Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I access all the legal information I need to know about getting married or having a Civil Union in N.Z?

NZ Births Deaths and Marriages offer a comprehensive information service with everything you need to know.

You can apply for a licence at the BDM office or district Court. Apart from your personal information – mother’s maiden name etc, you will need:

  • The address of your ceremony venue (and also the address of a 2nd venue option in case of rain)
  • My full name (as celebrant) – ‘Peta Elaine Hardley’
  • Divorce papers if either of you have been previously married or in a civil union
  • The BDM fee, which  is currently $150.00 (as of 22 May 2017)

If you are still in doubt after visiting their website, then call them on 0800 22 52 52 (NZ number only) or else call me. Visit www.bdm.govt.nz.

It is your responsibility to arrange the marriage/civil union licence from BDM and to get the papers to me, preferably a few days prior to the ceremony.

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What are your fees to perform a ceremony and do you need a deposit?

I charge $500 (GST inc) for Weddings and Civil Unions and $450 (GST inc) for other ceremonies, within a 20 km radius of my home in Kumeu. Travel outside of the Auckland area can be negotiated. There may be a small additional fee for travel costs depending on venue location or if a rehearsal is required.

My fee includes my time to meet with you to plan your wedding the way you want it, access to some resources (readings and vows), the ceremony design, and of course performing the ceremony on the day. I take quite a lot of time in creating individualised and personalised ceremonies. Each one is different and unique.

A deposit of $200 (non refundable) will secure your booking on your chosen date. The balance can be paid anytime prior to the ceremony.

The use of my home, ‘Casabella’ as your fabulous ceremony venue starts from just $450. Please ring or email to discuss your needs. (For more info and photos, see the ‘Private Venue‘ page)

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Can we meet you first to see if you are the right celebrant for us?

Yes of course. It is important that you feel your celebrant is the right ‘fit’. The video of the home page might be helpful. Just ring and have a chat to ‘size me up’ or alternately, I offer a brief obligation free first meeting.

If you decide to employ my services I will have a longer meeting with you to discuss all your specific details. Following payment of the deposit, I provide you with access to my resources (readings and vows) and I commence work on your ceremony. I then like to stay in touch with you, and am happy for you to ring me at any stage. We will then touch base again at least a week prior to the big day to confirm the arrangements and make any final detail changes.

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Do you only do non religious ceremonies?

Being a civil or ‘secular’ celebrant, the ceremonies I design tend to be non religious. However, I’m aware that ceremonies need to include the right words for you and your guests, so you are welcome to include any religious wording, readings or prayers that you feel reflects your values or beliefs. Some couples ask start the ceremony with a simple “We are gathered here today in the sight of God and loved ones…” Other couples ask for more.

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Can we write our own vows?

Yes and No. There is a legal requirement in New Zealand that requires couples getting married to say the following or similar words: ‘I ………(full name) take you ……… (full name) to be my wife/husband’

Or for a civil union: ‘I ………(full name) freely enter into a civil union with you (full name)’

Prior to or following this, you can say whatever is in your heart. I strongly encourage couples to consider writing their own vows, (which don’t have to be the same as each other). If you find it difficult to find the right words, I have a selection of tastefully worded vows to choose from, or you can do what many couples do and ‘cut and paste’.

Don’t worry about forgetting your vows on the day, I can prompt you if needed or get you to ‘repeat after me’.

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How long are you at the ceremony?

I arrive approx half hour before the ceremony and stay if required for any photos.
I do like to take a photo for my own record and place on my blog (with your permission).
I leave soon after the ceremony and prior to the reception. Don’t worry, you won’t have to feed me.

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Can children, family members or pets be included in the ceremony?

Absolutely! I encourage full participation of children, and suggest friends or family do a reading or poem. A beloved pet can be definately be included (if the venue is happy for them to be there)

Did you know that providing children are old enough to know what they are signing, they can even be witnesses to a marriage or civil union?

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Any other questions?

Just contact me. I will be happy to help.

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