How to plan a New Zealand Destination Wedding


Ever wondered How to Plan a New Zealand Destination Wedding or How to Plan a Queenstown Elopement Wedding?  Read on for the lowdown!

Deciding to have a New Zealand destination wedding was easy!  Now that you’ve chosen the where there are a few things to keep in mind during the how process in your planning.  Years of working in the wedding industry have put us front row to some incredible weddings and we have compiled a few key things to consider while planning your destination wedding.  We hope these tips will help you along the journey of planning the perfect New Zealand destination wedding!

Top Tips for Planning The Perfect New Zealand Destination Wedding


The seasons in New Zealand provide so much variety of temperature and seasonal colours.  Summers in New Zealand are warm and inviting.  With its longer hours of daylight, planning your wedding has limitless possibilities without the pressure of having to schedule all of your festivities before darkness creeps in.  Autumn offers colours beyond belief and the days seem more settled with beautiful blue skies and luminous natural light.

If a snow capped mountain backdrop, cozy indoor vows, and roaring log fires are what you’re dreaming about, then a New Zealand winter is where your heart will lie.  And after you’ve picked your New Zealand wedding season you’ll be able to decide on your wedding attire…everything from dresses to tuxes to seasonal menus and of course the NZ wine!  New Zealand is a stunning, fantastical place no matter the season and there’s something for every couple.

Guests or No Guests

After you’ve decided on a New Zealand destination wedding the next question is will it be a grand affair or a quiet moment between the two of you.  Elopements are a growing popular choice since couples often turn their union into a chance to have a holiday without ever leaving their destination.  New Zealand also offers many small, cozy venues if an intimate wedding for a few family and friends is what you desire.  If your wedding is a larger event, then New Zealand has picturesque vineyards and luxury lodges to accommodate a sprawling celebration.  Always remember that if you are inviting guests that they will need time to prepare. The appeal of a New Zealand destination wedding not only draws couples planning to say ‘I do’ but also their guests.  So, don’t be surprised if everyone on your guest list can make it!

Location / Setting

There are no limits to locations and settings for your New Zealand destination wedding! Picture remote mountain tops, helicopters, stunning lakeside venues, art galleries and high country stations!  A current New Zealand destination wedding trend is renting an entire holiday home that can house all your guests and provide a beautiful place to have your wedding ceremony and private dinner cooked by your personal chef.


We all have our individual styles.  Having a New Zealand destination wedding won’t mean you have to compromise what makes you unique as a couple.  Whether you lean towards classic and elegant or edgy and stylish you’ll be able to pull it off in New Zealand. The most important part of deciding on the wedding style is that you stay true to your individuality and have fun with it too!


One of the most popular aspects of a New Zealand destination wedding in the South Island (Queenstown) is including a Helicopter on your wedding day.  There is no better way to experience the awe-inspiring mountain ranges, glaciers, and lakes.  If you’re hoping to be wed in a remote location, there’s no better way to arrive than in a Helicopter.  Your guests will be talking about it for a long time!  You can take your helicopter to a remote location to say your ‘I do’s’ or jump in a helicopter post ceremony for some mountain top photos…the sky is the limit here…see what we did there!

Plan Ahead

Weddings, no matter where you hold them, always require a bit of forward planning.  And the more you plan ahead with bookings of venues, accommodations, and wedding vendors the easier it will be.  Planning a New Zealand destination wedding is no different.  It also may be even more important.  Most destination venues / vendors tend to book a year or more out.  To ensure you are able to have the New Zealand destination wedding you’ve always dreamed about without having to settle for a ‘plan b’, make sure you make those connections as soon as possible.

Visit First

Planning a scouting trip for your New Zealand destination wedding is a great idea and quite popular especially for our Australian couples.  There’s no better way to help you decide on the location for your special day than seeing and experiencing them first hand.  Seeing if a venue or location will be able to accommodate your wishes or handle your special requests will go a long way in taking some stress out of planning your New Zealand destination wedding.

When you are scouting a spot on your ‘maybe’ list, actually standing on that mountain top or on that lakeside beach will help your envision your wedding day.  Visiting New Zealand first is also a great opportunity to meet your wedding vendors.  Talking to your photographer, florist or planners among others will help you decide who best suits you as a couple and your needs and wants.  Oh and it’s a great chance to trial your hair and make up or book an engagement session with your photographer.


One of the most important things you need to know is all the legal requirements you’ll need to meet for your New Zealand destination wedding.  A terrific source for this information of the New Zealand Internal Affairs website.  It’s loaded with information and if you still have questions or concerns you can contact them.  Here at The Lovers Elopement Co. we have our very own in house celebrants who will help you navigate through all the necessary paperwork and ensure you are all good to go for your wedding day.

Arrive Early and Stay Longer

You’ve worked hard for your New Zealand destination wedding and now it’s time to enjoy it!  Make sure you take time for some self-care and arrive at your destination a few days early so you can relax and soak in that one-of-a-kind New Zealand vibe.  After your wedding, planning to stay for a few days or a few weeks afterwards will allow you to soak up this beautiful country in your own time.  There’s nothing better than starting your life as a married couple than to take in all the things that make New Zealand heaven on earth.

Hire a LOCAL Wedding Planner

If you’re planning a New Zealand destination wedding and you live abroad all that planning can be fairly tricky.  You can save yourself time and stress by hiring a local planner such as The Lovers Elopement Co.  A local planner will have first hand knowledge of incredible venues and awesome vendors and can help you secure bookings and appointments.  Working with a local team means you are working with a crew that know the area and all the best off the beaten track locations.  The Lovers Elopement Co. have worked hard to foster relationships with the best wedding vendors in the industry.  We believe in curating an experience as unique as you are as a couple and each elopement is created as one of a kind!

A New Zealand destination wedding should be magical and wondrous and without the stress.  Having a local wedding planner will make coordinating and creating the wedding day of your dreams easy and inspirational.  If you would like team at The Lovers Elopement Co. to help you with your dream elopement please complete our contact form and we will be in touch X

Queenstown winter lakeside elopement editorial photography by Dawn Thomson Photography featured in Together Journal

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The Lovers Co. is a full-service Queenstown-based elopement team offering personalised wedding support—including photographer, videographer, floral designer, stylist, celebrant, hair & makeup artists, and more.

We create tailored elopement plans and custom wedding designs that bring together everything you need for the wedding experience you want. You don’t have to plan everything, book separate vendors, or coordinate your own elopement—you’ll be surrounded by Lovers and artists who already know exactly what you’ve been dreaming and how to make it happen, with the SAME luxury aesthetic throughout. 

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© The Lovers Co. 2024 | All rights reserved | Legal | Words by K. Sauer