Frequently Asked Questions

All the answers you need

Who can legally get married in New Zealand?

Anyone can marry in New Zealand, as long as you’re not already married, under 18 (if you’re 16 or 17, you need consent from your parents or guardian. If no guardian is able to consent, you will need consent from a Family Court Judge).
Both different sex and same gender marriages are legal in New Zealand.

What are the legal requirements for marriage in New Zealand?

You can’t get married in NZ without a marriage licence. You need to apply at least three working days before you want to get married. You can apply online in most cases or in paper form. Consider any public holidays which may affect delays in issuing the licence. 
Your marriage licence is valid for 3 months from the date it’s issued. I recommend applying at least 2 months in advance.

Your New Zealand marriage licence costs $150 if you’re getting married by a celebrant. I would encourage you to also pay the extra $33 to get your marriage certificate.

Applying for a marriage licence is your responsibility. However, I am familiar with the process and can provide guidance.

Check out this link for more information:

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

No problem, this is possible. You may need to fill out a different form depending on when you arrive in New Zealand. The link below provides all answers to this question. I am familiar with the process and can provide guidance.

What if we've been married before?

If you are divorced or your partner died, you will need the details of the dissolution/divorce or the date of death of your spouse on the Notice of Intended Marriage form. You may be asked to produce the details of your dissolution/divorce (especially if coming from overseas) so either take/send a copy of the relevant details.
If you got married overseas but want to hold another wedding ceremony in NZ, unfortunately this is not possible. I cannot marry you again in New Zealand as this is illegal. However, we could look into doing a renewal/confirmation of your vows or have a blessing ceremony.

Where can we get married in New Zealand?

You can get married at any place you choose in New Zealand. The place must be stated on the marriage licence. This includes any outdoor areas, beaches, parks, boats etc. You are given the option of two choices of venues on your licence application and we are legally bound to conduct your ceremony at either of those places. It is recommended that you state a second venue if you are planning on marrying outdoors. 
The choice of two venues provides for a wet weather option. 

If you are planning to hold the ceremony on council land, don’t forget to seek approval from the relevant council to avoid double bookings.

What can and can’t we include in our marriage ceremony?

An Independent Marriage Celebrant has certain obligations under the Marriage Act 1955.  I will explain these to you during our first meeting.  Once these obligations are met, the contents of the marriage ceremony are up to you.  I can write the entire ceremony as overseen by you or guide you in writing your own ceremony.   You may wish to include symbols, a special dedication or a cultural tradition or ritual.

Do you do same gender marriages?

I am very happy to perform same gender marriages – love is love is love!

Who can act as a witness to the ceremony?

Two people are required to act as witnesses. Witnesses can be of any age, although they must fully understand what they are witnessing, and be able to provide their full names and residential addresses. At the completion of the ceremony you, the Marriage Celebrant and the witnesses will be required to sign the Notice of Particulars of Marriage.

How far in advance should I book a Celebrant?

I would highly recommend that you book your Celebrant at the same time you book your venue. Good celebrants can book up very quickly, especially in the warmer seasons.

Clair Hill


021 654 154

587 Grenada Street, Papamoa Beach
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
New Zealand

©2019 by Clair Hill - Celebrant.