Why are St Peter's and St Paul's considered premier wedding venues?
St Peter's is situated in the heart of Queenstown; marriages have been celebrated for 150 years on this site.
Queenstown is New Zealand’s premier tourist destination and the stunning view across the lake to the mountains is a perfect backdrop for your wedding (regardless of the weather!).
St Peter's church is a consecrated Church, a sacred place. It is greatly loved by both the local community and the more than 2 million visitors who come through Queenstown every year. It is a beautiful historic church with magnificent stained glass windows. It also has a very historic Tracker Pipe Organ built in 1878, unique in New Zealand. The stone church and landscaped gardens are frequently photographed and make an ideal backdrop for wedding photos, especially in Spring and Autumn.
St Paul's in Arrowtown is a Category 1 NZ Historic Places Trust church, built in 1871 in the gold mining era. It is set in a spacious tree-studded site which provides a beautiful setting for weddings and also for outdoor refreshments following the service. Its size makes it a very intimate setting for a wedding with a modern stained glass window above the altar depicting the trees, hills and valleys of the area and the gold from which the town sprang. It is a very peaceful place with little traffic and plenty of parking.
Who can get married at St Peter's or St Paul's?
The churches of the Anglican Parish of Wakatipu follow normal Anglican Marriage practice.
We use one of the three different Marriage Services in the NZ Anglican Prayer Book. Because
these are Christian Marriage Services, they are presided over by an ordained Anglican Priest.
Normally, we expect that one of the couple should be baptised in a Christian Church.
Secular marriage celebrants are not permitted to preside at Marriage services in our Churches. Clergy of other recognized denominations may do so by arrangement.
Do I have any say about the ceremony?
The services are based on the NZ Anglican services. There is some flexibility in the choice of prayers, readings, music and other elements. You may have a Nuptial Mass, Candle Lighting, or other special features you would like to include. These can be discussed with the presiding priest when arranging the wedding. Both secular and religious readings can be used during the ceremony. Your wedding ceremony usually takes about 30 minutes. If you need more time please discuss when booking.
What decorations can I use?
Your fee includes the cost of providing flower arrangements in the church and you can choose the colour and type of flowers with our very competent flower teams. Additional flowers can be requested for an additional fee.
Our candlesticks are placed on the altar and lit during wedding ceremonies. You are welcome to tie ribbon or flowers to the ends of the pews (seats), however, please do not use sellotape or blue tack to secure them to avoid damaging the wood.
What about music?
Our music team can be available to play at your ceremony. St Peter's is renowned for its music and you need to plan music for a processional (bride walking down the aisle), the signing of the register and the recessional (the bridal couple leaving the church).
One or more suitable hymns are sometimes sung at a Marriage Service.
The Arrowtown Church - St Paul’s - has an electronic organ, and St Peter’s Church has both a pipe organ and a grand piano.
Our musicians can be asked to play either traditional wedding music and hymns, or modern popular music appropriate to the occasion.
You can discuss your musical requests when you book your wedding. We can also refer you to our own professional group of singers. Please contact our office as early as possible to confirm musical arrangements.
Can confetti be used?
Fresh or dried rose petals are an acceptable alternative for confetti on the grass areas only. Confetti, Rice and Paper Bombs are not allowed. Bubbles are also an option.
There is some 2-hour street parking close to St Peter’s church which is 'pay and display'.
There is a commercial car park less than 100 metres from the Church. There are a couple of disability
car parks available outside the church.
Parking at St Paul’s in Arrowtown is unrestricted and plentiful.
Can photographs be taken in the church?
All photographers and video camera operators must speak to the officiating minister before the service (we want to ensure that there is no interference to our sound system or to the guests). This is a courtesy to both the minister and the bridal party. Photographers may NOT park on the grounds of St Peter's Church and must make their own parking arrangements.
Guests are very welcome to take photos unless requested not to do so by the couple.
Are there restrictions on when a wedding can be booked?
You may book your wedding for any day of the week, with the exception of Sunday morning or Christmas Day. We do not conduct wedding ceremonies during Holy Week (the week before Easter). We do suggest you make any bookings well in advance particularly for St Peters in Queenstown.
How many guests can attend?
St Peter's Church in Queenstown seats approximately 120, while St Paul’s in Arrowtown seats approximately 70 - in both cases the seating at legal maximum capacity (130 and 80) is rather friendly!
What does it cost to use St Peter's or St Paul's
Please refer to the "Wedding Guidelines & Suggestions" or contact the Vicar to discuss your wedding requirements and applicable costs.
We recognize that our fees are quite high, but believe we offer not only an outstanding setting in which our forebears built beautiful churches) but a delightful mix of faith-touches, formality, flexibility and friendliness. Our current priest, Michael, believes that the formalities of a faith-based wedding should warm rather then bore the hearts of all present. He sets himself the challenge of having guests, especially blokes, leaving the event with a sense that "30 minutes in a church was not so bad after all!" Michael believes that a wedding should inspire the hearts of bride, groom, whanau and guests alike.
So our basic fees include guidance and planning of the service, the use of the church, services of our priest, organist and floral arrangement. Your wedding is a sacred moment in your life, is very personal: the community of St Peter’s and St Paul’s believe we should provide the very best for you and do our utmost to deliver.
Please contact us directly to discuss your wishes (see below).
At St Peter's Queenstown we suggest that you consider our Parish Centre which is adjacent to the church for your reception or drinks following the ceremony. The hall can comfortably seat 100 guests and has a small stage. There is a full catering kitchen and lounge facilities for pre-dinner drinks. Please note that alcohol cannot be consumed outside the church or hall and all bottles and rubbish is to be removed at the conclusion of your event. The Parish Centre has a modern piano and folding tables that can be hired and we can discuss options for music and flowers.
What do I do now?
We would be happy to discuss your wedding in more detail with you.
Please feel free to contact our parish priest, Michael ... firstname.lastname@example.org (as noted elsewhere, other faith-based clergy are welcome to participate in or lead the service by arrangement with Michael).
We look forward to working with you as you prepare for your special day.