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Getting Married In New Zealand - New Zealand Wedding Guide

Getting married in New Zealand

Many couples choose New Zealand because of the raw, untouched beauty of the landscape and the abundance of exciting outdoor activities that can be enjoyed. New Zealand offers skiing, rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving, caving and trekking opportunities among others.  Getting married in such beautiful surroundings makes for some truly stunning photos. Unique old churches are also a real selling point.

Fact File Highlights
Weather & Climate Culture & Etiquette
Food & Drink Money & Wedding Costs
Legal Requirements - Getting married in New Zealand Regions
Wedding Providers New Zealand  

Fact File

  • Size: 268,680 km²
  • Population: Approximately 4.88 million people
  • Capital City: Wellington
  • Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Languages Spoken: English, Maori (indigenous people) 
  • Main Religions: Christianity
  • Major Holidays and Festivals:
    • New Year's Day - 1 January
    • Provincial Anniversary Day - Varies within each province
    • Waitangi Day - 6 February
    • Good Friday - Friday before Easter Sunday
    • Easter Sunday - March or April (varies each year)
    • Easter Monday - Day after Easter Sunday
    • Anzac Day - 25 April
    • Labour Day - Fourth Monday in October
    • Christmas Eve – 24 December
    • Christmas Day - 25 October
    • Boxing Day - 26 December 
    • New Year’s Eve – 31 December


Comprising two main landmasses (North Island and South Island) each with often vastly different landscapes, New Zealand offers a diverse selection of unique locations for your special day. Whilst the North Island (Te I Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu) are the two main islands, there are also numerous smaller islands which also boast stunning natural beauty.

Main highlights include scenic ones, including national parks – there are 13 in total. Tongariro is one of the most well known, and is famed for being a remote and rugged forest complete with clear lakes. Togariro is a dual World Heritage area, and one not for the faint hearted – it comes complete with active volcanoes.

Couple holding hands kissing at Roys Peak, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Hit the coastline of Bay of Plenty to see this iconic strip of land complete with a long white beach.

No visit to New Zealand would be complete without a visit to the capital city, Wellington, for a taste of the unique city vibe and local eateries.

Weather and Climate

New Zealand’s weather varies from the North to South Island, and is also dictated by geographical features - namely the mountains and the sea. Mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall and a lot of sunshine are experienced throughout the country. In winter, Queenstown on the South Island can get down to 1°C with tops of 22°C in the summer, while Auckland on the North Island gets down to 9°C and up to 24°C.

Culture and Etiquette

With a population of 4.8 million, the bulk of New Zealand’s residents are of European descent, the majority of whom are descendants of the early British settlers – the indigenous Maori follow in second place. Owing to this mixing of cultures, there is a unique art and cultural scene. Traditional Maori art consists primarily of traditional carving, weaving and tattooing. Both English and Maori are the official languages of New Zealand.

The Maori people have a rich and vibrant culture, which can be seen in their propensity to spontaneously burst into song. There are a number of songs that Maori people will know even if they have not met before and these are often used to either to close or enhance a speech.

When eating in restaurants, tipping is not required but recommended if you enjoyed the service. Food delivery staff, hairdressers and taxi drivers are not normally tipped.

Food and Drink

Many of the much-loved foods in New Zealand are imports that came primarily from the British. Cereal and toast are a typical brekkie fare during the week, and fry ups with eggs, bacon, hash browns, etc. are a popular weekend treat. Fish and chips is another British import that’s seen all over New Zealand today. The traditional Maori way of cooking is hangi, which is a form of cooking where food is put into the ground in a basket along with hot rocks to cook over a number of hours.

Money and Wedding Costs

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar, and the average cost of a wedding in New Zealand is around $30,000 NZD. Whilst that may be the average, it is possible to have a wedding for around $5,000–10,000 NZD by cutting down on the number of guests, choosing a cheaper venue and opting for budget catering.

A mixture of cash and card payments is recommended in New Zealand – ATMs are readily available in most urban areas. Most payments you will make for your wedding will have card facilities. All registry offices will accept over the counter payments by cash cheque and card.

Legal Requirements - Getting married in New Zealand

Warning The following notes are not comprehensive and are intended as a guide only. Before planning your wedding in New Zealand we strongly advise you to contact the New Zealand embassy in your home country or your country's embassy in New Zealand to obtain up-to-date legal requirements.

Anybody can marry in New Zealand as long as they are legally free to marry. You will, however, need to apply for a visitor visa before your arrival.

You’ll also need to state where and when you’ll be getting married when you apply for your marriage licence – and also a backup venue as a precaution in case the weather stops you being able to marry at your primary venue.

Please check the website of the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand for up-to-date legal requirements.

Regions of New Zealand

New Zealand is divided into 16 regions spread over the two main islands, North Island and South Island.  Each region offers unique opportunities for your destination wedding.

Find out more about the Regions of New Zealand or browse our New Zealand Wedding Directory to start planning your dream wedding.

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