How to get married in NZ
A step-by-step guide to getting married or having a civil union in New Zealand.
There are 2 ways to get married or have a civil union in NZ:
By a registered marriage celebrant
You can choose:
- when and where you'll get married
- to write your own vows
- a religious or independent celebrant.
In a registry office
Registry office ceremonies:
- are held during normal office hours
- use standard vows, and you can’t customise the ceremony.
Arrange a marriage licence
You have to arrange a marriage licence at least 3 working days before you want to get married. If you're being married by a celebrant, you'll need their name and the location and approximate date of the wedding when you apply.
Your celebrant or the registry office will register your marriage and give you a "Copy of particulars of marriage".
Get a marriage certificate
If you need to show anyone legal proof of your marriage, you can order a marriage certificate.
Changing your name
If you want to change your last name after you're married, you don’t have to do anything special — but some places like banks or government agencies might ask to see a copy of particulars or marriage certificate.