Getting Married on South Georgia

With its stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unique history, South Georgia is a very special place to get married. Your wedding can be incorporated as part of your visit to Grytviken.

If you decide this is what you want to do, you should contact the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) at least three months before your prospective wedding date. This allows for the practicalities of the marriage to be arranged before your visit so that your special day is relaxed and hassle-free.

The Legalities:

Registering Marriages
As a UK Overseas Territory, South Georgia has its own laws regarding marriage, but these reflect the marriage laws in England. This means that all couples, including same-sex couples, can apply to get married on South Georgia.

Any marriage conducted on South Georgia is recognised in the UK. However, if you are from any other country, you should check what steps are necessary to register or validate the marriage there and ensure that you comply with any requirements.

Civil or Religious Services
Civil marriages are solemnised on South Georgia by a Registrar appointed by the Commissioner for South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. Our Government Officers are appointed as Registrars. As there are no ministers of religion on South Georgia, we are not able to provide a religious service.

Special Licence
You will need a Special Licence to get married on South Georgia. These are issued by the Commissioner.

To obtain a licence, please complete the Notice of Marriage form (download page). Notes for completing this can be also be found at the download page. Please send the original, completed Notice of Marriage to GSGSSI, Government House, Ross Road, Stanley, Falkland Islands, FIQQ 1ZZ. You will also need to send copies of the following documents:

  • Copies of passports of both people getting married
  • Contact details (postal address and email)
  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill) for both people
  • Decree absolute or death certificate (if either applies)

We do recommend that you send an electronic copy of your documents to admin (at) gov.gs so that this can be checked before you send it. When posting, for speed and security we advise that you use a courier. Currently we are only aware of DHL delivering to the Falkland Islands.

You will need to pay an administration fee for the wedding; this is currently £400.00.

Locations:
All marriages must be conducted in the vicinity of Grytviken, but there are a number of locations in and around Grytviken that you can choose from. Even if you choose an outdoor marriage location, it’s a good idea to have an indoor location in mind as a back-up, as while we will do what we can to make your day special, one thing we can’t do is guarantee the weather! The church at Grytviken is a popular indoor location for ceremonies. Some locations suitable for weddings include:

Inside Grytviken church

Grytviken church

Front of South Georgia Museum

Hope Point

Wrecked seal catchers “Dias” and “Albatross”

Further Information:
The Notice of Marriage will be displayed outside the Registrar General’s office in Stanley, Falkland Islands. It must be displayed between three months and 21 days before the date of the marriage.

If the Commissioner approves the granting of the Special Licence, this will be issued and the licence will be valid for three months from the date of issue. This gives flexibility for the date of the wedding, as although you will have an expected date of the wedding, occasionally your arrival date in Grytviken may change, for example due to weather.

GSGSSI will prepare the Marriage Certificates. These will be sent down to the Registrar on South Georgia, together with the Special Licence, in readiness for your wedding day. Following the ceremony, you will be given a copy of the Special Licence and two copies of your Marriage Certificate. Copies of the Marriage Certificate will be held by the Registrar on South Georgia and the Registrar General in Stanley.