How to Conduct a Kenyan Wedding-Legal Details

Like any other place holding a wedding in Kenya will require you to follow some simple legal procedures.

There is the choice between as Civil and Religious ceremony. Both cases demand a minimum of two witnesses during the process. The other people you invite to attend is up to you.

Civil Ceremonies


Civil weddings can take place at the Register Office at the attorney generals chambers. The ceremony could also take place in any other place allowed by law to carry out the process like the Local District office. These however are being phased out with the new constitution and we yet to know which among the devolved sections of the new government system will be given the responsibility.  It is better to check in advance with your wedding planner to know the right place that will be suitable for you



Religious Ceremonies

When you opt for a religious ceremony you have the choice of doing a Christian, Islamic, traditional African or Hindu wedding. All the ceremonies are recognized by law though only the Christian one will be recorded with the Registrar of Marriage. Church weddings will have to be prearranged for necessary documentation.

You will receive a marriage certificate for Hindu and Islamic ceremonies but as for the African traditional one, only an affidavit will be issued.

It’s worth noting that those regarded as non-Africans must be married under the Marriage Act (Cap 150). We emphasize this point because usually most church weddings are done under the African Christian Marriage and Divorce Act which does not apply for non-Africans.

The need for a special license

More often than not, couples intending to get married need to notify the Church where they plan to get married and the Registrars’ Office Twenty one days to the wedding day.  This arrangement might seem tough if you don’t have enough cash to last you in foreign country just waiting.  There is a reprieve though as one can get a special license from the Registrar. This license will make your wedding be acceptable under the Marriage Act.

To be able to host the marriage at the beach there is need for another license.  For this license you will need the documents listed below.

Birth certificates (For the couple)

Passports (For the couple)

Tourist visa (For the couple)

A sworn affidavit, declaring your single status and your eligibility for marriage. This can be got from a notary or a solicitor.

Those below the legal age of 21 need their parent’s written permission.  This should be in the form of an affidavit also drawn by a notary or solicitor.

For the widowed the former marriage certificate will be needed together with the spouse’s death certificate.

In case you are divorced, you need to hand over a Decree of Absolute stamped by a court.

You can get more information in person or through telephone from the registrar’s office. The contacts are bellow.

Registrar General

Sheria House, Room 208 (2nd Floor)

PO Box 30031, Nairobi


Phone: +254 (0)20 227 461

Arranging all these things can be hard and tiresome if you don’t have help. Consult a weeding or events planner who will arrange all the details for your and help you have the wedding of your dreams.

Related: How To Guide To A Kenyan Beach Wedding

Disclaimer: The facts in this article may have changed by the time you read this. All effort has been made to make it as accurate as possible though.  Feel free to communicate any inaccuracies.

HowKE Team

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