How to Get Married in NZ

If you are googling for “things to do in New Zealand”;

I’ll be biased and say, “Get married!”

–Oh well, that’s just me anyway!-

There are two ways to get married in New Zealand:
a. by a registered marriage celebrant
b. in a registry office

Registered Marriage Celebrant.

You can choose a religious or independent celebrant to officiate your wedding.  You also have the freedom to decide when and where you’ll get married and have the opportunity to write your own vows.


Registry Office:

Weddings in registry office are held during normal office hours.  Unfortunately, you have to use standard vows and these can’t be customise during the ceremony.

Regardless of which way you choose to get married, you have to arrange a marriage license at least 3 working days before your intended date.  Also, if you are going to be married by a celebrant, their name, location (place of practice) and date of the wedding has to be documented on your application form.

On the day of your wedding, you need at least 2 people to witness the ceremony, who has good understanding of what is happening.  The celebrant or the registry office will ask you and your witnesses to sign the “copy of particulars of marriage”, which you can keep.

If you need to get a marriage certificate (legal proof of your marriage) or if you want to change your last name after the wedding, it is best to go to New Zealand Government website:

·        Getting a Marriage Certificate

·        Changing your last name after the wedding

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