The legal requirements of your Queenstown wedding
Posted on June 4, 2020 by QWA
We’ve answered some of your most common questions around the legalities of a Queenstown wedding to make your wedding planning easy and legit!
Getting married in New Zealand is so easy! You can get married at any time, on any day of the week, at any location. All you need is your Queenstown celebrant, a New Zealand Marriage Licence, and two witnesses to sign the paperwork. The process is the same for everyone, whether you live in New Zealand or will be here on holiday from overseas.
Can I get married in New Zealand?
Anyone can marry in New Zealand, as long as you’re not:
* Already married or in a civil union, unless you are changing your relationship with the same person
*Under 16 – and if you are 16 or 17, you’ll need approval from the family court in order to get married
*Closely related by birth, marriage or adoption
Are LGBTQ weddings legal in New Zealand?
LGBTQI+ couples can legally marry in New Zealand and Queenstown is a welcoming and friendly place for all couples. As an association the QWA has taken the Pride Pledge which strives to improve visibility, inclusion and safety for LGBTTQ+ people across New Zealand.
Who will marry us?
You will need a New Zealand Registered Marriage Celebrant to officiate your marriage and here at the QWA we have plenty for you to choose from. Your celebrant/officiant will guide you through the legal side of getting married.
How do I get a New Zealand Marriage Licence?
You must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form online, including a statutory declaration that the details you have provided are true and there is no lawful impediment to the marriage.
You’ll have to arrange your marriage licence no less than 3 working days and no more than 3 months before you want to get married. Many celebrants recommend applying for your marriage licence a month or two before your wedding day.
When applying for your marriage licence you will need to provide:
* some personal information about your partner and yourself
* your celebrant’s name
* your ceremony location
* an approximate date of your wedding
* whether you have been married before, and how and when that marriage ended (divorce or death)
You will also be asked if you require a marriage certificate to be sent to you after the ceremony – this certificate will be your official proof that your marriage has taken place and is registered in New Zealand. We recommend you pre-order your certificate when applying for your licence, but you can choose to order it at any time after your wedding if this is your preference.
How much does it cost?
The fee for a marriage licence in New Zealand is $150, a certificate $33 + optional courier fee (as at May, 2020). Each marriage celebrant offers their own unique rates and services.