Eloping in New Zealand is perfect for adventurous couples who don’t want to have to decide between epic mountain landscapes, the beach or anything in between. If you’re thinking about eloping, read on to learn about the requirements for a legal marriage and the best time to elope in New Zealand!
Anyone (regardless of citizenship) can get married in New Zealand, unless:
Yesssss, same-sex marriage is legal in New Zealand 🎉
For a legal wedding ceremony in New Zealand, you’ll need:
That said, to make sure your day is as stress-free as possible, I recommend doing the legal part at home before heading to New Zealand. This way, you can just celebrate and enjoy the day as newlyweds.
Fiordland is home to the infamous Milford Sound, amazing waterfalls, and stunning mossy glacier-carved cliffs. There are also series of islands + lakes throughout the park. These stunning views come with a caveat: the Park sees 180+ days of rain annually, so be prepared for some rain! Well worth it, if ya ask me.
Known for its display of lupins, Lake Tekapo is best in November + December when the flowers are in bloom.
Less than 2 hours from Queenstown, Lake Hawea is a great option if you’re looking for stunning lake + mountain views with the convenience of a city nearby
Some of the easy glaciers to access in the world, the pale blue glaciers carve through the surrounding trees and stone to spill out to the ground below. There are even some waterfalls nearby too!
Mt. Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain. It reminds me of the U.S. Rocky Mountain range: snow-capped peaks, uncomprehendingly huge and insanely magnificent.
If you’re looking for a New Zealand adventure elopement – this is it. Queen Charlotte Track is a 4 day hike (or bike) through some of the best views NZ has to offer. It’s not a particularly difficult hike, and there are accommodations along the path, meaning you can enjoy a glass of wine and even a hot tub soak. There are even boats that will transport your luggage (or even you, if you decide you don’t want to hike that day)!
New Zealand is made up of two islands, and they actually have pretty different climates. Since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures get cooler the further south you go. The northernmost parts of the North Island are subtropical with mild winters. On the other hand, the South Island can get very cold and a lot of snow at higher elevations.
New Zealand’s warm summer months are December, January, February and March.
If you love the snow and want to elope in a winter wonderland, you’ll want to elope between May – September.
Spring (September – November) brings about beautiful wildflowers throughout the valleys. If you want some gorgeous purple lupines in your photos, you’ll have to plan your elopement for November or December.
8:00am Wake up in your Airbnb and enjoy a slow morning with some coffee and breakfast. Maybe even hop in the hot tub and talk about what you two are most excited for about the day ahead!
12:00pm Start getting ready for your wedding day!
1:00pm I arrive to your Airbnb and capture some getting ready photos. Then you’ll both put on your wedding attire (eeeek shits getting reaaalll!)
1:30pm First look time! This is also a great time to exchange gifts, if you guys plan on doing that.
2:30pm The helicopter arrives – right on the front lawn of your Airbnb! Talk about first-class service. Time to hop in and take an epic trip to Doubtful Sound.
3:00pm Take some time to really take in the insanely beautiful views of the fiords below – you may need to actually pinch yourself
3:30pm You exchange your personal vows amongst the endless cliffs and valleys. There’s just something about making such big promises to each other while the landscape makes you feel so small that adds to the magic of the day
3:45pm Pop the bubbly – you’re married! I’ll keep capturing your smitten selves as you soak in the views and the fact that you’re married now – nothing beats that just-married-the-love-of-my-life-on-a-mountain smile, lemme tell ya.
4:30pm Time to board the helicopter and continue the celebrations at sea level!
6:00pm Head back to Airbnb to relax for a bit and freshen up for dinner and sunset photos
7:00pm As the sun starts to set, turn on some tunes for your first dance…could there *BE* anything more romantic than dancing to Frank Sinatra (or Goo Goo Dolls, if you’re like me) overlooking the Fiords???
8:00pm Enjoy a unique, gourmet dining experience at Fiordland Lodge – complete with local wine pairings and views of the sunsetting over Lake Te Anau
9:30pm To wrap up the magical day, you’ll do some stargazing and I’ll take astro photos under the stunning night sky! Perhaps stargazing from the hot tub?! The dream.
I hate to say it, but it’s really going to depend on what you two decide to do with your day, if you buy expensive wedding attire, the wedding ring style, if you do your own hair, etc etc etc. If you do something similar to the timeline above, expect to pay about $11,000:
Accomodation: $600 for 2 nights
Marriage License: $150
No New Zealand elopement in complete without some amazing adventures! Whether that’s road tripping the coast, or something more extreme for the adrenaline junkies out there – the list below has a little something for everyone
Every couple’s New Zealand elopement is going to look a little different and hey, that’s kinda the point right?? Since every minute of your elopement is tailored to you two, the only schedule we really need to stick to is sunrise + sunset. Buuut here’s an example to give you an idea of what your day could look like!
September 8, 2020