A step-by-step guide to getting married or having a civil union in New Zealand.
If you’re getting married or having a civil union overseas, you usually don’t need to do anything in NZ beforehand — check with the country's officials if you need to do anything there.
Only registered celebrants can perform weddings or civil unions in New Zealand. You need to arrange your celebrant before you can get a marriage licence.
You can choose whether to get married by a celebrant at a location you choose or by a Registrar of Marriages in a registry office.
It costs $173.70 to get married at a registry office, including the cost of the marriage licence.
You can’t get married or have a civil union in NZ without a marriage licence. You need to arrange your licence at least 3 working days before you want to get married.
In New Zealand, you don’t usually have to do anything special if you want to change your name after you get married or have a civil union.
Your New Zealand marriage or civil union certificate is an official record of your marriage. It costs $26.50 to get a copy sent to you.
You can change your civil union to a marriage (or your marriage to a civil union) without dissolving your current relationship. You need to complete a form and hold another marriage or civil union ceremony.
If you think there are legal reasons why a couple shouldn’t get married or have a civil union, you can lodge a caveat or notice of objection.
Celebrants can legally perform marriages and/or civil unions in New Zealand. You can choose to be independent or connected with an approved church or organisation.
Once you're registered as a celebrant you can perform marriages or civil unions in New Zealand. You need to renew your registration each year and keep your contact details up-to-date.
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Page last updated: 09 August 2016
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