Some days when you say ‘Good News!’ it’s like ‘hey, the milk hasn’t expired yet!’ and other times it’s proper real, good news…
This time it’s proper real good news! I got to tell a couple they didn’t have to (potentially) fly to England from Sweden to find a ‘representative of the Commonwealth’ (which nobody ever wants to admit to being) to witness their marriage licence application to get married in New Zealand on January 4th (after the courthouses have shut for Christmas and before they’ve reopened for the New Year, if you were wondering why the palaver) BECAUSE, wait for it……
As of November 1st you can apply for your New Zealand Marriage Licence 100% online. That’s right it’s active now!
It doesn’t matter where you normally live or where you are making the application from. It doesn’t matter what date or place within New Zealand you’re getting married (although same restrictions about how long the licence is valid for, see below).
All you have to do is visit this website https://marriages.services.govt.nz/ and fill in the form, pay the fee, wait the few days for processing and bada bing bada boom, there’s a marriage licence in your email inbox! (And handily, my inbox too – if I’m your celebrant that is!)
There are a couple of restrictions – if you’re applying for a civil union licence rather than a marriage licence you will still need to fill in a paper form and visit your local courthouse. (This is because Civil Unions are now very rare. Now that anybody can choose to get ‘married’ rather than ‘civil unioned’ regardless of their sexual orientation, most people opt for a marriage licence.)
If one of the two of you is aged under 18, you will still need to fill in a paper form and visit your local courthouse.
As far as the usual restrictions go, you need to know that your marriage licence will be valid for 3 months, so you cannot apply for it more than 3 months out from your wedding day. It’s valid for 3 months so if required you can move your wedding date a few weeks here or there without having to apply for a new licence. I know, if you’re having a big wedding you probably won’t. But if you’re eloping, it’s nice to know you can move it around a bit to get the good weather.
All the other restrictions – you’ll find them here http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1955/0092/latest/DLM292639.html?search=ta_regulation_M_rc%40rinf%40rnif_an%40bn%40rn_200_a&p=1#DLM292639
Wherever, whenever, however, by whoever you are getting married… happy planning and massive congratulations!
If you’re after a marriage celebrant who is all about #yourweddingyourway in Central or South Otago I’d love to hear from you – it’s easy, just fill in the contact form below!