You don't need to be a resident of New Zealand to be married here in Auckland but there are however a few legal requirements you'll have to take care of before you plan your perfect New Zealand wedding.
Don't worry, these are all fairly straight forward as we'll explain here.
First of all choose the type of ceremony you would like and the location of your Auckland wedding. This can be either a ceremony held by an authorised marriage celebrant at a venue of your choice or a civil ceremony held by a Registrar of Marriages in a Registry Office.
In either case you'll need to arrange for the marriage celebrant or Registrar to perform the ceremony.
Getting married by a celebrant.
If getting married by a celebrant, you can get married at any location, on any date and at any time agreed between you and the celebrant. The location of your Auckland wedding must be stated on the marriage licence.
You'll find Celebrants listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Marriage Celebrants' and in the New Zealand Gazette available from offices of Births Deaths and Marriages, libraries, and the Citizens Advise Bureau.
If you're planning on a church wedding, you should contact the church administration office for advice first as they will probably have their own marriage celebrant.
Registry Office wedding.
If you are getting married in a Registry Office You'll need to contact your closest Registrar of Marriages.
Registry Office weddings are normally held during normal office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm excluding public holidays) although it may be possible outside of these times provided the Registrar agrees. (There will probably be an extra fee for this).
Couples planning an Auckland wedding must visit an office of a Registrar of marriages to complete a 'Notice of Intended Marriage' form BDM 60 and sign a 'statutory declaration' saying you are legally free to marry.
To be legally free to marry you must be over 16 years old (and if you are under 18 years you must have parental
If previously married you will require proof of the dissolution of your marriage such as your original divorce papers or the Decree Absolute as they must be seen by the department when you sign the application form for the marriage licence.
Living outside of New Zealand ?
If you reside outside of New Zealand you can arrange to fax or post copies of the dissolution of your marriage to get things moving but you must remember to bring the originals with you when you arrive here.
Make sure you arrive in NZ with enough time to do this before your wedding.
Registrar of marriages offices are only open weekdays (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
If this is not possible you can obtain a licence application, form BDM 58 from any New Zealand High Commissioner’s Office in a British Commonwealth Country or a consulate of New Zealand in other non-British Commonwealth countries.
The form can be witnessed by a Commonwealth representative and forwarded to New Zealand.
Pay $120 for the marriage licence and if everything is OK you'll receive your marriage licence which is valid for three months and the papers you will sign on your wedding day.
Now you're legally ready to be married in New Zealand, wasn't too bad was it ?
On Your Wedding Day
On Your Wedding Day, both of you and your two witnesses are required by NZ law to sign two copies of the marriage certificate.
The marriage celebrant sends one copy to the Central Registry of Marriages so your marriage will be officially registered and the other copy is given to you as legal record of your marriage.
After Your Auckland Wedding you will need formal documentation to confirm the legal validity of your marriage in your home country.
While some countries will accept the form you sign on your wedding day the majority, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada and Hong Kong will require further documentation as proof of marriage.
In this case you will require a Standard New Zealand Marriage Certificate which bears the official stamp of the Registrar of Marriages.
In some countries, such as Austria, Norway, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, China, Denmark and Thailand your Marriage Certificate will require further verification.
Be prepared, check with your home country before you come to New Zealand and you'll avoid difficulties later.
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