five magnificent nights under the African skies, you are looking at a cost of about R15000-R70000 (£696-£3250). This will include luxury accommodation and an extravagant dinner celebration for the two of you at one of the top restaurants in South Africa.
A simple intimate wedding celebration will see you spending around R750 (£35) per head for dinner and drinks for your guests. If you are looking at locking down a venue privately, need a ceremony space and are wanting all aspects of a wedding then you will look at a total of no less than R60000 (£2785).
For 50-60 people you will look at a total cost of your wedding being between R200000-R360000 (£9274-£16694).
The starting cost of a wedding in South Africa is approximately R200000+ (£9274) which includes all basic aspects of your wedding such as venue, stationery, hair, makeup, catering, drinks, photographer, flowers, DJ, cake and wedding planner.
However for a wedding with all the bells and whistles and making use of top suppliers you are likely to pay in the region of R300000-R360000 (£13900-£16694).
For 80-120 guests you can expect to pay anywhere between R320000-R720000 (£14839-£33387) for the entire wedding. It all just depends how simple or extravagant a celebration you are planning.
Costs for your Guests
South Africa is also well-priced for your guests and they will be able to enjoy a spectacular holiday here on any budget. The average cost of accommodation is roughly R1200 (£56) per person per day and for a meal at a restaurant you can budget on spending around R350 (£16.22).
Please keep in mind that costs take in so many variables that it’s difficult to state categorically that the cost of a wedding in South Africa will be x. That being said, we have provided an average cost as a guideline to be used as a starting point.
Wedding Ceremonies and Legalities
Being a secular state, all religions or lack thereof are welcome in South Africa. Many couples choose to simply be married at their wedding venue, as most offer either quaint chapels or spectacular outdoor ceremony areas. The majority of churches in South Africa will also allow for those not belonging to that church to be married there.
If you are wanting a non-religious ceremony, there are a number of marriage officers who are more than happy to conduct these. There are also many other religions represented in South Africa including Judaism, Islam and Hinduism for which there are marriage officers to conduct the ceremony.
As a foreigner, it is possible to be legally married in South Africa.
What you will need to bring along with you:
- An apostilled letter of no impediment to marriage from your country’s Home Affairs office (Certificate of No Impediment).
What you will need on the day:
- A copy of your passport with entry stamps
- 3 ID/Passport pictures of both of you
The rest, your experienced marriage officer will take care of and discuss with you. There’s no need to be a resident of SA or in the country for 40 days!
Same sex marriage is also legal in South Africa and we love that people have this freedom in our country.
In order to obtain the unabridged marriage certificate needed to register your marriage in your own country you are required to apply in person at a Home Affairs Office in South Africa. The certificate will take 8-12 months to process and must be collected personally by you or a family member. You could view it as the perfect excuse to plan your one- year anniversary trip back to South Africa.
The other option is to apply for and collect your unabridged marriage certificate from the South African embassy/consulate in your country of residence.
If this is something you are not willing to do then it may be easiest to first be married legally in your own country before celebrating a symbolic marriage in South Africa.
Best Time of Year to Marry
South Africa offers warm weather and sunny skies across most of the country and being in the Southern Hemisphere means we are the perfect escape from Europe’s cold winters.
Our Natal region is subtropical which means warm, slightly humid weather all year round. Johannesburg experiences some showers in the afternoon during summer, but these are brief and roll in and out fairly quickly.
Although Cape Town winters are relatively cold and wet, the summers more than make up for it with balmy days perfect for a wedding. The best months of the year to get married in Cape Town are November-April.
Communication and Planning
A major factor when it comes to planning destination weddings is dealing with the locals who don’t speak English and having “lost in translation” problems. Luckily in South Africa English is widely spoken and with our eleven official languages, is the one we all choose to converse with each other in.
Your wedding planner, will definitely be fluent in English and will be able to take the helm for you in booking and managing all your suppliers in South Africa. This takes all the pressure off you, knowing this is being handled by the professionals. Event Affairs, only work with the best in the business to ensure all the weddings we are involved in are flawless.
Having a destination wedding in South Africa just makes sense. You can do so legally if you are willing, it will save you a penny, the weather plays its part and you’ll have no language barriers preventing you from getting exactly what you want. It’s really the sensible choice!
To learn more about the options available and the cost of a wedding in South Africa please use the form below to contact Event Affairs,
In Part 1, Event Affairs provided an overview of the diverse range of settings for a destination wedding in South Africa, including their top picks for best venues.
In Part 3 we discuss the wow factors that the South Wedding Industry can deliver.
In Part 4 we discover the countries wedding and honeymoon attractions
Find Out More…
To ask a question about have a destination wedding in South Africa, or to find out more about the cost of a wedding in South Africa please use the form below and Event Affairs will be more than happy to help you.