Eloping in New Zealand



Eloping in New Zealand is perfect for adventurous couples who don’t want to have to decide between epic mountain landscapes, the beach or anything in between. If you’re thinking about eloping, read on to learn about the requirements for a legal marriage and the best time to elope in New Zealand!

Making it Legal

Where can we get married?

Personalized ceremonies can happen anywhere throughout the country.

Who can get married?

Anyone (regardless of citizenship) can get married in New Zealand, unless:

  • one or both parties are already married or in a civil union, unless you’re changing your relationship with the same person;
  • the two parties are closely related by birth, marriage or adoption;
  • either party is under 16.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New Zealand.

How do we get married in New Zealand?

You’ll need:

  • Two witnesses: The only requirement of the witnesses is that they must understand that you’re getting married; it doesn’t matter how long they’ve known you. Children are also allowed to be witnesses, as long as they understand the concept of marriage.
  • Marriage License:
    • Cost of the license is $150;
    • You have to wait 3+ days after you receive your marriage license before getting married;
    • The license is good for 3 months
Bride + groom kissing on a beach in New Zealand
Wedding photographed apprenticing with Chelsea Matson Photography

When to Elope in New Zealand

If you’re coming from the US (or another country in the Northern Hemisphere), it’s important to remember that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are essentially opposite. New Zealand’s warm summer months are December, January, February and March.

If you want to elope in the mountains, the weather is more unpredictable and cooler, which is another thing to keep in mind. If you love the snow and want to elope in a winter wonderland, May – September.

Spring (September – November) brings about beautiful wild flowers throughout the valleys. If you want some gorgeous purple lupines in your photos, you’ll have to plan your elopement for November or December.

Are you ready to elope in New Zealand?! Contact me to get started!

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