Frequently Asked Questions


What sort of marriage ceremonies are there?

There are two kinds of ceremony. One is a civil ceremony held by a Registrar of Marriages in a Registry Office. The other is a ceremony held by an appointed Marriage Celebrant (including ministers of religion) at any other place (including places of worship). If you decide to be married by a Marriage Celebrant, you should discuss with them about where and when you would like the marriage to take place, and the type of ceremony that you would like.


What are the legal steps we must take to get married?

To get married in NZ you must hold a valid marriage licence.

  • Arrange for a Marriage Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages to perform the ceremony
  • Arrange a place for the ceremony. You should also choose an alternative venue in the event that the weather prevents you from marrying at your primary venue.

Before you apply for the marriage licence you must: One of the parties must:

  • Complete a “Notice of Intended Marriage” and go to an office of a Registar of Marriages, to sign the statutory declaration before a Registrar of Marriages, stating you are legally free to marry.
  • Pay the fee of NZ$120 for a marriage licence.

How long does it take to get a marriage licence?

If approved, the licence will be issued not sooner than three calendar days after it is submitted to a Registrar of Marriages. The licence is valid for three months from the date of issue.


How much is the Celebrants’ Fee? 

Celebrants’ charge between $250 - $900 and there are no true guidelines to measure value for money. Kathy’s basic fee for celebrant services includes one or two meetings at her home, advising you on the legal requirements, providing you with ideas for creating your ceremony, attending your rehearsal and conducting the ceremony on the day. You will also receive a presentation folder to keep your Marriage Licence in, together with a very nice keepsake copy of the ceremony. Weddings on Waiheke Island, north of Albany and south of Pukekohe may incur an additional fee.

Further information and forms for downloading are available on the Births Deaths Marriages website: www.bdm.govt.nz.