On August 19th 2013 The Marriage Amendment Act becomes law in Aotearoa New Zealand. This means same sex/gender partners can formalize their relationship by entering into a Marriage Contract. What a great day for New Zealand.
I am a Marriage Celebrant on the beautiful West Coast of the South Island. As a Marriage/Civil Union Celebrant I am proud to belong to a Nation that supports marriage equity and equal rights for same sex couples. It will be a privilege and an honor to officiate for couples of any gender; race, ethnicity, age, religion, political affiliation and socio-economic status, who wish to enter into a marriage contract. The West Coast offers many stunning locations and venues, especially for small weddings. Most of my clients, who come to the Coast, are looking for a location that will be truly memorable for them, their family and friends. For couples coming to the Coast from overseas the West Coast offers that unique location with the WOW factor.
The West Coast has a purity about it, deserted beaches, wild rivers, lush evergreen rain forest, glaciers and mountains. The West Coast is often referred to as ‘The Wild Side’ and it is. It is not for the faint hearted, the weather can be extreme, extremely stunningly good or extremely bad. It always pays to have a wet weather cover venue as a back up when planning a beach or mountain top wedding. I am able to travel from Karamea in the North to Jackson’s Bay in the South.
Karamea in the North has many boutique accommodation options and the very fine Last Resort Lodge. The locations for a wedding ceremony in the Karamea district are out of this world. There is a sort of Middle Earth quality, the rivers sparkle, the bush is lush and sub tropical, the nikau palms are the biggest I have ever seen. The Oparara Arches resemble a living Cathedral in nature.
The Gentle Annie at the mouth of the Mohikanui River is another great venue catering to weddings of all sizes. There are several beaches within a few minutes of the venue and a variety of accommodation cottages to choose from. The Cow Shed Cafe on the property is famous for it quality catering and the hosts are fine people. The Rough and Tumble Lodge is further up the Mohikinui River Valley, is is set close to the river and is surrounded by dense lush evergreen forest. The Lodge is small and homely, it caters to small (20-30people) weddings.
Just South of Westport at Tauranga Bay there is a Restaurant ‘The Bay House Cafe’ it is close to the beach, perfect for a beach wedding followed by a reception at a venue with a magic ocean backdrop. For the truly adventurous, the underground caving system located in Charleston just South of Westport is a remarkable experience. Norwest Adventure Tours will guide you through the cave system to another entrance where you can hold the ceremony, then float down an underground river on inner tubes while you lie on your back taking in a galaxy of glowworms. Arriving back on the Nile River you then bounce down the rapids and off to the party. It is so much fun.
The Punakaiki Resort is another top venue. The Punakaiki River mouth is perfect for a beach wedding and the Resort is an excellent wet weather cover and venue. The cuisine, and accommodation, is first class. There is also a variety of very fine boutique accommodation options close by.
Further South is Fox Glacier. A short helicopter ride (spectacular) and you are at the top of the Glacier in the snow. This is stunning but definitely weather dependent. The towns of Franz and Fox offer many quality venues for the after function.
So for folks who choose to take a walk on the wild side, the Coast has it all.