Getting legally married in New Zealand is super easy!
Great news, it doesn't matter if you live in Australia, USA, Canada, the United Kingdom or anywhere in between...it is super easy to get married in New Zealand if you have a great celebrant to help guide you through the process.
Since becoming a celebrant (in 2014) I have married couples from countries all over the world and worked with them to ensure that their marriages are recognised and legal back home. This has included marrying couples from Australia, Lithuania, England, France, Germany, Canada and USA to name a few places.
Firstly you need to find a celebrant that is the right fit for you and your partner. As soon as you lock them in, pick a date and a location for your wedding ceremony to take place.
From there, you need to apply for a marriage licence from the New Zealand Government. It only takes 3 working days to process marriage licence applications, which is amazing! However, it is important to note, that the marriage licence expires after 3 months, so make sure you don't apply too early! I normally suggest applying the month before.
It will cost you $150.00 to get your marriage licence, if you are choosing to be married by an independent celebrant (which is what I am). An independent celebrant is someone who has been appointed by the New Zealand Government and can legally conduct wedding ceremonies anywhere in New Zealand outside of court houses and churches (with permission of land owners). Note, the $150 fee is for your marriage licence only. You will also need to pay a small fee for your celebrant services. (The cost for a celebrant tends to range between $450-$750.)
When you apply for your marriage licence online, you will be prompted to apply for a marriage certificate at the same time. This will cost you an additional $33.00. I highly recommend to all of my couples to apply for this at the same time as you will need a marriage certificate, as it comes with a government seal, which is needed to have your marriage recognised in your home country.
Depending on what country you live in, you may need to also apply for an apostille to have your marriage recognised back home. Don't worry, it isn't as scary or hard as it sounds - this is something that your marriage celebrant can help guide you with also.