Source – Office of The Attorney General and Department of Justice.
The Kenyan Marriage Act, 2014 recognizes 5 systems of marriage, namely: Civil, Christian, Customary, Hindu and Islamic. These marriages only ought to be between man and woman.
A civil marriage ceremony is arranged if you prefer to get married at a special location or if a religious ceremony is not for you. A Civil marriage in Kenya can be conducted at the Registrar of Marriages, Deputy County Commissioners and Assistant County Commissioners offices, or at a venue of your choice. The venue however ought to hold a special wedding license.
The Civil Marriage can be conducted through Notice or by Special License;
Notice is where both parties are Kenyan Nationals and it involves the placing of a 21 days Marriage Notice before the Marriage takes place.
Special License is necessary where;
- Any of the parties is a Foreign National
- Both parties are Foreign Nationals
- The Marriage is being held outside a licensed place
- Parties are unable to give a 21 days’ notice
- They are Monogamous in Nature
REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL MARRIAGE BY SPECIAL LICENSE
Contact the Registrar of Marriages directly for further information. After submission of all documentation, Foreign Nationals need to arrive in Kenya at least four days before the wedding in order to finalize all the paperwork with the Registrar of Marriages.
If you are already legally married, either in Kenya or another country, and only want to have a blessing ceremony or just to celebrate your union with friends and/or family, you can have your ceremony at a special location with little to no paperwork, and no official certificates given.
Couples wanting a Christian, Islamic or Hindu ceremony should contact the Registrar of Marriages to get further information on the terms and conditions.