Frequently Asked Questions
What Do We get from Hiring MaryAnn?
The first meeting is a no obligation meeting (or skype) then you can decide if you would like me to take your ceremony. For funerals, and life celebrations, I am usually recommended by the funeral director. Whilst most of my work is weddings and funerals, I am more than happy to take other milestone ceremonies such as naming’s and renewal of vows. With weddings/civil unions we discuss the date, venue, fees, and share any ideas that you may have. I give you advice about the legal aspects of the ceremony, and the resources I have available. I ask that you let me know within 2 weeks if you would like me to be your Celebrant.
Then a second meeting is planned and the ceremony format is discussed. At this stage I also ask for a deposit to secure your booking. I then prepare your personalised ceremony, and adjust if necessary to make sure everyone is happy.
A third meeting and/or rehersal is planned 2-3 days before the wedding, the Marriage/Civil Union Licence is checked, the finer points of the ceremony gone over, and the balance of payment made.
After the Ceremony, I register your Marriage/Civil Union with the Department of Internal Affairs.
How Do We Obtain a Marriage/Civil Union Licence?
You need to obtain a marriage/civil union licence from a Registrar of Marriages and Civil Unions. This is usually the Registrar at a Court. To apply for a licence one of the parties must fill out a “Notice of Intended Marriage (BDM 60) or Notice of Intended Civil Union (BDM360). This can be down loaded and printed from this BDM link – www.bdm.govt.nz, or you can pick one up from the local Court house. The licence (2 copies) is issued after 3 days and is valid for 3 months after the date of issue. The cost of a licence is $122.60.
On the day both copies of the licence are signed and witnessed, one given to the couple, the other is sent off by the Celebrant to be registered with the Department of Internal Affairs.
4-6 weeks after your wedding or Civil Union you can apply to Births, Deaths, and Marriages for a Marriage/Civil Union certificate. I suggest that you do obtain a certificate as the licence is not being accepted by some agencies anymore as a legal document. BDM can be contacted on their website, 0800 225252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the Legal Requirements of a Marriage/Civil Union?
Your Marriage/Civil Union ceremony must be taken by a registered Marriage/Civil Union Celebrant or Registrar of Marriages/Civil Unions.
The ceremony must be witnessed by at least two people.
The words “I take you to be my husband, wife or life partner” or words to that effect must be spoken by both parties.
The bride, groom, life partners, registered celebrant, and the two witnesses all must sign the licence forms.
When and Where Can We Have a Marriage/Civil Union Ceremony?
You can have a ceremony on any day of the week at any time of the day. On the licence there is space for two venues. If you are planning an outside ceremony, you need to have an inside option to accommodate the possibility of wet weather. If you are choosing a public place for the ceremony the local council need to be advised. Thames - Coromandel District Council can be contacted on 07 8680200, and the Hauraki District Council can be contacted on 07 8628609. Both can be contacted from the links page.
What is the Usual Order of a Ceremony?
The ceremony is usually divided into the following parts
1) Giving Away and Welcome
2) A reading or poem
3) The Vows or Promises
4) The Giving of Rings
5) Signing the Licence
6) The Pronouncement
7) Closure or conclusion
I have a wedding folder available that expands and give examples of the different parts, but work very closely with you to create a unique ceremony that reflects your personalities, history as a couple, and feelings for each other.
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