With its stunning landscapes, picturesque mountains, and crystal-clear lakes, Queenstown is one of the top dream destinations for weddings in the southern hemisphere (or at least in New Zealand).
But if you’re considering tying the knot in the breathtakingly beautiful Queenstown, you might be wondering what the best season is for your big day. After all, choosing the perfect season for your wedding day can turn out to be quite a challenge – especially if every season has so much to offer!
Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered. As your favourite wedding photographer from Australia, I’m giving you my unbiased thoughts of each season for weddings in Queenstown based on my own research and aspiration with shooting weddings & elopements at this picturesque location.
So sit back, relax, and let’s find the best season for your wedding in Queenstown together!
Chapter 1: Spring – Love Blooms in the Air
Months: September, October, November
Temperatures: 2ºC – 25ºC
Best Time for Ceremony: After 3pm
Sunset: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Complimenting Colours:Whites & Neutrals
Ah, spring! The season of new beginnings and blooming flowers. This season is all about romance, renewal, and starting your forever in a place that epitomizes rebirth, new chapters, and breathtaking natural beauty.
As the snow melts and nature awakens, Queenstown transforms into a vibrant wonderland full of life: flowers are blooming and baby animals are everywhere – but you can still see the snow capped mountains in the distance.
So just imagine exchanging vows surrounded by colorful blossoms and lush greenery. Oh and don’t forget about the cherry blossoms! These delicate pink petals create an enchanting atmosphere that will make your hearts skip a beat on your beautiful day.
As nature awakens, your options for florals start getting a lot more diverse, but some of my couples have decided to keep all of their styling and florals neutral and let the surroundings take care of all of the color for them – makes everything look so elegant & clean.
The mild temperatures (averaging around 10ºC to 25ºC) and longer daylight hours make it an ideal time for an outdoor wedding – or even a garden ceremony amidst Queenstown’s iconic gardens. Since the sun sets a bit later from mid-September, you can comfortably plan your ceremony to around 3pm to 4pm to have the best lighting and to fit it seamlessly into the flow of your day.
But spring can sometimes be a nightmare, too (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
It can get quite windy, a bit rainy and – while this might sound strange – the colours of Queenstown turn a bit neon.
Seriously, you have yet to see neon green until you’ve seen a field of grass in Queenstown in November.
So, to make sure your spring wedding in Queenstown is as beautiful as possible, I’d recommend to:
- Make sure your and your guests are prepared with layers
- Have clear umbrellas rented just in case it starts showering as your ceremony is about to start
- Try to keep the colours for your day as neutral as possible
Chapter 2: Summer – Love Shines Under the Sun
Months: December, January, February
Temperatures: 20ºC – 32ºC
Best Time for Ceremony: After 3:30pm
Sunset: 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Complimenting Colours: Creams, Whites & Neutrals
Summer in Queenstown is like stepping into paradise – a GREEN paradise, that is (see photos below). The warm sunshine, blue skies, and gentle breeze create the perfect setting for a fairytale wedding.
So picture yourself saying “I do” against the backdrop of majestic mountains, with Lake Wakatipu glistening in the distance. There will be no snow on the mountain tops, but the view will be beautiful just the same. Consider a color scheme of creams, whites and blushes to complement the earthy brown & green shades of the mountains in the background.
The long summer days allow for an endless day of outdoor romance, filled with love & joy. Since the sun sets quite late (around 8:30pm to 9:30pm), you might want to consider a venue that you can admire the view from for as long as possible. And I’d also recommend trying to plan the start of your ceremony as late as possible, – in my experience 4pm or 5pm is usually perfect!
Now about the not-so-good stuff: summers in Queenstown are hot. Like, really hot.
During the summer, it can easily get up to the low 30ºC’s. Now, some people might consider that normal – but for me, there were days I thought my camera was going to melt by 10am!
This all also means you might want to come prepared with some sunscreen. After all, ending your wedding day with your face looking like a cherry might not be the best idea in the world. So, I’d recommend getting this spray-on sunscreen: it’s amazing for reapplying and it also works as a setting spray to make sure your makeup doesn’t melt on your face.
Also, make sure your groom and your groom’s party have backup dress shirts, and that your venue offers plenty of shade and water fill ups for your guests.
So, to make sure your summer wedding in Queenstown is as beautiful as possible, I’d recommend to:
- Make sure you and your guests are prepared sunscreen & water
- Prepare for the heat and have backup dress shirts for the guys
- Consider a color scheme of creams, whites and blushes
Chapter 3: Autumn – Love Painted in Golden Hues
Months: March, April, May
Temperatures: 2ºC – 20ºC
Best Time for Ceremony: After 2pm
Sunset: 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Complimenting Colours: Warm neutrals, browns, and orange
Autumn brings a magical transformation to Queenstown as the leaves turn into shades of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and breathtaking landscapes make it a season of pure romance – and make it my favourite season of them all!
The mild temperatures make it comfortable for outdoor celebrations, and you can incorporate the autumn theme into your wedding decor with rustic elements and warm hues. For your colour scheme, now is the time to bring out your browns, oranges, and creams. Like, having cream menus, with candles and a mix of autumn-coloured flowers as your reception table decor is just pure magical.
Imagine committing your hearts to each other under a canopy of golden trees or against the backdrop of vineyards draped in vibrant colors…
The temperature is quite moderate, only around 2ºC to 20ºC, and it rarely rains for more than a few hours at a time (plus, the weather forecasts are pretty accurate at this time of the year, making it easier for you to plan ahead). Still it can get a bit cold at times, so I’d recommend packing an overcoat and tights – just in case.
Other than that, autumn in Queenstown will create a mesmerizing ambiance that will make your special day truly unforgettable. The colours are amazing, the lighting is great, and to make the most of your ceremony, try planning it around 2pm to 3pm.
So, to make sure your autumn wedding in Queenstown is as beautiful as possible, I’d recommend to:
- Make sure to pack warm clothes – just in case
- Prepare in advance by checking the weather forecast
- Consider a colour scheme of browns, oranges, and yellows
Chapter 4: Winter – Love Sparkles in a Winter Wonderland
Months: June, July, August
Temperatures: -5ºC – 10ºC
Best Time for Ceremony: After 1pm
Sunset: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Complimenting Colours: Whites, neutrals, and a pop of color
Winter weddings in Queenstown are simply enchanting. As snow blankets the mountains and icicles glisten in the sunlight, Queenstown transforms into a winter wonderland straight out of a fairytale.
When you’re thinking about the theme of your wedding, why not go with “winter wonderland”? I’d recommend warm creams, whites and maybe a single “pop” of colour.
Imagine getting married surrounded by snow-capped peaks, with a cozy fireplace crackling nearby – ideally around 2:30pm, since the sun will set around 4pm. Afterwards, you and your guests can indulge in winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding. And don’t forget the romantic option of a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow-covered landscapes!
Pro tip though: in Queenstown, there’s no guarantee for snow – regardless of the season (although your best shot is in July or August). If you absolutely want to experience some snow on your wedding day, jump on a helicopter and fly up to Tyndall Glacier. Not only is it one of Queenstown’s most beautiful helicopter landing spots, it’s also only a 15 minute flight from Queenstown Airport!
Now – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – winters are cold in Queenstown. But look at it this way: it’s a great opportunity for you to explore some beautiful layered options for your wedding look, light lots of romantic candles (and a fireplace or two), and have some thermoses of mulled wine locked & loaded.
All these add up to a cozy & intimate wedding experience that’s guaranteed to create memories that will warm your hearts for a lifetime.
So, to make sure your winter wedding in Queenstown is as beautiful as possible, I’d recommend to:
- Make sure to pack layered & warm clothes
- Try to plan a few fun outdoor winter activities with your partner or your guests
- Consider a wedding theme of “winter wonderland”, with warm creams, whites and a single “pop” of colour
It’s safe to say that each season in Queenstown, New Zealand has its unique charm, and you really can’t go wrong with planning your wedding in either season. Still, it’s important to find the season that fits your vision.
If you’re still on the lookout for that special person who you’ll trust to capture all the candid moments and beautiful memories of your special day – we need to talk. Reach out to discover how I can help you plan – and capture – the Queenstown wedding you’ve always dreamed of.