If you feel like you’ve attended the same 6 wedding venues for friends’ nuptials over the past few years, it’s time to think outside the square. Whether it’s an industrial space, backyard wedding, high-country lodge, or the middle of nowhere, this list of 20 alternative and unique wedding venues is sure to inspire you. Bonus, many of these are public spaces which are also very affordable – great for the wedding budget (wait til you see the $100 wedding venue!)
Grab your wedding planner book and take note about everything you love about these fantastic, unique wedding venues.
A museum holds hands with an art gallery when it comes to the cool kids of weddings, and with so many fantastic museums in New Zealand, both rurally and in the big city, there is a size and style to suit everyone. We love this Brisbane wedding at The Old Museum.
& implore more Auckland couples to have photos at the incredible Auckland War Museum…. we love this Auckland Domain wedding (and YES you can actually get married in Auckland Museum too!)
2. Public Gardens
Our little land is abundant with public gardens, showcasing both botanical beauties and native giants… usually for free. Check (or don’t) with your local council, as there may be a small fee for your fun. Either way, it is an affordable way to celebrate your wedding in an oh so pretty setting. Emily & Tuaine got married for $5000 (total!) in Dunedin Botanic Gardens – get inspired here.
3. Wildlife Park
Lions & Tigers & Bears, oh my! A wildlife park makes a great setting for the animal mad. And the perfect inspiration for your big day. My Pick? Paradise Valley Springs near Rotorua, Orana Wildlife Park near Christchurch and Auckland Zoo.
Have a favourite cafe or bar that you just love, love, LOVE? Find out if you can hold your service or function (or both) there, and celebrate your day in a way that truly reflects who you are. Kathryn + Rupak got married with a wedding budget of $17,000 at the Wintergardens followed by Tribeca Restaurant in Parnell.
5. Industrial Space
Want something a little bigger with an inner city industrial feel? A wedding in an industrial space can be an affordable way to host a supersized shin-dig in an oh so cool setting, you just have to go on the hunt for one! Charlotte + Mike Church had a brilliantly cool industrial space wedding at By George followed by Kingland’s Hopetoun Alpha.
6. Rural Barn
Love all things rustic? An old barn is the perfect rural venue and the decoration options are endless (but affordable if you brush up on your d.i.y skills) There are so many fantastic barns around New Zealand, it is just a matter of finding one that suits (with power is even better) Ask around, put an ad in your local paper, or simply be cheeky and go door knocking… you just never know, who knows someone who knows of a good barn, if you get my drift. See this Vintage Chic Matamata Barn Wedding for inspo!
7. Art Gallery
An art gallery has to be one of the most modern and swanky pants venue ideas on this list. Whether you surround yourself with contemporary art or hang out with the old masters, a gallery wedding is a very cool way to wed.
Wine & Cheese is a match made in heaven, and a winery wedding has to be the perfect excuse to enjoy both. My tip to save money? Do your research, and don’t rule out the little less commercial guys (It may save you thousands!) See this Markovina Vineyard wedding for inspo.
Us kiwi’s are camping mad, and most of us have enjoyed a holiday or two in a tent or caravan during our lifetime. I am a huge fan of a campsite wedding, and caravans are the picture perfect backdrop. Beachfront or lakeside among the mountains, there is a campsite to suit all styles and budgets.
Bit of a bookworm? The library can make for a very cool (and quiet) venue for your big day. Don’t forget the little guys… a small local library is often just as unique, especially if you are counting pennies.
Know of a fabulous cityscape or a unique rooftop garden? This idea is very cool indeed, so best to do it in summer me thinks. The Auckland District Law Society Rooftop is very cool (Chase Wild Photos)
Know of someone with a fantastic backyard. Ask, bribe or tie them up, so that you can enjoy your big day backyard style. The perfect venue for those on a shoestring budget! Even luckier if the backyard is a farm like this amazing Waiorongomai Farm wedding.
14. Local Hall
I love a quirky local hall and in New Zealand we have loads of them. A little decoration and a little imagination, and this humble venue will have a little less sparkle, but a lot more soul. Of course everyone loves Old Forest School which has hall vibes!
15. Golf Club
You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy this venue. Golf courses are always picturesque and can provide some amusing guest entertainment also (think a guest challenge at the driving range) Again, do your research, as so many smaller local clubs can be just as perfect for your pictures, and your pocket.
16. Boat Club or Wharf
Ahoy me matey! Go quaint and quirky or go all out in a fancy pants venue… or why not hire a boat and have the ceremony on the water with the reception at the club house. Cool huh. See this Otago Peninsula Wedding.
A little bit brrr, a skifield wedding doesn’t have to be in Winter. A summer ski-field wedding would be just as spectacular, and you would have the whole mountain to yourself, well maybe! Take a look at this Wanaka wedding for inspiration.
18. High Country Lodge
Luxury or rustic, there are high country venues to suit everyone in this country. With a roaring fire, wild mountain flowers and fresh game on the menu, this venue idea is wedding perfect. Sigh. See our Fowey Country Lodge Wedding for inspo!
19. The Beach
New Zealand is chocca with beautiful beaches and rugged coastal landscapes. Make the most of it and say I do with the sand between your toes. You will love this Hahei wedding.
20. The Middle of Nowhere
Have a special spot that means so much to both of you? Go all out in the middle of nowhere! It is amazing where caterers will go, and with amazing ‘glamping’ specialist. Take a look at this (slightly wild weather) marquee wedding on a family farm.
Did you get married in a unique, alternative or totally wild location? Please share! Looking for more wedding inspiration? Check out Real Weddings!