Let’s be honest, weddings are the actual best. To promise forever with your person surrounded by loved ones is truly something special. As far as details go, the venue is the most important piece of the puzzle. It should be a space that reflects who you both are and guarantees to provide the goods for a night of eating, drinking, dancing and love.
Whether you’re recently engaged (big congrats!) or find yourself dreaming of the day you finally tie the knot, you’ll be pleased to hear that New Zealand is home to some seriously stunning wedding venues. From rustic barns and woolsheds to lake lookouts and glamorous island spots, we’ve found 10 of the most beautiful wedding venues in New Zealand. You won’t find prettier places to say ‘I do’!
Old Forest School
Bay of Plenty
If your Pinterest board is dotted with rustic boho #weddinginspo, then Old Forest School is officially your dream venue. This beaut of a venue sprung into life during the 1930s, serving as a school and community hub for the rural community of Pongakawa. Fast forward to 2017, and the five-acre property is one of the most stunning spots to get married in New Zealand. Say your vows in the original school hall or under gigantic 80-year-old Redwood and Sycamore trees before heading to the old barn (complete with vintage chairs, rustic props and industrial lights) for a one-of-a-kind reception. Guests can play giant jenga, enjoy a couple of bevvies at the Redwood Bar and then dance the night away in the Little Barn. It really is something out of an Instagram fairytale.
Mt Eden & Auckland Waterfront
Brides set on a big city wedding should look no further than Mantells. With two venues—Mt Eden and the glistening waterfront—Mantells oozes elegance and has everything you need to create unforgettable wedding memories. The Mt Eden venue has an enchanting Italian villa feel, complete with a gorgeous courtyard, while Mantells on the Water overlooks the iconic Harbour Bridge. Mantells prides itself on its stellar service, beautiful food and the knack of making a wedding stress-free and a day to remember!
We know what you’re thinking...why would anyone want to have their wedding at a tech institute? Well, Wintec’s Atrium will have you questioning why you even asked that question in the first place. With its floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick and industrial chic vibes, it’s a blank canvas for creating a mind-blowing wedding reception. It’s perfect for larger weddings (can sit up to 360 people!) and has plenty of space for a DJ and dancefloor so you and your guests can boogie ‘til the wee hours of the a.m.
One look at this Wellington venue and you’ll be pressuring your SO to put a ring on it, ASAP. Just 50 minutes north of the capital, Sudbury brings together country charm and sophistication, making it a truly unique place for you and your new hubby/wifey to lock in your love. It’s set on a ridge looking over the valley and has of scenic spots to capture your romantic wedding photos. Dinner, speeches and post-ceremony activities take place at the Stables, which leads out of a fairy light-lit courtyard and outdoor fireplace. It’s BYO so you can stock up on all your fave boozy bevvies and The Catering Studio will provide the goods on the food front.
There are so many breath-taking vineyards on Waiheke, but as far as wedding venues go, Cable Bay is a winner. The food, award-winning wine and top-notch service will have your guests raving about the occasion for yonks, but it’s the views that will be ingrained in your mind forever. Exchange vows on Cable Bay’s stunning rolling lawn, with sprawling views of the harbour and Auckland’s spectacular skyline, and you’re guaranteed to be on cloud nine.
If Nelson wasn’t already stunning enough, Mahana takes the region's beauty to a whole new level. Amongst a vineyard and landscaped gardens with epic views of Mount Arthur and Tasman Bay, Mahana allows couples to declare their love in one of the prettiest places in New Zealand. The Mahana Cellar itself is on the ground level of the four level winery and boasts high vaulted ceilings and massive glass doors leading out to a courtyard. Yep, it’s a slice of New Zealand wedding heaven.
Kauri Bay Boomrock
Kauri Bay Boomrock is all sorts spectacular—think panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, bespoke decorations and tailored menus. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most sought after venues in Auckland. Your guests can partake in a spot of golf or enjoy canapes and bubbly on the grassy deck while you get your snaps sorted at the variety of glorious photography locations. Inside, the Kauri Bay Boomrock team will have created a magnificent atmosphere for a reception for up to 250 guests.
Criffel Station Woolshed
Set on a 2000-hectare high country deer farm is the unique Criffel Station Woolshed, the ideal venue for a relaxed yet romantic Wanaka wedding. Say your ‘I do’s’ in a beautiful outdoor ceremony before jumping in a helicopter for Pinterest-worthy photos on one of the area’s many mountain tops. Your guests will be able to mix and mingle surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s best work until it's party time. The lovingly converted woolshed makes for a whimsical reception where speeches, dinner, drinks and laughs combine for a perfect end to a perfect day. It’s BYO so track down some fine Wanaka food trucks and prepare to bring your laid back, fuss-free wedding dreams to life.
Black Barn Vineyards
Not one size fits all when it comes to weddings and no one knows that better than Black Barn in Havelock North. This charming vineyard has six (!) different spaces on offer: The River Room, Riverside, The Market Round, The Underground Cellar and Black Barn Bistro, each unique in their own right. Have your wedding shindig on the banks of the Tuki Tuki River complete with a marquee or an intimate affair in The River Room offering views of Te Mata Peak. The Underground Cellar is like something out of a fairytale and the outdoor Market Round can be transformed into a magical campground-like party for up to 300 people. In short, this is one heck of a wedding venue.
The history of this gorgeous location goes back to the 1860s and is now home to a French country-style homestead and perfectly manicured grounds. Located on the banks of the Waimakariri River, Harpers Homestead takes a 48-hour approach to weddings with two nights accom to ensure a totally stress-free day—can we get a heck yes?! The house itself is decked out with a guest lounge, dining room, spa tennis court and has room for eight peeps—peeerfect for a bridal party. But the reception venue is what steal the spotlight. The purpose-built barn nails the whole rustic-chic vibe and newly weds can have their first dance under the stars. Bliss.
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Image Credit: Anna Munro Photography at Sudbury