Things to know
My approach to performing a marriage ceremony is to work with you as a couple to ascertain what is most important to you - it’s your day and it needs to be personalised to you both. To achieve this, we will have a casual face-to-face or Skype meeting to work together to determine how you would like your ceremony.
CFMC Ceremony guide
I am proud to offer my clients a beautiful custom designed ceremony guide to help you to make your ceremony your own. It includes ideas and wording suggestions for every section of the ceremony including readings and vows. Everybody wants to personalise their ceremony but it can be daunting and overwhelming knowing where to start. This guide will make it a pleasure for you to get started and, with my guidance or assistance we will create a truly tailored, personal and memorable ceremony.
Questions you may have
Click the questions to display each answer
Where can I find out information on getting married in New Zealand?
The Births, Deaths and Marriages section of the Department of Internal Affairs manages the registration of marriages and civil unions in New Zealand. You can find them at www.dia.govt.nz. They have a very helpful resource entitled "Getting Married - a guide for couples preparing to get married in NZ”.
How do we get a Marriage License?
You will need to complete the “Notice of Intended Marriage” or “Notice of Intended Civil Union” forms (BDM 60). The relevant form includes a statutory declaration that must be completed stating that both parties are free to marry or enter into a civil union with each other and that all the details that you have completed on the form are correct. The form can be downloaded from the DIA website but, if you live in NZ, one of the parties must appear in person before the Registrar of Courts nearest to you to sign the Declaration section. IF you live outside NZ, please refer below.
When do I have to complete this form?
You must give at least three days notice (from receipt) to the Registrar to issue the License. The License will be valid for three months from the date on which it is issued. You will need to include my details, as your Celebrant, on this form. I will supply those to you. Once the form is received (including the Statutory Declaration completed in front of the Registrar) and processed by the Registrar, you will be given the Licence together with two copies of the “Copy of Particulars”. I will need to have these at least the day prior to the marriage/civil union. I will also need to sight formal photo identification to satisfy myself, as I am legally required to do, of your identity. Note that I cannot marry you without the License and Copy of Particulars. The “Copy of Particulars” is what you will sign at the ceremony.
How much does it cost?
You will need to pay for the License. The current fee is $122.60 (if you are being married by a Marriage Celebrant) and must be paid to the Registrar when you send in or hand over your Notice. You will, of course, also need to pay for my services as a Registered Marriage Celebrant. My fees vary depending upon the range of services that you require. We can discuss this in person.
We are living overseas / we are not NZ residents. How do we get a License?
If you both live outside New Zealand but will arrive more than three (working) days ahead of the ceremony, you can apply for the License when you arrive. Alternatively you can complete the Notice of Intended Marriage where Parties Ordinarily Resident outside New Zealand (BDM 58) form. You can complete everything on the form except the declaration, and send it (with payment) 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 before a Registrar of Marriages and collect the marriage licence. Note that you can only visit the Registrar during normal working hours of Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm. If you both live outside NZ but will arrive less than three days before the date you want to may, you should be able to complete most of the legalities online before you arrive. You should complete the Notice of Intended Marriage where Parties Ordinarily Resident outside New Zealand (BDM 58) form. You can complete everything on the form except the declaration, and send it (with payment) 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 before a Registrar of Marriages and collect the marriage licence. You may also be able to have the Declaration signed by a Commonwealth Representative, and then sent (with payment) to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where you will be married. If it is convenient, you can have the declaration witnessed by a Commonwealth Representative, for instance, at our London or Sydney office. You should check with your local Embassy/Consulate.
One/both of us has been married before. What do we need to do?
You will need the details of the dissolution/divorce or the date of death of your spouse/partner on the Notice of Intended Marriage form. You may be asked to produce the details of your dissolution/divorce so either take/send a copy of the relevant details.
I notice we have to complete the details of the location for the marriage. What if we need to change because of the weather?
The form allows for you to enter two locations (the intended and an alternative). This allows for us to cater for the need to move the ceremony in case of weather or other circumstances.
How do we go about creating the ceremony?
The ceremony only has a small number of elements that are legally required. Part of my service includes creating a ceremony that is right for you. I have a large range of resources to assist you. I am also happy to help you to write personalised elements.
Can we tailor the ceremony?
Absolutely. I will work with you to create the ceremony that you want.
Do we need witnesses and who can they be?
Yes, you need two witnesses. Anyone can be a witness so long as I am satisfied that they are able to understand what is occurring at the ceremony. Children can we witnesses so long as they are old enough to understand the nature of the ceremony. Note that the court might require them to demonstrate that understanding later.
Can you also supply other services?
Yes, I have a range of people that I can recommend. I can also work with you to coordinate some additional services.
Do we get a copy of the documents that are signed?
Yes, I will give you one of the two “Copies of Particulars” that are signed at the ceremony. I will send the other copy to the Registrar so that the marriage/civil union is formally registered. You can obtain a printed copy from Births, Deaths and marriages after the ceremony is registered. You do not need this printed copy though.
"Thank you so much for everything. You did a wonderful job and the ceremony was exactly what we wanted. We would have been hopelessly lost without you. You were absolutely great during the whole process. I can't express my gratitude enough!"
“Thank you for being a part of our special day and for your moving ceremony. Your words will be with us forever.”
"It was really lovely to meet you. We are certainly better informed than we were previously!”.
"Hi Catherine, thanks for the first draft. We read through it, and cried. You have done well."
"We would love to have you as our celebrant and really like your approach to everything.”
"Thanks for all the information and guidance. It has been so helpful.”
"A big thank you for the ceremony, it was so gorgeous and special to us. You did such a fantastic job, it is certainly a day we won't forget, your words were very special and meaningful, it is hard to believe how fast it goes."