Are you ready to tie the knot with your forever person? Well if the Bay of Plenty is where you’ve chosen for your special day, then I have something just for you!

I know how hard wedding planning can be, it can be overwhelming for sure. So I decided to create a blog that will hopefully make deciding on a wedding venue HEAPS easier by providing an in-depth review on some of my top 4 recommended wedding venues in The Bay… That I KNOW will help provide the unique and captivating wedding portraits of your dreams! From luxury garden settings to glamorous glasshouse and glamping vibes; from European-feel scenes to rustic barns – I have provided you with four venues that offer a broad range of beautiful and unique styles that are sure to reflect any of your desired wedding moments. Start exploring this blog and get excited about saying “I do” at one of these stunning Bay Of Plenty locations! Woohoo!

Introducing the Top 4 Wedding Venues in the Bay of Plenty

Getting married in beautiful Bay of Plenty has never been more exciting with the top 4 wedding venues that I’ve rounded up just for you! Each venue offers a unique experience for you and your wedding guests. From breathtaking views overlooking our native New Zealand scenery to rustic barns set in the countryside, Bay of Plenty has everything to make your wedding day absolutely magical. I highly recommend these venues not only because they’re absolutely unique and gorgeous but as a wedding photographer with a very film and vintage style I know that capturing your dreamy and romantic moments will be best executed at these 4 wedding venues. So, if you’re planning a wedding in the Bay Of Plenty, make sure to check out these amazing venues and lets document those unreal, timeless and dreamy portraits for your special day!

Venue #1 – Explore the Natural Richness of Beauty at The Run 15, Whakatane

Looking for a rustic and quaint venue to celebrate your special day? Look no further than The Run 15 in Whakatane! This luxurious garden venue is the perfect setting for nature lovers looking to tie the knot surrounded by the lush greenery of the countryside. The highlight of the venue is not only the beautifully manicured gardens but the charming barn, which just exudes rustic charm and adds to the many picturesque backdrops for your wedding photos. With its natural beauty and serene atmosphere, The Run 15 is an ideal venue for couples who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in a peaceful country setting for their big day.

It genuinely is a Wedding Photography haven and The Run 15 is just a stone’s throw away from Whakatane. The views here are something special with beautiful gardens and rolling countryside surrounding you. And have I mentioned, the photos you’ll get are unique to the stunning Bay of Plenty region with such a high-end look! LUSH 😍

Venue #2 – Embrace High-End, Modern Charm at The Black Walnut, Tauranga

Ready to experience the ultimate blend of modern luxury and country charm? Look no further than The Black Walnut in Tauranga, the perfect spot for a truly unforgettable getaway for your wedding venue in the Bay of Plenty!

This Wedding Venue is next-level and has a lot to offer. Let’s start with the breathtaking glasshouse that is perfect for under-cover ceremonies… You won’t believe the high-end amenities and modern touches, while still delivering those peaceful country vibes! Transcending you to a location abroad. But you also have the option of a ceremony in a gorgeous field surrounded by overhanging trees OR a brand-new, soon-to-be-released “tree church” for the ultimate intimate setting. And be sure to say “hello” to the cute and fluffy wondering tenants… the chickens! Just like myself, I know you will truly be WOW’d by this venue. Dan and Mandie really have thought of it all and I can honestly say, this location offer’s the most when it comes to an incredible variety of stunning backdrops for your special day.

But wait, there’s more! 😝 These amazing owners have also added an array of unique wedding accommodation – you’ll be sure to spend your first night as newlyweds surrounded by beauty and romance at The Black Walnut. Each one is a cozy retreat with its own personality, all with stunning views of the countryside. This venue truly has it all and is absolutely gorgeous!

“Black Walnut was almost an accident in the making. My wife Mandie and I were over the bustle of Auckland and were looking for a change of lifestyle. After being involved in catering for weddings in Auckland, we had decided to look further afield and seriously considered a venue in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Upon discussions with family a consensus was agreed to and we moved to the sunny Bay of Plenty instead, to become Kiwifruit Growers. After constant issues with “one of those neighbours” we decided to offer him a good price to move on. Then what to do with a couple of hectares, a few trees and a huge shed. Light bulb moment, Wedding Venue!

Mandie and I set too, to create something that we and the area would be proud of, and after the usual blood, sweat and tears we were ready to open 4 years ago. I feel we have created a venue of great charm and beauty in a very unique situation. The beautiful Barn makes an ideal space for a wedding reception and coupled with our amazing Glass House we cover all weather options. A new addition to add to list of attractions is our living Tree Church which will come into use next season.

We have been overwhelmed by the feedback we have had from our couples and would love to take the opportunity to show potential couples around.”

– Dan and Mandie, Black Walnut Venue

This breathtaking venue offers a sea of ceremony options that will leave you head over heels. And as your Wedding Photographer, I can honestly say that The Black Walnut has it all. The photo opportunities here are endless, so you can expect nothing less than my usual dreamy, romantic, and film-inspired wedding portraits that will leave you happier than you were when your partner dropped a knee! 😍 The Black Walnut will definitely steal your heart faster than you can say “I Do”.

Venue #3 – Enjoy a Luxurious and European-Feel Experience at Ataahua Garden Venue, Tauranga

Looking for a venue that will transport you straight to Europe without ever needing to leave Tauranga? Look no further than the Ataahua Garden Venue! With its luxurious gardens and destination feel, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stumbled upon a secret garden in the heart of Europe 😍 This venue is perfect for those looking for a touch of extravagance and sophistication, with its picturesque surroundings and charming features!

Wedding Season will be here before we know it and there are beautiful destination-feel scenes that await you at the Ataahua Garden Venue! Picture massive pots, snuggled tight on either side, bursting with beautiful white hydrangeas. Or a row of lush trees hugging the path you walk down. These stunning sights are a must-see during the warmer months. And guess what? As your wedding photographer, I can’t wait to capture you and your lover strolling hand-in-hand through these dreamy blooms. Trust me, this experience will be unforgettable and so beautiful! I can just picture it now 😍

The breathtaking Ataahua Garden has been lovingly created by the lovely mother-daughter pair, Abby and Bridget. This stunning venue stands out amongst the rest, providing a one-of-a-kind wedding location that is perfect for capturing timeless images of two lovers celebrating their day in a unique, beautiful, and manicured setting. This wedding venue is truly a photographer’s dream, ensuring wedding portraits that truly stand out! With its destination vibe, making it the perfect choice for couples wanting something unique and captivating. Step out of the ordinary with this gorgeous venue!

“Ataahua is more than just a location, an Ataahua wedding is an experience.

Abby + Bridget’s dedication to their venue is obvious. They will be who you meet when you initially visit, they will guide you through the planning process as much, or as little as you desire, and will be there on the day from beginning to end ensuring your wedding is magical.

With over 10 years of operation Ataahua is well established as a trusted Tauranga venue with devoted women at the helm sharing their knowledge and passion for weddings.”

– Abby and Bridget, Ataahua Garden Venue

So let’s step into the magic of a dreamy European wedding abroad and check out Ataahua Garden Venue! With Abby and Bridget’s expert assistance, every step of your journey will be taken care of, resulting in an unforgettable wedding experience you won’t regret. They are the mother-daughter duo you never knew you needed and they will make you feel so very welcome with their warm and kind presence. Truly a beautiful venue to work with. And to top it off, the special moments I will capture will have that added touch of European charm – which will make your portraits truly magical!

Venue #4 – Celebrate in an Idyllic Kiwi Setting at Waingarara Valley, Whakatane

One of the best things about Waingarara Valley is the incredible countryside setting. Being surrounded by miles of lush greenery, the flowing creek through the centre of the valley and the stunning farm landscapes, this venue is truly idyllic and perfect for a fairy-tale, country wedding.

Apart from the picturesque views, the venue itself is gorgeous – the log cabin has incredible high ceilings that gives it the beautiful and tasteful rustic charm. This incredible brand new log cabin offers a very comfortable and generous setting for wedding parties of up to 150 guests. Making this the perfect option for couples who are not wanting to shorten their wedding guest list and instead celebrate with all friends and family near and far. The Waingarara Valley Venue also has an in-built bar and liquor license, a selection of fun lawn games and heaps of outdoor seating. Truly making this an experience that not only you and your partner will enjoy but all of your guests too!

Imagine tying the knot with the love of your life in such a dreamy location, with the sun peeking through the trees and painting the surroundings in golden hues? Yes Please! But the photo opportunities don’t just end there, we can also take a stroll to the back of the venue where there is the beautiful hidden pond and running creek. Adding even more romantic, country charm to your dreamy portraits!

“Hi, we’re Pete & Karen Sayer – your hosts at Waingarara Valley. 

We had always dreamt of one day opening our own rural events venue, and in 2020 that dream became a reality. The perfect property in the hills of Wainui (between Opotiki and Ohope Beach) came on the market and we were able to buy it.  

In late 2021, with the building work finally complete, we opened Waingarara Valley – a rustic-style venue surrounded by stunning scenery that provides the perfect backdrop for your special event.

At Waingarara Valley Wedding Venue we treat every wedding with the care and attention it deserves because this is a once-in-a-lifetime day that you’ll remember forever.

Overlooking the surrounding countryside with the Waingarara Creek flowing through the valley below, this picturesque setting is an ideal location for any event.

Our beautiful log cabin has a seating capacity for up to 150 guests, with an expansive covered deck area – ideal for all seasons. 

With all venue hire we include the use of an indoor/outdoor bar, tables, chairs, a food preparation area, chiller and toilets. We also have a full speaker system available for your use.

Additional hire of vases, cutlery, crockery, urns, jugs, etc is available if required. We can even take care of your wedding floristry. 

To make your event as stress-free as possible, we also provide an optional clean-up service the day after your event.”

– Karen and Pete Sayer, Waingarara Valley Venue

Whether you’re a city slicker or a country lover, Waingarara Valley is the perfect destination for an unforgettable wedding celebration. With gorgeous and spacious surroundings, you’re sure to have the big-grand wedding you always envisioned with all of your friends and family! It would be my honour to document dreamy portraits of you and your lover at the stunning Waingarara Valley Venue 😍

Get Ready to Tie the Knot with one of These Top Wedding Venues in the Bay of Plenty!

Looking for the perfect wedding venue can be stressful, but luckily the Bay of Plenty has some top-notch options to choose from! Imagine vast country views, gorgeous gardens, and all the amenities you could need for your special day. From destination vibes to rustic charm, there’s a venue for every type of couple. And having me, Eilish Burt, as your wedding photographer I can guarantee you I will be capturing all of those precious, small and fleeting moments – making your special memories last a lifetime. So get ready to tie the knot and celebrate in style at one of these incredible locations in the Bay of Plenty!

I had so much fun visiting these venues and getting to know the awesome owners. Capturing the vibe these venues bring, it’s clear that the Bay Of Plenty is home to some of the most stunning wedding venues in New Zealand! We are very lucky.

No matter what style you have in mind, you’ll find a breathtaking venue that captures your vision and makes your dream wedding come true. From natural beauty at The Run 15, to a high-end, modern and stylish charm at The Black Walnut, a destination-feel experience at Ataahua Garden Venue and the classic idyllic kiwi setting at Waingarara Valley – you can explore all these beautiful places. Now that you’ve seen what this stunning region has to offer for weddings, it’s time to put those plans into motion! Ready to book in your perfect venue and wedding photographer? Let’s Go!


May 9, 2023

The Black Walnut Wedding Venue in Tauranga, captured by Eilish Burt Photography

Say “I Do” at These Top Wedding Venues in the Bay of Plenty

Eilish Burt


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