“Ask Annette”

Marriage & Memorial Celebrant

Annette Mary Moody JP, Dip.AET


Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQs - What is a Marriage? A formal legal relationship between two people

Can same-sex couples marry in New Zealand? Yes from August 2013, the Marriage Act of 1955 has been amended to allow;
* same-sex and transgender couples to marry
* both people in a gay relationship to be recognised as a parent of an adopted child
* people getting married will be able to choose whether they are called a bride, bridegroom, or partner

How do I know my Celebrant is authorised? A Marriage Celebrant must be approved and reappointed yearly in accordance with the Marriage Act 1955 and have their names published as a Marriage Celebrant in the current year’s Gazette

How long is a marriage License valid? Three [3] months

What is the difference between a ceremony performed by a Court Registrar and one by a Celebrant?

A Registrar is available only during business hours Monday – Friday. There is little choice with your service. It is a short ceremony. A Marriage Celebrant works with each couple to provide a ceremony that meets their needs, and to assist couples who wish to design and write their own and ensures that all legal requirements are met whilst providing a ceremony that you are happy with at your choice of venue

What proof should accompany the BDM60 Form?

A. Proof of Dissolution of any previous marriage/s or civil union/s

B. If your spouse died outside of New Zealand, a copy of their Death Certificate

 What are the legal aspects of a Ceremony?

1.  Marriage Celebrants must be satisfied that the persons to be joined are in fact those named on the License, and must have seen formal government issued identification e.g. driver's License

2.  The marriage must be solemnised at a place described on the License and in the presence of a Marriage Celebrant [or Registrar] and at least two other witnesses

3.  Each party must declare “I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife/husband”

4.  The full names of the bride and bridegroom as they appear on the Marriage License must be used at some point in the ceremony to clearly identify the bride and bridegroom. Abbreviations and nicknames may then be used in other parts of the service

5.  The registration papers must be signed and witnessed in accordance with the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995, on the day of marriage, and must be returned to the same Registrar that fees were paid to, [envelope provided], within 10 days [usually by the Marriage Celebrant]

6.  General public may attend your service, as it is a public event, and if the ceremony is inside, the doors must remain open throughout the service

What happens if my celebrant cannot make the ceremony? A substitute Celebrant must be an Authorised Marriage Celebrant listed in the year’s Gazette

What happens if one of my witnesses is drunk? Another witness must be called

What happens if my fiancé is drunk? The Celebrant may and can refuse to start or continue the ceremony

What if I need or want an interpreter? The parties and witnesses to the marriage must be able to understand the language the Marriage Celebrant used just, as the Marriage Celebrant must be able to understand the language of the parties and witnesses; otherwise, an interpreter will be required. The interpreter must sign a statutory declaration [in front of a JP] stating that they will give a true translation of the marriage ceremony

At what age may I marry? 16 to 18 years, with written consent from either your parents or legal guardian/s

Can I write my own vows? Yes

Can our vows be whatever we like? Yes

Can I have a non-religious service? Yes

Can my children be involved in the ceremony? Yes

Can my child be a witness? Yes, as long as they understand the event

Is there an age restriction for my child to act as a witness? No

How many witnesses do we need? Two

Do our witnesses need to have New Zealand PR status? No

Can my pet be a ring-bearer, or part of the service? Yes

Can we ask you to be our Mistress of Ceremonies? Yes for an added fee, I would be delighted and pleased to officiate at your Reception

When may I use my husband/partner's name? You may assume your husband/partner's name immediately. Take your Marriage Certificate with you to any agency you that you want a name change with, e.g. Bank Account.  Your legal name however remains your birth name. You can change this by Statutory Declaration if you wish to, though it is not necessary

How is your Fee made up?

It takes around 10 hours of preparation to complete the best marriage ceremony for you. This includes compiling the service, checking all drafts, getting your input and approval, typing it, presenting your gift copy, the interviews [first one is free], rehearsal [if you are having one], travel, personal time, and completing the legal paper work. It is an honour to assist you.


All forms may be downloaded at www.bdm.govt.nz Telephone 0800 22 52 52


Ask Annette on ( 0275 643 225 today!


My gift to you is a presentation copy of your unique service



Ask Annette” Marriage & Memorial Celebrant © 2006 Cell: 0275 643225 Auckland New Zealand.