Dear soon to be Well Travelled Brides,
If snowy mountains, fireside cocktails and the great outdoors are your idea of heaven - then Wanaka is the destination of choice for you. Of course we would not just send you in the direction of any location. We have made sure there is everything you need to put together the perfect wedding, honeymoon or trip and have an absolutely fabulous time whilst you are there. We think Wanaka is magical because you are surrounded by untouched scenery and landscapes that look like painted backdrops. You will find all the comforts of a luxury trip with a little bit of adventure thrown in. Given we had the time of our lives, we're sure that with our curated guide to Wanaka, you'll make some special memories there too.
Make sure you send us postcard and Travel Well,
Well Travelled Bride
Weddings & Elopements
For the couple with a sense of adventure or (at the other end of the spectrum) if you are after a touch of luxury then Wanaka is a fabulous choice for your wedding. Coined 'where Heaven meets Earth' this destination is an untouched, breath-taking ceremony backdrop, they literally conduct weddings on the mountain peaks. Most importantly there is an amazing collective of creative and genuine people that live and work across the region. They all know and love Wanaka and will be a valuable part of making your stylish wedding everything you want it to be.
When planning a destination wedding, having the assistance of a planner can help take the stress out of the unknown. Wedding planners are a creative group of people always overflowing with suggestions on how to turn your ideas into a reality and how you can tie your designs together, reflect your individuality and make the impossible happen. Having these people on hand on your wedding day will mean you can enjoy your time with your guests, leisurely sip champagne and have endless photographs for you to swoon over for years to come.
INVITATIONS & STATIONERY
There is nothing like supporting locals whilst planning a wedding. Whilst arguably wedding invites and stationery could be created anywhere in the world, there are some talented graphic designers, calligraphers and printeries in the region.
Recommendations Coming Soon.
Hens parties are done with class and style in in Wanaka. There are endless luxury lodges for slumber parties and wineries for celebrating plus Central Otago is the un-offical spa capital of New Zealand. A trip over to chic Queenstown could be a good option... You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to every detail of planning your Wanaka hens party.
Recommendations Coming Soon.
Wanaka could be the ultimate spot for a Stag do internationally. Its an adventure playground all four seasons of the year with extreme sports and luxury services covering you for land, sky and water. You very may well need a full week with the lads to cover all on offer in Wanaka, but even if your after just one thrilling experience we've got you covered in our guide to the area.
Recommendations Coming Soon.
Wanaka made our Well Travelled series through its world-class venues and backdrops. There is something for every imagination and every price point here. From low-maintenance snowy peaks with no extra styling required to architecture dream lodges the whole region is alpine luxury. We believe is New Zealand is your choice of wedding location, it doesn't get any more exclusive or picturesque than Wanaka.
FLOWERS & STYLING
Whilst Wanaka is a small rural town at heart, fortunately there is no shortage of beautiful florists. Flowers are one of the most important elements to a Well Travelled wedding and choosing your florist especially in a foreign destination is a decision to be made carefully. Your mind can be put to rest knowing we've found the best in the area who will deliver beyond your floral dreams. Although there is no flower market in Wanaka itself these professionals know how to pull it off sourcing from local farms and working with seasonal New Zealand flowers. Many offer a styling service as well.
If you are arriving in Wanaka for your wedding then you will have to bring most of your bridal attire with you. There are however some extremely stylish designers and brands that are either based nearby or are available to travel (from within New Zealand) to make you look fabulous from head to toe. Get in touch with some of treasured finds to see what you can arrange, perhaps your dream gown waiting for you on arrival?
Surprisingly there is a lot on offer for grooms, groomsmen and men in general in Central Otago. This may require a trip to Queenstown which is just 40 minutes by car. If you are planning a destination wedding and don't want to crumple your suit in-transit... we can ensure you there are some gorgeous options for the stylish man upon arrival.
We recommend your photographer is one of the first tasks whilst wedding planning. If you're hosting a destination wedding a natural choice is often to bring your photographer with you. Whilst thats always a fabulous option, its certainly not a requirement for Wanaka. There are some incredibly gorgeous wedding photographers on offer in Central Otago, we can't recommend our hand-picked selection higher. All locals, they know Wanaka well and will act as your personal tour guide finding gorgeous, hidden spots for your portraits.
Having your wedding away from home can sadly mean that some of your guest list will not be able to join you. Having your day captured by a creative film maker can be the perfect way to share all the laughter, tears and highlights with those people after you return home. Long gone are the days of a shaky, four hour video of speeches and out of focus cake cutting scenes. These days the little short film format is something anyone would enjoy watching and it’s definitely something you and your groom will love to share.
HAIR & MAKE UP
Let’s face it, there are things on your wedding planning list that you should never compromise on. Your hair and makeup is one of those so make sure you get booked in early with the best. We can't recommend enough having a professional on hand to take care of this for you on the day. Not only is it fun to enjoy this little pamper but having someone making sure you look the very best version of yourself is priceless. It’s a good idea to arrange a trial when possible, where you can talk through your ideas and make sure you are happy with the finished look before your wedding day.
We think the food is a pretty important part of a wedding. You do not have to go far in Wanaka to find people as passionate as we are about good food. It is important to work with your chosen venue and check what they offer or for any preferred suppliers that you must use. Remember hosting your guests for your wedding is a chance for you to show them a really good time and to showcase why you chose this location. Work with your suppliers to get the best of the season on the plate and discuss any opportunities to treat your guests to something special.
Putting a wedding together is made much easier by delegating any technical support you need and hiring what you don't need to invest in permanently. We are huge fans of adding lighting, ambience and small details to venues, it can transform an already incredible space into something outrageously magical. You will find everything you need in Wanaka to make your day…
Music can make memories, having music throughout wedding day will certainly add to the atmosphere. Perhaps you will need your favourite song played as you walk down the aisle or a lively musician to lead your guest to congo at the reception. As you may have picked up on by now Wanaka is jammed with creative and talented people. Most people have a demo session available to listen to or you can find them performing on youtube.
It can be tricky choosing the right celebrant for you. They can have various approaches and present themselves in different styles, talk to them about the type of ceremony you want and if you feel they offer suggestions you like then you have probably found the right one. The celebrant has an important role in making sure the ceremony has the right feel for you, you may want lots of laughs and personal references or you may just want something short and sweet. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice, after all they will have been to lots of weddings and seen it all. Wanaka is busy throughout the year with weddings, so make sure you get in touch one of our lovely celebrants to get your date booked in.
Last but not least, your very first step in planning your Wanaka nuptials is looking into the legal requirements for getting married in New Zealand. Fortunately its an easy process for most foreigners however you will need to start the process two months prior to your wedding date. We know no-one enjoys these logistics, so we've put together all the information you should need to make the process easier.
For a moment forget the landscapes, adventure sports the wineries... a good enough excuse to visit Wanaka is to indulge in some of the luxury, alpine lodges. There are no high-end hotels, everything is boutique and you are definitely spoilt for choice. There are plenty of exclusive locations to choose from that suit all seasons, sizes and price points. Many have cosy fires for the cooler months and big sweeping glass doors to enjoy the views and throw open on warm days.
In New Zealand, good food (and coffee) are high priorities. The food available is very seasonal and most is locally supplied, which we loved. There is a fair range of cuisines despite the quaint town centre. It is definitely worth visiting the vineyards that offer food and platters. Bookings are often essential, especially if you are a larger group, so planning ahead is a must.
Central Otago is the land of Pinot Noir. The stunning vineyards of the region are circled by mountains and braided by flowing rivers and deep lakes. They are as well known internationally for their beautiful settings as they are for their carefully crafted wines. Its well worth putting aside a day to visit some of these vineyards, and here are our top picks...
There is plenty of enjoyable activities for all in Wanaka. If you love the wind in your hair whilst skiing, adventure sports and jetboating they are all on your doorstep. If that is not for you, you can simply dip your toes in the lake on Summer’s day. Something special about Wanaka is its accessibility to nature and the surrounds, you can drive any one of the roads leading out and stumble across endless adventure. Or if you are feeling really enthused and energetic you can take on one of the splendid tramps (walks) in the area.
Recommendations Coming Soon.
LOCAL BRANDS & GIFTS
There are a surprising number of brands stocked nationally and internationally that are made in Wanaka. Whilst we were there a local told us they often joke about how fascinating it would be to put a sign out of the front of every property that was a running business. They are very entrepreneurial and we think that it must the inspiration of the surroundings.
FASHION & RETAIL
There is a variety of shops and business in the main part of Wanaka and lovely shops selling local brands. Anything that is an essential for your wedding or your stay we recommend you bring with you or arrange in advance to make sure it is available. If you are wanting bridal hair and make up or a little pre wedding pamper this should be booked ahead of time.
When to go? How to get there? What to pack? All your logistical questions answered for planning your trip to Wanaka.
Your own transport in Wanaka is highly recommended and you will most likely come through somewhere larger like Queenstown, where you can hire a car. You will want to get out and explore the breathtaking scenery and potter around between activities. There are helicopter sightseeing tours you can book which are a fabulous way to see everything and get a magnificent perspective of the area.
Having your wedding in Wanaka is a fabulous choice. Hosting your guests and planning your luxury wedding and holiday in Wanaka is made easier by the fact that there is an amazing collective of creative and genuine people that live and work across the region.