Frequently Asked Questions About Weddings/Civil Unions
Getting married is a big step! You’ve probably got lots of questions about wedding ceremonies and marriage. If you can’t find the answer you need here, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I get a marriage license and what is the cost?
You will need to apply on line or fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage form, which is available at any Registrar of Marriage office or can be downloaded at www.bdm.govt.nz
Anyone can apply online whether you are in New Zealand or not.
Those under 17 years of age require parents’ permission.
Those who have previously been married must provide their divorce papers.
The marriage licence is valid for three months from the date of issue.
A marriage licence costs NZ$150.00 payable on application to the Registrar.
Find out more about the process and legal requirements of obtaining a marriage licence – www.bdm.govt.nz
How long does the process of obtaining a marriage license take?
It normally takes three working days to obtain your marriage license.
What does a Marriage Celebrant do?
As a Marriage Celebrant I can help guide you through the process of getting married, provide advice on obtaining a marriage license, support you in planning your ceremony and helping write your vows. I will also be the person who conducts the wedding ceremony and officially performs the marriage.
I am a registered Independent Marriage and Civil Union Celebrant, and member of Celebrants Association of NZ. You can be sure that I will officiate your wedding ceremony with professionalism. If you need my details for your application and the license contact me directly at email@example.com
How long does a normal wedding service take?
When I meet with you, we can discuss your precise requirements.
There is no right or wrong answer for how long a wedding service usually takes, but for most people it is between 15 and 20 minutes.
It depends on whether you include readings, song or poetry, if you use other people you love to present these during the service. You may choose to include rituals that can take more time e.g. passing of the wedding rings around those attending for blessing, candle or sand ceremony.
Will our marriage license 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).
Should we write our own vows and do we have to memorize them?
This is your choice entirely.I can help you write personal vows to each other or there are pre-written vows you can look at to give you ideas. You may simply prefer to write your own. You do not have to memorize the vows. There are options; you can read them to each other if you wish, or the celebrant can lead you through them a section at a time and you repeat the words to each other.
There is a legal requirement to include certain words
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 present at the ceremony along with the celebrant?
The wedding ceremony must be witnessed by two people.
Can we get married wherever we choose?
On your marriage license 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 conducted at one of these places if it is being conducted by a registered celebrant.
If you choose an overseas place to be married, NZ registered celebrants can, with special permissions, conduct weddings in the Cook Islands, otherwise you would have to make arrangements as given on the BDM website including making a declaration of no impediment.