Here are some of the questions that I often get asked. But if there is anything you want to know, give me a call – I’m happy to help!
What are the legal requirements?
In New Zealand, the things you need to do to legally marry are pretty simple…
1. You need a Marriage licence at a cost of $150. You do this through the Births, Deaths and Marriages here.
2. You need to be married by a Registered Marriage Celebrant – thats me folks!
3. During the ceremony, at some point you need to say “I AB take you CD” to be my husband/wife (or words to that effect – we can get creative!).
4. You need two witnesses (they can be anyone, as long as they fully understand what they are witnessing)
5. The two of you, your two witnesses and I must all sign the marriage licence
6. After the ceremony, I am responsible for ensuring your marriage is registered.
And that’s it!
The rest of the wedding is completely about you. But don’t panic! That’s the bit I can help with, and together we can create a personal, vibrant and meaningful ceremony that you will remember forever.
How do I apply for my marriage licence?
You can apply here
- You need to arrange your licence at least 3 working days before you get married (but best not to leave it too late!.
- It expires after 3 months.
- Only one of you needs to complete the application, but you need information about both of you.
- It costs $150
What’s the difference between a marriage licence and certificate?
Good question! The first you order before your wedding, the certificate you receive afterwards. I highly recommend that you preorder this when you apply for your licence. (It costs an extra $33)
What happens if it rains?
Planning an outdoor wedding? It’s New Zealand – good weather is not guaranteed! So it pays to have a backup plan. In case of bad weather, if you have to change the venue altogether – be prepared. Make sure you have the alternative venue listed on your marriage licence (there is space for two options there) and make sure you have an effective way to let all your guests (and celebrant) know that doesn’t involved you making 150 panicked phone calls an hour before your wedding! It doesn’t have to be a nightmare – just be prepared and it will all be fine!
What’s an unplugged Wedding?
Asking people to put away their phones and/or cameras has become a popular practice at weddings these days. Sometimes, it’s just nice for people to be in the moment and not watch events unfold through the screen on their phone. Also, are you happy for people to be posting pictures of you on social media at this time? It’s completely up to you of course, but it’s good to know the options!
What happens at a wedding rehearsal?
A wedding rehearsal is generally held a day or two before the wedding day with as many of the people directly involved in the ceremony as possible. We run through where people stand and/or move too, talk through the elements of the ceremony and practice all the things that need practicing. It’s your choice of course, whether you have a rehearsal, but I certainly recommend it!
How do I change my name when I get married?
In New Zealand, you don’t usually have to do anything special if you want to change your name after you get married or have a civil union. When you get married, you can keep your last name, take your husband, wife or partner’s last name, hyphenate or use a combination of both your last names.
When changing your name on official documents such as your drivers licence or passport will need to use your marriage certificate.
OMG! I HATE being the centre of attention! How do I cope?
A key part of my role is helping you through a time that is stressful for many people. We can discuss strategies for calming nerves and making it through. I promise I’ll take good care of you! But the most important thing to remember is the people who are watching are your family and friends. They are not there to judge you, they are there because they love you and want to celebrate with you.
What happens if you can’t do the ceremony on the day
If, through unforseen circumstances, I am unable to be there on the day (and this has never happened yet – touch wood), I have a network of wonderful colleagues that I would turn to, to step in for me. Don’t worry, I would never leave you in the lurch!
What is CANZ?
CANZ is the Celebrants Association of New Zealand, of which I am proud to be a Validated Member. This means that I adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct. It also means that I am committed to Professional Development and am continually seeking to further my education and honing my celebrant craft. In short, I am always striving to be the very best celebrant that I can be!