Getting married in New Zealand is reasonably simple and anyone, regardless of whether you live in New Zealand or not, can get married here. You don’t even need to get married in approved locations, you can get married anywhere you like from a mountain top, to a beach or a backyard.
This article takes you through the wedding process.
The first step is to decide where you want to get married. Locations can include a beach or garden, a home or professional venue. Popular venues are often booked up a year or more in advance so it is important to book your location as soon as you have decided on a date!
Next is finding a suitable wedding celebrant who will conduct your wedding ceremony and complete the official paperwork. Again, popular celebrants can be booked well in advance, so don’t leave this until the last minute! It is also important that you find a celebrant that you personally connect with and who you feel would represent you well as a couple. A quick search online will reveal a list of local celebrants, and their website (if they have one) will give you a quick indication of their style and experience. Most celebrants are happy to meet with you first to see if you are happy to use their services.
Before you can officially get married in New Zealand you need a Marriage Licence. This is obtained by completing a Notice of Intended Marriage form (BDM60), which can be completed and printed from the New Zealand Birth Deaths and Marriages website or collected from your local Court House. The form needs to be signed in front of a Registrar, usually located at your local Court House, and once the fee is paid the application will usually take 3 business days to process. Your licence will include details of where and when the marriage will take place and remains valid for up to 3 months. It is important that if you are coming from overseas to allow enough time for your licence to be processed.
Once you have the venue, the celebrant and the licence you have the 3 essentials that will enable you to get married here. Of course that still leaves the photographer, catering, transport and other details to take care of.
If organising it all yourself seems overwhelming, there are a number of wedding planners and wedding package businesses in New Zealand that will take care of all these details for you. They will plan your day and ensure everything is arranged down to the last bow, so all you have to worry about is turning up!
They can even assist with suggestions for your dream honeymoon. After all, winter or summer, New Zealand has some of the most beautiful spots in the world!
If you are based overseas, using the services of a planner or purchasing a wedding package is arguably the best way to get married in New Zealand as you will be able to rely on the knowledge and experience of local people.