Pastor Daniel Finlay
- Customized weddings ceremonies
- Traditional or modern Christian ceremony
- Will Travel
Helping you to get there!
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!
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!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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.
a. A clear copy of both bride and groom’s South African ID Book or passport
b. 3x recent ID photos of both the bride and groom
c. If you have been married before: Divorce certificate (final decree of divorce)
d. If you are a widow or widower: Death certificate.
e. If you are a minor then you will need parental consent.
f. You will need two witnesses to sign the marriage register and I need a copy of both witnesses ID documents or passports.
g. If you are entering into an ante – nuptial contract, the lawyer will give you a one page document on their letter head stating that you have entered into an A.N.C. I need that one page to submit with the rest of your marriage documents.
Please note that I am required to take both bride and groom’s left thumb print
h. If you are not a South African citizen I need a clear copy of your passport picture page and the page containing the customs stamp when you entered South Africa.
i. If your two witnesses are non South African citizens then I need a clear copy of their passports picture page and the page containing the customs stamp when they entered South Africa
j. You will require a “no lawful impediment letter” unless your country of origin is The United Kingdom in which case the couple do not need to produce a no lawful impediment letter.
From August 2010, Home Affairs in South Africa stated that couples who are not South African citizens and wish to get married in South Africa need to provide what is called a letter of no lawful impediment. This letter is obtained from the bride and groom’s home office in their country of origin. It basically states that there is no lawful impediment for this bride and groom to get married overseas (like in South Africa). As a marriage officer, I am requested to submit this letter with the other required documentation to Home Affairs.
Legislation currently states that couples residing in The United Kingdom (including Ireland) do not require this letter of no lawful impediment.
Couples who are South African citizens do not require this letter as the marriage officer checks the marital status of the couple getting married with Home Affairs prior to the wedding.
An Ante nuptial Contract, also known as a Prenuptial Contract or Prenup, is a contract entered into by two people prior to their marriage, to stipulate the terms and conditions for the exclusion of community of property between them. Each spouse usually retains his or her separate property and have complete freedom to deal with that property as he or she chooses. If one spouse was declared insolvent, the other’s property is protected from the insolvent spouse’s creditors, subject to Section 21 of the Insolvency Act.
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.
No, according to South African law, a woman after her marriage may:-
(a) Assume her husband’s surname;
(b) Resume a surname, which she bore at any prior time;
(c) Join her maiden surname or previous married surname with that of her husband’s; or
(d) Retain her Maiden name.
Simply let me know which choice you will make before the ceremony.
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.
An abridged marriage certificate is issued to you by the marriage officer on your wedding day. It is an official document stating that you have been legally married in South Africa. The abridged marriage certificate is all that is needed for couples who are South African citizens and who live in South Africa.
For couples who reside outside of South Africa you will require an unabridged marriage certificate in order to register your marriage in the country where you reside. Basically an unabridged marriage certificate is an international marriage certificate.
An Apostille seal is used to authenticate legal documents for use in foreign countries. A document with an Apostille requires no further certification from an embassy or consulate in order to be legal.
Couples who get married in South Africa but who reside overseas require an unabridged marriage certificate which as the marriage officer, I apply to Home Affairs in Pretoria on behalf of the couple. It can take up to 4 or 5 months to get the unabridged marriage certificate. The High Court in Cape Town states that unabridged marriage certificates require an Apostille Stamp if that unabridged marriage certificate is going to be used to register a marriage in a foreign country. As the marriage officer once I receive the unabridged marriage certificate I will then arrange for it to have the Apostille Stamp affixed to it. Once this has been done, I will send it to the couple via air mail and registered post.
Legally, no – but if possible allow yourself a couple of days in which to acclimatise and do some ‘tourist stuff’. Also to complete the legal stuff with me, as well as to check out your proposed venue and arrangements. These basic meetings will go a long way towards making your great day everything you have dreamed of.
Any person who is present at the ceremony may sign the register as a witness, providing they are at least 16 years of age. Witnesses must produce a copy of either their South African Identity Document or passport (for non-SA citizens), as this information is required for the Marriage Register.
As long as you can provide me with a final decree of divorce that I can submit with your new marriage documents, Home Affairs will change your marriage status to divorced and then register your new marriage
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Thank you for the wonderful ceremony, it was exactly what we pictured for our wedding. Thank you for making our day special ?