Once you have made the decision to marry the man or woman of your dreams, and the excitement has calmed down just a little, the process of wedding planning begins. Choosing the location for your wedding is one of those things that needs to be ticked off the list first of all - and of course wedding and reception venues booked for your chosen date.
When we decided to get married in 2011 (second time round for both of us), picking a wedding venue was made a little *harder (*a lot!) by the fact that our home city of Christchurch had been damaged by a series of earthquakes, which just so happened to take out many of the city's churches and wedding venues. Plus aftershocks were still rolling through Canterbury, so we decided to pick a wedding location that was outside Canterbury - but not so far away that it would be difficult for our family and friends to join us.
We chose Hanmer Springs as the perfect location. Our wedding date was May 28th, so not only did we have the beautiful surroundings, there was also a good chance there would be a little snow on the mountains behind the township, and that it would be one of those fresh crisp blue sky days that Hanmer does so well. (Spoiler: it was!)
A trip up to Hanmer was in order to check out potential venues and look into Hanmer accommodation for ourselves, the wedding party and of course our guests, the majority of whom were happy to make a weekend of it.
My husband to be and I had already decided to go for something traditional this time round, so churches were the first thing on our list to view.
Churches in Hanmer, Jollies Pass Road
We made appointments to view the Presbyterian Church and the Anglican Church, both located on Jollies Pass Road near the heart of the township.
Anglican Church of the Epiphany
The Anglican Church is the Church of the Epiphany and the local vicar is Reverend Natasha Glenderran.
St Andrews Presbyterian Church
The suggested donation basis for use of the church for your wedding is $75 per day. Get in touch by emailing email@example.com to find out availability.
This church is one of Hanmer's oldest wooden buildings and has stood the test of time, although I will say it is not in the same standard of immaculate condition that the Anglican church is. We ultimately went with the Anglican option for this reason - it is beautiful and immaculate inside and lovely outside as well for your photos.
Outdoor Wedding Venues
If you are feeling like a more back to nature type of event, there are numerous stunning locations around the area you could pick, but we could definitely recommend Brooke Dawson Park in Bath Street, adjoining the Hanmer Springs TOP 10.
Our picnic spots blog post might give you some more inspirational ideas. Every single one of them is picturesque - especially if the weather is good.
The Heritage Hotel Hanmer Springs is the ideal reception venue for weddings of 30 guests or more. We had our reception meal here in their Ballroom, and the Isobel restaurant is also an option for larger weddings. You can of course hold your whole wedding at the Heritage if you are not keen on going down the church wedding path.
We did our homework on local makeup artists and chose the lovely Sara-Jane Minson from BeautyWorks by Sara-Jane to do makeup for myself and my bridesmaid. Sarah-Jane was lovely and friendly and is still making brides (and everyone else) beautiful from her location at 7/34 Conical Hill Road. Give her a call to check availability on 027 466 5510 or message through her Facebook page.
Hen's Night and Accommodation
Of course right here at the Park we have a great selection of accommodation options for your wedding guests, no matter what their budgets. And the perfect way to enjoy your hen's night in our wood fired hot tubs. If you would like to check out the options, feel free to give us a call or drop in when you are scoping out Hanmer for your special day or weekend.