1. IS A NEW ZEALAND MARRIAGE LEGAL IN MY HOME COUNTRY?

Mostly, yes. Weddings performed in New Zealand are recognised by Australian and UK governments without need for further authentication, except for any states which unfortunately do not yet recognise same sex marriages. For a small number of countries you may need to further verify your marriage documents for your marriage to be recognised by your home country.

2. WHO CAN GET MARRIED IN NEW ZEALAND?

Anyone who is not already married or in a civil union and any couples who are not closely related by birth, marriage or adoption can be married in New Zealand. Both different sex and same sex couples can be legally married in New Zealand. 

3. WHERE CAN I GET MARRIED IN NEW ZEALAND?

Anywhere! You can get married up mountains or along riverbeds, amongst the vines at a winery or anywhere else you fancy. It’s completely up to you! See “Choosing the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Venue” and “Queenstown Adventure Wedding Inspiration” for inspiration.

4. CAN I HAVE A NON-RELIGIOUS WEDDING IN NEW ZEALAND?

Absolutely!! The legal elements of a New Zealand wedding ceremony have no religious language or connection.

5. WHAT DO I NEED TO GET MARRIED IN NEW ZEALAND?
6. HOW DO I GET A NEW ZEALAND MARRIAGE LICENCE?
7. WHAT IF I’VE BEEN MARRIED BEFORE?

On your Notice of Intended Marriage form there is a space for you to state how your previous marriage ended and the date it ended. You are not required to provide any evidence as when you sign the “statutory declaration” you are signing to say that all the information you have provided is true.

8. WHO CAN BE A WITNESS AT OUR NEW ZEALAND WEDDING?

Anyone can be a witness to your wedding as long as they are able to understand the legal document that they are signing. Family, friends and strangers can all be witnesses! Witnesses must be present during the ceremony and they will sign your wedding documents afterwards. The names of your wedding witnesses are not printed on your official Marriage Certificate.

9. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY NEW ZEALAND MARRIAGE LICENCE?

The Registry Office must hold your application for at least 3 working days before granting your licence. Consider any public holidays which may effect Registry Office opening hours and delay this process. I recommend applying for your marriage licence at least a month before your wedding date when possible.

10. HOW LONG IS MY NEW ZEALAND MARRIAGE LICENCE VALID FOR?

Three months from the date issued.

11. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET MARRIED IN NEW ZEALAND?

Your New Zealand marriage licence costs $150 to be married by an NZ registered celebrant in a ceremony location of your choice. Payment can be made when making your “statutory declaration” at either the local NZ Registry Office or at the NZ Embassy in your home country. See “How to Get Your NZ Marriage Licence in 5 Simple Steps” for more details. Celebrants also charge a fee for their services.

12. HOW DO I GET A COPY OF OUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?

On the day of your wedding you will sign two copies of a form called Copy of Particulars of Marriage which makes your marriage legal. On the reverse of these documents is an application form for your Marriage Certificate.

You will keep one copy and your celebrant will use the other copy to register your marriage with NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages. On the reverse of the copy used to register your marriage (celebrant copy) you can complete the Marriage Certificate application. This way, when the paperwork reaches NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages your marriage is registered and your certificate issued all the same time. Your marriage certificate will be posted to your nominated address within 4-10 weeks (depending on the time of year).

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