Happy couples have been racing down aisles across the country in a bid to make history by becoming some of the first same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.
Thirty-one couples in various parts of New Zealand are expected to wed as same-sex marriage officially became legal in New Zealand today (19.8.2013).
Fifteen couples in Auckland, six in New Zealand’s capital Wellington, six in Christchurch and four in Rotorua, will tie the knot in ceremonies taking place in some of New Zealand’s most spectacular and unusual venues.
The Rotorua Museum - in the Rotorua region on the North Island - played a key part in hosting one of the first weddings.
Two couples tied the knot at the iconic heritage venue, which houses the Taonga Maori Collection along with some of New Zealand’s most historic and contemporary fine arts.
The couples, Rachel Briscoe and Jess Ivess of the Bay of Islands in the North Island, and Richard Rawstorn and Richard Andrew of Christchurch in the South Island, won an ‘all-expenses paid’ wedding competition run by a national radio station.
The couples were in Rotorua for the week prior to their nuptials, planning their weddings and enjoying some of the region’s activities and attractions.
Te Papa Museum, Wellington
An Australian couple will wed at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in the capital Wellington, while another couple took to the skies on a flight between Queenstown and Auckland to say their vows.
The legalisation of same-sex marriage in New Zealand - one of just 15 countries across the world to have legalised same-sex marriages - has seen an increase in the downloading of marriage forms.
Almost 1,000 forms have been downloaded from the Department of Internal Affairs website in the last week. Around 156 of the wedding applications have been lodged from around the world.
An application for a same-sex wedding licence in New Zealand begins with a visit to the Department of Internal Affairs website which provides forms and all the necessary information.
Beautiful landscapes and unique venues across the country make New Zealand one of the top places to enjoy an unforgettable wedding experience.