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Rustic Luxe Tauranga Wedding

Today’s Tauranga wedding is beyond beautiful and I couldn’t help but get lost in the romance of every detail. Elegance meets rustic, Bhavna + Jeremy’s wedding is truly a sensory experience with rich colours and textures that jump off the screen!

Captured by international destination wedding photographers Joel + Justyna (who just love NZ!), and who after a last-minute referral jumped on a plane from Canada to capture their day only 24 hours later! Boom.

Our love story began…

Jeremy had been around for a few years before we started dating, he used to work with my twin sister and are really good friends. I met Jeremy a few times but we never really thought anything would happen as we were both in long term relationships at the time. As time went on Jeremy and I decided to end our previous relationships but we did not know that either one of us had done so. Long story short Jeremy and I went to watch a movie which was meant to be with other friends but they cancelled last minute. Little did I know that this would turn out to be our first date and a start of something special.

I said yes…

Jeremy recreated our first date by taking me out for a movie and dinner. After dinner he took us for a drive to my favorite place in Auckland and popped the question.

Our wedding style was…

Rustic glam but classic at the same time. Our venue was stunning and had lots of character so we wanted our style to suit the venue

We saved by…

Doing all the decorations and styling ourselves. I am a calligrapher and Jeremy is very handy on the tools so I made all the wooden signs , place cards and favours, Jeremy made all the easels for the stands.

We splurged on…

Flowers and photographers. We wanted to make sure we had photos that we would cherish forever and our lovely photographers Joel and Justyna definitely have made that happen. I have been a fan of Shaye’s work from on my hand before we got engaged, so we had to get her to do our flowers and we were not disappointed.

VENDORS

Photography Joel & Justyna
Venue The French Country House
Florals On My Hand – Props, Styling & Flora
Gown Rue de Seine
Wedding Styling, Signage + Calligraphy Created by Bhavna (the bride)
DJ Mike Steffens
Catering Hereford Kitchen
Wedding Arch Canterbury Road
Celebrant Carol Rickard
Invitations Lilykiss Australia + Calligraphy by the bride
Makeup Dom Birley

An Elegant Western-Sri Lankan Style Mission Estate Wedding

I am excited to see that more and more couples are saying I’do in the beautiful Hawkes Bay, and with the stunning landscapes both coastal and inland, and an abundance of gorgeous wedding perfect wineries (the Hawkes Bay is NZ’s oldest wine region!), you won’t even need an RSVP option, because if ever there was an excuse for your guests to getaway, a winery wedding in the Hawkes Bay would be it!

Today’s couple Pumudi & Neil said ‘I do’ at Mission Estate Winery, the bride wearing two dresses (both amazing!), celebrating her Western and Sri Lankan cultures. Listening to their wedding blessing song Jayamangala Gatha (performed on the day by the brides mum’s friends and Aunties that had flown in from Sri Lanka) sent shivers down my spine, it is so incredibly beautiful and well worth a listen. A big thank you to the talented Michael Schultz Photography (who has a cool new website, so go check it out!) for sharing these gorgeous images with P&L.

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Who Pumudi & Neil
Where The Mission Estate Winery, Hawke’s Bay
Guests 100

How did you meet?

We met at a work function while waiting for a glass of wine. We had both been working in the same place for over a year but our paths hadn’t crossed before. We immediately hit it off and the rest is history.

In three words describe your wedding style…

Elegant, Vintage and Western-Sri Lankan

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Did you have hens/stag nights? If so, what did you do?

The hen and stag nights were both in the UK. The boys went go-karting followed by a big night out in Brighton. The girls went for a relaxing weekend away at a luxury villa by the coast with pampering, height tea and lots of prosecco.

What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

Our splurge items were my two dresses. I wore a bespoke saree for the ceremony and a gown for the reception. We also splurged on the band because we wanted live music.

We saved on a wedding planner as The Mission provided a co-ordinator. Our friends who are florists (With Love) did our gorgeous ceremony and reception flowers. We also had the photos on site so didn’t need to hire wedding cars.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

Down the aisle Make you feel my love by Adele
During the ceremony Jayamangala Gatha (wedding blessings song) was performed by mum’s friends and my Aunties that had flown in from Sri Lanka
Aisle exit Here comes the sun by The Beatles
First dance Thinking out loud by Ed Sheeran

Did you DIY? If so, what did you do?

Yes, my mum made traditional Sri Lankan wedding cakes that were the wedding favours. She had gotten all her friends together a few months before and it was a big group effort. Neil made the seating plan and table numbers and we printed our own wedding handouts so our guests could understand the Poruwa ceremony.

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What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

The most difficult part was planning the wedding from London. To make things even harder we chose a location that was at least 4 hours from where any of our family and friends lived. However, The Mission was worth it!

The most fun was the actual wedding. Our wedding weekend was amazing. We were so humbled that our familiy and friends were willing to travel from all around New Zealand and some from around the world for us.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

There was a hurricane in Fiji so our honeymoon was cancelled. But we managed to have a mini moon in the sunny Bay of Islands and we are planning a trip to Sri Lanka next year maybe with a stopover in the Maldives.

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CREDITS

Photographer Michael Schultz Photography
Planner/Stylist Erin Speakman from Mission Estate Winery helped with planning and ran the co-ordination on the day
Reception Flowers & Boutonnieres With Love Florist
Bouquets Kim at Lushka
Venue/Catering Mission Estate Winery
Hire Company Elegant Rentals
Stationery & Signage DIY
Hair Mel at Loco Hair
Makeup Cushla Bower
Cake Cindy’s Cakes
Celebrant Sadun Kithulagoda
Brides Dress Saree by Thilaka Edirisuriya. Gown by Jenny Packham
Shoes Rachel Simpson
Bridesmaids Sarees Thilaka Edirisuriya
Grooms Suit & Accessories Debenhams, London
Rings Aurus Diamonds, London
Music Stolen Records

Romantic & Seriously WOW in Waikato | Red Barn, Tirau

That Cat (I have never laughed so hard at the seriousness of a cat!), the gorgeous cake, the stunning reception styling, the suave groom style, the fab bridesmaids, the divine hair & makeup… EVERY LITTLE THING ABOUT THIS WEDDING WILL WOW YOUR SOCKS OFF! It’s just that good. Oh and that Rue De Seine dress #gasp, I would sell my soul to have that dress. It’s PERFECTION.

Gorgeous couple Milly and Ethan have such a sweet love story, seem seriously down to earth and were more than happy to climb gates and frolic through cliff side foxgloves with photographer Kelly Oliver to get photos that are insanely romantic and unique. I dig that. Ready to be wowed? Let’s go!…

Who Milly & Ethan
Where The Red Barn, Tirau
Guests 88 adults + 7 children

Our wedding style was… Simple, feminine and rustic

Our love story began when…

We met through mutual friends at the tender age of 18. Meeting at such a young age has meant we have grown up together, experiencing the huge life stages together. We went from partying students, to getting into our careers, becoming parents and creating a family, buying our first home and finally, marriage all together. Our life has been on fast forward, however the amount we have been able to achieve in partnership has been extremely rewarding and humbling. I believe we bring out the best in each other and I am so proud of how far we have come.

I said yes…

Ethan sent me a simple text on a Friday afternoon saying ‘keep from 3pm free and wear your active wear’. I didn’t think much of it at the time due to the active wear request. We hopped in the car and he refused to tell me where we were going and what we were doing. 40 minutes later we pulled up to Raglan beach where there were horses waiting for us. We rode horses on the beach front and finished off the evening with a picnic of my favorite meal at a look out spot. Ethan said a little speech and got down on one knee with the most beautiful custom made ring I have ever seen. It was a huge surprise and man did he do well!

We saved by…

We made the ceremony arch ourselves, Myself and my lovely ladies ho helped style the wedding sourced all the venue flowers ourselves, my bridesmaids did their own hair as I wanted them to stay true to their natural style as possible and finally we used our own classic car.

We splurged on…

My dress and alterations, the band and providing buses for our guests to and from the wedding.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Weddings are expensive, so prioritize (no matter what your budget) what you are happy to spend money on and what areas you are able to make some savings in or what you don’t think are essentials. Communicate with your fiancé as much as possible and be willing to compromise on some aspects if need be.

CREDITS

Photographer Kelly Oliver Photography
Planner/Stylist My Treasury
Flowers Miss Daisy
Venue & Catering The Red Barn, Tirau, Waikato
Stationery & Signage Just My Type Stationery
Hair Flyger & Co
Makeup Makeup By Baillie
Cake Bombus Bakes
Celebrant Abbie Hyde
Brides Dress Rue De Seine (Fox gown)
Brides Accessories & Shoes Tony Bianco
Bridesmaid Dresses Stolen From My Sister
Grooms Suit & Accessories Pants + shirt from Top Man, Shoes from Number One Shoes
Rings Naveya & Sloane
Music Band, Looking for Alaska

Engagement Must Have! Gorgeous Velvet Ring Boxes by Secret Keeper

When you first get engaged life gets a little crazy!

Your brain goes into overdrive and it’s hard to know where to begin. But before you go mad with your wedding planning and list making just take a moment to enjoy your ring. It’s the easiest of all the wedding tasks and when you add a ridiculously pretty ring box from Secret Keeper, you can play peek a boo with your ring all day long (come on, I know you want to!).

Note, this beautiful Ukrainian business is of course affected by the Russian war currently – you can still support the business by buying instant downloads of their art.

These gorgeous handmade velvet ring boxes come in either single for your new engagement ring or double for keeping both your rings together, in a huge range of colours including a box in the Pantone color of the year, Ultra Voilet, and you can also get your initials monogrammed for an extra special touch! The perfect engagement accessory.

My favourite one is a little pricey… but a girl can dream!

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photography @amy.oboyl via @youyourwedding magazine

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ring from @trumpetandhorn viaon @stylemepretty | photo @danafernandezphoto

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photo @danafernandezphoto | event design @nibandpixel | ring @trumpetandhorn

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photo by @jacquelineannephoto | calligraphy by @thelisserei

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photo by @slavamishura | rings @sovajewels

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To view the whole range, head to Secret Keeper

An Elegant, Modern Waiheke Wedding Cable Bay

Today’s elegant Waiheke Wedding is modern yet timeless with a drop dead gorgeous gown (and bride!) and a couple who are soul mates through and through. Oh and a couple that includes their dog in the ceremony and uses a late model Toyota Corolla as their wedding car get a virtual high-five from me! Captured by the talented Jessica Photography at Waiheke’s Cable Bay Vineyard, this love story is simple, beautiful and all about the couples love for each other (no frills needed) Enjoy!

Who Karl + Kirsty Judd
Where Cable Bay Vineyard, Waiheke Island
Guests 120

Our love story began… We were both at an interesting point in our lives. Neither were looking for love, but when we meet there was an instant connection. I was instantly intrigued and I wanted to find out more. Karl’s values, goals and aspirations aligned with mine, and he gave me a sense of drive I hadn’t felt in a while. We became best mates, we did everything together. We travelled, ate, drank too much and were forever laughing. It didn’t take long before we became a team. Karl, me and Cooper (our dog).

She said yes… On Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles California, on the 30th October 2015. We walked down the end of the pier and I couldn’t figure out why he was so quiet. I thought he was joking, I knew what we had was serious but to hear those words and that kind of commitment was life changing. You couldn’t wipe the smile of my face for the rest of our trip.

Our wedding style was… We didn’t have a style other than to keep it simple. We aren’t people who live for the limelight. We needed a venue and vibe where we felt comfortable and could be ourselves. We didn’t need the bells and whistles, just beautiful food, lots to drink and friends and family to celebrate life and love with.

We saved on… Nothing hahaha

We splurged on… Our wedding venue. As soon as we stepped on the lawn overlooking the Bay we knew it had us all over it. The casual dining in the veranda and open plan feel created such a warm relaxed environment. Topped off with a Waiheke sunset and we knew it would be perfect. They also allowed dogs at their venue. With Cooper being such a massive part of our lives we knew we wanted him there. He’s family. He stood with the groomsmen up the front during the ceremony and was walked back down the aisle by my bridesmaids.

Our advice to engaged couples… Take your time and enjoy the moment. You have your whole lives together.

CREDITS

Photographer Jessica Photography
Flowers Wild Flower Waiheke
Venues Cable Bay Vineyard
Hair Ashleigh Frankle
Makeup Alica Morgan
Brides Dress Jessica Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses Shona Joy
Grooms Suit + Accessories Sabe Suits
Rings Timmermans Jewellers

A Breathtaking Urban Dunedin Wedding Harbourside

Today’s breathtaking Dunedin wedding is beautiful beyond words. Without a doubt one of my favourites for the year, and a spectacular showcase of my favourite little city, this love story is also a very emotional one.

From the bride Rebecca…

“Even before we were officially together at High School it was always ‘Bex and Julz’. Everyone saw it coming and we officially started dating in 2006. Fast forward to 2016, I am sure everyone even saw our engagement coming but what no one saw coming was finally tying the knot only 10 weeks later.

After almost 10 years together, having been engaged for 10 weeks, we set a date and planned our wedding day from scratch in 10 days after unexpectedly receiving news that my father-in-law has advanced terminal cancer.

With no day promised, without hesitation, we knew it was important that our nearest and dearest were there to celebrate our special day with us. So without a venue, a dress, guests or absolutely anything else we set out with a ‘make it simple but make it significant’ mindset to create our modern, urban, imitate dinner party dream day in 10 days and it was precisely that – our perfectly imperfect day was a dream!”

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Who Rebecca & Julian Robinson
Where Dunedin
Guests Approx 60

Describe your wedding style…
modern, urban, imitate dinner party

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CREDITS

Photographer Acorn Photography
Flowers 
Estelle Flowers
Venue/Catering 
Harbourside Grill, Custom House
Hire Company 
Gold Cutlery fromThe Pretty Prop Shop
Invitations, printed signage, table numbers & wine glasses 
Rebecca Ann Design (the bride)
Hair 
Zaibatsu Hair Art
Makeup Rebecca Cameron Makeup Artist
Cake 
Mandy May’s Pantry
Celebrant 
Angela Port Weddings
Brides Dress, Accessories 
Hera Bridal Couture
Brides Shoes Merchant
Bridesmaids Dresses 
City Chic
Grooms Suit & Accessories 
Barkers (the boys got dressed at the store!)
Rings 
Michael Hill
Entertainment & Photobooth Gravity Events

10 Unique (+ mostly easy!) Seating Chart Ideas For Your Wedding Reception To Buy or DIY!

If you are going to get your DIY on pre wedding day, I reckon a seating chart is well worth the effort. But there is no need to buy new when it comes to your props, scavenge, borrow or hire your easel / window frame / wood burning toolkit thingie-ma-bob (you might be surprised what family + friends have packed away in storage!) or simply download a pretty printable seating chart and find an easy way to display it!

Less is more and less is less (time / money / stress), and I’m all about that!

This article starts with some inspiration to get you started, and then I’ve included a list for a similar products (including easy peasy downloadables – yay!)

via Nouba (tutorial sadly removed!) | Images Kas Richards | Styling Lenzo | Venue The Estate Trentham | Flowers Raven and The Rose | Buy similar – Acrylic Seating Sign 

via De Alma e Coracao | BUY similar

via Boho Weddings |  Image by Cluskey Smith Photography |

via The Brumby Nest | BUY

via Ryan Ray Photo |

via Something Turquoise | BUY

via Mulberry Market Design | BUY

via Boho Weddings | Image by Mark Tattersall Photography |

via Ruffled Blog | Image by Lukas & Suzy VanDyke |

OR SHOP OUR FAVE PRINTABLES…

via Smitten Paper Props

via Happy Life Printables

via The Brumby Nest

via LCoOnEtsy

via Fox Bairn

via Berry Berry Sweet

via Mod Wedding

via The Sundae Creative

via The Sundae Creative

via The Sundae Creative

10 Unique (+ mostly easy!) Seating Chart Ideas For Your Wedding Reception To Buy or DIY!

A Stunning Two Day Dunedin Botanic Garden Wedding Under $5000!

Today’s wedding is going to blow your mind. Not only did this wedding cost less than $5000 (AND it was a TWO day event, including a trip to an island!), but the couple realised they really had something special when they went on a date at Taieri Beach, which just happens to be where I live! (It’s a REALLY small place!) YAY. Oh and the proposal is so very beautiful, seriously Tuaine you deserve a medal! Emily & Tuaine, thank you so much for sharing your stunning day with us, it makes me proud to call Otago home!, and a massive thank you to the always amazing Erin from Acorn Photography, you really are a superstar!

Who Emily & Tuaine
Where Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Guests Immediate family – 15

Our love story began…

We met at a local bar where Tuaine was playing a gig with his friend, in between songs we got talking. He tracked me down through a mutual friend and asked me out. It wasn’t until a few months later we went on a date out to Taieri Mouth Beach that we knew we had each met someone special.

I said yes…

Tuaine and I went shopping for rings 4 months before he proposed so I knew it was coming but had no idea when. He proposed when our daughter was 6 weeks old so it was an emotional day (crazy baby hormones!) He had planned a whole day of my favorites, we went for a walk around the Dunedin Botanic Gardens. We went to my favorite Florist, Estelle Flowers where he had a massive bunch of flowers waiting for me. Then we went to lunch at my favorite cafe, he had organised for me to get my makeup done so I felt all pretty, then he ordered our favorite dinner and got it to bring home and set the lounge up like a restaurant, so sweet considering we could have not/ would not have wanted to leave our daughter at that age.

Then as I was putting our daughter to bed he set up our garden with candles in jars and tea light candles, he came to get me saying he needed help with something and when I got to the back door I saw the candles and burst into tears, I had been waiting so long and it was so beautiful, and also by this point I was tired, had got my PJ’s on and thought he wasn’t going to end up proposing that night! Haha He led me outside where he got down on one knee. It was just perfect.

Our wedding style/inspiration was… Intimate, surrounded by nature, low key

We saved by…

Having our wedding in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens cost us only $25 and being the beautiful place which it is it needed no decoration.

We didn’t want a wedding party which meant that we only had two outfits to buy.

Instead of a catered venue for our reception we opted for one of our favorite restaurants the Esplanade out at St Clair beach where we all just ordered what we felt like.

I did my own wedding flowers as I love flowers and enjoyed putting them together the day before.

Our family helped out heaps.

We had online wedding invitations to save paper.

Our whole wedding (both days) cost us less than $5000 which we are really happy about. We value close relationships and love nature so having a relatively cheap wedding we not hard once we worked out what was important to us and good company and nature are free.

We splurged on…

We had a party the next day on Quarantine Island with all our families and friends to celebrate. We wanted to take them on an adventure as that’s a big part of our relationship so we chose to take them to an island! We had a big potluck meal and played games and hung out. It was great fun! But getting everyone over to the island on a boat we chartered cost us quite a bit. We also spent quite a bit on our photographer as we wanted the best! And it was important for us to have good photos to share with those we chose not to invite to our ceremony.

Our advice to engaged couples…

Think seriously about whats important to you and create something that reflects and honors who you both are.

CREDITS

Photographer Acorn Photography
Flowers DIY
Venue Dunedin Botanic Gardens (Cost them $25!)
Dinner The Esplanade
Hair Aurum Hairstylists
Makeup Kim Tuliau
Cake Naturalley
Celebrant Adam Dodds – Elim Church
Brides Dress Pretty Things
Grooms Suit & Accessories Rembrandt,  BarkersWindsor Smith
Brides Ring Keepsake Journals
Grooms Ring Lolide on Etsy

A Sentimental (and seriously amazing!) Hahei Wedding

When I saw the magical images from today’s creative wedding, I instantly fell in love. Soul mates Brad & Alle organised their wedding from Australia confessing they combined “a little bit of research, guess work and some last minute hoping for the best” to make their special day happen. A beautifully creative wedding, the couple along with friends and family all pitched in to craft details large and small, and the result is stunning and truly personal (even the celebrant shed a tear!).

Oh and I love the idea of hiring out a holiday property as an alternative to a traditional venue, it combines your getting ready location, accommodation, ceremony and reception venue (depending on guest numbers of course!), and you can choose a spectacular unique spot in a location special to you.

A big, big thank you and congratulations to the lovely couple, and a big virtual hug to the awesome Michael Schultz Photography, you are too cool (and talented) for school! Enjoy xox

Who Alle Davidson & Brad Inglis
Where Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula, NZ
Guests 32

How did you meet?

About 13 years ago Brad told me he thought I was a good person, I said I thought he was a good person too. We’ve been together ever since.
We live in Australia but chose to have our wedding in Hahei because it holds a special place in our hearts and Brad is NZ born. While it was very difficult not being able to invite all our loved ones, it allowed for the special little wedding we desired in such a beautiful part of the world.

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In three words describe your wedding style… Sentimental, Intimate and Light

Did you DIY? 

We wanted to DIY as much as we could, not only to save money but also to personalize our wedding. These sentimental touches made the wedding truly ‘us’. The invites, decorations, table settings, favours, all flowers, signs, etc were all DIY.

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What music did you play for those special moments?

We incorporated lots of music into our wedding. One of the most special moments on the day was when my Brother played me down the aisle with a song he’d written for us. If I could have any song as the soundtrack of my life, that would be it. Also, I used Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing” lyrics in our invitations. Brad had Paul Kelly’s ‘Until Death Do Them Part’ played during our ceremony. Our first dance was to Samuel F. Scott & The BOP “All My Dreams”. And in my pre-wedding panic I had The National on repeat to calm my nerves.

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What were your save and splurge items for your wedding?

SAVE We managed to save in many areas for our wedding. Without a doubt this wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless and amazing help from our friends and family. Even our superb photographer went above and beyond! From start to finish we had people chipping in, setting up, packing down, all of it. They cooked up a super feast that included gifted lamb from a dear friend’s farm; another beauty did my hair along with the bridesmaids, my mums and daughters as a gift. The flowers were bought wholesale and then we foraged for greenery and I put them together with my girls the night before. The cakes were ordered through a local café and we decorated them ourselves too. One big saving was finding a perfect venue in a secluded holiday house, with the most relaxed and accommodating hosts. We hired all we needed and decked it out the night before.

SPLURGE Having our wedding in NZ was somewhat of a splurge, requiring flights and accommodation etc. We were so overwhelmed that our guests travelled all that way to be with us. My dress felt like a splurge too – I had always thought I would either make my own or find a vintage one but, on a whim, I tried the Daughters of Simone ‘Jude’ Dress on in a local boutique and really loved it. I’m so glad I found it – It was a dream to wear.

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What was the most difficult part of planning your wedding? And the most fun?

Organizing our NZ wedding from Australia was challenging at times and took a little bit of research, guess work and some last minute ‘hoping for the best’. That aside, we liked that we were kind of planning a little holiday and a wedding all at once.

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CREDITS

Photographer Michael Shultz Photography
Celebrant Rehka Giri Percival, Whitianga Marriage Celebrant
Brides Dress Daughters Of Simone
Flowers Wholesale Flowers, Auckland
Venue Purangi Gardens Accommodation
Hire Company Peninsula Party Hire
Cake Hahei Beach Café
Rings Ernest and Joe

4 Of The Best Places To Honeymoon in New Zealand

I feel very VERY lucky to live in such a beautiful country so like a proud mama I like to show it off, especially some of my favourite spots like the 4 beautiful regions below. The great news is that lot’s of us kiwi’s have not explored so much of our own country (that’s not the good news), and a honeymoon is a fantastic opportunity to go somewhere new and beautiful right here in New Zealand (THAT’S the good news!).

With cheap flights around the country and some of these spots easily within a day’s driving time, there is something for everyone on all budgets (and since you are not paying a departure tax you can buy 2 extra glasses of wine! YAY!). Here are 4 of my favourites that are perfect for a romantic getaway…

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Bay Of Islands

With gorgeous weather, beaches to die for, island escapes and so much history to take in, the Bay Of Islands is a great destination for your honeymoon. I was lucky enough to live up this way for a few months and spent a bit of time island hopping, including an overnight stay at the stunning Urupukapuka Island (in the pic above) and would compare the crystal clear waters to those in Fiji (just ever so slightly cooler).

My top 3 things to do

ONE Take the Fullers Great Sights Day Cruise, full of local history, an island lunch stopover and the opportunity to hang out in a net alongside the boat (in the water!) and possibly swim with dolphins (oh and you get up close to some awesome fancy pants houses which I loved!)

TWO Jump aboard of the many sailing boats that do day trips around the islands. My pick, the R. Tucker Thompson is awesome for a cruisy journey on an authentic old sailing boat (feels a little piratey!) with a lunchtime swim in a sheltered cove. Oh and I just found out you can get married on the boat too!

THREE This is a toss-up between going diving (hubby’s choice) and a relaxing day visiting Russell then relaxing on a beach anywhere (my choice). If you are anything like us, you simply split up for the day then get back together for dinner!

Great places to stay

BUDGET Take advantage of the three awesome DOC campsites available on Urupukapuka Island (you will need to jump on the ferry to get there and back)

MID RANGE TO LUXE The Magic Cottages at Takou River offer lots of unique and crazy romantic accommodation options (you can also get married there!) including the most amazing cottages (of course!) and ‘glamping’ tents through to an entire luxury home.

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Coromandel

A hugely popular holiday spot for Aucklanders, the Coromandel can get crazy busy over the holidays (which I love as it’s such a fun atmosphere) but if you are looking for a relaxing, quiet and romantic holiday I would recommend avoiding these periods (especially Christmas and New Year!). It is popular for its amazing beaches, beautiful water and laid back vibe.

My top 3 things to do

ONE Hire a car, pack a picnic lunch (or see below) and explore the local towns and swim at all the beaches including the beautiful Cathedral Cove in the image above (you need to park at the top and walk down).

TWO With yummy craft beer and kick ass pizza’s, the Pour House is a great spot to relax after your day visiting Cathedral Cove and simply relax in the sun!

THREE Take a boat cruise or hire a kayak and explore all the wee nooks and cranny’s this beautiful area has to offer that you can only access by water.

Great places to stay

BUDGET The Hahei Holiday Resort offers everything from beachfront tent sites to fancy pants villa’s, it’s a gorgeous beach and a handy spot to explore surrounding attractions (including Hot Water Beach).

MID RANGE Oceans Resort Whitianga is a great base to explore the Coromandel Peninsula or for a romantic retreat near the Coromandel town, stay at Hush Boutique Accommodation.

LUXE The Absolute Hahei Oceanfront is a luxe holiday house right on the beach (seriously only steps away!)

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Tasman Region

While I have not explored the Tasman Region nearly as much as I would like to, the time I have spent there was so memorable that I still dream about it constantly! Beautiful golden sand, clear warm water, and lots of native bush, this region is so relaxing and romantic, and perfect for a honeymoon adventure!

My top 3 things to do

ONE The 60km Abel Tasman Coastal Track is a must do! An intermediate level walk (but you can take your time!) this walk includes stunning beaches, natural hot pools, an abundance of wildlife including a marine reserve, and you can stay at a variety of campsites and 4 huts along the way.

TWO Stay and relax on the golden sands of Kaiteriteri Beach, with campsites right across the road from the beach, daily boat trips available, a variety of walks and a great cafe, this is one magical spot where I could live forever!

THREE Head into Nelson for some great cafe’s, breweries and design stores. If you are into fashion and/or vintage cars, check out the WOW museum of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars

Great places to stay

BUDGET The Kaiteriteri Motor Camp is amazingly affordable and right across the road from the beach. Make sure you book ahead as it can get really busy over holiday periods.

MID RANGE A little retreat up on the hill behind Kaiteriteri Beach, the Kimi Ora Eco Resort has an indoor pool for rainy days and you relax with some in-house treatments while you are there.

LUXE Rated one of the best Eco Lodges in the world, The Resurgence would be the ultimate honeymoon getaway (and they also hold weddings there!)

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Central Otago

I lived in Queenstown for a few years and watched it change so much while I was there. Well, it has grown so much more since I left and in my eyes it just gets better and better as a holiday destination. Such a busy wee place filled with surprises, it is heaven for everyone who loves the outdoors, and even better for all of us who love to eat and drink. I think I might miss it… a lot.

My top 3 things to do

ONE Eat and drink yourself silly. With an amazing range of vineyards, restaurants and bar’s you could literally spend your whole Honeymoon eating and drinking in the Queenstown area (my kind of honeymoon!) For something different head out to Arrowtown for an evening and check out The Blue Door Bar, and luxe cinema Dorothy Browns (watch your movie with wine and a cheeseboard!) all up the same little alleyway!

TWO Hit the slopes (if it’s winter of course!) with a great selection of ski fields catering for all levels. My favourite would be Cardrona, which is closer to Wanaka (another great place to stay and explore) with one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic pubs the Cardrona Hotel found at the bottom of the hill (a must stop for a cold beer and a great feed!)

THREE Get adventurous. From a gentle ride up the gondola and some luging and bungy jumping, there are SO many ways to get your heart pumping in Queenstown! And if you have ever thought about doing a skydive Queenstown is the place to do it with awesome company NZONE.

Great places to stay in Queenstown

BUDGET The Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park or the Queenstown Holiday Park & Motel Creeksyde are super handy to town and offer a range of accommodation from tent sites to cabins.

MID RANGE The Queenstown Motel Apartments are a great price, with awesome views and walking distance to town.

MID TO LUXE A 2 minute walk to town and super stylish, the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is a great pick.

LUXE For the ultimate in luxury and views to die for you cannot go past the Matakauri Lodge. It’s AMAZING and if you are on your honeymoon (don’t forget a copy of your marriage certificate!) you will get upgraded to the best available room.

Happy honeymooning beautiful people! xox

You might also enjoy:

The TOP 8 Islands in the South Pacific to Honeymoon (or even say “I do”!)
The Top 10 Honeymoon Stays in the South Pacific (for every budget!)