How to Elope in South Africa

South Africa is becoming increasingly popular as an elopement wedding destination and rightfully so. The country lives and breathes not only adventure but also deep connection. But, how to elope in South Africa?

Whether you are planning to elope on one of her beautiful beaches, aim for a safari elopement, or are exploring the option of taking a helicopter into the mountains; in South Africa, adventure always awaits! There are quite some things to think about when you plan your elopement in South Africa though. That’s why I’ve listed some tips and tricks in this blog for you, to help make some important decisions.

Every season has its charm and climates vary tremendously across the country. Because of that, truly any time is a good time. It just depends on your location and on what you have envisioned your elopement experience to be. To me, some rain, wind and clouds make for extremely emotive imagery. But if you don’t even want to think about the possibility of rain during your elopement, then making the perfect combination between time and place is key. Let me explain:

Choosing the best season

First and foremost, remember that summer and winter, are opposite between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Summer in South Africa, generally runs from November to March. Winter spans over June, July, and August.

Why is this so important? Well, because the weather patterns attached to the seasons are very different for the various parts of South Africa. Where the North experiences thunderstorms in the summer’s rainy season, the Cape Town region experiences summer drought during that time. In winter, however, it’s the exact opposite. You might think you’re in Britain when you find yourself in the Cape in South Africa’s winter. On the other side of the country though, up North, there will hardly be a cloud in the sky for months.

How to elope in South Africa

What about Cape Town?

If you want the highest chance of sunny weather on your elopement day in Cape Town, then summer is your best bet. Eloping anytime between November and March will have you enjoy the Cape’s vibrant summer vibes to the fullest. These months are also peak season for tourism though. Try to avoid any South African public holidays or long weekends, as the Cape Town region is also a popular destination for the South Africans themselves. Add the already present international tourists into the mix and you can picture that it can get crowded in places where you’d normally find tranquility. Because of that I always recommend to my couples when planning their Cape Town elopement to avoid eloping in Cape Town between especially mid-December and mid-January if possible. 

What is the best time for a safari elopement in South Africa?

Truly anytime. It depends a bit on the vibe you are going for. Summers are green and lush in the bush up North, where winters are dry and therefore present you with a completely different atmosphere and even ‘colour palette’, so to speak. 

In summer, you get to experience what a true African thunderstorm is like. Where in winter, you can see the milky way in the clear dark winter skies. Want to see loads of baby animals? Especially most antelope species deliver their calves in summer. 

How to elope in South Africa

Where is the best place to elope in South Africa?

It fully depends on what you are after and what you are willing to spend on your elopement experience. I gave some examples in my blogpost: Where to elope in South Africa?

Where to stay?

The great thing about eloping in South Africa, is that it can work for any budget. From beautiful, yet affordable AirBNBs in areas like Cape Town, to up market luxury safaris and everything in between: South Africa’s got you covered.

How to legally get married in South Africa

When you google this subject, the results and information that come out of that search are all over the show. Let’s get this out of the way first: Yes, you can get legally and officially hitched as foreigners in South Africa and no, you don’t need a lengthy interview at the Home Affairs office despite what the internet tells you in some places.

How to elope in South Africa

Officially getting married in South Africa: a guide

Key is hiring a wedding celebrant who has experience with organising the paperwork that is involved when it comes to officially marrying two internationals in South Africa.

A proper wedding celebrant will brief you properly beforehand on what you need to bring with you for this whole administrative undertaking to be successful. Then, after a few months, you will have your very own South African unabridged marriage certificate to show for it! And yes, you will be able to sign your documents on top of a mountain or on a beach! You just need the right celebrant, which is why I am so grateful to have a great one in my network. 

How to elope in South Africa

Documents you need to bring to your elopement

  • a certified copy of each partner’s passport – this is the photo page of the passport
  • a certified copy of your entry stamp into the country
  • a letter of non-impediment from the country linked to the passport of each partner
  • A copy of your divorce decree/settlement agreement if applicable, stamped by the court, or a death certificate
  • If any of the above documentation is in a language other than English and does not contain a translation within the document, then you need to hire a certified translator to translate the documents for you.
  • If you choose to sign an ante nuptial contract, you need to do this before the date of your legal marriage.
  • On the day of your elopement, you also need to have three ID-size color photographs of each partner with you.
How to elope in South Africa

Do you need help with navigating your South Africa elopement? I specialise in co-creating meaningful elopement experiences with my couples and would love to see your dreams come true too.

These are a few examples of South Africa elopements:

Helicopter elopement wedding in the Drakensberg mountains, South Africa

Ocean vibes elopement in Cape Town, South Africa

Hiking elopement in Franschhoek, South Africa

Safari elopement wedding, South Africa

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