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Marriage officers. What’s in a name…?

We're here to help!

All marriage officers in South Africa must be sponsored and supported by an organisation recognised by the Dept of Home Affairs.  Traditionally the organisations recognising by the DHA were main stream religious bodies.  The result is that individuals qualified to legally marry couples are often from a religious background.

South Africa has two main laws governing marriage: the Marriage Act of 1961 and the Civil Union Act of 2006.  The Civil Union Act enables the marriage of same sex couples.  It also opens the door for secular and minority religions to sponsor marriage officers.  Thus there are far more secular/non religious marriage officers now qualified to help you marry in the way that is the best for YOU!

We are getting to the point now!

The title of the person performing your ceremony is of no concern.  As long as they are registered under one of the two acts to perform your service and register your marriage with the DHA we're all good!

PS: The legal consequences of a marriage under the Civil Union Act are the same as those of a marriage under the Marriage Act.

 

YOU, DO, YOU!

We have both religious and secular officiants as part of our team.  All are experienced in and energised by creating a ceremony that best represents you and your love story.  Full on religion, we've got you.  No mention at all, no probs. Small spiritual nod, cool reading or favourite song half way.  Yay!  We're up for that!

We all agree that representing couples who've not walked a straight path in love are particularly rewarding to meet.  Couples involved in inter-faith, multi-racial, same sex, and later-in-life relationships, and now those whose bond has been tested by Covid stress, have often weathered many storms before getting to the 'altar'. ⁠ Each of these love stories deserves to be celebrated and we ❤️ that we get to go along for the ride. 😍⁠

Our vow to you is craft a wedding that nods to tradition in a contemporary fashion and honours your story, no matter the law under which you are marrying or the background of the officiant.

Read a note from our marriage officer, Craig, on our blog, HERE.

A small wedding is NOT Plan B.

A small wedding is not a Plan B necessitated by Covid! Though it's obviously impacted weddings in many ways the traditional wedding industry was being disrupted prior to Covid anyway.

Too many couples are locked out of marriage as they just can't financially, and often don't want to, bow to society's expectations of a big, traditional wedding.  The US wedding industry alone is worth a whopping 75 billion dollars per year so it's no wonder that it fuels the myth of a wedding day as 'the best day of your life' in order to sustain that.  Couples who don't want to blindly follow costly traditions and feel pressure to meet family expectations of a big bash, but also don't wish to go the impersonal route of a registry office were a bit stuck.

Sound familiar?! Enter the micro wedding or elopement.  And hear the sighs of relief from couples worldwide who want a respectful, ceremony focussed wedding that accurately reflects them and their style, and their pockets!

Tiny weddings can still be aesthetically gorgeous, often more so, as couples have more budget to spend on special details for fewer guests and they are guaranteed to be less stressful in the planning.

Covid has highlighted that marriage, and weddings, are about committing to each other, and demonstrating your love to each other, as you will need to do for the rest of your life!  Once you eliminate napkin folds and seating plans you really can focus on the ceremony, vows and including the traditions that are meaningful to you, and not those that are just routinely followed.

A SMALL WEDDING ISN'T PLAN B!

Click HERE to see how we wedding plan, in a way, way, way, lower stress manner!

                                                                                    Image via: Junebug Weddings

A word from Rev. Craig about your wedding ceremony

The Rev. Craig Morrison is our marriage officer and will create and a deliver a wedding ceremony that is uniquely you!  A motorbike riding, married dad of two adult children, Craig has solemnised over eleven hundred marriages!

Let’s hear more from Craig… I am tremendously grateful to all the couples who have trusted me with making their #SpecialDay memorable and who have taught me so much.  I do a lot more than solemnise couples and register their marriages. The 'work' begins before the happy day by crafting a wedding ceremony that is uniquely perfect for them. I want the ceremony to be interesting and fun and solemn in all the right places, and entertaining and thought-provoking for their guests. Together we create a wedding ceremony that speaks to, and about their relationship journey. I do my best to keep the ceremony tight. The couple must be the focus. We want to say all that is necessary without saying anything that is superfluous.  Have a look at this inspiring collection of wedding readings as a start point. 

My most important role however is to help couples think through a plethora of relationship issues associated with this wonderful practice we call “marriage”. My motto is: “A wedding lasts a single day, a marriage for a lifetime.” We can safely assume that marriage is the single most significant question of our lives. Why you marry; when you marry; whom you marry; and even how you marry, are weighty matters of personhood and culture and relationship and these questions must be carefully explored!

Rev Craig G. Morrison HC in ABET (UNISA) Hons BTh (UNISA) AFTS (FedSem) Dip.Bib.Studs (CEBI) 

Read more about planning your intimate wedding with us here.

Spotlight on our venues: Pomegranate Orchard

Ganico is home to Jason and Laiken Callen, their two young sons and the 3 200 trees that comprise their pomegranate orchard!  Five acres of the super-fruit were planted in 2010 and in 2018 additional crops such as lemons, granadillas and gooseberries were added.  The goal is to turn the estate into a biodiverse food forest.  The farm is certified by Ecocert, a European accrediting agency with the highest of standards.  Ganico Estate is entirely biodynamic meaning that bats and chickens are relied upon to control pests, and provide manure. A large damn is well stocked with fish.  These provide nutrient rich water to the orchards and beehives do all the pollinating!  With the chickens and bats and bees and fish doing the all farm work for them the Cullens have time to expand into other areas: coffee, body and beauty products, workshops, farm picnics, foraging events and weddings!

 

'We do, weddings' pops Polly up in the pomegranate orchard which makes an amazing backdrop for photos summer and winter.  The farm's event space, The Atrium, is double volume and features massive barn doors that open to a years old liquid amber tree and is a fabulous 'blank canvas' space in which to host a reception (for up to 30 people) on site afterwards.  Pomegranates are rich in anti-oxidants, is anti-viral, improves memory and apparently fertility too! Read more about the amazing health benefits or pomegranates here.  Chat to us about hosting your wedding at the visually stunning and unique Ganico Estate today.  And see the details of more of our venue options here.

 

Eloping is a marvellous adventure!

We so connect with this list of reasons why an eloping is so fabulous.  Thanks Adventure Instead, we hear you!

"We’re so excited to share the actual, driving forces behind couples choosing to elope—the real reasons that people are bravely choosing to have a an intentional wedding day that’s perfectly in-line with who they are."

  1. A 'just us' experience.
  2. Authenticity
  3. Intimacy and intention
  4. Less family drama
  5. Valuing experiences over stuff
  6. Less stress and anxiety
  7. Too much planning
  8. Not the centre of attention
  9. Life is meant to be an adventure
  10. Amazing photos

Eloping with 'We do, weddings' is a fabulously stress free option.  Every tiny detail is considered for you, and made uniquely yours. Polly, our vintage trailer is special gust at all our tiny weddings! Read more about our offer here.

  1. Photo courtesy of: www.adventureinstead.com

 

 

Bigger is not always better – managing costs

The success of a wedding day is not directly linked to its price tag.  The success of the marriage can be if you begin it with lots of wedding debt. Or if you disagree on what is an appropriate budget.  Managing costs associated with a big wedding can be a full time job in itself!

For some a tiny wedding is a way to keep costs down. For others it's a way to redistribute them. Some couples choose to treat a handful of special friends to a five-star dinner rather than serve a buffet to 200.  Or to spoil a few close family members to a weekend away which includes their tiny wedding and hours of togetherness to celebrate it.  Have a squizz at this useful article about managing costs for a South African wedding.

Couples who still wish to go all out with their guest list may find that it is somewhat out of their hands. Venues are under pressure to make up dates from 2020 covid related cancellations and already have commitments to couples who'd already booked for 2021.  So large weddings may have to be held on non traditional days like Thursdays or Sundays.  This will inevitably change the dynamic as not all guests are keen or able to take time off work, especially if they need to travel to attend.  You may choose to ‘stick it out’ and continue with your plans for a big wedding.  Or to re-think and dive into the multiple advantages of a tiny one.  Either way, now is the time to lean into your partner and begin building the foundation for the marriage that is to follow.

Sequel wedding – Huh?

There are few aspects to our lives that have not been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and weddings are obviously one!   Some couples had always planned on a tiny wedding and are moving forward unhindered towards their intimate wedding day. Others have been attracted to tiny weddings as a way to honour their original date.  Or perhaps they just wish to be married already, damn it!  Still others have had to re-think their plans for big bash as losses due to a previous cancelation or their own new economic circumstances just don't allow it any longer.  Enter: The sequel wedding.  What on earth is that?  A sequel wedding is a large celebration to be hosted at some future date which may include some of the bridal couple's original plans, or may just be a big bash, to be planned and executed down the line when times are more certain. Simple as that!

Though the prevalence has increased sharply due to Covid, sequel weddings have actually always had a place.

  • Second marriages: many couples enjoy an intimate ceremony for their second wedding, and a larger 'party', rather than 'wedding' vibe with friends
  • Destination weddings: these, by their nature, often exclude those who can't travel, thus a second event is popular for these couples.
  • Visas: couples from different countries may choose to marry to hep their legal status, and to celebrate the union with friends at a later date
  • Vision: couples who want a less formal vibe often opt for a sequel wedding once the the ceremonial and legalities are complete
  • Budget:  a sequel wedding party often comes in at a lower price tag than a traditional white wedding and this is appealing to some

Read more about how our tiny weddings offer couples the opportunity to enjoy their wedding, and add a sequel!

A mini what?

We heart this nickname for a tiny wedding - mini-mony! Pared down guest list, pared down stress points, and a nod to the lower expense that a tiny wedding calls for. A mini-mony is a tiny wedding with a limit on guests but not on love!  Mini-mony weddings are usually outdoor, and this also helps couples comply with social distancing, keeping loved ones safer from Corona whilst not losing any of the style of a larger event.  Mini-mony weddings usually include no more than about 20 guests, occasionally sometimes just the couple themselves with two witnesses, and are big on love and low on stress!  It still involves an officiant and personal ceremony, and the ‘usual’ wedding details such as stunning blooms, wedding cake, a first dance if you’d like and champagne toasts.

With plans for large celebrations on the back burner for the foreseeable future, some couples still wish to honour their dates this year. For couples not living together yet they may not wish to delay this step. For others starting a family within wedlock sooner rather than later is important, and for some after the stress of the past few months a renewal of vows or a civil ceremony is in their hearts.

There’s also no way to predict whether weddings as we know them will even be possible next year making venues and vendors reluctant to commit to big weddings and thus small ceremonies are especially appealing now because they can be adapted to whatever restrictions might be in place in a year.  But even without constraints on their guest list, couples starting to plan a wedding right around now might well find that the venues they want are booked through the end of 2021. This by itself would be enough to push some couples toward a simpler, more scaled-back, easier-to-plan wedding day.

                                                                                                                                         Photo courtesy of: Jovial Photography

Weddings and Covid 19

Countless couples have been left emotionally devastated and financially out of pocket as their 2020 wedding plans have been scuppered by the dreaded Corona. And guests used to attending weddings weekend after weekend in ‘normal’ times have been left with blank diaries, new party dresses hanging with their tags on and no idea when ‘normal’ will return, if ever, to the wedding industry. The pandemic and the global social-distancing policies that have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 have effectively ruled out large gatherings for the foreseeable future.

En masse, weddings have been dramatically postponed, putting more pressure on the 2021 ‘season’, potentially escalating costs in an already overpriced sector and all without any certainty that restrictions on gathering will in fact have been lifted.  Some couples have lost jobs or been forced into pay cuts and others feel that it's no longer socially responsible to spend lavishly on a wedding when so much medical and economic suffering is around us.

That doesn't mean that love in all its forms should not be celebrated! If anything, Corona has taught us to reach out for moments of joy and that they can come from the simplest of gestures or moments and this is evidenced by the huge uptake in elopements which we love!  Elopements are planned to be so unique to each couple and with no need to bow to any family pressure, you really can do 'you', on this all important day.

Photo courtesy of: Shell Creek Photography

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