Wellington Weddings: Reception Venues, Gardens & Wedding Planners

OMG I FINALLY DID IT! Excuse the interruption, but after years and years of being asked how to actually find a wedding venue, I have created a free wedding vendor directory site for New Zealand, Fiji, Rarotonga and Samoa, which enables couples to search and find hundreds of wedding venues in one place! This article is still full of lots of handy tips on how to find a wedding venue, but the smartest thing you can do right now is check our “Our Wedding“! See all Wellington Wedding Venues now!

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You’re engaged!
Congratulations!

If you’re looking for how to find a Wellington wedding venue – Wellington City, Lower Hutt, Wairarapa, Cape Palliser, Martinborough or Kapiti Coast – then you’re in the right place! (Not looking for a wedding venue in the Wellington region? see the wedding venue guide.)

Once you’ve started your wedding budget and guest list, it’s time to find the wedding venue for your dream day! If you haven’t looked at those two yet, I suggest you head back to first steps to plan a wedding. Without a little structure from having begun your guest list and wedding budget, it is be more difficult to know whether a wedding venue is going to be appropriate. Whatever you do, make wedding planning easier with the little white book and wedding planning pack. 😉

Find and choose a Wellington Wedding Venue

  • Where to begin searching for a wedding venue in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Wairarapa, Cape Palliser, Martinborough or Kapiti Coast;
  • Locating potential wedding venues and seeking inspiration via photographers;
  • How to choose between potential wedding venues;
  • What to consider before you sign a wedding venue contract; and
  • Suggestions for Wellington region wedding venues.

Getting married in Wellington

We are just so spoiled for choices of wedding venues in New Zealand, and Wellingtonians are some of the luckiest kiwis when it comes to choosing a spot to get hitched – the Capital is such a unique, creative and vibrant city.

Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue in Wellington city itself, further north towards Kapiti Coast or to Wairarapa, Martinborough or Cape Palliser, or somewhere in between, you have so many options in beautiful Wellington region. There is nothing better than Wellington on a sunny day, which is why Wellington is a stunning place to say “I Do” during wedding season.

The best thing about choosing Wellington or the Wairarapa is that you are spoiled for choice. Whether you want a beach, church, garden, vineyard or an indoor wedding, there is definitely a venue for you, no matter the amount of guests or your style/theme. In all honesty, the hardest part about finding a venue in Wellington or the Wairarapa will be narrowing it down to only one.

Blair grew up in Wellington, and for a few years while we lived in Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty, we spent a lot of time in the region, so I’m fairly familiar with it and have even attended a couple of Wellington weddings myself.

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Find Wedding Venues in Wellington

To find a beautiful wedding venue that’s right for you, there’s a few ways to start, but of course my first tip has to be to head to my new wedding vendor directory, www.ourwedding.co.nz! Once you’ve browsed what’s available, my second favourite method is to browse local photographers’ websites and go from there. Browse google, facebook, instagram, magazines and other New Zealand wedding blogs) for Wellington wedding photographers, and have a look at their portfolio. This gives you the ability to not only find a beautiful location, but also helps you to work out what style of photography, and perhaps even style of wedding you like.

Naturally, wedding photographers will feature their most beautiful weddings on their site, and you’re likely to come across venues you’ve never seen before too. Not only that, but you’ll discover the best local photography spots and hideaways nearby those wedding venues – which can be huge drawcards too, and help you choose a venue.

Wellington Wedding Photographers to Browse

To name just a couple of local photographers and some of their Wellington and Wairarapa wedding venue inspiration:

Sharisse Eberlein Photography
Tarureka Estate, Wairarapa 
Brackenridge Country Retreat and Spa, Martinborough
The Landing at Home Bush, Masterton

Patina Photography
The Milk Station, Otaki 
Poppies, Martinborogh
Old St Paul 

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a photographers’ website you start with, you could browse a local wedding planner’s work or begin with your favourite florist’s recent photos on instagram.

Another way of finding Wellington wedding venues of course is to ‘google’, and you will also be able to find some ‘Wellington wedding venue directories’ – like those on Wellington Weddings, for example. Wedding directories can be a great source of information, BUT, like magazines, they only feature those venues and vendors which pay for their inclusion – so it’s not going to provide you with a complete picture.

New Zealand Wedding Directory, Weddings Wairarapa,  My Wedding Guide are examples. For a few cheap wedding venue options, consider the council websites which also provide hireage of event and function centres: Wellington City Council has around 12.

Comparing your Favourite wedding Venues

Once you’ve compiled a list of your favourite Wellington wedding venues, or even If you find it hard to choose between various locations try putting pen to paper.

Create a table with the potential wedding venues or locations across the top, and all of their various favourable attributes in a list, then mark an X on whichever of the two is the best in each category.  Not only will you have a table full of X marks (and hopefully more in one column than the other) but you’ll have given each venue a serious thought, and thought about all the elements that are important to you.

Wedding-Venue-comparison-table

You can also create a spreadsheet of the key attributes of each wedding venue you’re interested in, so that you can compare venues in terms of cost, available dates, restrictions, catering options, type, layout, and any other pros and cons which are relevant to you.

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Visit your favourite Wellington Wedding Venues

Prepared with your wedding venue research spreadsheets, as well as lists of all the below questions and considerations, make an appointment to visit your favourite wedding venue or a couple of those which appeal to you.

Email their coordinator to enquire about package and pricing options. Set out an email with any preferred dates or at least the month and days of the week, and the approximate number of guests you intend to have, and then only make an appointment to view if you can afford it. This also avoids potential disappointment in visiting the venue only to find that your date is already booked. It also gives you an insight into how helpful they may be to communicate with over email – a valuable part of wedding planning.

Around 12 months prior to the wedding is the ideal time to do so, so that you can see how the venue will look on your wedding day, and it is also a key booking to have in place early, so that you can organise everything else.

Wedding Venue Considerations

This list is an excerpt from the wedding planning pack, which includes all the questions you need to know and ask of each of your wedding vendors.

  • Don’t book the first venue you see (your fiance isn’t the first man you ever met, is he?!), make sure to weigh up a couple and ensure you’re not just ‘getting it over with’!
  • Consider all the venue’s options for photography, and always look at real weddings at the venue;
  • Dates can book up quickly at popular venues, so call around to check on date availability before falling in love with a particular wedding venue only to find that the season is full;
  • Ask for minimum spend or per-head cost during the initial phone call or visit, to ensure it’s within your price bracket;
  • A more expensive venue but incredibly beautiful wedding venue might save you money on decor, flowers and lighting;
  • Your venue will play a huge roll in determining the theme and ambiance of your wedding;
  • An all-inclusive price will save you a lot of worry, but if that’s not possible, make sure you understand what is or is not included;
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if you’re booking a weekday, last minute, etc.
  • Consider a spot where your guests can ‘getaway’ for the weekend and turn it into a real holiday;
  • Always have a contingency plan for weather, and if the only reason you like a venue is because it will be stunning on a perfect day, rethink this plan;
  • Find out if the venue offers a wedding planning or organisation service;
  • Ask if you’ll have exclusive use of the venue, and what time you can occupy it until;
  • Take care before you sign on the dotted line – a wedding venue contract should be entered into with the consideration you’d give any other contract (can you tell I’m a lawyer).  Read every line and clause, discuss anything you don’t understand with the vendor (or a lawyer), and don’t feel pressured to sign straight away.  Some questions to ask before signing include:
    • What are the noise restrictions?
    • Does the venue have an events manager?
    • Where can your guests stay nearby?
    • Can you bring in whatever outside vendors you want?
    • Are the kitchen facilities available for those vendors?
    • Is there tableware included?
    • How many tables fit into the room?
    • What is the sound system provided?
    • Is it a licensed venue? What time does the licence go until?
    • Is there enough lighting provided?
    • Are you allowed to light candles? Throw confetti? Have fireworks?
    • Where can guests park?
    • What is the weather contingency plan?
    • If it’s BYO, what’s the corkage fee?
    • For the full list, see the wedding planning pack or bundle.

I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have for Auckland wedding venues, leave me a comment. Choosing your wedding venue is just one of the many decisions to make, do so with ease by purchasing the little white book & wedding planning pack in the discounted bundle.

All photos © The Official Photographers

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