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Queen Charlotte Sounds Marlborough Wedding Venues

Do you want to get married outdoors? Is being immersed in nature, at a secluded location with only your favourite people important to you on your wedding day? Me too.

I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses, with documentary wedding photography in Marlborough. I'm Sarah from Lucalia Photography.

If that sounds like you, you're going to love my favourite Queen Charlotte Sounds, Marlborough wedding venues, that immerse you in nature.

Please note: all photographs in this article were taken by me at real weddings in New Zealand. They weren't taken at the specific venues listed.

married couple with trees at sunset Lucalia Photography

Queen Charlotte Sounds Marlborough wedding venues

A variety of lodges within the calm, blue waters of the Queen Charlotte Sounds awaits. Each has their own distinct personality to suit different couples. One of my favourite quotes is from a fellow documentary photographer Dan Eldon who said “the journey is the destination”. Getting to the Queen Charlotte Sounds is half the fun.

There are two clear benefits of getting married in a boat-only access venue with onsite accommodation:, one is the amount of quality time you can spend with family and friends, before, during and after your actual wedding day. The second is the awesome outdoor adventure activities you can do together during that special time. Think hiking, cycling, kayaking, SUP, boating, fishing, swimming and more. Enjoy!

man pours whiskey wearing a suit Lucalia Photography

For those couples seeking a private, secluded place to be married with a touch of history, Furneaux Lodge is for you. Furneaux is located in the Endeavour Inlet, Queen Charlotte Sounds and accessed by boat or by walking the Queen Charlotte Track. Built in the early 1900's, the homestead is the centrepiece of the Lodge and weddings. Ceremonies often take place overlooking the water with flat lawn, formal fountain and building behind. This wedding venue can hold up to 100 guests for your ceremony, catering and reception; accommodation for 76 people, with the option of additional accommodation at Punga Cove Resort, a 10-minute boat ride away (see below!). Receptions can be held in the gorgeous luxury marquee or homestead building. Furneaux Lodge is a stunning 1 hour's water taxi ride from Picton.

bride wearing a lifejacket on her wedding day Lucalia Photography

Also a lodge in the Endeavour Inlet, Punga Cove Resort has a more relaxed, adventurous and natural vibe compared to Furneaux Lodge. Cabins trickle down the hillside, culminating in a small clearing amongst the bush by the water. This is often where wedding ceremonies are held. Receptions can be enjoyed in the Punga Fern restaurant onsite, a walk up the hill. The effort is well rewarded by spectacular views across the sparkling water. Guests can enjoy activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and swimming. Guests can also camp at Camp Bay run by DOC, a 5 minute hike from the Lodge. Punga Cove Lodge is a beautiful 1 hour's water taxi ride from Picton.

wedding guests outside historic venue Lucalia Photography

If you are a wee bit quirky and don't mind getting married outside the 'traditional' wedding season, then Lochmara Lodge might be perfect. They offer weddings on weekdays during the months of September, October, November, March, April, May and June. Another all-inclusive venue with ceremony, reception, catering and accommodation for up to 45 people on site. Lochmara has a relaxed, artsy feeling and caters for families really well. There are short bush walks (as well as easy access to the Queen Charlotte Track), an underwater observatory, sculpture trail, native and exotic wildlife to meet and an art gallery to discover. Lochmara Lodge is a 20 minute boat ride from Picton.

wedding couple holding hands at their reception table Lucalia Photography

Intimate, luxury weddings that ooze elegant water vibes are what Bay of Many Coves Resort delivers spectacularly. It's actually really difficult to describe the experience. It's so pure, immersed in nature and rejuvenating. They provide five star ceremony locations, catering, reception and accommodation for up to 34 people. There is an on site day spa for ultimate pre or post wedding relaxation. Bay of Many Coves Resort is a 30 minute water taxi ride from Picton, with a schedule service or private hire available.

barefoot bride with guests Lucalia Photography

Championing conservation, education and environmental sustainability, Mistletoe Bay Eco Village is a super relaxed and truly unique wedding venue in Marlborough. Sustainable measures include super insulated accommodation, water recycling and waste management. All guests are required to remove rubbish and recycling themselves. This creates a fantastic consciousness about how much waste we (and weddings in particular) generate. The options for your wedding are varied: en plain air on the lawn with bay views, in a teepee or marquee or inside the function centre. Catering can be a picnic, BBQ, self-catering or professionally provided. Weddings can be up to 70 people with accommodation across cabins, cottage and camping sites. Mistletoe Bay Eco Village is a 30 minute water taxi journey from Picton.

wedding catering shared style Lucalia Photography

This Lodge is located in the Kenepuru Sound and accessed from both Picton and Havelock. The Portage offer some unique extras that can really delight and surprise your guests. How amazing does a summer BBQ, cocktails on board a boat, or a picnic trip to a remote beach sound?! Everything you need is here: ceremony space, on site catering, multiple reception options and accommodation. Guests can also camp at nearby DOC campground Cowshed Bay. This hillside lodge is accessed by a 15 minute water taxi trip from Picton to Torea, from where Lodge staff can pick you up in a vehicle (or a 30 minute hike).

dancefloor at a wedding reception Lucalia Photography

This really is the epitome of an all inclusive wedding venue: Resort owner Jann is also a wedding celebrant! Te Mahia Bay Resort has an almost tropical feel, featuring palm trees along the waters edge. Jann and Trevor's personal style is seen throughout the Resort. Accommodation is in self-catering one bedroom or family units along the waterfront. A food truck providing tasty meals during summer. Wedding caterers can be brought in. Te Mahia is located in the Kenepuru Sound and accessed from both Picton and Havelock. You can drive to Te Mahia or catch a water taxi from Picton to nearby Waterfall Bay (a 15 minute ride).

Private elopements immersed in nature are the specialty at Blue Water Lodge. Only accessible by boat and a steep walk up the hill, Blue Water Lodge houses a small studio for day use by very small groups. Perfect for a couple, celebrant and two witnesses! This photographer is happy to act as a witness if required (just saying!). The off grid studio is built from sustainable native New Zealand timber, has private entrance and deck, en suite bathroom and cold food kitchenette. A separate space for changing is also available. Blue Water Lodge is an 1 hour 45 minute water taxi trip from Picton.

wedding arch near water Lucalia Photography

If you are thinking of getting married in the Queen Charlotte Sounds, Marlborough I'd love to hear from you.

I provide outdoorsy couples who hate awkward poses, with documentary wedding photography in Marlborough.

Feel free to check out my documentary wedding photography website.

Lots of love,

Sarah xx


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