Weddings have certain legal requirements which must be fulfilled. This page outlines common questions couples who are planning to marry often ask. If there’s anything you are still not sure about, please contact me.
What are the legal requirements when we marry?
In New Zealand you are required by law to have a Marriage Licence.
You can download a Marriage Licence Form, and apply online. Click below for information and the application form: https://www.govt.nz/browse/family-and-whanau/getting-married/get-a-marriage-licence/
Make sure you fill in all the details correctly, including the full name of the marriage celebrant.
Choose an alternative venue as a second option in case of poor weather or other contingency. One venue is enough if your ceremony is to be held indoors.
How much will a marriage or civil union licence cost?
The cost is $150.00 and is payable when you apply for the licence.
Apply for a marriage licence at least three (3) days prior to your wedding date, or up to three months prior to your wedding date.
If applying for a Marriage Licence online you can have it emailed directly to your celebrant, who will print it out for you.
NOTE: This process is different for international couples or N.Z. couples returning home to marry. Registrar of Marriages are located in all cities and most towns throughout New Zealand.
How much will a marriage certificate cost?
The cost of an optional marriage certificate is $33.00. You can also apply for this at the same time as you apply for your marriage or civil union licence. This will be sent to you once your marriage or civil union has been registered. It can take approximately 10 days.
What is a “statutory declaration”?
As a part of completing the application either the bride or groom (or both) must complete a Statutory Declaration to prove that:
1. That there is no lawful reason that you both cannot be married
2. That all details you have provided are true and correct
3. That the bride and groom have given their consent to the marriage or civil union
If either of you, have been married or in a civil union previously, you may need to produce evidence of dissolution. If your previous spouse has died you do not have to produce evidence of their death. However, you will have to give the date of the death on the notice of intended marriage form.
How do we collect the marriage licence?
The licence and two copies of the Copy of Particulars of Marriage (the documents you sign on the day) can be collected 3 days after submitting the notice with The Registrar of Marriages. Alternatively, you can have the licence emailed directly to you or the celebrant.
A New Zealand licence is valid for three (3) months from the date of collection.
As a celebrant I recommend that the application is completed in plenty of time, and given to the celebrant, who will bring it on the big day to sign. Wedding days can be hectic and it has been known for the bridal party to arrive with no Licence.
If you don’t have your licence, I am unable to marry you.