How to Have a Different Wedding in New Zealand: Getting Married Down Under can be an Adventurous Event

When New Zealander Angie Watson and her British fiancée Marc Brierley decided to get married in New Zealand, they wanted to make it an extra special day. Family and friends would be crossing the globe for the event and the future Mr and Mrs Brierley planned to make it an occasion they would all remember.

Rotorua Duck Tours Transported Guests to the Blue Lake

Guests assembled at the Rotorua Information Centre where they were collected by Rotorua Duck Tours in ‘The Duck’, an amphibious vehicle that transported them on a scenic tour to the Blue Lake and into the lake itself. During the tour, guests were entertained by the operator’s lively oratory on local history, geography and culture. After paddling out into the Blue Lake guests were returned to shore then taken for a scenic drive along fern-fringed roads to nearby Lake Okareka where the groom was able to command the vessel.

Skyline Skyride Management Coordinated a Fleet of Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Having delivered his passengers safely ashore Marc Brierley handed the helm back to the Duck Operator and guests were taken to their next port of call, Skyline Skyrides, where the bridal couple and guests were to be lifted onto the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha. Here misfortune struck. The gondola operation had experienced mechanical difficulties and was temporarily shut down.

Skyline Skyride management quickly came to the rescue, co-ordinating a fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles to transport the wedding party to a grassy plateau where guests could enjoy a glass of champagne while awaiting the bride and groom. Each member of the wedding party was also presented with a voucher so that they could enjoy a gondola ride at a later date. Skyline Skyrides: 185 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua, New Zealand, Ph: 7 64 347 0027

At sunset, overlooking Lake Rotorua, Angie Watson and Marc Brierley became husband and wife. The ceremony was conducted by a local marriage celebrant who had helped the couple write their individual wedding vows. The temperature was unusually cold for the summer season in New Zealand but emotions were warm as guests looked on.

The Bride and Groom Arrived at the Reception by Luge

Some of the older guests chose to be chauffeured in four-wheel drive vehicles down to the permanent marquee in a stand of redwoods where the reception would be held. The more adventurous, including the bride and groom, and all the younger members of the wedding party elected to don crash helmets and take the luge.

By the time the reception was underway darkness had fallen in the redwood grove. Fairy lights sparkled in the marquee and a gas brazier kept guests warm while they enjoyed a buffet dinner and danced to the music of a jazz duet.

“This was a really different wedding for people in the UK,” says Angie Brierley. “Our UK guests were a bit bewildered when we told them we’d be getting married on the side of a mountain. Afterwards, everyone said what a brilliant day it had been – nothing like they could have imagined.”

Getting Married in New Zealand

  • Anybody can marry in New Zealand as long as they are     both legally free to marry.

  • Marriages may be solemnized by certified Marriage     Celebrants.

  • If a couple elects to be married by a Marriage     Celebrant, the ceremony can take place at any day and at any time on which     the couple and Marriage Celebrant agree.

  • Registry Office marriages can take place Monday –     Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

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