He Said Yes – Gay Marriage in New Zealand

I’m so proud to be a New Zealander, not only is Godzone undoubtedly the best and most beautiful place on earth, but we are also a nation of beautiful and progressive people who are in general really accepting of one another. This was demonstrated in 2013, when the Government passed a law legalising gay marriage (77 to 44 said YES to ‘He Said Yes’)!

I actually met one of the lovely brides who was one of the first to marry following the law change at last year’s SKYCITY Rainbow Gala!

Now, you can’t decriminalise ignorance*, so while I can’t promise that every New Zealand venue, wedding planner, photographer or celebrant is going to be as forward-thinking normal thinking, I can jump up and down about those people who put themselves out there as being all about LOVE in all its forms. Earlier this week I got talking to a new and passionate celebrant, Mikayla Zandstra (LetsSayIDo.co.nz) about this and got inspired to share all those who want to say YES when He Said Yes!

Many gay couples now seek to travel in New Zealand especially to take advantage of the ability to have their wedding here as only sixteen countries around the world allow same-sex marriage – and we were the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so!

If you’re travelling with just a small group to celebrate your wedding, we have amazing boutique wedding venues suitable for elopements too.

Same-sex Elopements in New Zealand

Hush Intimate Weddings welcomes same-sex marriages to its gorgeous Coromandel venue and accomodation. While Boutique Weddings has proudly celebrated civil unions in the Queenstown and Wanaka regions, and looks forward to marrying many many more gay couples at its variety of beautiful venues and locations. Wedding Co-ordinator Yaeh, lives and breathes weddings and loves nothing more than helping gay couples plan their weddings in New Zealand.

Gay Wedding Celebrants

Finding the right celebrant is so important, and especially if you are planning a same-sex wedding you need to ensure your chosen professional is comfortable and experienced with doing so.

Aaron Bloomfield, the front man behind gayweddingnz.com is a multi-talented celebrant, MC and entertainer, this all-in-one wedding maestro is creative and experienced, and loves welcoming Aussie and other int’l brides and brides and grooms and grooms to marry in NZ “Marriage equality is only three hours away!”

If you’re a couple of religious faith, finding a celebrant is also easier in New Zealand – many religions have readily embraced same-sex love! As well as being a registered celebrant, Glenys Lindsay of Auckland Celebrant is also an ordained Minister, enabling homosexual couples to have a religious element to their celebration too.

LGBT friendly Wedding Planning 

Whether you’re a kiwi, or travelling from overseas to plan a gay wedding in New Zealand and envisage a Lavish experience, Lavish Events handpick our suppliers to ensure you feel completely at ease discussing your needs and expressing yourselves. This includes gay-friendly venues, experienced same-sex marriage celebrants, and photographers who have shot many same-sex weddings:

Whether you envisage a Lavish extravagant, non-stop show with limos, cocktails, dancers, confetti cannons and drag queens, or you picture a romantic cliff top ceremony with a gourmet picnic for two, we can help you plan your perfect day from start to finish … and we’ll be there on the day to ensure it all runs perfectly!

Based in Christchurch, Donna Louise Dohi specialises in destination weddings for all couples, and makes the dream come true all around NZ with her company New Zealand Dream Weddings. In the Nelson or Tasman region, Terri Everett “The Dream Maker” is also dedicated to the equal rights of all to have the choice to be married to who ever they want. All providers associated with The Dream Maker are LGBT friendly.

Wedding venues/accomodation specifically advertising to homosexual couples

If your wedding venue is also your accommodation, it’s crucial that you the hosts are 100% accepting of same-sex relationships, so that you are made to feel as welcome and comfortable as possible!

The Duke of Marlborough in Russell does just that, welcoming same-sex weddings of up to 100 people, and providing accommodation to wedding guests in 30 rooms and at the nearby Duke Motel.

Close to (my) home and a venue I’ve been lucky enough to stay at, Bethells Beach Cottages welcomes NZ and overseas homosexual couples to its spectacular venue overlooking Bethells. Owner Trude is also a marriage and civil union celebrant with 26 years of experience, and offers a complete range of wedding packages to any couple that wishes to marry in this beautiful location.

Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island are very experienced with gay weddings, and also has a professional wedding planner to assist through the wedding planning journey, which is ideal for overseas couples planning their gay wedding in NZ.

Wherever you’re marrying, you can also check out ‘Gaystay‘ for accommodation provided by gay, lesbian, bi sexual or transgender people.

He Said Yes – Now What?

If you’ve just got engaged, head to the wedding planning index and discover the ‘little white book‘ a wedding diary and organiser that’s just as perfect to organise a same-sex marriage as it is for heterosexual marriage! Love is love!

*Though 22 potential marriage celebrants have had their applications declined just in the last year because they have stated that they don’t want to officiate at same-sex weddings due to personal conviction.