Here are some of my favourite outdoor wedding venues in the Wairarapa, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Some are well established, some are new and some are hidden forest reserves waiting for you to be married there!
All are magical.
I hope you find some inspiration for your own outdoor wedding in the gorgeous Wairarapa.
I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses, getting married in the Wairarapa and Tararua regions, with documentary-style photography by a new best friend, so you will feel relaxed, and your photos will be an authentic memory of your day.
These are my kind of venues! If you agree, please feel free to check out more of my Lucalia Photography Wairarapa wedding photography.
Pūkaha is a 942 hectare wildlife sanctuary that breeds native birds to release back into the wild. The other part to this not-for-profit organisation is ensuring the wild is a safe place for birds to live by controlling predators.
All proceeds from wedding fees paid by couples getting married at Pūkaha contribute to conservation and restoration projects including the hatching and raising of chicks for release in reserves around Aotearoa New Zealand.
Pūkaha is an intimate, boutique venue that maintains the safety and welfare of the wildlife in the reserve. There is a maximum capacity of 60 people (including wedding party).
Couples can have their wedding ceremony in the forest Redwood Grove, surrounded by bird song and native trees. There is a wet-weather indoor alternative to alleviate any wedding day stress.
Wedding couple portraits are taken in the reserve, where natural light filters most beautifully through the canopy. During photos, guests can explore the reserve and meet some of the local wildlife including Manukura the white kiwi; and Kahurangi the Kōkako.
Wedding receptions are held indoors overlooking the takahē enclosure and kiwi creche. During evening receptions couples and their guests can hear kiwi calling which is a truly magical experience.
Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre is a two hour drive north of Wellington on the border of the Wairarapa and Tararua regions.
Wairarapa wedding venue Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre: epic wedding ceremony location in the forest
Wairarapa wedding venue Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre: the native forest makes for a stunning backdrop for love
Wairarapa wedding venue Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre: indoor reception area overlooking native bird habitat
Imagine walking towards your best friend with the stunning backdrop of black sand ocean. Imagine having an easy-going reception featuring local seafood and staying on site with all your wedding guests. This is Waimeha Camping Village!
The quirky fishing village of Ngawi with it's boats and bulldozers is at the doorstep. 10 minutes further down the coast road is Cape Palliser lighthouse, with seals at it's feet. Epic photo locations abound!
Wairarapa wedding venue: walking to marry your best friend at Waimeha Camping Villiage
Wairarapa wedding venue: exchanging vows against a backdrop of ocean at Waimeha Camping Villiage
Wairarapa wedding venue: Waimeha Camping Villiage has a variety of accommodation for the night before, getting ready and the night of your wedding
Are you relaxed and elegant; connected to nature and appreciate authentic, local food and wine?
As a wedding destination, Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau offers a truly memorable experience with its vintage styling and historic ambiance. The combined ceremony and reception venue is part of the Tauherenikau racecourse, which recently celebrated 150 years of racing.
You enter the grand entrance, winding down the tree-lined driveway. The venue sits amongst the lushness of both native bush and heritage old-world trees.
The main hall with its open architecture, reminiscent of a barn or stables, offers a spacious light-filled area; suitable for intimate gatherings or weddings of up to 200 guests. Meanwhile, among the trees, the garden provides an idyllic spot for the ceremony. Food is locally sourced by renowned chef Dale Keith and is paired with Wairarapa wine, craft beer and bubbly.
Just off SH 2 in Featherston, Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau garden wedding venue is an hour's drive from Wellington.
Wairarapa wedding venue Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau: indoor and outdoor spaces
Wairarapa wedding venue Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau: garden ceremony space
Wairarapa wedding venue Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau: light filled classically converted vintage charm
This immaculate, Tuscan villa nestled amongst olive groves, is perfect for intimate weddings in Martinborough.
Wedding ceremonies can be held in numerous picturesque spots around the expansive garden.
Olivio~nor offer a variety of wedding packages. The two hour pop-up wedding packages include everything you might need so you don't have to worry about a thing: event styling, celebrant, photographer, cake, flowers, canapés, beer and champagne, music and marquee. Available for 20 guests, 30 guests or 50 guests all you need to bring are your nearest and dearest, your vows and your gorgeous selves!
If you're wanting something a little more, there are three Intimate Wedding options on offer. Ranging from the ceremony only; to ceremony and reception; and finally a package that includes your ceremony, reception and accommodation in the villa.
The experience owners Sheryl and Vern bring to the wedding day, will make it run smoothly (Sheryl is a florist by trade, as well as a stylist; and Vern a builder.
These intimate wedding packages in the Wairarapa are for those couples who don't want that huge expense. Sheryl manages all the preferred partners like celebrant, photographer, cake, canape finger foods and champagne, over the two hours so the couple doesn't have to stress, it is all taken care of.
Wairarapa wedding venue Olivio~nor: the stunning, symmetrical Tuscan gardens make for a beautiful marquee wedding reception backdrop
Wairarapa wedding venue Olivio~nor: there are so many gorgeous spots for intimate wedding photos in the expansive gardens
Wairarapa wedding venue Olivio~nor: the Mediterranean vibe of the property can be carried through into your wedding reception decor
Private Property (Family House, Garden or Farm)
As a Wairarapa wedding photographer I'm seeing more and more couples choosing to hold their wedding at a private property instead of a Wairarapa wedding venue. There are certainly great reasons for both types of location, but I'm loving the personalisation of choosing a familiar garden, backyard or farm.
There are a number of reasons to choose to be married at home or the home of a family member. The main reason is because it's personal and meaningful to you. You may have fond childhood memories climbing the trees that line the driveway. You may have built the house yourselves and created your dream home.
Two family weddings had been held at this Martinborough farm including the bride's mum and dad. It's an extremely special place with lots of significant memories.
Wairarapa wedding venue private property: choose an outdoor location that means the world to you
Wairarapa wedding venue in the garden: get married at home surrounded by your nearest and dearest
Wairarapa wedding venue forest mini-festival: plop down a blanket in the clearing and enjoy gourmet grazing tables and champagne
This magical location, part of the Tararua Forest Park, is a well kept local secret.
Imagine walking from the campground carpark, through the native forest, over the stream, up the natural aisle in between the towering Redwood trees to marry your best friend.
The clearing in the forest is perfect for a natural, intimate wedding ceremony followed by drinks and canapes in the open air. Kiriwhakapapa would suit wedding couples who want to be close to nature; marry in a low key way and organise everything themselves.
Chairs, tables, glasses, portable microphone and anything else you need will need to be brought to the site yourself. I can highly recommend Festival Hire for anything you may need to hire. There are toilet facilities at the camp ground. The reserve is managed by DOC whom you would need to contact to hold your wedding in the reserve.
Guests can camp at the Kiriwhakapapa campground or stay at the delightful nearby Mount Bruce Lodge.
Kiriwhakapapa Campground is 7km down the 2 wheel drive accessible gravel Kiriwhakapapa Road; about 16 km north of Masterton on SH2; just under two hour's drive from Wellington.
Wairarapa wedding venue Kiriwhakapapa: natures aisle
Wairarapa wedding venue Kiriwhakapapa: cross the stream on the way to your wedding ceremony
Wairarapa wedding venue Kiriwhakapapa: forest wedding photo opportunities on the easy loop track
Summer Lodge is a hidden gem in the historic wine village of Martinborough. It is an intimate, boutique venue suitable for small weddings with family and close friends. It can be utlised in many ways including getting ready venue; garden wedding ceremony; al fresco, marquee or indoor reception; and accommodation for the couple, wedding party and guests.
The Lodge sleeps up to 9 people and can be booked in conjunction with the Summer Cottage down the driveway to sleep a total of 14 people.
Summer Lodge has the wow factor with a breezy architectual design flowing into relaxed gardens and views over fields to the horizon beyond. It would suit couples looking for a small all inclusive venue with style; where they can spend quality time with their guests.
Catering can be brought in: a wedding I photographed here booked a catering company who did a superb job catering for the group of 19 people from the kitchen at the Lodge.
Wairarapa wedding venue Summer Lodge: alfresco luxury of the main house and lawns.
Wairarapa wedding venue Summer Lodge: imagine gliding down the steps into your garden wedding ceremony with fields of olives in the background.
Wairarapa wedding venue Summer Lodge: get ready inside or stay the night before and after your wedding.