How to Get Married in NZ

1) Choose the kind of ceremony you want

In New Zealand you have the option to be married in a Personalised Wedding Ceremony (or in a Registry Office if you want something short & simple).
A personalised ceremony is one you can have anywhere & which is when I'll represent you as your Marriage Celebrant. Plus you can write your own vows.

2) Choose a venue

You’ll need to know your venue when you apply for a marriage licence.
If you have a back-up/rain day venue, you’ll need to include that in your licence application too, because you can only get married at a location you’ve listed in the application.
A note on 'virtual weddings': under the Marriage Act, a marriage can’t occur virtually. That is, you cannot use video conferencing software, for example, Zoom or Skype & the couple, Celebrant &witnesses must be physically present in the same place.

3) Book your Celebrant

You'll need to include my details in your application.

4) Apply for a marriage licence

You have to get a marriage licence from the Registrar of Marriages office at least 3 working days before the ceremony. You can easily apply online - it's only valid for 3 months so I'll remind you when the earliest you can apply is.
You'll need to enter your personal details as well as your parents names and the name of your Marriage Celebrant. Make sure all spelling and dates are correct.
You'll pay a $150 fee which is seperate to the fee for your Celebrant.
Soon after you'll receive 3 documents via email: your Marriage Licence & 2 copies of a document called 'Copy of Particulars of Marriage'
Double check spelling and information.

5) Email all documents to your Marriage Celebrant

Your Marriage Celebrant will bring the 2 Copies of Particulars of Marriage to your wedding & have them ready waiting for you & your witnesses to sign during the ceremony.

6) Arrange witnesses

You need to bring 2 witnesses to the ceremony.
Your 2 witnesses must understand what’s happening during the ceremony. They must be able to clearly identify both of you & be satisfied you both consent to the marriage.
They don’t need to have known you for any specific length of time & can be children of any age, so long as they understand the concept of a marriage.
If the witnesses speak a different language to you, you’ll need an interpreter. The interpreter has to sign a declaration before the ceremony to say they’ll interpret what you say accurately.

7) Get married!

Your celebrant will have the legal documents ready & waiting for you to sign during your ceremony.
The happy newlyweds will be presented with a “Copy of particulars of marriage” after the ceremony. This document acts as legal proof of your marriage.
This is not the same as a marriage certificate which you should apply for at an extra fee of $33. Banks and government departments require this if you're changing your maiden name.
Your Marriage Celebrant will use the second “Copy of particulars of marriage” to register your marriage with the NZ government.


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