As we spend the month talking New Zealand weddings, we need to start with one of the first steps of wedding planning – the venue! While there are beautiful marquees, wineries, and waterside spots, today we’re all about bars and breweries, a more casual option, but one that celebrates a love of craftsmanship, of a good moment with friends, of a toast and a cheers. Meet 15 bars and breweries for your New Zealand wedding reception!

Cargo Brewery,  Queenstown

With a lovely historic church as the Cellar Door and venue, you may book the exclusive hire of this deconsecrated church, beer garden and side lawn. The church caters for up to 40 guests seated for a meal (or 30-50 standing for a romantic ceremony), and for larger groups the team suggests tipi or marquee hire. Their craft beer, wines or spirits are served alongside a menu of the finest ingredients from local farmers and growers.

Whistling Sisters,  Wellington

With a brewery and Fermentary restaurant in an industrial-style building, this venue has 4 possible event spaces to consider – including the casual Bar, the Brew Room, and the Mezzanine (with bar and AV setup). Craft beers, wines and cocktails are served here alongside menus with everything from rustic tapas to canapés to lamb ribs and pork belly for up to 100 guests.

Little Blackwood, Queenstown

On the water’s edge of Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu within the Steamer Wharf, this cocktail bar serves wines, beers and of course the cocktails that they are renowned for. Their customisable space has modern hand-crafted Blackwood furniture and you can decorate this venue as you dream it for a 75-person guest list with dance floor space.

GodsOwn Brewery, Maraekakaho

If you’re looking for a rustic venue, a safari tent and wood-fired pizzas and beer in the hop garden this venue is for you. With 40 seated inside the tent, there is space for 100 guests in the garden, with a repurposed 1973 caravan bar pouring their seasonal beers.

Thursday Bar, Auckland

With all the glam cocktail bar vibes, Thursday Bar is available for hire. Hosting up to 80 guests,  this is a venue with all the after dark, speak easy vibes, plus, of course, you ‘re guaranteed incredible cocktails to serve up.

Olivers, Clyde

For your ceremony there are several options that sound gorgeous – a “picturesque front garden, back-dropped by glorious stone walls of the 150 year old Victoria Store, the orchard garden with its shady apricot trees or the intimate flower filled courtyard garden”. Olivers Restaurant and Bar is perfect for your reception with their own craft beers, and wines  served alongside  locally sourced ingredients for a superb feast to remember. Book Olivers Lodge and Stables accommodation for the night of your wedding.

Cascade Bar, Christchurch

With a range of different spaces for functions from 25 guests right up to 250, custom designed cocktails and menu centred around casual dining, this venue may just be for you if you are looking for a casual wedding. A dedicated functions team helps with the planning and ensures that your day will go smoothly.

The Fox, Auckland

More a London style pub than a bar, Auckland’s The Fox has its own private event space, The Churchill Room complete with its own private entry. The space can hold 75 cocktail style of 50 seated and is perfect for a casual celebration. And if it isn’t big enough for you? Why, you can also hire out the entire venue!

Canyon Brewery, Queenstown

Between Queenstown and Arrowtown this craft beer microbrewery and Restaurant overlooking the Shotover River has its own events team and serves their craft beer along with wood fired pizzas to shared platters to high end menus to satisfy even the most self-confessed foodie. Cocktail events for 120 or sit down events up to 75 guests are catered for here, and why not take advantage of Queenstown’s biggest sundeck when the weather’s warm.

The Pour House Bar and Brewery, Hahei

Near the Coromandel Coast this brewery and eatery is home to the Coromandel Brewing Co. Accomodating small or large functions, venue hire, catering and events in their modern open space with ocean views. The Bistro, Beer Garden and Whiskey Room are available and you are free to combine and book several spaces for your wedding.

Tui Brewery, Mangatainoka

The revamped Flagon Rooms is rustic and cosy for a winter wedding, but in summer there is a verandah which offers views to the brewery and historic Tui Tower. Able to cater for up to 175 seated or 220 standing guests, this venue has its own event coordinator, on site catering and furniture and six small batch craft beers on offer.

The Bunker, Queenstown

Once a small rundown apartment upstairs above The Bunker, this cocktail bar serves premium cocktails, top shelf spirits, and a large range of wines and beers. Events for up to 100 guests can be catered here with a house DJ available to get the party started.

Good George North Wharf, Auckland

With their own brewed beer in tanks, as well as cider this venue perches on the waterfront with sea views. Small and larger groups (up to 50 seated in their Green Room) with an outdoor option for nibbles and drinks in an outdoor area for 100 standing. The Green Room boasts access to your own main bar and personal bar team for your event.

46 & York, Auckland

Up to 100 guests can be accommodated in The Courtyard and indoor seated area. With canapés and platters, a huge selection of wines, spirits, beers and cocktails, well-versed staff and ample parking, this friendly venue has a local feel with a sophisticated twist.

Little Creatures, Auckland

Choose from several different spaces here – Catalina Corner, The Teal Landing, Kitty Hawk and The Back Bar. An event manager to assist you, great food and a dedicated cocktail room make this venue an easy option for your big day.