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Applying for a New Zealand marriage licence

By Jodie Stuart

Photo credit: Williams Photography


To legally get married in New Zealand you need to apply for a marriage licence. This will cost you $150 and can be done online by following this link: https://marriages.services.govt.nz.

Your marriage licence will only be valid for 90days once it is issued, therefore we suggest you don’t apply for it until about 30-60days out from your wedding date.


You need the following information to apply for your marriage licence:

1. Address of your ceremony location

2. Your celebrant’s name

3. Personal details of you and your partner:

· all first, middle, and last names currently,

· all first, middle, and last names at birth, if different,

· place, and date, of birth,

· occupation, and

· if previously in a marriage or civil union, the date the dissolution or divorce order was sealed, or date of death.

4. Full names of your parents and your partner’s parents:

· all first, middle, and last names, and 

· all last names at their birth, if different. 

5. A credit card or debit card to pay the fee.

When you are filling in the form, you will need to select that you would like to have a ‘personalised’ ceremony, then follow the prompts to enter the above information.

On completion we recommend that you request for your marriage licence to be emailed directly to your celebrant then you can tick one more thing off the list.

Your celebrant will then print out your marriage licence, and supporting documentation and bring it along on your wedding day.

To have your marriage recognised in your home country, or to change your name in New Zealand you will need a marriage certificate. A New Zealand marriage certificate includes all the details of your wedding and has a government stamp on it that verifies it is a legally binding document.

You will be able to order your marriage certificate at the same time as your marriage licence for a small additional fee of $33. We highly recommend ordering your marriage certficiate at the same time as your marriage licence, then it will automatically be posted out to you after your wedding.

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