How do we get a marriage licence in New Zealand?
You can now apply for your marriage licence online if you normally live in NZ or will arrive more than 3 working days before you get married. You can apply up to 3 months before the date of your wedding ceremony. A NZ marriage licence costs $150 if you are being married by a registered Celebrant and $250 if in a registry office. See here for more information.
If you are converting a Civil Union to a Marriage you will need the BDM59 form.
The Notice of Intended Marriage form must be lodged in New Zealand, so when you arrive in New Zealand the form must be collected and signed for by one of the marriage parties prior to the ceremony.
If you have previously been married, you must provide divorce papers.
If you are under 17 years of age, you must receive parents’ permission.
The marriage licence is valid for three months from the date of issue.
Do we have to apply for the marriage licence in person?
Not any more ! You can apply on line - see previous questions.You and /or your partner must then visit a local Registrar of Marriages in person to finish your application by signing a statutory declaration in front of the Registrar.
Will our marriage licence be valid internationally?
All Commonwealth countries are required to accept a New Zealand Marriage Certificate as a valid legal document. Other nations require an additional ‘authentication certificate’ which may be obtained on application to the Authentication Department in Wellington (after the marriage).
Can we get married wherever we choose?
On your marriage licence application you must specify no more than two venues (usually a first choice plus a back-up option in case of bad weather) and the wedding ceremony must be carried out at one of these places if it is being conducted by a registered Celebrant.
Is there anything we have to say at the ceremony or can we create it with all our own words?
There is a legal requirement to include certain words which go :
I first names surname take you first names surname to be my legally married / husband / wife / partner etc
This can be kept as a separate statement to each other followed by the personal undertakings you have each written for the other or they can be combined.
Who else must be at the ceremony along with the Celebrant?
The wedding ceremony must be witnessed by two people, other than yourselves and the Celebrant.
Can we include songs and poems?
Absolutely! As long as you include the required legal wording at some stage, you can include whatever you want to make your ceremony completely personal to you.
How long does the ceremony take?
It can be as long or short as you like but I would recommend that 20 minutes is a good length to keep people totally engaged !