10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding in Christchurch

  • Wedding Omarino Park
  • Christchurch North Methodist Church

If the proposal has been made and accepted, and you are starting to plan your big day (and planning to have your wedding in Christchurch) you might find some of the tips and info below come in very handy - especially if you don't know the city.

1. Get your wedding and reception venues booked first of all

If you are keen on a church wedding, Christchurch now has a combination of older style churches (that survived the quakes and have been restored) or brand new churches that have recently been completed.

Some of the nearby options include:

Christchurch North Methodist Parish, 58 Harewood Road, Papanui, chchnorthmeth@xtra.co.nz A stunning rebuild that has been winning awards and providing a dramatic backdrop for your ceremony.

St Paul's Anglican Church, 1 Harewood Road, Papanui, office.stpaulschch@gmail.com (Note: St Paul's only offers Christian weddings, and requires couples to participate in a marriage preparation course before being married in the church.) This church survived the quakes and is the perfect backdrop for a truly traditional wedding service - but note that the parish gives preference to members of it's congregation, so be aware you may not be able to get your dates.

Knox Presbyterian Church, cnr Victoria Street and Bealey Ave. Beautifully restored and rebuilt after the quakes, this church is a Christchurch landmark that really lives up to all expectations. The interior woodwork and organ are from the original church, while a new shell has been built around it. Knox Church is available for civil unions, and same sex couples are also welcome to have their vows solemnised in the church (after a civil ceremony at the registry office). Contact Diane Harrington, Phone:(03) 379 2456, Email: office@knoxchurch.co.nz

Omarino Wine Park, 638 Harewood Road, Airport end. This is the largest winery wedding venue in Christchurch, with capacity for up to 200 guests in a rural setting.

Hinton's Vineyard and Function Centre, 750a Wairakei Road, Airport end. Another charming wedding venue with lovely gardens for photography and not far from the airport for those guests who like to cut things fine!

If you are having a smaller event, you might want to consider booking your reception at Chillingworth Road restaurant, just over Cranford Street from the Park. The team there lead by chef Darren Wright are award winning and you are guaranteed a fine dining experience. 

If you are prepared to venture further out of town, Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant is a wonderful venue with outstanding food and of course a beautiful setting for your photos. 

2. Find and book your accommodation

Of course this is where our group bookings co-ordinator Sarah Rhodes is super happy to assist! Just give her a call or drop her an email with your planned dates and she can start getting the ball rolling. The options across the park are perfect for family and friends attending the event and there is a range of prices from the new motel units through to the camp sites, so everyone can find something to fit their budget.

It also makes things super easy to plan a barbeque the day after the wedding - you can do it with us (the BBQs are free) while the kids can enjoy the playground, jumping pillow etc. 

3. Pick a photographer/videographer for your big day.

There are plenty of options around Christchurch, but it is always good to have a few to pick from so you can find one you like who is available on the day.

Some (highly recommended) suggestions below:

Hannah Bird - Photographer

Mandy Caldwell - Wedding Photographer

Grey Area Productions - Photographer and Videographer

Johanna MacDonald - Wedding Photographer

Emma Brittenden - Wedding Photography

4. Organise your flowers 

Florists located nearby in Merivale, Papanui and Northlands mall include:

Court Florists, Victoria Street, Merivale - one of Christchurch's longest standing florists, Court Florists provide a wonderful service and can be relied on for your wedding flowers.

Victoria Florists, Idris Road, Papanui - another Christchurch institution, Victoria Florists provide a beautiful range of options.

Magnolia Florist, Papanui Road, Merivale - and another florist who comes highly recommended, with a rustic French country inspired vibe.

Ilam Florist,  203 Waimari Road, Ilam - great reviews for wonderful sevice.

5. Hair and Makeup

There are plenty of local hair and makeup people who will come to you at the Park - we are easy to find, and if you have booked one or two of our motels for the bridal party, it all comes together nicely. 

Some suggestions below to get you started:

Lucy Harvey for hair and makeup

Hannah King from Karamella Hairdressing for wedding related hair

Mariessa Waddington, makeup and hair styling.

6. Book your celebrant

If you are not having a church wedding, then you will need to get your celebrant organised once you have your dates confirmed.

Christchurch has plenty of options to pick from, just head to the Celebrants Association website and check out who is available in the city. 

If you would like a little more guidance, touch base with Sue Wells, Beth Dunn, Richard K Tankersley or Sean Joyce.

7. Catering plus Pre and Post-Wedding Supplies

You can also pick up supplies for your day after BBQ, or else organise everyone for breakfast at Joe's Garage - again just across the road. If you have a party of more than 8, you will definitely want to book well in advance as they are usually super busy on a Sunday morning.

Pick up your BBQ meat supplies from the Mad Butcher down the Main North Road on the North Avon Road corner, or grab everything you need from Countdown at Northlands, which is just 5 minutes drive from the Park.

We have a range of wines and beer available from our reception if you need supplies for the night before or the day after, so please come in and have a browse.

8. Pick a location for your photos

If you are choosing a winery for your wedding and reception venue, you can definitely use that for your photos too, but if you want somewhere more exotic, there are many favourite spots around Christchurch to capture those moments.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens - perhaps one of the most popular locations ever for wedding photos, you can pick from a wide range of backdrops around the gardens. We recommend visiting and going for a stroll to find the spots that really appeal - of course these will transform depending on the season with blossoms through to autumn colours.

Christchurch Arts Centre - the Arts Centre is coming towards the end of it's long restoration and rebuild project and now has plenty of spaces that are free of construction and scaffolding and create evocative backdrops for your wedding shots. Once again, we recommend a visit to check out exactly what the best locations might be. Worcester Boulevard.

The Tram - go for something quite different and have your photos taken on the Tram as it travels around the city. You can hop off and on as it suits and really capture the backdrop of ever changing Christchurch as part of your day.

Riccarton Bush - pose amongst the oldest remaining stand of native bush in Christchurch. With the backdrop of historic Riccarton House, this is a lovely option that is easy to get to. Kahu Road, Fendalton.

Margaret Mahy Family Playground - for a more playful set of photos, why not make the most of this wonderful location in Manchester Street. The Avon River runs along right next to the playground, with its stunning poplar trees, so you have plenty of options for different backdrops.

9. Book your Music

Of course you can go down the iTunes or Spotify road and simply organise your playlist for the event, just ensuring you have a sound system suitable to plug your phone into. But if you want live music either during the wedding itself or at the reception, here are some options:

Quorum - band made up of two performers covering a great range of songs and artists

Headrush - a four piece covers band of experienced musos, who can cater for your preferred choice of decade or genre.

The Bubblemen - three piece covers band providing music from all genres and generations.

For something a little different, Jessi Bright aka The Muse is a classical and jazz pianist who can create mesmerising music for all occasions! 

Or if you want a guitarist, contact Matt Currie - he plays Jazz, Pop, Flamenco and Classical music. 

10. Wedding Cars

Getting to your wedding in style is all part of the day, so check out some options below for your wedding day transport:

Hannington Classics Bridal Cars - providing Jaguar and Daimler bridal cars.

London Cab Hire, contact 03 960 6280 to book classic London Cabs for your day.

Statesman - featuring a Holden Statesman Caprice and a Ford Falcon stretched limo.

Christchurch Limousines - super stretch Lexus and Cadillac Fleetwoods