New Zealand’s South Island is the relaxed part of town, where vistas and beauty don’t ever need to fight for centre stage – they command it!
So today for The New Zealand Issue, part two of our ultimate venue guide is coming right up! And today? We’re all about the South Island (make sure you check out our North island guide over here). We’ve searched high and low to give you a variety, a selection, and a list of South Island wedding venues that span everything from community halls to historic homes. Consider this your ‘get started’ list, the list that will inspire you to envelope yourself in all the South Island of New Zealand has to offer for your wedding.
A manicured croquet lawn surrounded by hedges and trees is your ceremony location and a great place to socialise post-ceremony. Use the helipad onsite to be whisked up high for lake and mountain views and after coming down to earth, celebrate your reception in the Pavilion with 30 guests exclusively or up to 150 guests. Central Otago wines feature in an inspired menu of shared platter delights. See it in action here.
Lanark Castle, Dunedin
Why not marry in NZ’s only castle? This historic and beautiful building adds a gracious touch with many areas to choose from for your ceremony in the garden and “The Ballroom features period architecture, glorious furnishings, magnificent chandeliers, open fires, and a polished sprung dance floor. The Ballroom can accommodate between 80 and 180 people in a variety of settings that can be coordinated to your requirements.” Adding a marquee will increase the capacity to 270 guests.
Stoneridge Estate, Lake Hayes, Queenstown
Acres of gardens and vineyards with views over the lake to majestic mountain peaks, this venue exudes elegance. Surround yourself with the perfume of flowers as you say your vows in the English-style garden (seating 110 – 150), or use their Chapel by the Lake for a more cosy space. Elope and celebrate with the two of you in the Lounge, or The Boardroom seating 4-14. With its grand stone and timber architecture, The Hayes Room has a seating capacity of 120, or for a more casual occasion the rustic Cellar Door seats up to 40 guests.
Omarino Wine Park, Christchurch
In 20 acres of rural vineyard, this venue is a working vineyard that offers a good drop or two for your wedding day feast. With seating capacity for up to 200, you have an elegant wedding banquet room and hardwood deck that overlooks the vineyard to use, as well as a choice of catering options enabling you to have your whole day in one place.
Lowburn Hall, Central Otago
Country hall in style, relaxed in nature, consider Lowburn Hall your own blank canvas wedding venue. A church right next door, a lawn for marquees, and a capacity of 160 guests (seated) in the main hall, make this venue something truly special. See it in action here.
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco, Nelson
A team helps you create your dream wedding here with three stunning choices for your venue – the Village Green of cottage gardens surrounded by buildings for your ceremony, the Grand Marquee, and the Village Hall which provides a more intimate setting and is an ideal venue location for cooler days. Boutique accommodation is also available.
The Rippon Hall, Lake Wanaka
On land farmed by four generations of family, this earth structure with larch beams from the property, has views reaching out to the Lake, vineyards and the Southern Alps beyond. Have your ceremony outside or in the Hall, and your reception here can seat 80-90 guests. The fixed canopy, adjacent and connected to the main hall expands your guest list to 230, and you will have a dedicated staff member for the duration of your event. With their wines to imbibe, the venue offers preferred catering teams to choose from.
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki / Mount Cook
How can you go past a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, a team who will guide you with their wide range of options for fine dining, with 2, 3 & 4 courses, buffet and canapé menus as well as wedding cakes, photographers, entertainers, flowers, celebrants and hair & makeup artists? Whether you’re eloping or inviting 200 guests this venue will accommodate your requests.
Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown
Offers several packages from weddings for just the two of you, to winter weddings framed by the Remarkables mountain range or the Classic wedding package using the Secret Garden and the rustic Clubhouse as your venues. Luxury accommodation is available so your guests won’t have to travel far after a night of celebrations. See it on Polka Dot Wedding here.
Melton Estate, Christchurch
Set in amongst 12 acres of vines, this winery offers numerous options for your wedding including a large deck and a restaurant with food that is matched to their boutique wines. They offer the option of boutique weddings for up to 30 guests, as well as capacity for larger weddings of 180 in The Pavilion (an all-weather outdoor wedding chapel and outdoor entertaining space) and 150 inside for a seated wedding dinner service in the Banquet Room.
With the most magnificent views over the bay, this glass-walled venue gives you the option of intimate wedding parties to receptions for over 350 people with spaces to suit your requirements. With a team to assist you with event coordination and chefs to help you plan the perfect menu, this is a venue that will have your guests enthralled as they celebrate high up above the city.
Ōnuku Marae, Akaroa
This venue offers a historic and cultural environment for your wedding. The Whare Karakia o Ōnuku (Ōnuku Church) was the first non-denominational church in NZ and can seat 30 people. Amīria Puhirere – Whare Kai is the dining room with its kitchen and can seat up to 250 guests, and elsewhere on the grounds is the Karaweko – Whare Tipuna (Ancestral House) seating 100 people. The team can manage the entire wedding including providing a seasonal menu of deliciousness from a hangi to a wedding banquet.
Kamana Lakehouse, Queenstown
Views of Lake Wakatipu frame you as you celebrate your nuptials on The Great Lawn or use the Sunrise Terrace for 120 guests for a ceremony or cocktail event. A Cocoon is a small indoor space to use for a ceremony or reception for 25 seated guests. The Ledge and Tiro are available for medium and smaller weddings and Nest Kitchen & Bar venue is available only with the complete buy-out of the 73 rooms of Kamana Lakehouse.
Edgewater, Lake Wanaka
With views of snowcapped mountains in the distance with a glistening lake and onsite helipad – this venue offers staff to recommend suppliers and take care of the details, they can cater to up to 80 guests (and more in the Pavilion if required) and with guest accommodation available, this may well be the perfect venue for you.
Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau
An idyllic setting on the edge of Lake Te Anau near Queenstown, the venue is set in a World Heritage Area. Daytime weddings and small weddings (as well as larger occasions) are all accommodated here – and you might even consider a helicopter ride to snow-capped mountains for photos after your ceremony. The Great Room inside The Lodge with log construction and a massive open fireplace is the perfect place for a feast of extraordinary food and service. Their accommodation can sleep 29 overnight.
Corstorphine House, Dunedin
Historic and charming, this venue, built in 1863 makes for a stunning venue with a touch of old-world charm. Set on 9 acres of beautiful gardens, various spaces for your wedding (including the Conservatory Restaurant which can hold 200 guests for cocktails and the Music Room, which can also hold 50) and the garden setting for your ceremony, make this one a must-check out. See it on Polka Dot Wedding here.