The values and people behind our

Fairytale Weddings

Masterpiece Ceremonies


for memories that last a lifetime

We aim to bring freshness and uniqueness to every ceremony we conduct and to inspire moments of optimism and happiness… To create value and make a difference and to inspire creativity, passion, fun and dignity where needed.

So, who are we?  Glad you asked.

Nifty Nuptials is a specialist company, and we love what we do. It’s who we are. We believe that team work is dream work. As a team working side by side we aspire for the designed lifestyle: a place where work, life and inspiration are all equal and integrated organically. We have been in the game since 2011 and have literally thousands of ceremonies under our belts.

Our goal is to create work that is honest, solutions that are exploratory, touching and inspirational, material that is conceptually interesting and professional. We operate with the belief that process and collaboration should be as exciting and fun as the end result. Fiona, Founder of Nifty Nuptials and one of our registered officiants, is designated by the South African Department of Home Affairs, designation number CU119, along with her husband, Gray, designation number CU252.

Fiona & Gray Bowden

Husband & Wife Dream Team


Lock an key

Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions…We have answers

a)      If both parties are South African citizens:
  • ONE clear copy of your identity documents (Driver’s licenses won’t do – no need to be certified).
  • THREE ID photos each (Colour or B/W)
  • ONE clear copy of each of your witnesses SA identity documents. (Witnesses to be aged 18 +) Passports/Driver’s licenses won’t be accepted by Home Affairs – no need to be certified
  • HANIS verification of marital status.  You will be required to verify your Marital Status on the Population Registry by going in to any home affairs office for a HANIS verification.  Should you prefer NOT to go to home affairs for your verification we can get yours done on your behalf through a private verification service at an ADDITIONAL FEE OF R125 PER HANIS. Please acknowledge this very important fact by putting a smiley face next to this paragraph.
  • Should you wish to be married by Anti-nuptial (pre-nup) contract you will be required to obtain your contract PRIOR to your marriage and the marriage officer will require a letter confirming this, failing which you will automatically be married IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY.

If one or both parties were married before:

Proof that you are not married to another person by way of:

Copy of the divorce settlement (Cover page) OR

Copy of the death certificate OR

If you have misplaced any of the above, an affidavit can be obtained from a commissioner of oaths PROVIDED you are CORRECTLY registered on the system will be accepted. 

Please note that as of the 15th of June 2019, Home Affairs designated officials have been instructed of the following:

All divorced/widowed South African’s to be officially married in South Africa after this date, must have their current Marital Status confirmed before the planned solemnization of their marriage (Wedding Date.)   

You will be required to verify your Marital Status on the Population Registry by going into any home affairs office for a HANIS verification.  Should you prefer NOT to go to home affairs for your verification we can get yours done on your behalf through a private verification service at an ADDITIONAL FEE OF R125 PER HANIS. 

Should your marital status be incorrectly recorded, you must undertake to have it corrected by the Department prior to your proposed marriage by visiting any home affairs office with your original ID document and certified copies of divorce decrees/death certificates. Registration of marriages with incorrect marital statuses can take up to a year and we cannot be held responsible for delays in the event of incorrect registrations on the system. We will NOT be allowed to register your marriage until such time as you have been to the Department of Home Affairs yourself and corrected this PRIOR to your wedding AND provided us with a copy of the Divorce Decree/Death Certificate etc or if you have misplaced any of these documents, a NOTARISED affidavit stating the fact. 

b) If you are both foreign nationals:
  • THREE original passport/ID photos each of bride and groom /partners
  • ONE clear copy of foreigner’s passport – no need to be certified
  • ONE clear copy of the SA National’s ID book/Passport – no need to be certified
  • ONE clear copy of each of your two witnesses ID books. (Witnesses to be aged 18 +) Passports/Drivers Licenses not accepted by Home Affairs – no need to be certified)
  • A Letter of No Impediment on marital status which can be obtained from any authority that is relevant in your country and can issue you with such a document OR a Statutory declaration from country of origin for citizens of Commonwealth countries. A letter from the registry office of the state/region in which you reside will also suffice. If you are already in SA, you may contact the Consulate General of your particular country. Please discuss letter with us if unsure about letter detail.
  • A copy of the stamp inside passport when arriving in SA – no need to be certified
  • If you are working/living in SA (but a foreigner), we need a copy of the document stating under which condition you are in SA for example: temporary residence permit or working permit etc
  • If either of you is divorced, a certified copy of the final divorce decree or a sworn Affidavit declaring marital status
  • If either of you is a widow/er, a certified copy of the death certificate or a sworn Affidavit declaring marital status
  • Should you wish to be married by Anti-nuptial (pre-nup) contract you will be required to obtain your contract PRIOR to your marriage and the marriage officer will require a letter confirming this, failing which you will automatically be married IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY.

It is ESSENTIAL to have copies of all documents if not before the day of the service/wedding then BEFORE the service/registration begins on the day. PLEASE NOTE THE DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS WILL NOT PERMIT US TO REGISTER YOUR MARRIAGE/CIVIL PARTNERSHIP WITHOUT THE ABOVE ATTACHMENTS.  Should the documents not be presented to the Officiant the service/registration will still proceed, but your Marriage/Civil Partnership will NOT be legally registered until such the as the documents are produced.

To book a wedding with us, we require two things:

  1. A contract
  2. a deposit of 50%.

This guarantees that your date is set and no one else can get it! Lots of brides and grooms are booking their dates well in advance, and the good vendors get booked quickly. Our advice; book as soon as you know your date.

Go on your honeymoon and have a good time! We’ll be fighting crowds at the Department of Home Affairs, working vigorously, drinking RedBull like its going out of style and getting your marriage registered.  You won’t have to go in at all. 

If you change your surname we’ll take care of that too! In which case, all you have to do is go in at a time convenient to you to apply for a new ID card/passport etc.  They will be issued to you in your new married name.

In terms of section 26 (1) of the Birth and Death Registration Act, as amended, a person after marriage may: (a) Assume his/her partner’s surname; (b) Resume a surname, which he/she bore at any prior time, (c) Join his/her birth surname or previous married surname with that of his/hers/partner’s, or,(d) Retain his/her name.

Your Marriage Officer is registered under the Civil Union Act of 2006.  The Act allows anyone – regardless of their sexual orientation – to marry either through a civil marriage, civil partnership or a customary marriage. Should you experience problems with Home Affairs when you apply for a new ID book or passport, please show them this note:

The Civil Union Act, 2006 (Act No. 17 of 2006) allows for a civil union to be contracted under the act by a same-sex or opposite-sex couple, and they may choose to form it either as a marriage or as a civil partnership. Whichever name is chosen, the legal consequences of a civil union are the same as those of a marriage under the Marriage Act. Any reference to marriage in any law is deemed to include a civil union, and any reference to a husband, wife or spouse is deemed to include a spouse or partner in a civil union.  Foreign couples marrying in RSA are entitled to a hand-written Unabridged Marriage Certificate upon application.  Any Home Affairs staff member who refuses you a new ID, passport or Unabridged Marriage Certificate on the strength of a Civil Union Marriage may be directed to the following Home Affairs official: Mshiyeni Nzuza, Acting Regional Office Manager: Ethekwini Department Of Home Affairs.  Tel:  031 308 7901.  Cell: 073 262 8499.  Fax: 086 568 2759.  Email:

Easy.  We love it when our couples are hands-on with their ceremony.  We give you the freedom to dictate to us and to share your vision with us.  We’ll advise and help you to come up with a ceremony that reflects the two of you while keeping it classy and ensuring it flows.

20 minutes.  And that includes the signing of the Register. Our REAL work happens behind the scenes, prepping for the day, but mostly down at the dreaded home affairs office, saving you the hassle. Nuff said. 

Nope.  That applies to the Marriage Act.  The Civil Union Act states, and I quote: “A marriage officer must solemnise and register a civil union in a public office or private dwelling-house or on the premises used for such purposes by the marriage officer, with open doors and in the presence of the parties themselves and at least two competent witnesses, but the foregoing provisions of this subsection do not prohibit a marriage officer to solemnise a civil union in any place other than a place mentioned 10 herein, if the civil union must be solemnised in such other place by reason of the serious or longstanding illness of, or serious bodily injury to. one or both of the parties.”

We have married couples on beaches, on the tops of mountains in Big-5 game reserves, etc etc.

On the day of the wedding once the ceremony has been concluded, or if you opt for a Registration only package, you will sign a marriage register along with the marriage officer and two witnesses. The Marriage Officer will submit this register to Home Affairs who will then enter the information onto the system and you will be classified as married. We’ve seen some marriages take up to 12 weeks to reflect on the system after submission from us, and others just days…….. Give it 12 weeks before you start panicking.

On the day of the wedding or Registration you will be given a hand-written abridged marriage certificate completed by the Marriage Officer. Once the marriage is registered you will be able to obtain either an abridged or unabridged certificate from Home Affairs. This stays the responsibility of you as a couple, because of biometric identification which is required for application of an unabridged certificate. This is not done automatically and would have to be specifically applied for.  If, like us, you really, really cannot tolerate going in to Home Affairs, even on a good day, then we strongly suggest you open your wallet a little and fork out some Rands for a private document company to obtain your abridged or unabridged marriage certificate for you.  That way, you never have to set foot in a Home Affairs office.  Bam!

An abridged certificate is a certificate, printed by Home Affairs which contains both your personal details such as full name and ID number as well as the date of the marriage. It is a good idea to get this as it is generally more acceptable than just the hand written certificate. The unabridged certificate (also known as a full marriage certificate) is also printed by Home Affairs and contains more detailed information. This is the most formal form of certificate and is required if you plan to travel extensively, emigrate or obtain a foreign passport. Additionally if one or both of you are not South African citizens the unabridged certificate will be required to register the marriage in your home country. In short, your unabridged marriage certificate is ultimate proof of your marriage and is used in all circumstances.  If I were you, I’d forget about the abridged and just go straight for the unabridged as above.

Every Marriage Officer has been approved and designated by Home Affairs. They are registered at their respective home affairs offices and this is confirmed by a designation letter issued by Home Affairs, detailing the designation number.  This number will start with the letters “CU” and followed by a 3 digit number, or in the case of an old-fashioned, church appointed Marriage Officer, the number is preceded with ““BD” and followed by a 5 or 6 digit number.  If you still smell a rat and you really want to be sure your Marriage Officer’s credentials are in order, ask him for his Designation number and office of registration and then contact that office and confirm his/her designation.  Smooth move on your part.

This is going to be a pretty long-winded answer, but since it’s the most commonly asked I feel it warrants it.

In accordance with the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984, which came into operation on 1 November 1984, there are three forms of matrimonial property regimes in South Africa, namely:

  1. Marriages in community of property
  2. Marriages out of community of property without accrual
  3. Marriages out of community of property with accrual


Marriages in community of property

Marriage in community of property is undoubtedly the cheapest and most popular form of all the matrimonial regimes, although deeply flawed. No ANC is required, so if you marry without an antenuptial contract, you will by default be married in community of property. In this form of marriage, the spouses’ estates (what they own/assets and any debt/liabilities) are joined together and each has the right of disposal over the assets; they are equal concurrent managers of the joint estate. Each has an undivided or indivisible half share of the joint or communal estate.

Advantages of marriage in community of property

  • You don’t have to enter into a special contract before being able to get married.
  • When you are the financially weaker spouse, you get to share in the assets of your spouse.


Disadvantages of marriage in community of property:

  • When you are the economically stronger spouse, you have to share your assets with your spouse.
  • You are jointly liable for each other’s debts. This is particularly problematic on insolvency.
  • The joint administration of the estate is rather complicated.
  • When a marriage starts to fail, it can become difficult to obtain joint consent.


One of the most devastating consequences of a marriage in community of property is that when one spouse becomes insolvent (cannot pay his/her debts), both spouses will be declared insolvent, because there is one communal estate. If there is a court order against either one of the spouses, the communal estate can be lost.

The consequences of divorce when married in community of property:

  • Upon divorce, the assets of the joint estate as at the date of divorce will be divided equally between the parties, unless a spouse claims forfeiture and the court grants such a forfeiture order.


Marriages out of community of property

This matrimonial property regime involves an ANC (i.e. an agreement entered into before the marriage) where community of property and profit and loss are excluded. There is no joining of the spouses’ estates into one joint estate. Each spouse has his/her own separate estate, consisting of his/her premarital assets and debts, and all the assets and debts he/she acquires during the marriage. They each administer their own separate estates and have full and exclusive control over their own property. By marrying out of community of property, the spouses choose to keep their estates separate and whatever assets and liabilities they individually had before the date of marriage will remain part of their separate estates. The spouses can, however, agree to include the accrual between them so that both spouses will share equally in the growth during the marriage of each other’s separate estates.

Antenuptial contracts (ANC)

A marriage out of community of property is achieved by drawing up an ANC. The ANC will be the most important contract that a married couple will sign in their lifetime. Entered into before marriage, the purpose of the contract is to change some or all of the automatic financial consequences of marriage.

The ANC allows the husband and wife to tailor-make their very own matrimonial property regime. They can include any provisions they like in their ANC, as long as the provisions are not against the law, good morals or the nature of marriage. ANC’s are problematic to change as they dictate the financial and proprietary consequences of the couple’s future and can affect the rights of the couple’s creditors.

Couples may enter into one of two types of ANC:

  1. an ANC that excludes community of property, community of profit and loss, and the accrual system; or
  2. an ANC that excludes community of property and community of profit and loss, but includes the accrual system.


The ‘accrual’ is the extent to which the husband and wife have become richer by the end of the marriage, in other words, the amount by which the spouses’ joint wealth has increased over the period of the marriage. When married according to the accrual system, each spouse acquires a certain right to the other’s property on divorce. Neither system is superior to the other. The marital property regime chosen (i.e. with or without accrual) must suit the couple’s relationship dynamic and specific needs. Note that the ANC is a normal contract, so all the rules as to fraud, duress and mistake apply.

The consequences of divorce when married out of community of property without the accrual after 1 November 1984:

  • In a marriage out of community of property without the accrual contracted after 1 November 1984, there can be no claim for a transfer of assets. The argument is that there are now three matrimonial property regimes to choose from, and if the parties willingly decided to marry out of community of property and without the accrual system, one of the parties cannot later request a redistribution of assets. In such a regime, upon divorce, each party will retain their separate estates, i.e. what they had upon marriage and including all growth to the separate estate that occurred during the marriage, minus any losses that may have been sustained. For example, if the husband came into the marriage with R10 000, he would leave with R10 000 + profits & losses.
  • A spouse who contributed to the other spouse’s estate, whether in cash or otherwise, will have a difficult time proving that he/she is entitled to anything from their ex’s estate on divorce as contributions play no role if the parties are married without the accrual. If, for example, the wife stays home to raise the children and does not contribute financially towards the marriage and the other spouse works and accumulates assets, the wife may find herself with nothing and no claim to her husband’s assets.


Advantages of marriage out of community of property without the accrual:

  • Each spouse keeps his/her own assets and is free to deal with his/her own estate as he/she likes.
  • Spouses are generally not liable for each other’s debts. Thus, if one spouse becomes insolvent, creditors cannot touch the assets of the other spouse.
  • The financially stronger spouse does not have to share his/her estate with the weaker spouse. This is subject to judicial discretion and forfeiture of benefits.


Disadvantages of marriage out of community of property without the accrual:

  • The economically weaker spouse, traditionally the woman, does not get to share in the estate of the stronger spouse, even though she may have indirectly contributed to the estate by running the household and looking after the children. This is subject to judicial discretion and forfeiture of benefits.
  • An ANC has to be entered into in order to marry out of community of property. This costs money, and the parties must pay the fees of a notary and costs of registration.


Marriages out of community of property with the accrual

After 1984, anyone entering into an ANC that excludes community of property and community of profit and loss is automatically married under the accrual system. Spouses may, however, exclude the accrual system in their ANC, but if they do not do so expressly, the accrual applies. When the accrual is included, a spouse will be entitled to share in the growth of the two estates at divorce.

This is surely the most appropriate and ideal way to marry. All the assets that each party owns prior to the marriage can either be excluded or included in the accrual. If no assets are excluded in the ANC, the value of each party’s estate at the commencement of the marriage is deemed to be nil.

The consequences of divorce when married out of community of property with the accrual:

Accrual is a way to ensure that both spouses in a marriage gain a fair share of the estate once the marriage comes to an end. The accrual system does not apply automatically to all marriages out of community of property. For the accrual system to apply, the ANC must be drafted in a certain way. The accrual system incorporates a calculation that is applied when the marriage is dissolved by divorce. The spouses will share the assets during the course of their marriage based on a particular calculation when the marriage is terminated.

The term ‘accrual’ is used to denote the net increase in value of a spouse’s estate since the date of marriage. In other words, what was yours before the marriage remains yours, and what you have earned during the marriage belongs to both of you. Because the right to share in accrual is exercisable only upon dissolution of the marriage, such a right is not transferable and cannot be attached by creditors during the subsistence of the marriage.

The following assets are not taken into account when determining the accrual (are not included in the net value of the estate):

  • Any asset excluded from the accrual system under the ANC, as well as any other asset that the spouse acquired by virtue of his/her possession or former possession of such asset.
  • Any inheritance, legacy, trust or donation received by a spouse during the marriage from any third party, as well as any other asset that the spouse has acquired by virtue of his/her possession or former possession of the inheritance, legacy, trust or donation, unless the spouses have agreed otherwise in their ANC or the testator/trix or donor has stipulated otherwise.
  • Any donation between the spouses.
  • Any amount that accrued to a spouse by way of damages (e.g. slander), other than damages for patrimonial loss or the proceeds of an insurance policy in respect of a dread disease.

This is massively overwhelming for some couples, so, we’ve made it dead easy for you by partnering with some of the best people in the business.  Our first suggestion would be for you to contact Matthew at The Marriage Guys 0784056245/  /  Why are they our first choice? Because The Marriage Guys have made it better! Here’s how:

* They can meet with you after hours – no more time off work or leave;

* Meetings are online on Zoom –  couples are comfortable at home and no travel time needed. Although based in Cape Town, their entire services are done on-line, so they can even help if you are in Poffadder or London;

* They have created a relaxed non-legal fun setting – they tone it down and have fun – so do you;

* They Use simple explanations using visual and practical presentations – they believe in learning visually;

* Easy online automated booking system – with automated zoom link sent directly to you.

Otherwise, we also recommend the following awesome people on the KZN North Coast:

  • Jacques Roos, (He’s a handsome ol’ guy who loves to chat) Tel: 032 525 4552,

Email:  Shop 26, Tiffany’s Shopping Centre, Old Main Road, Salt Rock.

  • Wade Rogers, (He’s super-efficient. No, really, he is)  ROGERS ATTORNEYS, Office:  087 152 3294,

Cell:  084 9999 177, Email:,  or see his website at  or Facebook Page: >

  • Delia Reardon, (She’s a gentle soul) Contact Delia directly for further info:

Email:  Tel: 082 780 7934, or see her website at

Alternatively make use of your own attorney.