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Favourite outdoor Wairarapa wedding venues

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 Manawatu regions, with documentary wedding photography.

These are my kind of venues! If you agree, please feel free to check out more of my Lucalia Photography Wairarapa wedding photography.

Mount Holdsworth is my Wairarapa happy place. I just love the deep, dark Lord of the Rings forest. The high suspension bridge over the often rushing water. River stones and ice cold water. Plus I have meaningful memories tramping Holdsworth. Like the time my husband "encouraged" me to do the Jumbo Circuit in a day (by not telling me where we were going). To the first time we introduced our three week old son to the forest and it blew a gale and he cried the entire time.

There are so many delightful nooks to hold an intimate ceremony surrounded by only the closest of friends and whānau. The trees enveloping the couple in a leafy hug. Receptions could take any fun form: a picnic on the lawns; a BBQ with guests bringing a plate; food trucks in the carpark; grazing tables; cocktails in hiking boots and more. Instead of a first dance you could have a first swim or hike. The wedding party and guests can stay in relative luxury at the lodge; camp; hike to a DOC hut or park up in campervans, motorhomes or (our personal favourite) house buses.

Wairarapa wedding venue: a stunning intimate ceremony under the trees at Mount Holdsworth.

Wairarapa wedding venue: crossing the rushing river on the bridge as a married couple at Mount Holdsworth.

Wairarapa wedding venue: the lush ngahere native forest is your backdrop at Mount Holdsworth.

Every couple's rustic wedding dream resides in Featherston at Tarureka Estate. Getting ready is easy in the onsite historic homestead (together or completely separately). The outdoor ceremony grove is super private, lush and furnished with wooden church pews.

The venue owner Beth brings her bubbly personality to organising your wedding day; and takes care of all the little details (like paper umbrellas for guests on hot days).

Guests are easily amused during any down time between ceremony and reception. Extensive grounds include shady spots to enjoy a drink, tennis court and lawn games.

What makes Tarureka Estate truly memorable is the rustic barn reception building. Seating for eating upstairs amongst the timber eaves is followed by dancing and bar downstairs.

Wairarapa wedding venue: the lush garden wedding grove at Tarueka Estate, Featherston

Wairarapa wedding venue: the homestead and grounds at Tarueka Estate, Featherston are excellent at keeping guests amused if need be

Wairarapa wedding venue: the rustic heaven of the reception barn at Tarueka Estate, Featherston!

A romantic and elegant venue with loads of outdoor ceremony options is what makes Landing so special. The name is inspired by an artfully weathered deck over the river which is a lovely spot for some meaningful couples photos. A tastefully furnished marquee adjacent to the entrance building makes a great reception area.

Wairarapa wedding venue: so many outdoor wedding ceremony options at Landing at Homebush, like the chapel vineyard

Wairarapa wedding venue: the leafy Landing at Homebush

Wairarapa wedding venue: the Landing at Homebush has a permanent marquee perfect for your wedding receptions and can be styled many ways

Historic, elegant and classic all describe Lacewood. Couples can get ready in the sprawling homestead; or various other separate accommodation buildings onsite. Lovely outdoor ceremony spaces abound such as tree avenues, secluded garden rooms, orchids and lush lawns as well as an indoor option in the barn. The rustic barn reception venue is its centrepiece. Couples can choose from two excellent caterers.

Wairarapa wedding venue: getting ready at the elegant homestead at Lacewood

Wairarapa wedding venue: the lush gardens at Lacewood are stunning even on rainy wedding days

Wairarapa wedding venue: the rustic barn reception venue at Lacewood

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.

The best benefit of having your wedding at Rose & Smith is owner and wedding coordinator Paula. She is the experienced professional and attends to your every need. Both during the planning stages and on the day of your wedding. She truly is second to none and gives couples absolute peace of mind.

Wairarapa wedding venue Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau: indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces

Wairarapa wedding venue Rose & Smith at Tauherenikau: native gardens

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.

Having a wedding on private property means you can style it exactly as you wish. Hiring and/or buying furniture, crockery, cutlery and soft furnishings to suit your taste can be so much fun! I highly recommend Festival Hire in Masterton for everything you need from marquees to teaspoons.

Wairarapa wedding venue private property: choose an outdoor location that means the world to you. This property is the grooms' parents' place, where he grew up

Wairarapa wedding venue in the garden: get married at home surrounded by your nearest and dearest

Wairarapa wedding venue at home: a stunning marquee from Festival Hire set up at the groom's childhood property

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: get married amongst the towering redwoods with your closest furry friends

Wairarapa wedding venue Kiriwhakapapa: cross the stream on the way to your wedding ceremony

Wairarapa wedding venue Kiriwhakapapa: nothing beats riding boots with a wedding dress...

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: one 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: the modern house makes for a great entrance

Wairarapa wedding venue Summer Lodge: perfect for intimate ceremonies in Martinborough

Wairarapa wedding venue Summer Lodge: the gardens are expansive and offer a variety of photo opportunities, like the olive grove lined driveway!

The Lake Ferry Hotel is a super chilled, stunning combined wedding ceremony and reception. It provides the best of all landscapes: views of the sea, lake and mountains.

The garden wedding ceremony arbour overlooks Lake Onoke to the Orongorongo Ranges and Palliser Bay. There is plenty of room for guests to witness your marriage on the grassy lawn. Another option is to marry at the quaint and historic Burnside Church just down the road and have your reception at the hotel. Or for the adventurous get married on the beach itself.

Wedding receptions of various sizes are held in the hotel over a series of interconnected rooms and outdoor verandah areas. In house catering can be tailored to your tastes with seafood being their specialty. Martinborough beers and wines feature heavily on the drinks list.

Wedding photos can be taken in the grounds and on the striking black sand Lake Ferry Beach.

Onsite accommodation for up to 32 guests at Lake Ferry Hotel. There are plenty of additional accommodation options within walking distance.

Burnside Church and Lake Ferry Hotel is an easy one and a half hour's drive from Wellington.

Wairarapa wedding venue Burnside Church: such a cute wee non-denominational church

Wairarapa wedding venue Lake Ferry Hotel: ceremony, reception and accommodation

Wairarapa wedding venue Lake Ferry Hotel: an intimate stroll on the black sand beach is just delightful

I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses, getting married in the Wairarapa, with documentary wedding photography.

These are my kind of venues! If you agree, please feel free to check out more of my Lucalia Photography Wairarapa wedding photography.

Lots of love, Sarah x


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