Where To Get Married in New Zealand

Tick question. EVERYWHERE! I absolutely love New Zealand. Josh and I went there for our honeymoon and it was amazing. While we stuck mainly in the South Island, I cannot wait to see the North Island some day. But New Zealand is an excellent idea for an adventurous destination wedding or elopement. This is for my outdoorsy couples.

I honestly don't know where to begin because there are so many amazing places in New Zealand. But one of our favorite cities in the south island was Queenstown. Queenstown is an adorable little city nestled in the mountains. It's a ski and winter sport destination for sure. The winter weddings here are so magnificent and dramatic. It makes a great starting point for locations to get married. It's also one of the more popular destination locations to get married. 

The great thing about New Zealand is that you can hop in a car, drive an hour out of any city, and find some amazing landscapes. It constantly makes you want to stop the car and get out for photos. A hard location to get to, you might love a small elopement in Milford Sound on some kayaks. Be wary that sometimes depending on weather, the kayaking can be canceled. This is definitely something you want to research the right season for.

I personally loved some of the smaller towns such as Te Anau which is a cute little spot nestled next to a large lake. We stayed at a rustic little place outside of Te Anau in a town called Manapouri. Watching my husband try his hand at chopping wood for the fire was a cozy romantic part of our adventures.

Let me know what locations you're thinking about to get married in New Zealand! Or even better, show me where you got married in this awesome country. :) 

I LOVE New Zealand. If you plan to get married there, let's chat! Or check out my Destination Wedding FAQs.

6 Adventurous Locations to Get Married

I like to think of myself as a pretty adventurous individual. I like hiking into places rarely seen. I'm drawn to the outdoors and landscapes. I got married in the woods. I know there are other people like that out there, so I want to mention some awesome locations to get married that match an adventurous lifestyle. So pack your backpack and bring your tent, we're going on a journey!

1. New Zealand

New Zealand has some amazing outdoor landscapes. My husband and I visited Queenstown on the south island and it was steeped in fun outdoor adventures to try. Kayaking in Milford Sound, bungee jumping in the hills, or just taking a camper van around the country are just some of the fun you can have here. The people are all friendly, and the culture is rooted in the outdoors. 

2. Big Sur

Big Sur has some awesome beaches and cliffs, and sits pretty close to San Francisco. In a short amount of time you can go from deep blue beaches, to the tall sequoia forests. My wedding took place in some of those forests, but to start our day we took photos near the beach. 

3. Ireland

Ireland's green rolling hills and amazing cliffs make it one of the best landscapes to get married in. I love the idea of renting bicycles and riding them through the Irish hills. Whether you're getting married in a castle or in a quaint garden, the Irish landscape and weather add a whimsical feel to your happy day. 

4. Banff National Park

For the nature and outdoor enthusiast, I have to mention Banff. Banff National Park sits in Canada and boasts some of the most amazing views. Relax the day before in some of the hot springs in a small town before heading out into the wilderness to get married next to crystal clear blue lakes surrounded by tall snow capped mountains. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

5. Bali

For those who love the cultural shock, jet out to Bali and get married in a unique experience. Bali has some amazing different locations that are perfect for the adventurous, from beaches and coves, to fun small villages. Ride bikes around a small village and ride out to the beach for some fun in the ocean. It's such a romantic location, and I don't just say that because of the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

6.  Costa Rica

Last but definitely not least is Costa Rica. Talk about the tropical getaway. Go zip lining in the jungle, take nature walks with a guide, and kayak through the beaches of this awesome island location. Costa Rica is great because many of the resorts can offer all inclusive packages, and the costs are relatively low. Definitely a great adventurous option for those on a budget.

What are some of your ideas for adventurous places to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

What to Pack for Your Honeymoon

Oh my goodness congratulations! You're married!!!! I can hear the clinking of champagne glasses and the sound of bags being packed. But what do you pack for your honeymoon?! It's so hard to think with all this champagne and there's too much wedding bliss going on to plan a packing list.

Have no fear! Kat is here!

I love traveling. I feel like I've got packing down to a science. And I'll tell you a secret: sometimes I bring less stuff than my husband does. (GASP!) Shocking I know. I'm pretty sure he'd argue that point, but for the sake of argument, I always win. Welcome to married life!

1. Paper Travel Necessities

I hate to make this the first topic but it is an important one. Everyone usually nods their head and says, yes I know I need these things, but some do not truly take it to heart until it is too late. Paper necessities can include things like the passport, reservation confirmations, credit cards, and guidebooks. Make sure you have copies of all travel documents in a separate location from you wallet. Make sure you're close family or friends know the itinerary and details. And for the love of everything ladies: make sure you know what name you will be traveling with. My husband made the mistake of booking the flight to New Zealand with my new married name, Wickstrom, while my passport remained in my maiden name. I arrived at the airport, and every leg of the journey was made more difficult. They wanted to change my flights altogether, having me layover an extra day without my new hubby. So either make sure to get your passport early on, or book everything in your maiden name for the time being. You can find information on changing your passport here.

Other than the necessities, some other things that you might consider bringing would be a travel journal to document everything. You could even bring some of the thank you cards you need to write, because the plane ride is an excellent place to do that. 

2. Electronics

This is a very OPTIONAL section. I've known people who cannot go an hour without checking Facebook or Twitter. But this is your honeymoon. My marriage advice is that you leave all electronics behind. DO NOT BRING THEM. I've never felt more free not having cell reception. It's amazing. And my relationship is strengthened by spending time together. However, if you have to bring them, make sure you have chargers and wall adapters for whatever country your going to.

BUT don't forget to bring your camera!! A few of my favorite point and shoots are here and here. However if you're looking for something more robust, I personally love the Sony mirrorless lines. If money is not object, certainly pick up a Sony Alpha a6300! Make sure you have battery chargers and all the accessories.

3. Clothing

For the warmer climates like Hawaii, bring bathing suits, cover ups, strap-y sandals and slouchy tees. I'd at least bring one sweater for breezy summer nights. For the colder climates I always bring flannels, jeans, and ankle boots. (My wardrobe might exclusively be filled with flannel, jeans, and ankle boots but who's judging?) 

Then there's the undergarments. The icing on the cake for honeymooners. This is the real treat that you want to buy and save for the special occasions as a surprise for your new hubby. I know I did! A good way to prepare for this is to have a lingerie party with all your girls! It's a great way to stock up on the negligees you might need. You can find some of my favorites here and here. And don't forget a sleep robe to go over it! 

4. Adventure Gear

For the more adventurous couples, if you're planning to bring a lot of gear with you, make sure you check the TSA rules for backpacking or adventure gear. For example, the gas canister stove fuel is not allowed in any form of luggage. You will need to buy it at your destination. Also, be careful with knives and muti-tools. My husband accidentally left his knife in his carry-on and had to essentially throw it away at security.

5. Luggage

And then you need to carry everything! Josh and I usually carry everything in our carry-on luggage, so we're careful to choose pieces that fit the TSA requirements for carry-on. Josh is very partial to Tumi luggage. I don't particularly have a specific brand that I attach to, I just always make sure it's sturdy and has the features I'm looking for. If you do check in a piece of luggage, I recommend a hard case one to minimize damage in flight. 

6. Final Notes

Don't be afraid of travel sized toiletries. You'd be surprised at the quality of some that you can get. Sometimes luxury skincare or hair care products will actually have trial packets of their wares that can work perfectly for travel. Ulta has some excellent kits that I love to troll through. I also take the opportunity to stock up on face masks before a vacation. There's just something so calming about using a mask in flight.

 

I hope that helps with deciding what to pack for your honeymoon abroad. Let me know in the comments below what is the one piece of travel gear that you absolutely CANNOT live without!

 

Darling Let's be Adventurous | A guide to Honeymoon Locations

Ah the Honeymoon.

I just wanted to write this blog entry mainly to daydream about all the places I want to visit. You don't mind do you? Let's daydream together. Here are some of my top honeymoon locations to check out based on the type of experience (i.e. beach, adventure, or cultural experience):

Beaches

So many beaches to choose from! I know that beach honeymoons are typically the most popular destinations for loving couples. The pineapples, the drinks, the drinks inside of pineapples. What's not to love?! 

Some of my favorites include the all inclusive package deals like Jamaica, or Costa Rica. For those who like to stay within the country, there's Malibu or anywhere in Hawaii. And then there's my personal goal: Bora Bora or Tahiti. I've been as far as Fiji, and let me tell you, it was amazing. I wish I could spend all my days there.

Mountains

For the more adventurous, lets talk mountains and jungle. My husband and I did our honeymoon in New Zealand. New Zealand is rich in mountains, camping, and great people. I think Canada would be an awesome location, like somewhere in Banff National Park. 

Currently, I've been dreaming of Iceland. Desolate and yet so beautiful in its remoteness. 

If you want to stay closer to home, a cabin in the woods nestled next to a large fire with two glasses of champagne is so romantic I can't stand it. This is even a good idea during the wedding planning season (get out and relax for a weekend before the big day).

Some good places to look for travel deals on adventure trips would be apps like Groupon or Living Social, which tend to have all inclusive deals on some cool adventure trips. I'd love to try the ones that check out Machu Picchu. 

Culture/Cities

I love to travel to new places and experience new cultures. I've been to Greece and the UK. Both are excellent ideas rich with cities that have tons of things to do and see. Paris, France is the city of love, and Italy can be amazingly romantic.

If you're looking for an all immersive experience into something completely foreign, try some Asian countries like Japan or China. I've always wanted to visit Tokyo and see the sights and sounds there. And I know my husband wants to see Mt. Fuji some day. 

 

I hope that gives you some ideas for honeymoon destinations. I feel like the sky is the limit on where to go. Anywhere will be amazing as long as you're together!

 

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