Weddings in New Zealand

Weddings in New Zealand

Choosing to get married in New Zealand, for NZ residents or non-residents.

New Zealand Marriage Licenses and Legalities

New Zealand like every other country in the world has certain legal parameters to getting married. Anyone who is legally free to marry may get married in New Zealand. The New Zealand marriage act of 1955 states that:

  1. You may not be already married or in a civil union with a person other than the person who you intend to marry. If you have been married before, the marriage needs to have been dissolved in a court of law.
  2. You are of an age of consent. 16 or over, although parental consent is required if either party is 16 or 17 years old.
  3. You are not closely related by blood, marriage, civil union or adoption.
  4.  Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand on 19 August 2013 and the first country in ‘Oceania’ to do so.

Please refer to the ‘DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS’ for more information.

Weddings in New Zealand

Weddings in New Zealand

Legal steps to getting married

The first step to planning ceremony is to ensure you are legally free to marry. In order to apply for your marriage license you must choose your Marriage Celebrant from the approved government celebrant list and choose a place to hold the marriage ceremony, and, if an outside venue, an alternative location in case of unsuitable weather.

Once you have finalised these arrangements you will have to complete a ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ which can be down loaded from the Department of Internal affairs website. This can be submitted to the closest Registry office near your venue. Non-NZ residents can submit their application online. It’s important to note that the marriage license is only valid for three months and you should not apply for it until you are ready.

Before the wedding it is compulsory by New Zealand law that either the bride, groom or both need to present and sign in person a statutory declaration in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages in New Zealand


Recommended Wedding Venues

  • Trelawn Place Riverside B&B & Wedding Venue

    South Island, Queenstown New Zealand
    Trelawn Place Riverside B&B is a delightful 2 acre cottage garden on the edge of the famous Shotover river and surrounded by dramatic mountains. The Coronet Peak ski field is the major part of our panoramic river view. We offer luxury bed and breakfast accommodation.

    Trelawn Place Riverside B&B & Wedding Venue Queenstown


What to expect during the ceremony

The New Zealand government does not have any prescribed format to the ceremonial vows except that the following words should be spoken:

“Each party must say the words, “I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife/husband” – or words to similar effect. (The full names of the respective parties should be used at the places marked AB and CD.)”

What to expect during the ceremony

What to expect during the ceremony.

Other legal requirements include:

  1. You must marry at one of the places stated on the Marriage License, and before the license expires.
  2. The marriage must be solemnised by either a Marriage Celebrant or a Registrar of Marriages. The marriage must be performed in the presence of at least two other witnesses.
  3. The full names of the bride and bridegroom – as they appear on the Marriage License – must be used at some point in the ceremony to clearly identify the bride and bridegroom.
    Abbreviations and nicknames may then be used in other parts of the ceremony.
  4.  The couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses must all sign both copies of the Copy of Particulars of Marriage.

For more information please follow the following links:

Getting Married Brochure
How to Locate a Marriage Celebrant
Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand

What Next?

Well you’ve come this far its time to have fun and enjoy yourself and the adventure that New Zealand has to offer!

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