What can we expect to receive from your Marriage Celebrant services?

A Wedding Ceremony that is completely tailor made to your wishes, needs and desires – designed uniquely for you. After receiving a pack of resources to aid you in creating your personal ceremony, we will work together to make sure it is exactly what you want, with every aspect you had in mind included on your day. We can meet as many times as you choose when you are up here in Russell and then meet prior to the wedding for a full rehearsal or a more laid back casual meeting if you prefer, which will answer any last minute questions you may have.

On the day, I will always arrive early, am happy to help with the ceremony set up, and direct proceedings prior to the ceremony beginning. I will stay for as long as I am required afterwards as I only take one booking per day.

If you require a large cordless PA with microphones, I have one which can play your processional, interim  and ‘down the aisle’ music, this is all included with my fee.

Who has the authority to perform marriages?  How do I know they are authorized?

Registered or authorized Celebrants are those persons appointed by the Registrar-General as Marriage Celebrants.  A list of all Celebrants can be found in the List of Marriage Celebrants in the New Zealand Gazette.

Are there rules about where we can marry?

No – but a permit is always required if the Ceremony is to be in a public place. Some councils will charge a fee depending on the location.  Check with the local council of the venue/location for further information. The Bay of Islands comes under Far North District Council.

How much will a Wedding ceremony cost?

As all ceremonies vary greatly and are at different venues, I am happy to have a no obligation first meeting to discuss your wishes and provide you with a quote. Please feel free to ask as I feel it is important that you know everything from our first meeting with no surprises later. 🙂

What are the legal requirements for all marriage ceremonies?

The legal requirements are that:

  • The marriage must be performed by a Marriage Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages at the place specified on the marriage licence.
  • The marriage must be performed in the presence of at least two witnesses.
  • During the ceremony, and before at least two witnesses, each party must say the words “I AB take you CD, to be my legal wife/husband” or words to similar effect.
  • Both parties and witnesses sign the registration forms.

 Who can be a witness at the Marriage Ceremony?

Anyone able to understand what occurs at the ceremony – and importantly the nature of the ceremony. Children can be witnesses, but must be able to demonstrate a full understanding of the nature of the ceremony in court if later required to do so. (The Marriage Act of 1955 does not stipulate a minimum age for witnesses.)

What is involved in getting a Marriage Licence?

To get married in New Zealand you must hold a valid marriage licence. Before you apply for the marriage licence you must:

  • Arrange for a Marriage Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages to perform the ceremony
  • Arrange a place for the ceremony. You should also choose an alternative venue in the event, that the weather prevents you from marrying at your primary venue.

Then….One of the parties (both parties must be over 16 years of age ):

  • Complete  the following Notice of Intended Marriage form on the NZ BDM website. https://marriages.services.govt.nz/
  • Pay the fee of NZ$150.00 for a marriage licence, or NZ$240 for a Registry Office marriage to be held during normal office hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm)
  • The marriage licence is issued after 3 working days and will be emailed to the address the couple provide.
  • The marriage licence is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

Does my name have to change when I get married?

No. You can keep your name. In New Zealand it has been customary for a partner to assume their spouse’s surname after marriage. In some cases couples are combining their names to create a new family name. None of these changes affect your registered birth name. If you do decide to change your name, there is another simple process which I am happy to update you on after the ceremony.

What if I’m applying for the marriage licence from outside of New Zealand?

If you are applying for the marriage licence from outside of New Zealand, the only difference is in regards to the form you complete and the signing of the declaration. If you are overseas, the declaration must either be signed by a Commonwealth Representative, and then sent (with payment) to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where you will be married. Or, you can complete everything on the form except the declaration, and email / post it to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where you will be married. When you arrive in New Zealand, you then need to visit that office, sign the declaration, make the payment and collect the marriage licence.         This notice should arrive at least a week before you intend to get married. Note: only the Notice of Intended Marriage where both parties ordinarily resident outside New Zealand (BDM 58) can be signed by a Commonwealth representative. .