How do I get a marriage licence and what is the cost?

  • Couples can apply for their marriage licence (Notice of Intended Marriage Form) and order the marriage certificate online at the same time. marriages.services.govt.nz
  • Complete your marriage license application and order your marriage certificate (this can be done up to 3 months before your wedding day).
  • Pay the marriage license and certificate fees.
  • Visit a registry office to make a statutory declaration to confirm that the details that you have provided on your application form are correct.
  • Get your marriage licence and 2 copies of the Copy of Particulars (via email)
  • Those under 17 years of age require parents' permission.
  • Those who have previously been married must provide their divorce papers.
  • The marriage licence is valid for three months from the date of issue.
  • A marriage licence costs NZ$150 payable on application to the Registrar.
  • The marriage certificate costs $33 to get one sent to you.

Find out more about the process and legal requirements of obtaining a marriage licence – Applying for a marriage licence.

How long does the process of obtaining a marriage licence take?
It normally takes three working days to obtain your marriage licence.

Do we have to apply for the marriage licence in person?
One of the marriage parties must sign the application in person before the Registrar of Marriages.

What does a Marriage Celebrant do?
As a Marriage Celebrant, I can help guide you through the process of getting married, provide advice on obtaining a marriage licence, support in planning your ceremony and helping write your vows. I will also be the person who conducts the wedding ceremony and officially performs the marriage. I am a registered Independent Celebrant and Civil Union Celebrant, so you can be sure that I will conduct your wedding with the utmost professionalism.

How long does a normal wedding service take?
When I meet with you, we can discuss your precise requirements. There is no right or wrong answer for how long a wedding service usually takes, but for most people it is between 15 and 20 minutes.

Will our marriage licence be valid internationally?
All Commonwealth countries are required to accept a New Zealand Marriage Certificate as a valid legal document. Other nations require an additional 'authentication certificate' which may be obtained on application to the Authentication Department in Wellington (after the marriage).

Should we write our own vows and do we have to memorise them?
This is your choice entirely. I will provide a selection of vows which you may choose to use, or you may prefer to write your own. You do not have to memorise the vows.

Who else must be present at the ceremony along with the celebrant?
The wedding ceremony must be witnessed by two people. I can provide these witnesses on request.

Can we get married wherever we choose?
On your marriage licence application you must specify no more than two venues (usually a first choice plus a back-up option in case of bad weather) and the wedding ceremony must be conducted at one of these places.

Can you recommend locations in Central Otago for our wedding ceremony?
Central Otago offers many excellent locations for the perfect wedding ceremony. I am very happy to discuss your requirements and help you find the right venue. 

Are there other things to do in the area?
Yes, the Central Otago region offers lots of great activities for you and your wedding guests to enjoy. From cycling on the Otago Central Rail Trail or a riverside walk to a Clutha River boat cruise or wine tasting at local vineyards, there are many things to do.

Can we have a rehearsal of the ceremony? 
A rehearsal is not essential, but I do recommend it. The rehearsal is usually arranged for the day prior to the service.

Will you (the Celebrant) attend our wedding reception?
This is not usually part of the arrangement, but I would be delighted to join you and your guests for a celebratory drink after the wedding ceremony.

What does the fee cover?
The fee covers a consultation with me during which we will discuss your ceremony and I will provide examples of wedding vows and readings, as well as advice on applying for your marriage licence. The cost also covers the development of your wedding ceremony, a rehearsal and the wedding day ceremony itself.
Contact me for a quote.

When is booking confirmation required?
Confirmation of your booking is required within two weeks of scheduling a tentative booking.

How can I contact you?
You can phone me on +64 (0)27 602 7724 or email me at marg@margwillmarryu.co.nz

Still haven't found the answer you need? 
Email me to talk about your wedding plans.