Destination Wedding: Johannesburg, South Africa
While there’s no beach nearby, there are plenty of upbeat activities for your wedding party in this big city.
Johannesburg, affectionately called Joburg by locals, isn’t only the largest city in South Africa, it is also the wealthiest, making it flush with prime wedding venues, amazing caterers, four-star hotels, and outside-of-the-box entertainment. While there is no coastline or lake to draw in tourists (like many other large cities in the world), there is no need. From museums, spas, botanical gardens, lion parks, and horseback riding, to the high-end retail therapy of Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg is as equally surprising in its cultural offerings as it is in its vacation viability.
Best Hotels in Johannesburg
Choosing a place for your guests to relax and enjoy the wedding festivities may be one of the biggest decisions you make. Whether you have a cozy group of family and friends that can fit into an elegant B&B, or you wish to have a block of rooms all to yourself in the city centre, Johannesburg is not at a loss of fine establishments.
The Residence boutique hotel in the high-end suburb of Houghton (former President Nelson Mandela’s old neighborhood) is the epitome of luxe. The suites here are out-of-this-world with amazing details and astonishing extras. The rooftop Sky Bar gives guests the bird’s eye view of the fringed forest and Johannesburg cityscape beyond. If you want something more intimate, The Rivonia Bed and Breakfast is located north of downtown and offers guests seclusion while getting ready for the big day.
Best Destination Wedding Venues in Johannesburg
The French-inspired estate of Le Chatelat in Sandhurst will exceed your expectations. For a wedding to remember, consider hosting an outdoor garden wedding under their stone pavilion surrounded by gorgeous French-inspired decor and immaculate stone stairways. Amid century-old wainscoting, this place is not only one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Johannesburg, it can also double as your guests accommodations.
If you are looking for something more affordable, the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank has excellent wedding planning capabilities and can help plan your party of 8 or 80. This great location gives your guests the ability to enjoy the sights and nightlife of the downtown area without having to travel further than the lobby doors.
Need to Know Marriage Info
For customary marriages or civil unions, the first step is to visit the nearest Home Affairs office to book a date for your marriage upon arrival.
Bring the Following:
– A letter of confirmation of marital status if you are US citizen.
– Valid US passports and copies of birth certificate (for each person getting married).
– If a US citizen is marrying a South African citizen, both will need to present their valid passports as well as well as a completed BI-31 Form (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage, Letter of no impediment).
– Two witnesses must be present.
– Must be over 18 or have parental consent.
– Must present a decree of divorce or a death certificate if applicable.
According to the South African Government Services website, it is free to get married in Johannesburg; however, you may have to pay an officiant to perform the wedding which can cost around $145 US (1200 ZAR).