Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

A wedding set along the coast is going to be beautiful. But a wedding on the New Zealand coastline is going to be spectacular! Stunningly beautiful waves, driftwood washed ashore and incredible dark winter skies set the stage for the ceremony of your dreams.

Waipatiki beach is the scene and a dress from Alma J fits in beautifully with the silken sand. The bouquet includes Anemone, Tulip, Ivy berry, Asparagus fern, and more to give color to this serene yet wild scene. The color of the cake is the same as the crashing waves.

Abbie and Matt have the perfect setting for their November wedding. What an inspiration!

Details for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

The key thing to remember when we’re thinking about winter New Zealand beach weddings is that it’s not your average beach wedding. Firstly, New Zealand is known for being quite a wild, remote and outdoorsy kind of place, rather than your Californian or Caribbean sun worshipper style beach wedding locations.

Also, you’ve got to consider that it’s a winter wedding, so it’s not going to be warm. Because of all of these factors, you’re going to want to focus on the more stormy, wild elements of the seaside. These should show up in swirling blue grey prints, driftwood elements, and windswept drapery that flows like the tides.

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Food for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

When you’re sorting out your wedding menu for your winter New Zealand beach wedding, think about your surroundings. You’re having your special day in such a wild and beautiful natural place, so take inspiration from the world around you and try to stick to locally sourced ingredients, maybe even foraged herbs and greenery, if you can.

Also consider the seasonal impact of your wedding on the menu. If your guests are standing on a cold and breezy kiwi beach in winter, then the chances are that they’re going to want something hearty and warm for their wedding dinner. It’s best to leave the light salads for a warmer, summer wedding.

Table Setting Style for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

In terms of table setting style, this really depends on your location. If you’re outside, from a practical point of view, longer, heavier tables with hefty driftwood centerpieces are probably best, to hold down your tablecloths and stop everything flying away in the New Zealand coastal winds.

If your wedding reception is indoors then consider a more classic, romantic table setting with antique cutlery for a rustic, ‘reclaimed from the ocean’ kind of vibe. Add floaty drapery along the table and on the back of the chairs to mimic the movement of the water and the wind, allowing you to bring the feel of the outdoors inside.

Budget for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

As with many different wedding styles, there are cheaper and more opulent ways to pull off a winter New Zealand beach wedding successfully. Obviously, because of the season, you might be able to get a better price on a coastal wedding reception venue as tourism and demand will be much lower than the traditional wedding season of spring and summer.

Although a lot of this scheme stems from details and pieces that look like they’ve been blown onto the beach or found in shipwrecks, these items can be expensive as they’re often either antiques or expertly crafted. Unfortunately, it’s rare that driftwood washes up onto the beach in a wedding photo-ready state.

Groom Style for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

With it being a wintery wedding on a beach in New Zealand, we don’t want your groom freezing to death before getting to say ‘I do’. With that in mind, opt for a slightly thicker wool blend suit or add more layers with a waistcoat. However, this is contingent on how close to the water you want to get - a wool suit and salt water do not get along and it won’t dry very quickly at all.

Because of this, having more layers and waterproof, sturdy shoes that aren’t going to fill up with wet sand is probably the safest way to keep your groom looking sharp and staying toasty.

Bouquets & Boutonnieres for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

Look, you’ve chosen this beautiful wild winter New Zealand beach wedding location for a reason – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here when it comes to your floral arrangements. Stick with flowers, foliage and reeds that are native to the area around you. This way it’ll effortlessly tie into your overall scheme and look like you picked them on the way there – in the best kind of way.

For your bouquets and boutonnieres, ensure that whatever flowers you choose, they’re hardy and strong. The last thing you want is flowers that are going to wilt and shed with the slightest breeze or hint of sea spray.

Wedding Invitations for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

Your wedding invitations are the first indication to your guests of what kind of wedding you’re going to have and the formality level that they should expect. Especially with an outdoor wedding, it’s important to convey that it’s going to be out in the open air in the cold so that your guests can dress appropriately.

In terms of the art and design of your wedding invitations, it’s best to stick with a watercolor theme, marrying together different shades of blues, navys, and greys to give that stormy, swirling effect that is crucial to your overarching winter New Zealand beach wedding theme.

Ceremony Decor for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

Fundamentally, you shouldn’t need too much decor when it comes to your wedding ceremony – after all the scenery should do most of the heavy lifting in this case. Instead, you can use all the different natural features and elements to emphasize and focus on the beautiful view and build that stormy fairytale vibe.

Think about building an aisle using driftwood, having lightweight, flowing draped material on the back of the guest’s chairs, maybe even getting a geometric shaped altar to frame the new happy couple and the outstanding view behind you. There are plenty of options here, but it’s all about boosting what’s already naturally a part of your winter New Zealand beach wedding location.

Wedding Reception Music and Entertainment for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

Typically, a winter New Zealand beach wedding is quite a laid back, chilled kind of wedding with quite a small guest list. With this being said, when it comes to your wedding reception music you might want to go for a more stripped back, acoustic musical selection to match the ethereal, relaxed atmosphere that you’ve carefully cultivated.

As for entertainment, the best way to warm up on a cold winter New Zealand beach is to gather around a warm and cozy campfire. Bring the two sides of your new family together with some smores and some blankets and sit around the fire for a community, loving end to your wedding day.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas for a Winter New Zealand Beach Wedding

Of course, with a winter New Zealand beach wedding it’s obviously going to be outside. It would be pretty difficult to get this theme any other way. With this being the case there are a few things to consider. Firstly, make sure everything is safely weighed down. Especially in winter, New Zealand beaches can be pretty breezy and the last thing you want to do is chase chairs down the beach.

Also add contingency time in between your wedding preparations, the ceremony itself, and the tide times. Weddings rarely run exactly to schedule, especially if you have guests having to walk across the beach to the ceremony location and back to the reception again afterward. Don’t get caught out by the tide!

Ethereal Winter Beach Wedding Editorial

It’s always an incredible honor to receive an editorial shoot that a fellow wedding blogger had a hand in. It is such a humbling vote of confidence! That, among other reasons that you’ll see for yourself, is why today’s ethereal winter beach wedding inspiration shoot is an incredible one.

Set on the shores of New Zealand with exquisite details brought to life by Amy of Forever & Always and captured beautifully by Meredith Lord Photography – there is a lot here to inspire brides everywhere!

From Amy of Forever & Always – “Wanting to make the most of our beautiful New Zealand coastline, and the dark skies & roaring waves of winter, photographer Meredith Lord and I dreamed of a moody ethereal beach wedding.

Upon arriving at Waipatiki beach we looked for the perfect nook for our couple to say “I Do” and were lucky enough to find amongst some fallen rocks an amazing piece of giant driftwood washed ashore by a recent storm. Draped with silk and adorned with silver candlesticks it served perfectly as our ceremony backdrop!”

An ethereal dress of silk chiffon in the softest grey tones from Alma J’s 2017 collection was the ideal gown for our bride. With its beautifully embellished plunging neckline, open back detail and shoulder streamers it moved exquisitely in the wind. The finishing touch was an elegant updo by Abby Schofield adorned with fresh berries.”

From Amy of Forever & Always – “Our ridiculously talented florist Kim from Lushka did an incredible job, incorporating unique blooms such as king protea, and Magnolia with romantic flowers like David Austin Patience and anemone, as well as all manner of greenery, to give the florals an organic shape and foraged look inspired by the Dutch masters.

Paired with a snippet of delicate slate grey ribbon, almost the exact same colour as the sky, from the fabulous Frou Frou Chic the bouquet was just breathtaking.

The bouquet recipe is: King protea, David Austin Patience, Erica, Anemone, Helebore, Tulip, Pieris, Privet berry, Ivy berry, Bay leaf, Eucalyptus, Asparagus fern, Magnolia bud, Lichen branch, and succulents.”

“We really wanted to juxtapose the rugged coastline and crashing waves with an elegant and opulent tablescape. So battling the wind and between the showers we adorned a magnificent jet black table with a silk runner, vintage silverware and the stunning floral arrangements from Lushka to create a tablescape that was both lavish and inviting.

Our cake and stationery mirrored the sea, with moody watercolours in tones of blue and grey. Even the calligraphy by the lovely Emma of Ink Berry had an ocean feel with wave-like flourishes! The cool colours of the dark clouds (that occasionally opened on us) and moody seas provided a dreamy backdrop to our winter wedding, whilst the pretty pinks in the bouquet and bridal makeup by Candice of Embellish Me lent a much-needed hint of warmth.

Our couple Abbie & Matt are actually getting married in November, so as well as being quite the handsome couple, they are also so in love. Something that I think really comes across in each of the gorgeous captures by the fabulous Meredith Lord!”

Credits: Photography + Concept: Meredith Lord // Concept + Coordination: Amy of Forever & Always // Floral Design: Lushka // Wedding Cake: Pretty Little Details Co. // Wedding Dress + Veil: Designed by Alma Wong of Alma J Bridal // Stationery: Ink Berry // Makeup: Embellish Me // Hair: Abby Schofield // Rentals: Miss Frou Frou // Models: Abbie Meech & Matt // Ribbons: Frou Frou Chic // Location: Waipatiki Beach in New Zealand.