Wild Hearts 2017


Founded by a group of creatives based in sunny Nelson, the Wild Hearts team’s aim is to build a community of industry leaders and promote New Zealand as a destination for weddings. Formed on unconventional principles, they like to think outside the square and lead by example, connecting and uplifting like-minded souls. And here, co-founder and director Samantha Gerard shares the ins and outs of this creative wedding fair.

Tell us about Wild Hearts NZ.

Wild Hearts was born with the vision to create an inspiring, trend setting community for the wild ones. Showcasing New Zealand as an innovative, luxury wedding destination and delivering one of a kind authentic experiences.

Once a year we put on a series of destination events throughout New Zealand. Bringing together the top wedding and event vendors in Australasia, and providing an unforgettable experience to inspire and entertain the wild at heart.

What was your inspiration for creating Wild Hearts?

After moving from Melbourne back home to NZ as a newly engaged bride four years ago, I was incredibly disappointed in what was on offer in Bridal Shows here. What was missing was the “experience”. Then after a year swooning over the international events, it was time to let New Zealand in on some of the magic. But it wasn’t just the Wedding Fair we wanted to create, there was a huge gap in the industry for connecting creative businesses. We wanted to not only showcase these talented people, but also build a community of authentic connections inspiring the industry to step outside the square and collaborate with your competition.

How did you go about starting up?

We started out with five creatives in Nelson that loved to collaborate and just decided to basically throw together a bit of a trial event “Love at the Grove” to test the waters. This was a lot of fun, but definitely not the finished product!

2016 saw a new name, a smaller team, some amazing international sponsors, one heck of a marketing campaign, a kick ass inspirational magazine, and the start of our Wild Hearts community. Stepping out of the “local wedding fair” scene and creating a “Destination” where all are welcome, and travel, adventure and inspiration are encouraged.

Now our team is located all around New Zealand, with representatives also in Melbourne and Brisbane. 2017 is going to be an even bigger year for us and definitely the best yet! – with events in Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland.

What are you offering that is different from the rest?

Wild Hearts are creative souls who know no bounds. We foster a think big, dream big and act big environment where positivity and contribution is valued.

Our aim is to build a community of industry leaders and promote New Zealand as a destination for weddings.

Formed on unconventional principles we like to think outside the square and lead by example, connecting and uplifting like-minded souls.

What gets you out of bed every day?

Passion… and coffee! Also the fact that everyday is a new adventure! Some days I am in the office emailing and chatting away to amazing vendors and designers, other days I am travelling to some beautiful destinations working on collaborations, and planning events.

What do you love about your job?

Shaking things up and making a difference in the industry. Weddings are no longer full of tacky organza ribbons, chair sashes, and picking your colours… we are inspiring a new era in the industry, where organic luxe meets fashion, and adventure fueled by authentic relationships. Weddings are becoming more personal and a celebration that is a true reflection of each couple.

I also love connecting with so many talented creatives. There are some insanely amazing people out there, that inspire me everyday to keep on building that dream.

What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage is a lifetime partnership formed on commitment, communication, compromise, adventure, passion, laughter, fun and most importantly, love.

What is your pitch for international couples considering a NZ destination wedding?

Breath-taking scenery, extreme adventure and luxurious wilderness. New Zealand is the ultimate destination for brides and grooms planning their “I Dos”. Offering something for everyone from the spectacular mountain peaks in Queenstown, to the world famous wine regions, and everything and in between.

Tell us about your favourite experience with the Wild Hearts?

Travelling to Queenstown just recently with some of the team to collaborate and shoot our 2017 Campaign. We arrived to snow falling, then got to finally meet (and work alongside) a few of our favorite creatives, trekked down rocky hills to get to the lake with chandeliers, props, cake and models all in tow, group hugged to keep warm and all in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful destinations.

What is one word of advice you would give to someone just starting out in the industry or wanting to become part of Wild Hearts?

Get to know your brand inside and out, create a purpose and do everything with intention. Most importantly work hard (its not going to be easy) and follow that dream!

Run wild with us in 2017

QUEENSTOWN – Opening party and Designer Runway

1st July – CHURSTCHURCH – Wedding Fair & Runway

22nd July – AUCKLAND – Wedding Fair & Runway



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