Applying for a Marriage Licence in NZ


Before you make it official, you'll need to decide what kind of marriage and wedding you want to have i.e. Civil Union or Marriage, personalised wedding ceremony v.s. registry office style.

Registry office weddings are great if you’re on a budget and just want to make your marriage offical more than anything else (a registry office ceremony will set you back a mere $250 including your marriage licence). The downside is that you can’t customise the ceremony or have personal vows.

The other, more popular option, is to get married by a registered wedding celebrant - whether it be a big affair, small intimate ceremony, or even an elopement. If choosing when or where you get married, having personal vows, or a certain number of guests is important to you, then a ceremony with a registered wedding celebrant is the way to go.

To become legally married in New Zealand you'll need these 6 essential elements:

  • Marriage licence
  • Two witnesses
  • Be married in the presence of a registered celebrant, or at a registry office
  • Be 18 years old or older (if you’re 16 or 17 you can still get married, but only with parental consent).
  • Not already married/cupped to a person who is not the person you are applying to marry
  • Don’t be trying to marry a close relative, sorry Cersei Lannister.

You cannot become legally married without this important piece of paper. You’ll want to apply for your licence at least 3 working days before the date on which you want to get married. If you have a set date in mind we recommend applying a month in advance - for peace of mind more than anything (side note: you can apply for a marriage licence from anywhere between 3 months to 3 days before your wedding).

It’s a pretty simple process and a nice one to tick off the list. This page details all the necessary steps and forms required to obtain a licence.

If you're being married by a celebrant, you'll need the celebrant’s full name, the location and approximate date of your wedding when you apply for your licence - make sure you triple check all the spelling! If you’re having a Skinny Love Wedding, we will supply you with all of this information well in advance.

Once you have your licence you can proceed to the fun part and go ahead and tie the knot!
It’s important to note that a marriage licence is not the same as a marriage certificate although they are sometimes both referred to as a certificate. The licence comes before the marriage, and the certificate you can apply for after, if you’d like one.

xx The Skinny Love Gals

Getting married on a budget? We offer all inclusive affordable, stylish pop-up weddings at a fraction of the usual cost. Packages start from just $3299 - learn more.


Get a marriage licence.

Find a registry office in NZ




Teresa Callaghan - Auckland

Hayley Greer - Auckland

Laura Giddey - Auckland

Hannah Porter - Hamilton

Nicki Sunderland - Tauranga

Miranda Zander - Wellington

Sarah Gnad - Christchurch


Jilly Taipua