For those lasting memories of your special day, a Ugandan marriage will offer you everything you possibly ever desired; a perfect ceremony in the company of relations and friends, filled with merry and feasting moments and lots more...
The marriage legal requirements here are not cast in stone and there are certainly lots of similarities the world over - well may be not! You will find information on this page to help you envisage and plan your experience of getting married in Uganda. The rules are quite simple and easy to follow to give you your dream wedding.
Don't let the Ugandan laws and customs put a damper on your wedding - particularly if your sweetheart is Ugandan. Its recommended that you start arrangements early, however, and you should try and get all the paperwork done about 12 weeks in advance to be safe.
It should be pretty simple if both of you are coming from outside of Uganda. Always verify with the church where you intend to get married or offices where you will apply; if you are taking the civil partnership route. Just be aware that each country could have their own special requirements ... and therefore, there are things you will require for a Ugandan marriage.
You will at least need your passport - which should have a valid Ugandan Visa, a copy of your birth certificate and probably your baptism certificate if you are wedding in church - but you need not worry too much about this one since some churches now don't require this; really depends ... and you could also be baptised before your wedding, if you wish!
You may also need a certificate of no impediment or a certificate attesting to your free status - normally a letter from your Civil Registration or Vital Statistics Office confirming that both parties are not married.
Celebrating a civil Ugandan marriage; Within the Ugandan laws, the Registrar General is gazetted as the registrar of marriages in the Capital, Kampala. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in each of the districts is gazetted as the registrar of marriages outside Kampala. The ceremony is done at the offices of these registrars.
... And just one other thing, if both or one of you is between 18 - 21 years of age (18 being the minimum age at which one is allowed to get married in Uganda), you will also require a consent letter from your Father or Mother or legal Guardian. You will need a copy of their identification as proof.
Away from the Registrar's office, you could decide to have a religious ceremony. This you could do even after your civil wedding - if you wish! For a Church wedding, you'll need your Baptismal Certificates.
You will also need proof that any earlier marriages were terminated. You must bring the final decree of divorce that shows the seal of the court or if you are widowed, you must provide the original or certified copy of your deceased spouse’s death certificate.
Getting married in Uganda gets simpler as you put your documents together. You won't find any residency requirements with the churches. Some will require you to give a 6-weeks notice of your marriage. Also find out if there are any fees to pay upfront.
With all the anxiety that comes with wedding preparation - tell me about it!, the best thing is to visit these places way earlier before your wedding day. You could actually quite easily combine this with your Ugandan Vacation trip!
For starters, if your sweetheart is Ugandan, then there are traditions and norms you will have to fulfil before you go on to the big day. Perhaps not very much on the groom's side, but certainly on the bride's side if she is Ugandan.
The 'groom to be' - if you like, must first be 'properly' introduced to the family of the 'bride to be'. I am very careful on 'properly'; it's not just the simple visits that you probably will have made several times already ... but the traditional introduction ceremony.
Different Ugandan Cultures have different norms and requirements - Talk it through with your partner, know the requirements, consult the elders, set a date, you might be required to pay 'bride price' - know what and /or how much is required (nothing to worry about unless of course if you are marrying from the royal family), then you should be dusted and ready to go...
The beauty is, you could quite easily combine this with your engagement - how cool is that!
With the introduction ceremony out of your way, all eyes will be set on the wedding day preps.
A Ugandan marriage is certainly the event. Once all is set, the wedding day will unfold into joyful moments filled with the thrill of seeing the two of you happily married to the grand exhilaration of the wedding party that possibly everyone will have been waiting for. It's quite often a huge wedding party - certainly not one you will have seen before; a long guest list, feasting and more ...
Someone may have a question whether a homosexual marriage is permitted in Uganda. Unfortunately, there is no such a thing as same-sex registered partnerships here. And unless the law changes to allow gay couples (which is a very sensitive issue and one that I don't see happening in the immediate future), homosexuality remains very much against the law in Uganda.
You will soon discover that Ugandan marriage is quite the ideal way to start a life together. Its filled with celebration and joy ... and going with the traditions, you will love it!
Why not do something unique if you are from a foreign country and have a Ugandan marriage in some romantic setting. These are dreams that not many dream and will stick with you for all your life.
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