Marrying the love of your life surrounded by your family and friends will be one of the best days ever. Booze will be flowing, heartfelt speeches will be said, your guests will be dressed up to the nines and moves will be made on the dance floor.
And most importantly, you’ll be celebrating one of the most beautiful things in the world—your love.
There are lots of things to consider when you’re planning your wedding. There’s the dress and suit, the seating arrangement (fun!) and deciding on your first song to dance to as a married couple.
Then there’s the decision on the venue. You’ll want a space that can provide the goods for eating, drinking, dancing and photography, and one that also reflects who you are as a couple.
Luckily when it comes to stunning wedding venues, Aotearoa delivers in spades. From the shores of blue-jewelled lakes and idyllic coastline spots to elegant buildings and rustic barns, here are 11 of the most beautiful wedding venues in New Zealand. We’ll raise our (champagne) glass to that.
Say “I do” in one of New Zealand’s oldest and most beautiful barns at Tarureka Estate found in Wairarapa, one hour north of Wellington. Built in 1870, the two-story restored barn is set on a four-acre estate surrounded by well-manicured gardens. The barn has a chapel and sit-down area upstairs, which holds up to 120 guests and a bar and dance floor downstairs. If the sun is shining, you can also get married outside by the native trees and bush. There’s also a homestead by the rose garden that can sleep up to 18 guests with a wrap around veranda—so you can spend the whole weekend celebrating with your nearest and dearest. Country charm at its best.
The Rippon Hall
Sitting on top of Rippon Hill and surrounded by vineyards with views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps, The Rippon Hall is a dream wedding location. Marry the love of your life outside in the natural amphitheatre, with the lake and mountains as a backdrop. If you prefer to have it inside—or as a back-up option if it rains—the inside hall has large glass windows with amazing views and can fit up to 90 guests comfortably. The hall is also used as a dance floor for when the music starts and the bangers come on. The team at Rippon Hall pride themselves on being flexible and are there to help you have the best day of your lives.
Bay of Islands
Commit to forever with your love in the idyllic Bay of Islands at Bayly’s Farm, a 2000-acre property that combines rolling green farmland and secluded bays with the the Pacific Ocean in the background. Hold your ceremony at the point, which overlooks the coast and islets followed by a reception at the private beachfront marquee. Or opt to have your reception at the wool shed for a rustic barn-style vibe, which seats up to 120 people and has an outdoor dance floor. Bayly’s Farm is a BYO venue—so you choose your own food, drinks and entertainment and tailor your day exactly how you and your partner would like it to be.
Old St Paul's Cathedral
Get hitched in a traditional and beautiful wedding venue located in the centre of Wellington—the iconic Old St Paul’s Cathedral. Built in 1866, the architecture of the historic building is striking—white and towering from the outside with stained glass windows and a warm wooden interior constructed from native timber. These days Old St Paul’s Cathedral is managed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and is non-denominational, so whether your wedding will be religious, a same sex ceremony, a civil service or a renewal of vows, everyone is welcome at Old St Paul’s. Another plus—your wedding photos will be timeless.
Set by the shores of Lake Tewa with the backdrop of the awe-inspiring Remarkables Mountain Range is Jack’s Point, a wedding location, golf course and venue that boasts some of the most picturesque views in the South Island. Located 20 minutes from Queenstown in Central Otago, you can get married on a pontoon by the water at Jack’s Point from April to October. After your ceremony, head to the clubhouse to eat, drink and dance the night away with up to 110 of your friends and family. You’ll enjoy dishes that showcase seasonal and local produce that’ll be paired with wines from Central Otago—drool—as well as craft beers and other drinks of your choice.
The Lodge At Kauri Cliffs
The Bay of Islands
Situated on 6000 acres near Matauri Bay and offering 180-degree ocean views, three private beaches, opulent accommodation and an 18-hole golf course, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is one of the most beautiful—and luxurious—wedding venues in New Zealand. Exchange your vows either on the beach, on the golf course overlooking the ocean or under the shade of a pohutukawa tree. For your reception, there are elegant dining rooms or if you would prefer to have it outside, there’s a bunch of options to cater for up to 120 guests. Enjoy a glass of champagne on your day and breathe in the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Cape Brett and Cavalli Islands from The Lodge. There are on site cottages, each with private balconies and fireplaces for your guests to stay, too.
Mt Eden & Auckland Waterfront
Elegant and breath-takingly beautiful, Mantells offer two venues for you to choose from in Auckland to host your special day. The Mt Eden venue looks like it’s come straight out of the pages of Vogue Italia with an enchanting outdoor courtyard with palm trees, an open fire and garden. Their other venue on Tāmaki Drive has a waterfront location overlooking Okahu Bay and Auckland city. Mantells is a family owned business with over 15 years of experience, so you can expect the service to be friendly and professional, the food prepared by a team of expert chefs and the drinks flowing—making your wedding day one to remember.
The Duke Of Marlborough
Host your wedding at Aotearoa’s first licensed hotel, restaurant and bar, The Duke of Marlborough, located on the waterfront in the historic town of Russell. Situated in the North Island and a 15 minute ferry ride from Paihia, Russell is a gem in the Bay of Islands known for its turquoise waters and beaches fringed with pohutukawa trees, and is an ideal place to have a destination wedding. Offering charm, character and stellar views, The Duke can seat up to 140 guests in the function room. Choose to have you ceremony in the outside garden underneath a 150-year-old fig tree or nearby in the intimate Russell Chapel on the Olive Grove.
Kauri Bay Boomrock
With sweeping views of the Hauraki Gulf, tailored seasonal menus and a dedicated team helping you to create your own bespoke wedding day, it’s little wonder why Kauri Bay Boomrock—located 45 minutes out of Auckland’s CBD— is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in New Zealand. After your ceremony, 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. Then, head to The Lodge for your speeches, delicious food and dancing. Kauri Bay Boomrock can cater for an intimate wedding of 20 guests and up to 250 if you’re pushing the boat out.
Exchange rings with your partner by the blue waters of Lake Te Anau with a magnificent mountain view as your backdrop at the Fiordland Lodge near Queenstown. Set in a World Heritage Area, the luxurious lodge provides a beautiful and grand venue to hold your ceremony, reception and accommodation for some of your guests. If your budget allows it, go all out and arrange for a helicopter to take you and your partner to the top of snow-capped mountains, by alpine lakes, lush green valleys and waterfalls to capture your wedding photos.
Man O' War
Create a day you and your guests will remember forever and get married at Man O’ War winery, found at the eastern end of Waiheke Island. The winery overlooks the private beach of Man O' War Bay and is home to 150 acres of vines that were first planted there in 1933. Say your vows in the white seaside chapel with beautiful ocean views and afterwards enjoy cocktails and nibbles on the waterfront lawn. Head to the winery pavilion for dining—it can seat up to 80 guests— and dance the night away. For something special, you even have the option to arrive directly by boat to this wedding venue on Waiheke Island.
After a different wedding location? Check out New Zealand's eight most unique venues to say "I do".
Image credit: Jacks Point, Tarureka Estate, The Rippon Hall, Bayly’s Farm by Wild Souls, Old St Paul's Cathedral, Jacks Point by Alpine Image Company, The Lodge At Kauri Cliffs, Mantells, The Duke Of Marlborough, Kauri Bay Boomrock, Fiordland Lodge, Man O' War