Complete Guide To Christchurch Wedding Seasons
— By Emily Ray
10 September 2020
Come summer, winter, autumn, or spring, it’s never a bad time to get married in Christchurch.
From the snow-dusted plains of winter to the blossoming gardens of summer, every season lends it unique beauty to the Canterbury region. However, there are certain factors which will impact which time of year is best for your Christchurch wedding. The weather, colour palette, venues, and flowers are all things to take into consideration when settling on your wedding season of choice.
Like so many wedding planning decisions, the choice of one season over another is really a matter of personal taste. With this complete guide to Christchurch wedding seasons on hand, though, you’ll get a step closer to figuring out exactly what your preference is. Our comprehensive guide will help you make up your mind for the seasonal wedding that dreams are made of.
Image by Ankita Bhullar Photography
From December to March, Christchurch enjoys long, warm summer days that seem to go on forever. On the most memorable day of both of your lives, endless days are definitely a plus! Because of the stunning weather, summer is a popular season for weddings in the Canterbury region. Because all of your NZ-based guests are likely to have some time off for Christmas and New Year’s, you also stand a higher chance at actually getting them all together to witness your marriage.
If you want to give your guests an excuse to chill out and luxuriate in the warm sun around your wedding day, then summer’s the time to plan your wedding for. Christchurch in the summer is a typical Kiwi holiday country. That means sunscreen, jandals, and real-fruit ice-cream, along with a general vibe of holiday chill. From watching dawn sunrises to experiencing Christchurch’s lively summer nightlife, you and your guests will be entertained from morning until night.
Image by Alex de Freitas
There’s no better season than summer to capitalise on Christchurch’s many estate-style and winery venues. Take advantage of the beautiful grounds at your footstep for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, and for those all-important wedding photos. For an all-day summer wedding bonanza, you might be drawn to the European décor of French Farm Winery, ideally located in the hills of the French Farm Valley. If you’ve always dreamed of having a summer garden wedding, look no further than Ohinetahi House and Garden. Ohinetahi is an internationally acclaimed venue with over 1.25 hectares of garden for you and your guests to enjoy. Set against the water (just in case it gets too hot!), this venue is the definition of a summer paradise.
Curious about summer flowers? In Christchurch, summer is the season for lupins, long purple flowers which are endemic to the Mackenzie Country. These blooms are a favourite for wedding photoshoots, especially when you can manage to find a whole field full of them.
Image by Perspectives Photo + Cinema
The falling of leaves around March signals the descent of autumn on the Garden City. Autumn is a beautiful season in Christchurch, with the dappled red and gold hues creating an exquisite natural backdrop for your wedding photos. There’s just something so rustic and old-fashioned about autumn – perfect for those couples with a penchant for a more vintage, classic aesthetic.
A Christchurch autumn offers the best of both worlds: the longer days left-over from summer, but without the dry heat of the hottest months. The temperate autumn climate means that there are loads of activities you and your guests can try out outside of wedding-time. For instance, a walk through the botanic gardens in all their autumnal glory won’t go amiss on a slow Sunday morning. You might want to grab a bike and explore the Port Hills in the comfortable autumn air. Simple does it: grab a camera and head out to capture Christchurch in the gentle light that only autumn brings. In some parts of Christchurch, it’s even possible to swim until April so that you can take your wedding party for a dip!
Image by Valo Photo & Cinema
Autumn wedding planning in Christchurch is all about finding a venue which unites indoor and outdoor spaces, just as the season itself brings together summer and winter. Ilam Homestead is set on the grounds of the University of Canterbury and is sure to bring a bit of that leafy-campus charm to your autumn wedding. Ilam Homestead’s sprawling gardens come into their own as the leaves begin to turn to rust. There’s even an open fire to add extra ambience to your wedding event. Pemberton Gardens is another picturesque autumn wedding venue. Pemberton has beautifully-kept gardens for those outdoor ceremonies and autumnal wedding shoots, as well as a purpose-built interior for your reception celebrations.
In terms of flowers, you’ll have a panoply of vibrant blooms to choose from in a Christchurch autumn. The fall season goes hand-in-hand with crocuses, dahlias, nerines, and begonias – all hyper-vibrant blooms to set against the warmth of the fallen leaves.
Image by Zahn
Winter often gets a bad rap, but it’s far from the ugly sister of seasons in Christchurch. Although chillier, Canterbury’s winter months see long stretches of crisp blue days, which are perfectly conducive to an unforgettable wedding. Just think about the grass crunching under your feet as you walk down the aisle, and the fresh wind whipping colour into your cheeks! You’ll come to treasure these sensations and more if you opt for a winter wedding in the Garden City.
Aesthetically, winter is a winner. The pale palette of a Christchurch winter lends itself to bold colour choices when it comes to the wedding dress and floristry. There’s nothing quite like a shock of red against the snow, whether that’s in the form of dress fabric or a classic red rose. What’s more, Canterbury is home to a proliferation of world-renowned stargazing sites, and the crystal-clear skies of winter nights provide the perfect conditions to experience the universe in this way. Wedding photoshoots set against the jewel-like sky promise to yield mesmerising pictures which you can treasure forever.
Image by Ralph Bella Photography
Winter is, of course, the season for snow sports. Christchurch is within easy proximity of some of the South Island’s best snow-based activities, including heli-skiing in Methven and Ski the Tasman. Less sporty types might like to take a trip around Christchurch’s lively museum circuit, followed by a cuppa at the heritage Arts Centre. If you really want to blow the boat out, a scenic helicopter flight over the Banks Peninsula will redefine your understanding of “bird’s eye view”.
Venue-wise, winter is the ideal time to book a luxurious indoor wedding. An impressive range of indoor wedding venues is available for booking in the Christchurch region. If you’re on the hunt for a truly unique indoor venue with multiple event spaces, The Atrium Christchurch is a perfect choice. The Atrium is a boutique indoor venue just a short drive away from the CBD. Inside The Atrium’s industrial precinct, you’ll find French-tiled floors, dozens of vintage shop fronts, and four on-site venues in which to host your spectacular celebration. After something a bit more traditional? For an ambient church-style ceremony, opt for The Little Chapel, a stunning dark-wood chapel complete with stained glass windows and the heady warmth of all that’s old.
Image by Hollow & Co. - Photo & Video
Christchurch’s spring wedding season runs from September to late November, and it’s just as glorious as you might imagine. The season of new beginnings springs differently in the South Island, where it seems like the whole of nature wakes up from the long hibernation of winter. If you want to take advantage of this atmosphere of rejuvenation for your big day, then spring might just be the wedding season for you.
Spring is a prime time of year for a Christchurch wedding for many reasons. Firstly, there’s no better time to explore nearby Akaroa and Banks Peninsula than in the spring. The black ice of winter is gone, but it’s not yet tourist season, so you can journey around the winding roads with ease. The French-influenced township of Akaroa, with its retreat-like feel and exclusive location, might even take your fancy as a romantic honeymoon destination.
Image by Fay Carey Photo & Video
Spring is a fantastic time of year for a long-weekend getaway, which is why you might want to consider a Christchurch wedding venue which provides accommodation. Harpers Homestead is an idyllically-set heritage venue with the luxury B&B accommodation to match – meaning you’ll have plenty of time to explore the gardens in the bloom of spring. Another exclusive venue which provides accommodation is Mt Vernon Lodge, perched high above Akaroa Harbour. From the heights of Mt Vernon Lodge, you’ll have a privileged view of the spring dawns and sunsets, as well as those bright blue days.
In terms of flowers, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a Christchurch spring. Have visions of getting married in a field of daisies? A Christchurch spring has you covered. Got a thing for cherry blossom trees? The city abounds in these gorgeous – and endlessly photogenic – trees in the lead-up to summer. In fact, some of Christchurch’s best-known parks and green spaces abound in these beloved trees, making a place like the Botanic Gardens an ideal spot for some spring wedding snaps.