The subjective well-being (SWB) of individuals depend inter alia on their personality and life events that occur like marriage. Studies show that individuals exhibit anticipation and adaptation effects before and after a marriage takes place. The study determined if males and females in South Africa exhibit anticipation and adaptation effects in SWB before and after a marriage takes place. Married individuals generally have higher levels of life satisfaction. Yet four out of 10 marriages in South Africa end in divorce before their 10th anniversary. The study employed panel estimation methods and used the first five waves of the National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS) to test for the existence of anticipation and adaptation to marriage in South Africa. There is a strong positive impact on SWB when a marriage takes place. This contemporaneous effect of marriage is slightly larger for men than for women. Men exhibit longer anticipation effects before and both genders adapt immediately after the event. South Africans generally react positively to marriage but then quickly adapt back to hedonic neutrality. Very few studies have investigated adaptation and anticipation trends in a panel setting. Moreover, many of the studies have been conducted in developed countries, implying that the estimates derived from these studies might be influenced by the norms and values of the countries in question.