a wedding story - couple and wedding photographer
Indian Weddings at the Kilbirnie Temple

Capturing the Magic of Indian Weddings at the Kilbirnie Temple

By Ruchika Jain

Indian weddings are renowned for their vibrant colors, rich traditions, and emotional moments. When these beautiful ceremonies are held at the Kilbirnie Temple, also known as the Wellington Indian Cultural Centre, they become even more magical. This guide will provide you with all the essential details about booking, the venue’s facilities, and tips for capturing stunning wedding photographs at this iconic location.

The Significance of Indian Weddings

Indian weddings are elaborate and joyous events that often span several days. They are steeped in rituals and traditions that vary by region, religion, and family customs. From the vibrant mehndi ceremony to the solemnity of the saat phere, each moment is filled with meaning and emotion. The Kilbirnie Temple provides a fitting backdrop for these rituals, ensuring that each ceremony is conducted with the reverence it deserves.

The Venue - Kilbirnie Temple

The Venue: Kilbirnie Temple

Location and Accessibility

The Kilbirnie Temple is conveniently located at 48 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington. It’s just minutes from the airport and the CBD, making it an ideal location for guests traveling from afar. The temple offers ample free parking, which is a significant advantage for large gatherings.

Booking Information

Bookings for the Kilbirnie Temple are on a first paid basis. Members of the Wellington Indian Association receive discount privileges, but bookings are only accepted up to 12 months in advance. To secure your date, it’s crucial to plan ahead and confirm your reservation early.


Facilities at Kilbirnie Temple


The auditorium at Kilbirnie Temple boasts a seating capacity of 1,200, with space for 700 for dining and dancing. The stage area covers 135 square meters, providing ample room for ceremonies, performances, and speeches.

Conference/Dining Hall

For smaller gatherings, the Conference/Dining Hall accommodates 300 seating capacity and 150 for dining and dancing. This space is perfect for intimate pre-wedding functions or smaller receptions. The hall also includes a bar facility and portable stage boxes, adding flexibility to your event planning.

Commercial Kitchen

The venue features a fully equipped commercial kitchen with portable gas cooking and a variety of cooking/serving utensils available. There’s also a cooler room, ensuring that your catering needs are met efficiently.

Sound System and Other Utilities

Kilbirnie Temple offers a sound system for hire, with additional charges for a sound technician. Other utilities are also available for hire; please inquire for more details.

Temple Services

Mandir Hours and Services

The Gita Mandir at Kilbirnie Temple is open daily, twice a day. Morning hours are from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, and evening hours are from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Aarti is performed every morning at 8:30 AM and in the evening at 7:00 PM. Additionally, Gita classes operate every Sunday from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The temple has a full-time pandit available for all religious occasions, and puja and vidhi services can be arranged directly with the pandit.

Capturing Stunning Wedding Photographs

Leverage Natural Light

The Kilbirnie Temple offers several opportunities to use natural light effectively. Early morning and late afternoon light can create beautiful, soft illumination, perfect for capturing the intricate details of traditional Indian wedding attire.

Utilize the Architectural Elements

Incorporate the temple’s stunning architecture into your photographs. The intricate designs and vibrant colors of the temple provide a majestic backdrop that enhances the beauty of your wedding photos. Don’t hesitate to use the stage and auditorium for grand, wide-angle shots that capture the scale and beauty of the ceremony.

Focus on Candid Moments

Indian weddings are full of emotional and candid moments. Be prepared to capture these fleeting instances – the tear in a father’s eye, the laughter of friends, and the intimate glances between the bride and groom. These moments are what make each wedding unique and memorable.

Engage with Cultural Elements

Highlight the rich cultural elements in your photography. The pujas, aartis, and traditional dances are not only significant parts of the wedding but also add depth and context to your photos. Make sure to capture the details of the rituals, decorations, and traditional attire.

Real Wedding Stories

Nothing inspires more than real-life stories. Here is an enchanting account of a couple who celebrated their wedding at the Kilbirnie Temple:

Jasmine & Gurbir’s Sikh Indian Wedding in Wellington, NZ

Jasmine and Gurbir’s wedding was a vibrant celebration of love, tradition, and creativity, perfectly capturing the essence of a Punjabi culture-themed wedding. As dedicated wedding photographers in Wellington and Lower Hutt, we were privileged to document every exquisite moment, from their intimate pre-wedding shots to the Sikh wedding ceremony and the lively reception that followed.

Capturing Love Through Photography

Our journey with Jasmine and Gurbir began with their pre-wedding photoshoot. We aimed to capture their true emotions, from affectionate glances to joyful smiles, through candid shots and playful creativity. Each frame told a unique story of their love and the richness of their cultural celebration.

This beautiful journey of Jasmine and Gurbir’s wedding at the Kilbirnie Temple is a vivid example of how love and tradition can be perfectly captured in such a significant setting. Let their Wedding story inspire you as you plan your own magical wedding at the Kilbirnie Temple.

Planning Your Wedding at the Kilbirnie Temple

Planning an Indian wedding involves many steps, and the Kilbirnie Temple offers resources to help you through the process. From coordinating with the pandit for religious ceremonies to arranging catering and decorations, the temple’s staff are there to assist you. Detailed planning ensures that every aspect of your wedding is executed flawlessly.

Tips for Guests

Attending an Indian wedding at the Kilbirnie Temple can be a wonderful experience. Here are a few tips for guests:

  • Dress Appropriately: Indian weddings are colorful affairs. Wearing traditional attire shows respect for the culture and adds to the festive atmosphere.
  • Be Punctual: Indian weddings often follow a strict schedule for rituals and ceremonies. Arriving on time ensures you don’t miss any important moments.
  • Participate in Traditions: Engage in the various ceremonies and rituals. Your participation will be appreciated and adds to the overall joy of the celebration.


What are the Kilbirnie Temple opening hours?

The Kilbirnie Temple is open daily from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM in the mornings and from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the evenings. Aarti is conducted every morning at 8:30 AM and in the evenings at 7:00 PM.

How much does it cost to book the Kilbirnie Temple for a wedding?

The cost varies based on the specific requirements and whether the booking is made by a member of the Wellington Indian Association. It’s best to contact the temple directly for detailed pricing information.

Can we hire our own caterers for the wedding?

Yes, you can hire your own caterers, but it’s recommended to discuss this with the temple’s management to ensure all guidelines and requirements are met.

Is there accommodation nearby for out-of-town guests?

Yes, there are several accommodation options available near the Kilbirnie Temple, given its proximity to the airport and the CBD. Guests can choose from a range of hotels and lodges.

How early should we book the Kilbirnie Temple for our wedding?

It’s advisable to book the temple as early as possible, ideally up to 12 months in advance, to secure your desired dates and ensure all arrangements can be made smoothly.


The Kilbirnie Temple offers an ideal setting for Indian weddings, combining cultural significance with modern amenities. Whether you’re planning a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, this venue provides everything you need to make your wedding day magical. From detailed planning and religious services to stunning photography opportunities, the Kilbirnie Temple is a perfect choice for your special day.

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