THE FINE PRINT
The marriage licence: To be legally married in New Zealand, you need to register for a marriage licence through the Department of Internal Affairs (dia.govt.nz). You have between three months and three working days before your wedding to apply. You can apply online, but make sure you’ve secured your celebrant and venue already, as these are detail requirements on the form. Get the form signed in front of a Registrar of Marriages, upload it online and pay the $150 fee if you’re using a celebrant, or $240 if you’ve opted for a registry wedding. The licence will take at least three days to be issued, along with two copies of the Copy of Particulars. Give all three documents to your celebrant before your wedding.
Changing your last name: If you get married or have a civil union, you don’t have to go through any special processes - you can just start using your new name! When changing your name on different forms of ID such as your driver’s licence and passport, you will need to show your marriage certificate as proof that you’ve taken on your partner’s name.