What do we need to do to get married?

The link below will help you work out what you need to do legally:


Do we need to use a celebrant?

Yes.  In New Zealand, you must use a celebrant who is registered with Department of Internal Affairs, as listed on their website.

Who is responsible to get the marriage licence?

Getting a Marriage licence is your responsibility.

Application is made by you to the Department of Internal Affairs.  You can find the form online – either the ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (BDM60) form or ‘Notice of Intended Civil Union’ (BDM360) form.

Forms include a statutory declaration that both parties are free to marry or enter into a civil union with each other and that all the details supplied on the form are correct.

If there was a previous marriage, you will need to provide evidence of the marriage or civil union dissolution.  Likewise, a death certificate if you have been previously widowed.

You will need to have 2 witnesses.

When do you have to get the marriage licence?

You need to arrange it at least 3 working days before you get married and application can be made on-line.

One of the parties must appear before the Registrar in person to sign the statutory declaration. You will need to know the celebrant’s full name, the venue details and, a tentative back-up venue if it’s planned to be outside and the weather is inclement on the day.

The licence is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

How much does a marriage licence cost?


What happens once the licence is issued?

The Marriage Licence documents issued by Department of Internal Affairs are very important and care should be given not to lose, misplace or damage them.

When you receive your Marriage Licence, there will be 2 copies.

These should be given to the celebrant at least one week prior to the actual wedding day to quality check that the information is accurate.  The celebrant takes full responsibility to bring the documents to the ceremony for signature on the day, by yourselves, the two witnesses and the celebrant.

What do I have to say in the marriage ceremony?

The ceremony service is discussed at the time of the initial face to face consultation.

The full names of the bride, bridegroom or partner – as they appear on the licence – must be used at some point in the ceremony to clearly identify each party.

Each party must say the words “I AB (full name), take you CD (full name), to be my legal wife/husband/partner” – or words to similar effect.

For a civil union ceremony, each party must make a clear statement to the other that names both parties and acknowledges that they are freely joining in a civil union with each other.

Abbreviations and nicknames may then be used in other parts of the ceremony.

Do we have to have rings?


What if we currently live outside NZ but want to get married in NZ?

Please refer to the link below: