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You can marry on the day you arrive if you wish.
The Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages need three working days to process a couple’s application to get married. This document is Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM60) for those resident in New Zealand. For those coming into New Zealand to be married they require a (BDM58) this is also the Notice of Intended Marriage.
Once this has been filled in except for the declaration at the bottom of the form which must remain unfilled, it is taken to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages by either party of the marriage as one of the parties to the marriage must sign a declaration (the unfilled in part on the form) with the Registrar as witness to their signature. The cost $NZD122.60 is paid by either cash, cheque, eftpos or credit card. The resulting documentation is the Marriage Licence and two copies of The Particulars of Marriage.
However, if a couple are applying to marry in New Zealand and are not within a convenient distance of London or Sydney BDM offices, where they may have their BDM 58 witnessed, New Zealand Wedding Essentials clients may send their form and the cost to us and we lodge it for them. We take the payment and the partially filled in BDM 58 to the registrar’s office and the documentation is prepared. When the clients arrive in New Zealand they are met at the office of BDM where they sign for the documentation and can take it with them. The celebrant, priest, pastor ... must have the Marriage Licence in order to legally marry the couple.
This means in effect, they could be married within an hour of receiving their documentation. Most prefer a day to recover from their journey and marry the following day.
During the marriage ceremony, the couple sign the two copies of The Particulars of Marriage. One copy is handed to the bride as part of the ceremony the other copy is sent to the office of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages where the documentation originated.
Once a Copy of the particulars of Marriage was enough to prove a couple were married now it is necessary to have the correct Marriage Certificate BDM 109. This certificate can be applied for online or a visit to an office of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages. The cost for the Marriage certificate is $NZD26.50.
Finally some countries require further verification your Marriage Certificate is true. New Zealand supplies an apostille on the Marriage certificate. This can be applied for online at www.dia,govt.nz and will cost $NZD32.00. There are clear directions online. Always check with the authorities in your home country as to whether or not they require an apostille in order to recognise your marriage.
In the USA some states recognise a marriage in New Zealand some do not, so it is necessary to make inquiries at City Hall to find out the states requirement.