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Ask The Expert!

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

Question: What are the necessary legal requirements when planning your ceremony?

Answer: This question is often asked by the groom (Not all) as they want it over real quick!!!.


In a marriage ceremony, couples can write their own vows as long as they say “I [name] take you [partner’s name], to be my legal [wife/husband/partner]”, or something similar, to each other at some point in the ceremony.

You need to sign along with 2 witnesses the 2 copies of the 'Copy of Particulars' straight away — You must sign the documents using their pre-marriage signatures. This is obtained from Births Deaths and Marriages and given to your celebrant a fee of NZD$150 applies to obtaining a licence.

✅So minimum number of people required to perform a marriage ceremony is 5 (five). Bride & Groom, Registered Celebrant and 2 (two) witnesses.

*** other requirements ***

You must have an approved celebrant on the day the licence is issued and the day the wedding is held.

It is important to hold the ceremony at one of the places named on the licence

Witnesses must not be intoxicated and must be able to understand what’s happening. If they: are children, they have to be old enough to understand the ceremony, and be able to explain their understanding in court later if required speak a different language to you, you’ll need an interpreter. The interpreter has to sign a statutory declaration before the ceremony to say they’ll interpret what you say accurately.

After the above is met the rest of your ceremony is up to you. Done of my couple's have not done rings, maybe you want a tattooed ring at a later date. Some incorporate other ceremonies. With a Celebrant led Ceremony you can use you imagination and make it exactly about You!!

Sarah Mccambridge Celebrant

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