20 Alternative Wedding Venue Ideas (that kick ass)



1. Aquarium

Marine Mad? Say ‘I do’ in an underwater setting , for a truly unique wedding day. My pick? Kelly Tarltons is only 10 minutes from Auckland and can cater for 120 seated guests (250 for a cocktail event).

public park


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.



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, and Orana Wildlife Park near Christchurch.



4. Bar/Cafe

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.

inner city warehouse


5. Empty Warehouse 

Want something a little bigger with an inner city industrial feel? A warehouse style wedding can be an affordable way to host a supersized shin-dig, in an oh so cool setting.



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.

art gallery


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.



8. Museum

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.



9. Winery

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!)



10. Campsite

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.



12. Rooftop 

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.



13. Backyard

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 wedding budget!



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.

golf course


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.

boat club


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 a wedding on the water. Cool huh.



17. Ski-field

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. Nice.

high country lodge


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.



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.

middle of nowhere


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’ specialists Wildernest let your location imagination run wild.

Did you get married in a wild or wacky way or location? Please share!



  1. Jax

    May 10, 2016

    Hi Jennifer, Have asked for suggestions on facebook for you, you can follow the post here 🙂

  2. Jennifer

    May 9, 2016

    Such amazing ideas. We are on a really tight budget as we are also trying to buy a house!
    Any ideas for good cheap venues in the Wellington area? Happy with town halls etc but trying to find one that doesn’t look awful has not been easy.
    I really love the rustic look and would love a barn style wedding but not sure there are any around here.
    Any ideas more than welcomed!


  3. Jax

    February 27, 2016

    Hi Kate, oooh that is a tough one as I don’t know Christchurch that well, let me get in contact with a couple of photographers and see if they have any ideas! Talk soon xx

  4. Kate Simpson

    February 24, 2016

    Hi Jax – love your site, lots of cool ideas and inspiration! We are looking for a venue for our ceremony only in central Christchurch, we have our reception sorted but are struggling to find any “quirky” and “fun” venue ideas for the ceremony. Will only be 50 people, preferably indoors. Any suggestions?!?



  5. Jax

    January 9, 2016

    Also recommended is Mt Vernon Estate in Akaroa > http://mtvernon.co.nz/

  6. Jax

    January 9, 2016

    Hi Hilary, how about The Woolshed in Greta Valley or Orton Bradley Park in Lyttelton. Will let you know if I hear of or think of anymore! 🙂

  7. Hilary

    December 23, 2015

    Hi there, I love your site! 🙂 I am looking for a venue in Akaroa Harbour that could hold a marquee. Any ideas? Or alternatively a bush setting somewhere in the Canterbury region. Would love something uniquely NZ for our overseas guests but struggling to find much in the Canterbury area! Any thoughts? Also really keen on blank canvas venues (like Amy above!) that can fit 110 + in the Canterbury region.

  8. Jax

    November 19, 2015

    Hi Jacquie, thanks for stopping by! When you say ideas do you mean venue or styling or vendors? Or something else? 🙂

  9. Jacquie knox

    November 19, 2015

    Hi there, love your website 🙂 any ideas for a beach wedding around Auckland, northland or coromandel? Got family coming from overseas do would be lovely for them to see how beautiful our coast is x

  10. Jax Sutton

    August 4, 2015

    Hi Jenny,

    Oooh love Arrowtown, how many guests do you have to cater for?

  11. Jenny

    August 3, 2015

    Any suggestions for a unique and less costly wedding in/around Arrowtown?

  12. Jax

    February 20, 2015

    Hi Tal and Emma,

    Asked champion stylist and middle of nowhere wedding expert Claire from One Lovely Day for suggestions and she recommends Jonkers Farm and McGrath Estate Hope this helps! 🙂

  13. Jax

    February 20, 2015

    Hi Tal and Emma,

    Asked champion stylist and middle of nowhere wedding expert Claire from One Lovely Day for suggestions and she recommends Jonkers Farm and McGrath Estate Hope this helps! 🙂

  14. Jax

    February 20, 2015

    Hi Emma, Paradise Valley would be perfect for taking pics and I know they have a large grass area which you may be able to put a marquee up etc. I would contact them directly to see what they could do for you 🙂

  15. Emma

    February 17, 2015

    Also I can’t see any info on paradise springs weddings on their website-any pics?

  16. Emma

    February 17, 2015

    Hi , agree with Amy – would be great to have some nz warehouses or barns. I’m looking in and near auckland. Thanks!

  17. Tal

    February 13, 2015

    I’m looking for a barn or private land where we could put up a marquee in the Auckland area, hopefully near to a beach. Do you have any suggestions please?

  18. Jax

    March 16, 2014

    Hey Amy, what areas are you looking at? Will do some hunting for you 🙂

  19. Amy

    March 9, 2014

    I have been searching high and low for a warehouse/barn/town hall/lodge in NZ like the ones pictured! Do you know the locations of the ones you have pictured here? Would absolutely love to know. That cafe looks pretty wonderful as well…

  20. Rhonda

    June 24, 2013

    Have done 🙂 Hope you enjoy them!

  21. paper and lace

    June 20, 2013

    Hey Rhonda!

    That sounds fantastic! You have to love the affordability of Town Halls (and they usually have so much character!)
    Would love to see some pics if you want to email them? [email protected] xox

  22. Carolina Olmedo de Nervegna

    June 20, 2013

    You asked for it..you have it Jax!!! You can see some photos on https://www.facebook.com/OhCarito?ref=tn_tnmn

    I organized every single detail of my wedding from here, it took me 15 months to do it…but it was my dreamed wedding.

    Hope you like it!

  23. Rhonda

    June 19, 2013

    We got married at the Inglewood Town Hall in Taranaki! It was such a gorgeous venue and so cheap!! Perfect for a DIY wedding. I wish I could show you photos!!

  24. paper and lace

    June 19, 2013

    Hey Carolina! A wedding in the middle of nowhere in Argentina sounds incredible, would love to see some pics! xox

  25. Carolina Olmedo de Nervegna

    June 19, 2013

    Hello! This is Carolina from OhCarito Events! Love this post! I’ve got married in the middle of nowhere back in Argentina! It was a dreamed wedding! The weather was fantastic and the location stunning!

  26. paper and lace

    June 19, 2013

    Ooooh Anna that sounds fab! I love Akaroa, how exciting for you! Are you going on Black Cat Cruises or a private boat? xx

  27. Anna Bukat

    June 19, 2013

    We are doing no. 16 (boat) in Akaroa for our wedding in Dec. Can’t wait!

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