You Don't Need More than $50 to Marry in Ghana

Contrary to popular belief, research from MarryRight Ghana indicates that the administrative cost of a legal marriage in Ghana is quite affordable, making it accessible to all, including those with modest incomes.

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Marriage is a significant milestone in many people's lives, symbolizing love, commitment, and the beginning of a new chapter. In Ghana, the perception of marriage often comes with the notion of a hefty price tag, especially when considering the elaborate ceremonies and celebrations associated with it. However, research conducted by MarryRight Ghana reveals a different story. Contrary to popular belief, the administrative cost of a legal marriage in Ghana is quite affordable, making it accessible to all, including those with modest incomes.

Legal Marriage vs. Social Celebration

In Ghana, there are three main forms of marriage: Customary Marriage, Islamic Marriage, and Christian or Civil Marriage. The latter, often marked by grand celebrations, tends to be perceived as the most expensive. This perception has discouraged many young men, particularly those with limited financial means, from considering marriage. However, the reality is that the legal requirements for marriage are straightforward and cost-effective.

The research conducted by MarryRight Ghana confirms that none of the District Assemblies and Courts conducting civil marriages charge more than 700 Ghanaian cedis (GHS). For example, a visit to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) or the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) will show that the administrative cost is well within this range. This means that with GHS 700, a couple can fulfill the legal requirements to get married. In fact most churches who celebrate civil marriages do not charge the intended couple to celebrate their marriages. 

The administrative cost covers essential legal processes such as the issuance of marriage certificates and the officiation of the marriage by authorized personnel. This nominal fee ensures that marriage is accessible to everyone, including individuals with limited financial resources like National Service Persons, who can afford to marry using their allowance.

The Real Expense: Social Celebrations

The misconception that marriage is prohibitively expensive stems from the social events surrounding the celebration. The various activities and items listed below are not part of the legal requirement for marriage. These include:

1. Makeup

2. Photography

3. Wedding Gown

4. Suit

5. Maid of Honour

6. Best men

7. Bridesmaid

8. Groomsmen

9. Videography

10. Food and Drinks

11. Hair and Nails

12. Outfits and Accessories

13. Gifts and Decorations

14. Entertainment (MC, DJ, etc.)


These elements contribute significantly to the overall cost of the wedding but are not mandatory for the legal process of getting married. They are social events or extras that couples choose based on their preferences and budget.


Marriage, in its legal sense, does not have to be an expensive affair. The administrative cost of civil or ordinance marriage in Ghana is capped at GHS 700, making it affordable for most people. It is the additional social celebrations that drive up the cost, and these are entirely optional. By focusing on the essentials, couples can enjoy the benefits of legal marriage without the financial burden often associated with it.

For those considering marriage, it's important to distinguish between the legal requirements and the optional extras. Understanding this difference can help alleviate the financial stress and make the dream of marriage a reality for more people in Ghana.