The Best Month and Season for an Elopement in New Zealand

a couple slicing their wedding cake

You have just been engaged and now you are discussing when you should get married - this might be a lengthy discussion and you and your partner might have gotten into some arguments over this. So when IS the best month or season to get married? The short answer? There really isn’t a ’best’ month to get married, it all depends on the couple and some factors that need to be considered. It is absolutely beautiful in New Zealand all year round.

For some couples, choosing a wedding date is very easy but for some, it’s really not. After all, having too many options can be confusing. Here are some tips you can follow to easily choose the wedding date.

Preferred Venue

a couple in a beach wedding wearing traditional garments

You may compromise on some aspects of your wedding day say, maybe you can choose a different flavor of cake, a different caterer, or even a different DJ, but there are some things that you will never compromise on -and that is understandable. One of these things that you probably won’t compromise on is your wedding venue. Maybe where you want to get married is the church where your parents got married, you might want to have a venue that both you and your partner have been to and have a personal connection with you, or it could even be your dream wedding destination.

Once you inquire about your preferred wedding venue, you might find out that they are already fully booked, especially if you inquire less than a year before your preferred wedding date. This will be a huge factor when choosing the date of your wedding. You might be imposed on choosing a different date if you really want to book a specific venue - but if you are lucky enough to have a vacancy on the date that you want, then that makes things easier! And most businesses that are highly dependent on the season are more than likely to be more open with their pricing during their ‘off-season’. Most wedding venues will have a standard price for their off-season but don’t shy away from asking if they can offer you a better price. Keep in mind they’d rather lower their price than lose a potential client. April through September is considered the ‘off-season’ for weddings in New Zealand, which means that almost anything that you pay for or buy for your wedding will be significantly cheaper than their normal price (3).

A Favored Honeymoon Destination

If you have a wedding venue in mind then you probably also have a preferred honeymoon destination. Having a certain honeymoon destination in mind also helps you in choosing the ‘best’ date for your wedding. There is a huge chance that some dates are good for travel and others, not so much - they might be some risk of rains and storms (6).

Preferred Season

a couple eloping on the snow capped mountains of new zealand

Maybe you don’t have a specific venue in mind. Maybe what you have is an image of your perfect wedding in your mind. It might be an image of a winter elopement in the alpine mountains of New Zealand, or a rustic themed garden wedding, or a forest elopement, or even a beach elopement in the summer. 

The season you choose to have your wedding will affect most choices you will be making during your wedding planning. From your color scheme to flowers, venue, not to mention all the small details that come along with the big and important decisions that you will have to make (4). There is a lot to consider, especially if you are aiming for that perfect wedding. And if you are not yet set on a season, here is a simple guide to the New Zealand wedding seasons to help you have a smooth decision-making process for your wedding planning.


Summer is arguably the most popular season to get married in, and for good reason! Summer means you’ll have longer days because of the early sunrise and late sunsets, which will make you feel like you have more time to enjoy the celebration and you can fit all your plans before the sun sets. It is likely that you will have good weather and a sunny day, making your dream outdoor wedding perfect. Summer weddings have a wide variety of vibrant colors - different shades of oranges, yellows, peaches, reds, and other bright colors to match the bright and sunny day. You can also combine colors like orange and blue to bring out the best of both hues (4). Or you can opt for the classic white and green - you can never go wrong with this color combination. 

Summer will also have a warmer climate - although no one can promise you a guaranteed sunny day, there is a higher chance for fair weather during this season. But a sunny summer day can cause a lot of sweat which will make your guests sticky and uncomfortable -  especially if you choose to have your ceremony and/ or reception outdoors. So be sure that you provide them shade and some refreshments (5). You can also rent outdoor fans and tents. A wedding marquee would be perfect in this situation. 


Autumn is the best looking season for a wedding. Think of the rich autumn colors that envelop every tree, hillside, and ground. And think of the themes you can achieve with them. Think of rust, brick red, burnt orange, terracotta, camel, marigold, chestnut brown … These are warm vibrant hues that can create a sense of intimacy, love, and passion. But there is no need to follow these color palettes, mismatched tones can also create a uniquely stunning look.

During the autumn season, you can have a mix of warm summer days and cold and cozy winter nights, if you are lucky you might even get the chance of seeing the first snowfall of the year. A lot of public holidays in New Zealand coincide with this season - school holidays, easter, and ANZAC day - which means that you can have your wedding during a nice long holiday (1). Weather is also likely to be fair during autumn but it can be a bit unpredictable, winds and light rains may affect outdoor ceremonies.


If you are looking for a winter elopement venue, there is no better place than the New Zealand alpine mountains that are covered in snow. Winter weddings and elopements are fewer compared to the other seasons and are far in between each other therefore you can find more vacancies in your wedding vendors’ calendars. One of the biggest advantages of winter is that it is officially the wedding offseason. This means that all services in the wedding industry will have significantly lower prices compared to the summer season. Make the most out of this and try to negotiate for the best contracts possible by asking wedding vendors if they would charge less.

The colder temperatures brought by the winter season means that the men can suit up without worrying and suffering from the heat throughout the day. This makes winter the perfect season for the classy black and white theme


Spring comes with vibrant colors and newly bloomed flowers create stunning backdrops for your wedding photos. It is quite similar to summer - having a wide array of vibrant color palettes. The snow is starting to melt as the weather is starting to get warmer - but you can still observe snow-capped mountains. As with Autumn, Spring will give you the best of both Winter and Summer when it comes to the weather – warmer days as a tempting lead up to Summer, but still those cold and cozy winter nights that we love so much. Imagine a wedding in which your guests comfortably wear sundresses and light shirts for your ceremony, and then make their way inside for mulled wine by the fire for the reception (1).

Wedding Budget

A lot of couples feel that they are tied down by the budget that they set for their wedding - sometimes this is true, but most of the time it is just a lack of management and organization. Your budget might be a limiting factor when planning your wedding. But there are also a lot of creative ways you can have a wedding without spending too much money. You can choose to elope during the offseason to pay for cheaper services and rentals, and still have a stunning wedding with spectacular backdrops.


  1. https://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/stories/post/which-season-is-best-for-a-queenstown-wedding/
  2. https://onefineday.co.nz/the-season-to-marry/
  3. https://www.myweddingstore.co.nz/blogs/my-wedding-store-blog/13306605-off-season-weddings-part-1-why-off-season-weddings-will-save-you-some-serious-money#:~:text=April%20through%20to%20September%20is,wedding%20will%20be%20significantly%20cheaper.
  4. https://www.aucklandweddings.co.nz/blog/the-complete-guide-to-nz-wedding-seasons
  5. https://envyevents.co.nz/wedding-planning/what-season-to-choose-for-your-dream-wedding-pros-cons/
  6. http://www.nzweddingplanner.co.nz/magazine/2008/12/1/choosing-a-wedding-date/