Hawke’s Bay is inherently romantic. From bridled rivers, hidden valleys and vast ocean views, to big blue skies, stunning architecture and rows of vines that halt at the sea’s edge; Hawke’s Bay’s landscape is a charming backdrop fit for even the greatest love stories.
And with balmy summer evenings and crisp clear winter days, it is no wonder New Zealand’s food and wine country is also one of New Zealand’s leading wedding destinations.
In Hawke’s Bay, fairy-tale venues are dotted across the coastline, nestled along river valleys, housed in heritage buildings and scattered throughout scenic plains and farmland.
Award-winning food and wine producers cater for everything from intimate ceremonies to grand affairs, while bride and grooms are spoilt for choice when choosing florists, event stylists, hairdressers, make-up artists, transport, photographers and celebrants for their perfect day.
It was for all these reasons and more that Becs Christison and her husband Ryan chose to marry in Hawke’s Bay.
“We love everything about the Hawke’s Bay aesthetic and wanted it all in our wedding day,” she says.
“We had our wedding at the Black Barn River Room, which allowed us to be central to all our favourite surroundings. We genuinely got the best of everything with rolling golden hills, flourishing vineyards and a beautiful beach all within minutes of our venue.”
Becs and Ryan, who married at the tail end of peak season in Hawke’s Bay and just before New Zealand went into a nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19, went for a dreamy, intimate ceremony followed by a larger reception.
“The venues options in Hawke’s Bay are endless, which means you can make anything happen. No matter your guest size, budget or wishes for your day, there is a place suited to everyone. There’s also more to Hawke’s Bay than a winery wedding if that doesn’t appeal.
“There are many amazing gems in the region, and they keep popping up. All varied venues, all phenomenal. The region’s stylists are also incredible and worth a mention. From furniture to florals, Hawke’s Bay has you covered. We shared our visions with stylists from Flock Events and Miss Frou Frou and they absolutely nailed the delivery. Everything was as per our visions and done without stress or fuss.
“We had Bex of Planit Events on co-ordination and my gosh, she had everything working like clockwork. There was not a glitch in her system even with Covid-19 looming. We feel so lucky that we were one of the couples that were able to have their wedding go (almost) to plan, bar a couple of overseas guests not being able to attend. We chose International Happiness Day, March 20, for a reason and we feel so blessed.”
A Cherished Affair
If, like Becs and Ryan, a smaller affair is what you are after, (or you are trying to navigate changing Covid-19 alert levels!) then Hawke’s Bay has a wealth intimate venues that are big on atmosphere.
From The Urban Winery, located in the iconic, National Tobacco Art Deco building, and Lawn Road Retreat, with its stunning rural outlook, to Black Barn Retreat’s River Room in the Tukituki Valley and the idyllic gardens of Gwavas Homestead and Hawthorne House, Hawke’s Bay venues are perfect for intimate ceremonies.
Wed Among the Vines
Hawke’s Bay’s famed wineries continue to be popular with even the most discerning brides. With exceptional food and wine, and wedding, reception and photo locations all in one spot, they offer the complete package for many couples.
From Mission Estate’s historic homestead and magnificent views, and Church Road’s rustic cellar door and incredible surroundings, to Crab Farm’s coastal charm and Elephant Hill’s expansive views of Cape Kidnappers, the wineries in Hawke’s Bay offer even more than you might imagine.
Looking for Something Else
If getting married among the vines doesn’t fit your vision for your day, but you still want a grand affair, Hawke’s Bay has a wealth of stunning venues to choose from.
Coastal café Hygge in Te Awanga exudes rustic charm, while Napier Conferences & Events and Napier Sailing Club both offer incredible ocean views and the capacity to cater for larger groups.
The Old Church in Napier and St George’s Restaurant in Havelock North both offer stunning venues with exceptional in-house catering, while the River Pond Garden’s wildflowers and Taniwha Daffodils’ fields provide incredible backdrops for photos. Further afield, River Park Event Centre and Oruawharo are unique and beautiful venues in Central Hawke’s Bay.
Often billed simply as “the details”, event styling, florals, hair, make up, transport, music and entertainment, celebrant and wedding cake are all elements that make your wedding day unique to you.
Having vendors work together to pull off your vision will ease any stress you might feel, allowing you to simply enjoy the day! Hawke’s Bay has a range of passionate and experienced vendors, many who have worked with each other for years, ensuring you can reliably hand over wedding day tasks without a worry.
Capturing Your Day
A good photographer will capture your own beautiful story and is often one of any couple’s biggest wedding day expenses.
Hawke’s Bay is lucky to have a wealth of talented wedding photographers, who live and breathe weddings in Hawke’s Bay. They know all the best locations and what time of day to shoot them.
So whether you’re scaling Te Mata Peak, strolling through golden fields, playing amongst the vines, standing out against Art Deco architecture or enjoying the expansive coast, Hawke’s Bay’s photographers will ensure your images perfectly illustrate your special day.
A Honeymoon to Remember
Hawke’s Bay is made to be savoured withdelicious restaurants and cafes, beautiful walks, engaging tours, boutique shopping and award-winning wine around every corner making it a great honeymoon or mini-moon location for couples looking for something a little bit special.
Whether that’s hiding away at a secluded glamping escape, splurging on luxury accommodation or relaxing by the coast or amongst the vines, there’s a honeymoon option that suits your own personal taste.
Start your Hawke’s Bay wedding and honeymoon journey at GetHitchedinHawkesBay.com
Main Image: Photography – Meredith Lord Photography