In this section

Can we have a Wedding Ceremony outside?

Can we have a Wedding Ceremony outside?

What should I look for when choosing a wedding Celebrant?

What should I look for when choosing a wedding Celebrant?

Can we meet wedding Celebrants before deciding?

Can we meet wedding Celebrants before deciding?

How do I become a wedding Celebrant?

How do I become a wedding Celebrant?

Can we involve our guests in the ceremony?

Can we involve our guests in the ceremony?

What is the difference between a Humanist and a Celebrant?

What is the difference between a Humanist and a Celebrant?

Why would I choose a wedding Celebrant over a Registrar?

Why would I choose a wedding Celebrant over a Registrar?

We married abroad but would like a ceremony in my home town, can this be done?

We married abroad but would like a ceremony in my home town, can this be done?

What happens during a Celebrant led wedding?

What happens during a Celebrant led wedding?

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

The Ultimate Guide to Handfasting

The Ultimate Guide to Handfasting

Getting Married in Spain: The ultimate guide to a Spanish destination wedding

Getting Married in Spain: The ultimate guide to a Spanish destination wedding

Getting married in Scotland – The ultimate guide to a Scottish destination wedding

Getting married in Scotland – The ultimate guide to a Scottish destination wedding

Getting married in Greece: The ultimate guide to a Greek destination wedding

Getting married in Greece: The ultimate guide to a Greek destination wedding

Getting married in The Middle East: The ultimate guide to a UAE destination wedding

Getting married in The Middle East: The ultimate guide to a UAE destination wedding

Getting Married in New Zealand – The ultimate guide to a Kiwi destination wedding

Getting Married in New Zealand – The ultimate guide to a Kiwi destination wedding

Getting Married in Edinburgh: Tips for getting married in Scotland’s capital city

Getting Married in Edinburgh: Tips for getting married in Scotland’s capital city

Everything you need to know about a Montenegro destination wedding

Everything you need to know about a Montenegro destination wedding

Getting Married in New Zealand – The ultimate guide to a Kiwi destination wedding

So you want to get married in New Zealand “Aotearoa” – the Land of the Long White Cloud. Congratulations you have made a fabulous choice. You will find breathtaking scenery, fabulous venues and open spaces to die for. From Mountain tops to lakesides, rivers and beaches, Bush or luxury hideaways.

Your wedding Celebrant might be looking to travel from your home country the same as you, or maybe you are looking for a Celebrant who already resides in New Zealand, where you are looking to get married in.

As with planning any wedding abroad, there are some things that you might need to do differently. In this blog, Sally Cattle shares with us her top tips to getting married in New Zealand and her top tips in this Ultimate Destination Guide!

Getting married in New Zealand – how does it work?

Unlike in the UK, New Zealand Celebrants are registered to legally marry you. Choosing your Celebrant early on in your wedding planning will take so much of the stress and worry, being many miles away. My Celebrant colleagues and I will guide and support you with your decisions and choices as you embark on your fabulous wedding journey.

If you are choosing to fly over a Celebrant from your home country, I would recommend doing the legal part in your home country and allowing your chosen native Celebrant to do your marriage ceremony. It’s a lot less complicated this way!

Planning a destination wedding in New Zealand

What do you need?

Choose your ceremony choice

Registered Independent Celebrants like me will legally marry you anywhere in New Zealand. Here are the two types of Ceremony to choose:

  1. A personalised ceremony allows you the freedom to get married anywhere, anytime any day you and your Celebrant agree. You are also able to write your own personalised vows. The cost varies from each celebrant.
  2. Registry Ceremony which is restricted to Monday – Friday only and not Public Holidays. A registry ceremony has a set cost and standard vows.

You can then choose to have your Marriage Licence and paperwork sent directly to your Celebrant. I highly recommend this to my couples. This way nothing gets lost or misplaced in transit.

Proof of ID

When you meet in person with your Celebrant they will need to see photographic Identification for each of you as proof of your identity either prior to the wedding day if you meet before, or on the day. This can be a passport or drivers licence etc.

On Your Wedding Day

Once your Celebrant receives your Particulars of Marriage documents and Your Marriage Licence, they will bring them to your Marriage Ceremony. Please check your copies to make sure that all your information and names are spelt correctly. This will save any hold ups on the day.

You will need to sign these document along with your two witnesses, your Celebrant will find you a couple of witnesses to help if you don’t have any in mind, at your Marriage Ceremony. Once you are married your Celebrant will give you your copy of particulars immediately before you leave the venue. We then immediately notify the BDM to register your marriage officially and you will be sent a confirmation within a couple of weeks.

The impact of Covid on Weddings in New Zealand

These are guidelines which are standard procedures, I strongly recommend double checking with your countries offices as every country has a slightly different process.

Under the Covid – 19 Regulations the large gatherings for occasions, changes with each restriction imposed. This is something that your Celebrant will keep an eye on and update you as changes occur, you must consider all the information before making your choices. Make sure you check the to date information and advice before you plan your trip.

Documents required for getting married in New Zealand

Firstly, apply for your Marriage licence on the Department of Internal Affairs Website, department for BDM (Birth, Deaths and Marriages), you will need to complete the Notice of intended Marriage BDM 58 and have this witnessed by the people relevant to your country. You will find a list of those people on the BDM58 relevant to your country – please read this carefully!

 You can apply for this up to three days before you chosen date. The licence is valid for three months. I recommend applying for your licence one month before if you are travelling internationally.

The cost of your Marriage licence will be in $150 NZ payable at the time of your application. Once you have applied for a Marriage Licence application, there is an option for you to order a Marriage Certificate. You can purchase this at the time of application for $33 NZD as the BDM will send you your legal certificate as proof of your marriage in New Zealand (you can order after the ceremony if you wish) this will be sent through to you within a couple of weeks after your marriage takes place.

Where to get married in New Zealand?

New Zealand is your Oyster with an abundance of beautiful spaces and places for you to get married. Whether you are adventurous and want to have a helicopter ride up to a glacier or mountain top, to say your Ido’s.

You might want an intimate ceremony on a beautiful romantic Beach. If not a hotel Luxury lodge or a Vineyard is your dream. These venues do not need a specific wedding licence as in the UK and other countries making your choice perfect for you.

South Island

You are able to pick the perfect place for you according to you budget, wishes and whims. I have married people in Oamaru on the beach at Moeraki Boulders, in a beautiful chapel at Teschemakers Resort, on top of hills overlooking the beautiful harbour and township in the heritage area in the Steampunk HQ.

As an artisan town Oamaru offers so much for you to choose from and the gateway to the Alps2Ocean cycle trail which takes you through the most beautiful scenery mountains lakes and rivers perfect for your combination wedding and honeymoon. Dunedin Lanach Castle, hidden gems like the Glenfalloch Gardens Cafe & Restaurant and further south in magnificent scenery.

We are 3 hours from Wanaka and Queenstown which in are well known for wedding venues and scenery. The Top of the South Island, Nelson and Marlborough all have stunning locations with many vineyards and romantic whimsical hideaways.

North Island

Again, there are many choices here too with the most popular being in and around Auckland and on up through to the Bay of Islands or in the central north Island spot, like by the lake side in Lake Taupo or Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga.

With so much freedom and limited restrictions when you arrive in New Zealand (covid aside), you have a chocolate box of choices throughout the country. Get in touch and let’s start creating the Marriage Ceremony of your dreams wherever your choose however you want. All these things are the very reasons to get here for your dream wedding.