Destination Wedding

Phil and Ben Tokaanu.jpg

Romance is alive and well in Aotearoa New Zealand and we have some of the world’s most stunning destination wedding locations – charming, exotic and picturesque from mountain tops to golden sand beaches.   You may have the fragrance of frangipani and ocean breezes in mind, a plane ride away, but the definition of a destination wedding is 160km or so from the bride’s home – an easy road trip for most kiwis.

New Zealand’s landscape provides some of the most stunning backdrop scenery in the world, and people come from all over to marry here whether in the bush, beside our rivers, under the grapes in one this country’s many beautiful vineyards, feeling the sand or pebbles between their toes, in a private home – the destination can help create the theme and be the ideal place for an ‘I do’ venue.

But you can’t have a wedding without a celebrant. Celebrant Association of New Zealand (CANZ) celebrants live from the top of the north to the bottom of the south, with many in some of the more remote and beautiful parts of the country and the perfect setting for a destination wedding.

Having the wedding away from a home base can be so much more relaxing than the standard afternoon into evening event.  There’s an opportunity for family and friends get to know each other before, during and after the ceremony as well as to have some significant fun downtime together – climb that mountain, run the half, cycle the vineyard, take a tour, enjoy a long lunch, imbibe, hang out, talk and catch up.  And the couple aren’t meeting and greeting in a rush dash from one table to the next.

However, it requires travel, time and money to get to a destination wedding and not everyone you invite will be able to make the commitment. The upside of this is that fewer guests may help extend the budget, and those who do come will welcome the no-rush playtime away from their routine and busy lives.

To find the right celebrant for your destination wedding go to You’ll find someone, happy to put on a pair of skis, tramping boots, jandals – whatever you want – to make a wedding ceremony uniquely yours.  CANZ celebrants are professionals, committed to a code of ethics and dedicated to the craft of creating exceptional and personal ceremonies.

As published in My Wedding Magazine August 2018

Lianne Fraser