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  • Luke Krone


Making your destination wedding legal can be complicated and overwhelming depending on where you’re getting married. But you can have the destination wedding of your dreams without the administrative headache of legalising your marriage in your chosen destination wedding country.

Let me guide you through all the different options to make your destination wedding legal.

Getting legally married in your destination country

Marriage requirements vary from country to country. The advantage is that you will be legally married on the day of your wedding. The disadvantage is that it will require a lot of paperwork. If you are planning on getting legally married in South Africa as foreigners, you'll want to read this (link to Getting Married in South Africa as Foreigners).

Getting legally married in your country of residence

A symbolic wedding will look exactly like a legal wedding. You have the option of getting legally married either before or after your destination wedding. The advantages of both are the same:

  • Less paperwork

  • No waiting period to get your legal marriage certificate

  • It’s less complicated

  • It’s more affordable


  • Celebrate your destination wedding as your official wedding anniversary and just think of the local ceremony as “legal paperwork”.

  • Don’t change your name! The name on your plane ticket and passport must match in order to avoid any issues at the airport.

  • If you’re having a Catholic destination wedding, a legal marriage license is required before the ceremony at most destinations. Make sure you discuss the details with your priest and wedding planner.

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