Pastor Daniel Finlay

Marriage Officer

- Customized weddings ceremonies

- Traditional or modern Christian ceremony

- Will Travel

Helping you to get there!


  • Life groups
  • Discipleship
  • Counselling
  • Weddings & Dedications
  • Fellowship

The Marriage ceremony is such a special part of a Couples Big day, where Vows are shared and “Love” is so tangible. It is always an honor to be part of.

Traditional or Modern Christian Weddings

My service includes customising a wedding ceremony that’s right for you and meeting as often as required to ensure the ceremony comes off without a hitch. Any venue in the beach, home, chapel, lodge, church…will travel to KZN, Gauteng and even further by special arrangement.

Remember, even though the wedding is formal and “traditional” you are not tied to tradition. You have the freedom to make the ceremony what you want it to communicate!

Marriage Registrations

I’m an experienced Marriage Officer and Pastor. It is not uncommon that a wedding ceremony is conducted by someone who is not a registered marriage officer. So you’ve had the ceremony you want but now your marriage needs to be registered. I will take care of all the paperwork and registration for you.

Or perhaps you don’t want a ceremony at all but wish to have your marriage properly registered. Again, I will see that this is done without you having to see the inside of a Home Affairs office!

  • Pastor Daniel Finlay
    Pastor Daniel Finlay Marriage Officer

“Jesus is the way, the truth and the life”
– John 14:6


Have a look at some of the frequently asked question regarding my services and the day.

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See what others had to say about this service here.

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Pre-Marital Counselling

Pre-marital counselling is entirely optional but it is highly recommended.

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We want to get married, how do we go about choosing the right marriage officer?

Choosing the right marriage officer for your wedding is such an important decision. Firstly there need to be good references on the marriage officer’s Website and you should ask for the contact details of 3 couples who the marriage officer has recently married. I think having a Skype chat or a telephone conversation with a potential marriage officer will also give you a good idea whether he / she is someone you can work with. The marriage ceremony is all about the couple getting married and accommodating their requests to make the ceremony memorable and special.

How is a marriage registered?

On the day of the wedding once the ceremony has been concluded the bride and groom will both sign the marriage register along with the marriage officer and two witnesses and then I will give you your own legal marriage certificate as well as the second copy of the marriage register. I then take the legal documents within 3 days (from the date of marriage) to Home Affairs. It can take a while for Home Affairs to register your marriage depending on their backlog but I do have a Website link where you can check on your marital status.


What documents will the bride and groom be given on the day of their wedding?

On the day of your wedding, I will give you an abridged marriage certificate and the second copy of the marriage register. These are legal documents that you need to keep in a safe place. In case you ever lose your marriage certificate or your copy of the marriage register, I do keep certified copies.

We both have children from previous marriages – do we involve them in the ceremony?

It is entirely up to you, but if children are coming into the marriage, it is appropriate to mention in the ceremony that not only is a marriage being formed, but also a family – and depending on the children’s age, they could also play a part.

It is far more important that children hear their names mentioned in the ceremony than it is that they play any major part of the ceremony. Mentioning their name during the wedding assures them that they are an important part of the occasion and have special status. Children need to feel important to their parents.

How long should a wedding ceremony be?

In my opinion there is nothing worse than a long drawn out wedding ceremony where the marriage officer just likes the sound of his own voice. In my experience, especially if your wedding is outdoors I find that the optimal time for a wedding ceremony is between 30 – 40 minutes. Obviously it does depend on what you want included in your wedding ceremony…..

The length of a wedding ceremony really depends on a number of factors like how many rituals or symbols you would like included in your ceremony. My focus for a wedding ceremony is that it is primarily a celebration of the love between the bride and groom and a celebration of their relationship and the promises they will be making to each other on their wedding day.

I think a wedding ceremony can be enhanced by involving a family member of friend to read a poem about marriage or even read something personal that they have written about you.

There are a number of rituals that can be included in your wedding ceremony (I discuss this in more detail below)

What if I arrive late for my wedding?

It is the brides prerogative to be late for her wedding, and sometimes to stress out her dear partner for a bit of fun, but how late is acceptable? Around 10-15 min is acceptable, longer than that becomes uncomfortable for the groom, minister, guests, photographer and even caterers. Some ministers charge extra if more than 30min late but I will only do that if I have to wait more than 1hr, at my discretion.

What vows should we be saying to each other on our wedding day?

Either traditional or modern vows, but you may even write your own. I would discuss this with you in person or email. Vows are always really meaningful and are so important on the day.

Should we think about saying our own vows to each other?

I am more than happy if you would like to say your own vows to each other during your wedding ceremony. I do find in most cases that couples prefer not to say their own vows to each other because there are so many nerves and emotions on such a big occasion.

What are some of the wedding rituals that are commonly included into wedding ceremonies?

Unity Candles are a wonderful ritual that acknowledges the role and influence of family in the lives of both the groom and bride. On the one hand it honours the bride and groom’s parents and on the other it is a powerful symbol of the bride and groom becoming one and starting a new family. The two outside candles represent the bride and groom’s lives. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their separate ways. As you join now in marriage, there is a merging of these two lights into one light. From now on your thoughts shall be for each other rather than your individual selves. Your plans shall be mutual, your joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. As you each take a candle and together light the centre one, you will extinguish your own candles thus letting the centre candle represent the union of your lives. As this one light cannot be divided, neither shall your lives be divided.

Scottish tradition of Handfasting ritual / blessing ; During the ceremony the couples hands will be bound together with a tartan sash. The bride and groom will then repeat the words of the hand fasting ceremony to each other.

Jewish tradition of breaking the glass: I love the symbolism of the breaking of the glass. It is a Jewish ritual done by the groom but the meaning is rich and applicable to all weddings. It is a joyous celebration and the breaking of the glass means a number of different things: It symbolizes the fragility of love, commitment and trust that are core ingredients in marriage. Another symbol is that your marriage is to last as long as the glass remains broken and that is forever. There is a joke that this is the last time the groom really gets to put his foot down and lastly in good Jewish tradition may you have as many children as there are pieces of broken glass.

Communion is an option for those who are committed to Christ and understand the symbolism. I will discuss this personally.

A Sand ceremony is fun and meaningful on the beach instead of Unity candles. Ask for info if interested.

Will you marry us if we are not religious and don’t go to church?

I am a marriage officer who conducts either religious or civil wedding ceremonies for couples getting married in KwaZulu-Natal

My motto is…helping you get there. Sure i’ll help, as long as you or your partner don’t mind my Christian approach.

We want a non-religious wedding, do you do that?

I am willing to perform  a civil wedding ceremony that makes your day special for you. It is your day, after all! If I’m not comfortable with it, I’ll simply let you know.

Do we have to get married in a church?

No, you can get married just about anywhere! That includes public and private buildings, parks and beaches, wine estates and more. Be aware though, that some locations may require a permit (beaches come to mind). Make sure that all usage permits are secured (if necessary) and special details and arrangements made well in advance of your wedding day. There are special requirements for the signing of the register though.

Can we legally get married outdoors?

Marriages may take place according to the Law “in” a public office, a church or building used for religious services or a private residence. There is no reference to a “roof” or for that matter “walls” so the real understanding or meaning is left up for different interpretations of the word “in”. I have discussed this with home affairs and they agree that there is not law saying you can not get married outside or that you have to get married under a roof.

Will we meet you in person before the wedding?

I like to meet with all the couples I marry even if it can only be a few days before the wedding. Included in my fees is a meeting with the bride and groom which I normally do at a coffee shop in the Durban area where I live. Many details can be covered prior to the wedding via email or Skype. For me it is very improtant to have a face-to-face chat  with both the bride and the groom.

Do we need a wedding rehearsal?

It is totally up to you. I am available for a rehearsal at your wedding venue a few days before your wedding day, depending on how far the venue is. Usually we chat through the ceremony in detail and the only thing that needs rehearsing is the Bridal entrance to the music. This can be done without me.

We were married in court. Can we get married again in a ceremony with our friends and family?

Absolutely. You’re already “legally” married, so there is no official paperwork involved. Just enjoy the special day with your family and friends. By the way, I can perform a small civil ceremony in the privacy of your own home or in mine – much better than standing around at Home Affairs!

What is the difference between a marriage ceremony and a renewal of vows?

They are similar in that they are used to express love and commitment to one another. For a marriage ceremony, you must comply with certain legalities and have a marriage certificate issued, which gives the legal component to the ceremony. A ceremony to renew vows is not a legal ceremony and there is no official marriage certificate. Renewal of vows is typically done at special anniversaries, when a couple reunites after a separation, or perhaps even after a life-altering event, but any time is a good time to re-affirm your love and commitment to each other. These services can be even more special than the initial wedding, because as years go by, there are so many memories and loving moments to reflect upon.

give me a call or send me an e-mail to discuss your requirements


  • We would both like to express our gratitude to you for conducting our ceremony and for the beautiful words. We have watched our wedding video a couple of times and your message that you gave us on our special day was heartfelt and will always be with us during our life time of marriage.

    Richard and Nicole Pfotenhauer
    Richard and Nicole Pfotenhauer
  • Evening Daniel! Just a quick mail to say hello. Hope you and your lovely family are very well. We're watching our wedding dvd and thinking back to what a special ceremony it was. All thanks to you. Thank you again for your guidance and words. We NEED to get together for coffee! All our best, always

    Rikki & Wes
    Rikki & Wes
  • Dear Pastor Dan I trust that you are well. We wanted to thank you for making our “Big Day” so unforgettable. We appreciate the time you took in getting to know us. It helped to make a very personal and touching ceremony. We really appreciated your calm, kind, professional and engaging manner. Everyone has commented on how beautiful the ceremony was, it was absolutely perfect. We cannot thank you enough.

    Brynn and Janine Tozer
    Brynn and Janine Tozer
  • Thank you so much for the beautiful presentation and conductance of our ceremony. You made the words leap into life from the page. We loved every moment of it and I was so pleased that everything came together on the day! God really did smile on us.

  • Both Tinus and I could not have hoped for a better ceremony. Even though you had just met Tinus a few times before the big day it still felt very personal. Your guidance during the weeks leading up to the wedding and on the day was invaluable.

    Justine & Tinus
    Justine & Tinus
  • Thank you for the wonderful ceremony, it was exactly what we pictured for our wedding. Thank you for making our day special ?

    Reese and Danica
    Reese and Danica


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