Legal Information

GUIDELINES AND PREPARATION FOR COUPLES WISHING TO MARRY IN NEW ZEALAND

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WHAT IS A MARRIAGE?

A marriage is the formalisation of a relationship between two people, in accordance with the Marriage Act 1955.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR APPLYING FOR A MARRIAGE LICENCE?
  • A couple intending to marry are required to complete a ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ form appropriate to their circumstances.
  • This can be done at a Births, Deaths and Marriages office in New Zealand or online by following this link-https://www.govt.nz/browse/family-and-whanau/getting-married/get-a-marriage-licence/#how-you-apply
  • As part of the information required, you will be asked for the name of your Celebrant, the venue where the ceremony will take place and an alternative venue in case of unsuitable weather conditions on the day. The marriage ceremony must take place at one of the locations described.
  • The required fee for this document will be requested at time of application.
  • The marriage licence is valid for 3 months from the date of issue which means you may marry on any date within those 3 months from the date of application.
  • The Registrar will (no sooner than three days after receiving the Notice of Intended Marriage) issue your Marriage Licence. This will be accompanied by two copies of a document known as a ‘Copy of Particulars of Marriage’( this is the document that is signed at the wedding ceremony by the bride, groom, 2 witnesses and the Marriage Celebrant )
  • You can request to have these  documents emailed or posted to you. You can either forward these documents or hand them to your celebrant prior to the ceremony date.

 

WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARRIED OR WIDOWED?

If you or your partner  -

  • is divorced you'll need a copy of the dissolution order. If you don't have one you can get a copy from the Court where the marriage was dissolved.
  • had a spouse who has died you won't need documentation but you will need to put the date they died on the marriage application.
WHAT IF WE LIVE OUTSIDE NZ?
  • When a couple ordinarily living outside NZ , they will need to complete a “Notice of Intended Marriage where both parties are ordinarily resident outside New Zealand” This document is  a BDM58 and the application process is the same as with a NZ couple. The ability to make application online has made this process much simpler.
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Lesley Morrison - New Zealand Marriage Celebrant - Phone +64 (0)7 866 5334 - Email: lesleyamorrison@gmail.com

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