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Get Married in New Zealand: Kiwi Wedding Requirements
Learn how to make getting married in New Zealand easier.
The requirements for getting married in New Zealand are similar to those in the United States. You need to be over 16, have parental consent if under 20 years of age, be single/divorced/widowed, and you can't be marrying someone who has the same sex as you and you can't marry someone who is a close relative. If you meet these basic requirements, then you can apply for a New Zealand marriage license.
Steps for Getting a Marriage License for Non-Kiwis
The first step is to determine where you will be getting married. This information will need to be added to your application. You have several wedding venues that you can choose from including the Register of Marriage Office, New Zealand churches and synagogues, or another New Zealand venue.
The second step is to find an authorized marriage celebrant to perform your ceremony. If you will be getting married at the Register's Office the office will provide the person to officiate your wedding. If you want to get married outside the Register's Office then you will need to select a marriage celebrant from the approved list. The list can be found at the Register's Office.
Step number three is to complete your Notice of Intended Marriage. This form has to be witnessed by either a clerk at the Register of Marriage or by a Commonwealth Representative. If you will be completing this form in the U.S. the easiest thing to do is to complete the form but don't sign it before mailing to the Department of Internal Affairs, Register of Births, Deaths and Marriage. Include a note with your form that you will sign your form in front of them when you arrive in New Zealand. There are at least four DIARBDMs in New Zealand, one in Auckland, one in Manukau, one in Wellington and one in Christchurch. You will also need to pay the fees for you license. The license will cost NZ$120 and a civil service will cost NZ$170.
Step number four is to appear before the Register's Office to sign your Notice of Intended Marriage. It will take at least three calendar days to get your licensed approved and issued. After approval the license is good for three months. You are now ready to get married.
Getting Married in New Zealand
Weddings can take on several format in New Zealand. The only real requirements for a legal ceremony are that they are officiated by an authorized marriage celebrant and that the bride and groom each say, at some point, "I (name) take you (name of bride/groom), to be my legal wife/husband." Beyond these points, you are free to be as creative or traditional as you want.