Is the wedding documentation legal overseas?

Lucinda Borrie and Chris Garside exchange vows at Grandview Gardens in Febraury. Photo by Kerry...
Lucinda Borrie and Chris Garside exchange vows at Grandview Gardens in Febraury. Photo by Kerry at Kelk Photography.
The Particulars of Marriage certificate is accepted only as legal and valid documentation while residing in New Zealand. New Zealand couples who intend to travel or live overseas and couples who reside outside New Zealand after they are married, need to obtain an official Marriage Certificate (BDM 93M) which is stamped by the registrar general of New Zealand.

This is a simple process. Contact the registrar's office, telephone 0800 227-777 (New Zealand only) or, if overseas +64 4 474-8101.

You will need the Particulars of Marriage - the document you signed on your wedding day to quote the number from it.

The cost is $NZ26.50 and is payable by credit/debit card, bank cheque or draft.

An order form can also be downloaded online from

Witnesses must be able to understand what occurs at the ceremony (i.e. they should be of sound mind and should not be intoxicated).

Children can be witnesses, but must be old enough to understand the nature of the ceremony and be able to demonstrate that understanding in court if later required to do so.

The Marriage Act 1955 does not stipulate a minimum age for witnesses.

The parties to a marriage must be at least 16 years of age. If you are 16 or 17 years old you will need parental consent or, in certain circumstances, from legal guardians, from a relative acting in place of a guardian or from a Family Court judge.

If parents or guardians refuse consent you can apply to a Family Court judge for consent to be married.

Every piece of relevant information, including which relatives you can and cannot marry, getting married overseas, name changes and approved marriage celebrants, can be found in the brochure "Getting Married", which is published by the Department of Internal Affairs. For further assistance talk to your nearest registrar of marriages, call freephone 0800 225-252 or visit the website


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