This “Tree Church” in New Zealand is the Perfect Place For a Destination Wedding

Due to the pandemic, wedding season didn’t get its chance to shine this year. But, it’s time to start thinking about weddings for next year and if you’re looking for a destination wedding that hasn’t been done before, you have to check out the Ōhaupō TreeChurch in New Zealand.

The “tree church” actually started when dairy farmer Barry Cox was creating a garden in the central North Island town of Ōhaupō. While he was tending to the land and planting 4,000 trees, he decided the land “needed a church”. Instead of building a structure, Cox chose to make the church part of the land and in 2015, he opened the three-acre garden to the public.

“I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’—and so it began,” Cox told Stuff. “I cleared the area in April 2011 and made the iron frame, drawing on all the research I had done over the years of studying churches. I wanted the roof and the walls to be distinctly different, to highlight the proportions, just like masonry churches,” he said.

The church’s made out of Alnus Imperialis trees for the roof canopy, Purple Dodonaea for the walls, and it has Camelia Black Tie, Acer Globosum, and Thuja Pyramidalis throughout it. Inside, there’s a marble altar, which was a gift from the Catholic church where Barry was an altar boy.

The church is perfect for a small wedding or elopement as it can hold up to 120 guests and the outdoor area seats 60 people. It also happens to be a great place to social distance and experience a magical event together.

“I like that the [garden] visitors enjoy and appreciate my Tree Church,” he told Stuff. “I find that gardeners and those passionate about trees are generous people who simply want to share and enjoy with like-minded others. Visitors have said that they find the Tree Church relaxing and that their worries disappear. I find that sort of feedback immensely rewarding.”

The TreeChurch and Gardens are also open to the general public on Sundays from 25 October 2020, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for adults is $20, for kids under 14 it’s $10, and children under 5 it’s free. The exact location is 119 West Road, Ohaupo 3881.