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How much does an average wedding cost in South Africa?

Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event, where you will celebrate the love between you and your partner in front of friends and family. It is a day that many dream of, and for some, the costs of a wedding may seem daunting. In South Africa, the average cost of a wedding varies greatly depending on many elements in the planning process. In this post, we will cover the average cost of a wedding in South Africa, as well as what factors contribute to these costs.

What is the Average Cost of a Wedding in South Africa?

According to Johannesburg-based wedding planner Natasha Viet, the average cost of a wedding in South Africa is around $12,000 (R200,000). However, this number can vary depending on elements such as the venue location, catering, and decor. Many couples take out loans, finance the wedding, or put it on a credit card.

It is important to note that this average cost is not an absolute, and a wedding can be planned for less or more than this depending on priorities, preferences, and budget. At the end of the day, every couple has a unique vision for their wedding, and budgeting can contribute to creating the day you want.

What Are the Contributing Factors to the Cost of a Wedding in South Africa?

It is essential to keep in mind that the cost of a wedding differs significantly depending on the couple and their decisions. It is important to note that a budget for a wedding does not have to make the wedding feel cheap or subpar. Below are contributing factors that affect the cost of a wedding.

1. Venue

A venue is one of the most significant contributing factors to the cost of a wedding. The venue determines the location, atmosphere, and often, the prettiness of the day. When choosing a venue, consider how much it accommodates your guest list, the location, and the season in which you intend to have the wedding. The price range for a venue varies from $700 (R11,500) to $7000 (R115,000).

2. Catering

The food and beverages that you plan to offer your wedding guests plays a significant role in the wedding costs, with it often contributing to over 30% of the total budget. Determining a catering budget and guest count can be daunting, but there are options to consider. Buffet-style catering can offer guests variety and lower costs over individual meals services.

3. Photography and Video

Capturing your wedding day in photographs and videos is essential to fondly remember the day. Photography and Videography are important factors for couples to budget for and can vary significantly in cost, with the average starting price being $1000 (R16,000).

4. Wedding Dress and Attire

The wedding dress is often a significant financial consideration for a couple planning a wedding. The bride not only needs an exquisite wedding dress but accessories, shoes, hair, and makeup during fitting. Because many stores and boutiques offer a broad range of wedding dresses, prices can vary, with most brides spending approximately $1000-$3000 (R16,000-R50,000) alone on the dress.

5. Entertainment and Decor

Entertainment and decorations are elements that help make your wedding day special. They also take up considerable portions of the budget with average decor costing $2000-$3000 (R33,000-R50,000). Music and entertainment can start from around $600 (R10,000).

The Bottom Line

The average cost of a wedding in South Africa is approximately $12,000 (R200,000), but this is not a fixed number. Planning a wedding with a unique vision requires couples to decide what is essential to them and budget accordingly. While budgeting for a day may appear challenging, remember the significance of the day and the celebration of love that comes with it.


How can a foreigner get married in South Africa?

South Africa is a popular wedding destination due to its beautiful landscape and diverse cultural heritage. However, for foreigners looking to tie the knot in South Africa, there are a few legal requirements that need to be met.

According to South African law, foreign citizens who wish to get married in the country need to present a “Letter of No Impediment to Marry” from their Embassy when they apply for a marriage license. This letter confirms that the individual is legally allowed to get married and that there are no obstacles or impediments in their way.

To obtain this letter, foreign citizens will need to contact their respective Embassy or Consulate in South Africa, where they will be required to provide some documentation and go through a process to confirm their eligibility to get married. The requirements and process may vary depending on the country of origin, and it is advisable to contact the embassy early on in the planning process to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is obtained in time.

Once the “Letter of No Impediment to Marry” has been obtained, the next step is to apply for a marriage license at a South African Home Affairs office. This is where the couple will need to provide the necessary documentation, such as their passports, the letter of no impediment and potentially even their birth certificates. Some additional documentation may be required for specific cases, such as if the couple has been previously married.

Once the application has been approved and the marriage license issued, the couple is free to arrange their wedding ceremony and celebrations. South Africa offers a wide range of options for wedding venues, from traditional churches and chapels to stunning outdoors locations such as vineyards, beaches, and game reserves.

Getting married as a foreigner in South Africa requires obtaining a “Letter of No Impediment to Marry” from your embassy or consulate office, providing necessary documentation, and applying for a marriage license at a South African Home Affairs office. With proper planning and adherence to the legal requirements, foreign citizens can enjoy a beautiful and memorable wedding experience in South Africa.