FAQ - About Weddings & Civil Unions


DO WE NEED TO USE A CELEBRANT?

Yes you must use a Registered Celebrant. My name is in the Internal Affairs listing on their website and it will be checked by Internal Affairs when you apply. I also have to send them back a copy of the signed licence  after the ceremony. The other copy I give to you, or someone else you nominate to look after it for you,  on the day after the ceremony.

WHERE DO WE GET OUR MARRIAGE OR CIVIL UNION LICENCE?

Getting a licence is your responsibility. It is valid for 3 months from the date it is issued and if you have the right paperwork it takes approximately 4-5 working days to get it sent to you. You will need to have your venue arranged or at least a tentative arrangement made ( including an indoor venue if you are having an outdoor wedding and may have to go somewhere else if it rains,) and my name as your Celebrant - Jennifer Anne Gibson.

Take with you some identification - passport, birth certificate, drivers licence etc. and also if there was a previous marriage your signed divorce papers or if you have been previously widowed if you have one, a death certificate of your previous partner. If you do not have the correct paperwork it can be obtained. It will just take a little longer.

You need to go to the nearest Deparment of Internal Affairs or you can download the ( Births Deaths and Marriages) BDM60 form ( Marriage) BDM360 ( Civil Union) from the Internal Affairs website and then go to their office.
In Christchurch they are open Mon- Fri 8.30am - 5.00pm except Wed 9.00am  - 5.00pm.

For those of you living in Christchurch, they have just recently moved from their temporary office at 26 Perimeter Road by the airport to just down the road at 100 Orchard Road still by the airport. I will always give you any change of address for Christchurch and directions when I come to see you.

If you travel and work in another town from where you live, you can also apply there at your local Court. Check with them first .

HOW MUCH DOES A LICENCE COST?

You should always check the Internal Affairs website but I will also always give you the updated price when I come to visit you. As of 1st May 2012 to use an Independent Celebrant like me it is $122.60 and it is payable to Internal Affairs when you apply.

WHO BRINGS THE LICENCE TO THE CEREMONY?

When you receive your Marriage Licence in the mail there will be 2 copies that we will sign on the day. I will collect them from you and take full responsibility to bring them to the ceremony along with pens and also a paperwight particularly if we are having it outdoors. That way they will not get lost or misplaced as they are very important documentation.

HOW MANY WITNESSES DO WE NEED TO HAVE?

You will need to have 2 witnesses. We can discuss that when I see you but there is also information on the Internal Affairs website about who can be a witness.

DO WE HAVE TO SAY VOWS?

No you do not have to say vows but they are a very special part of the ceremony for most couples. I encourage couples to write their own vows and help them through that process. In all of the ceremonies that I have done so far couples all say that they were so glad they did write them and say them as there are always very special things that mean so much to the both of you and by saying them in front of each other and also your family and friends it makes your commitment to marriage or civil union all that more meaningful.

My legal commitment is that I have to say " Do you ..... take ...... to be your .............    and also announce you to be ...................

So if that is all you want that is also fine.

DO I HAVE TO REMEMBER MY VOWS?

No you do not have to remember them. I can either prompt you a few words at a time or put them onto a card for you to read out. We always take our time during this part of the ceremony. It is always an emotional time and there is no hurry. We take it just one step at a time. Despite their fears all couples do extremely well . Nothing that a few smiles to relax everyone can't fix and a bit of time makes it all go very smoothly.

DO WE HAVE TO HAVE RINGS?

No you do not have them. Some couples chose for only one person to be given a ring. I will write yoiur ceremony to suit whatever your choice is.

WHAT IS YOUR FEE TO DO OUR CEREMONY?

I currently charge from $395.00 per ceremony and that covers from when I first come to see you until the end of the ceremony. If I need to travel long distances or stay somewhere  overnight it will cost more. I always discuss that when I come to see you. I request a $150  deposit to secure your booking and that is normally not refundable  and the balance preferably before or no later than at the rehearsal. If for some reason your ceremony does not go ahead I will negotiate with you regarding any refunds as it will depend on how much work has been done up to that date.

WHEN CAN YOU COME AND SEE US?

I can come and see you whenever it is convenient for us all to meet. That includes evenings and weekends.

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