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Must Haves for your Garden Wedding

Image by Samantha Donaldson for our Auckland Weddings Styled Shoot  via:

Image by Samantha Donaldson for our Auckland Weddings Styled Shoot via:

Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot at the perfectly planned wedding that represents you both is important. Having a garden wedding go smoothly can depend on whether you have the essentials for the guests. With gorgeous flowers and lush gardens, added extras can make all the difference in the running of the wedding. We have chosen the top items to have on offer at the outdoor wedding to make sure it goes smoothly.

A venue with it all Of course if you’re planning a garden wedding, the venue of choice will be stunning with colourful gardens and sprawling lawns. If the perfect venue is chosen, then choosing extra outdoor accessories and planning of the ceremony location will come naturally. If a venue is experience with hosting garden weddings, they will know what is best for a sunny or windy day. It would be handy of the venue had near trees to act as shade if the day gets warmer for example.

Garden games As we have mentioned before, outdoor weddings need to have a handful of extras to keep guests occupied. Hiring outdoor games such as lawn bowls, or old-fashioned petanque can make all the difference. Being able to offer these in shades areas will give guests more of a reason to play. These can also be fun for kids during photos or maybe the ceremony.

Beat the heat It may sound like the obvious, but having shade alternatives rather than just trees can often be forgotten. Offering some pretty umbrellas for the bridesmaids and other guests can be a great idea, especially if they look nice in the photos. Other shade options can include large outdoor umbrellas and gorgeous sunshades can also offer summery aesthetic for photos too.

Hydrations and sustenance The heat can do a lot of things to people, and dehydration and hunger can be it. Going with the garden theme, yummy fruits and fresh flavoured treats can keep guests going while playing garden games. Offering jugs of water and juice for them to self-serve can sometimes be better than having to leave the area for a drink.

Summer garden weddings are always stunning days when the sun is out and the warm air heats up the day. But making sure you have enough water, games and shade for all guests to recover with can be almost as important as the ceremony. Happy guests can make the day so much more amazing.

Wedding venue: The Seabreeze Resort, Samoa

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Selecting a venue for your wedding can sometimes be the most difficult decision in the whole the wedding planning process. So, to make your decision that little bit simpler, we present one of our favourite venues, the Seabreeze Resort in Samoa.

Saying "I do" to the sounds of waves rolling up on the sand and the sight of the amazing lagoon could not be any more romantic. The Samoan exclusive resort offers a unique and intimate experience for every couple and their friends and family.

The resort is located on the southeast side of the island near Aufaga. The Seabreeze capture the essence of relaxation and has become one of the most highly rated resorts in Samoa.

Seabreeze offers a couple of wedding packages each with its own island experience. A wedding on the beach incorporating the Samoan culture and religion can be an amazing experience. Exchange vows to the sound of the conch shell, escorted by traditional warriors in Siapo (traditional dress). As the sun sets, the Seabreeze provide a range of tasty delights to suit your style and needs with local flowers in abundance and champagne served after the ceremony. The resort staff will cater for every aspect of the day whether it be a band, the food and the evening processions, this couldn’t be a more relaxing and gorgeous place to get married.

While you and your wedding guests take time out after the wedding to explore the island and get to understand the culture, Seabreeze offers a range of activities. Get involved in the interactive cultural activity that gives an insight into Samoan life or make the most of the relaxing trip and treat you and your new husband to a pampering day. For centuries, Samoan women have utilised a mix of natural herbal recipes, to maintain health & enhance natural beauty. The resort offers a range of massage using natural local produce, such as organic plants and fruits.

Island weddings can be relaxing and intimate ceremonies with your close friends and family. Due to the nature of the islands, relaxing days that follow the ceremony can be amazing if exploring the culture and nature of the island. The Seabreeze Resort can give a new couple the most amazing wedding, but also offer the rest of the experience. Whether it be cultural night activities, or a couples massage to make the most of the relaxing time together, Samoa really does have it all.

Eco-friendly Wedding Guide

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Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot at the perfectly planned wedding that represents you both is important. Choosing a theme that isn’t too tricky can test the organising skills. Some may think an eco-friendly wedding is in the too hard basket, but we have put together a guide that shows you it can be done.

The Invitations Some would say that sending invites via email is the most eco-friendly way to do it. But there is something about snail mail invites and save-the-dates cards that keeps it traditional. In order to stick to this, keep an eye out for stores or suppliers that offer recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks. Reducing the number of inserts in invites can also be another step towards an eco wedding.

The dresses When thinking eco friendly dress, first pops to mind is a pre-loved dress, this could be a dress passed down through the family from your grandmother to your mother. Alterations to the dress to make it more in style can be done too. If your mums dress is out of the question, shopping at second hand wedding dress stores can be the next step. But if you prefer to wear a brand new dress, try find a designer that uses sustainable fabrics, like silk or hemp, and organic cotton. Doing the same for the bridesmaids dresses can also be fun.

The catering Food is the centre of most celebrations, and choosing the eco path does not mean you have to sacrifice what you love to eat. When you’re budgeting or looking for a venue, keep in mind that organic foods may cost a bit more. Sourcing locally-grown products can keep the cost down too. When bought directly from growers, food needs less time in the fridge and less packaging to stay fresh!

The venue As we know, choosing the venue should be the first step to organising the wedding around. One of the best eco-friendly venues is outdoors. New Zealand’s gorgeous vineyards and gardens are an example of this. But outdoor ceremonies don’t always work for everyone, especially those wanting to tie the knot in winter. In terms of being energy efficient, choose a venue with plenty of sunlight so avoid using lights.

Whether you want to completely plan your wedding, head-to-toe, with the motivation of being eco-friendly, or if you just want aspects of the day to cover this, anything is possible. Just keep in mind the season you want to marry in order to find the perfect venue, and the rest will fall into place.

Honeymoon Venue: Westhaven Retreat, Nelson

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When considering an honeymoon, the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. In this post, we've profiled a truly amazing local destination to inspire your wanderlust. This week’s venue is the the stunning Westhaven Retreat in Nelson.

The family owned lodge was purpose built for guests to enjoy luxury combined with the comfort of home on one of New Zealand’s most stunning coastlines, Golden Bay. Westhaven lodge is approximately three and a half hours from Nelson, and just under an hour from Takaka.

Westhaven Lodge is nestled on a privately owned 1000 acre peninsula, located on the tip of the South Island, in Golden Bay. The peninsula has an extraordinary location with borders to the Kahurangi National Park and the Whanganui Inlet. The scenery and views are so astoundingly beautiful, that many guests are swept away by its beauty. The Luxury Lodge Suite is beautiful and spacious where you can enjoy a soak in the jacuzzi looking out of the inlet and Kahurangi National Park.

While relaxing at the lodge and taking in the view seems like a relaxing way to honeymoon, the location offers amazing nature adventures. Hiking around the peninsula can lead to secluded private beaches, astounding rock formation and the largest Nikau Palm forest. This truly is a paradise where newlyweds can indulge in the privacy. Kayaking, fishing, and mountain bike tours can also be arranged. The secluded area can be made the most of by exploring via helicopter. Due to the lodges remoteness, heli-fishing and heli-hunting are two common activities.

Making time to relax, restore and rejuvenate is easy at the lodge. The setting is magical, oozing with peace and tranquility. Massages and healing therapies are offered to guests. Yoga, meditation and emotional consultations can be explored by couples onsite. The resort’s facilites include a spa and sauna, indoor pool, library and dining area with a view.

The lodge can be the great off the beaten track stop while exploring the towns of Golden Bay, Nelson and Motueka close by, including famous wineries and scenery that the northern South Island has to offer.

With its laid back countryside and warm coastal beaches, Westhaven Retreat can be a great break away during your honeymoon that offers everything a newlywed couple would need.

Wedding Venue: The Old Church, Napier

Image  via:

Image via:

Selecting a venue for your wedding can sometimes be the most difficult decision in the whole the wedding planning process. So, to make your decision that little bit simpler, we present one of our favourite venues, the stunning The Old Church in Napier, Hawke’s Bay.

The Old Church is a gorgeous historical building dating back 150 years. Set amongst the vines, and with views out towards the Ruahines this vintage location is one of a kind. As one of the leading winery wedding venues in Hawke’s Bay it offers a great indoor outdoor ceremony.

Its fascinating history goes back to its first incarnation in 1862 when the missionaries began planting vines and cultivating the land around St Mary’s. The brothers were popular, industrious and very successful farmers, sharing their skills and ideas freely.

The Old Church boasts high ceilings, and an impressive chandelier creating that breathtaking impact for your wedding. This church then opens onto the conservatory and out into the courtyard garden. This compact venue can be great for guests to mingle while the bridal party takes photos amongst the vines and beautiful buildings.

When the light fades, the magic really starts to happen at The Old Church. As a venue for amazing wedding photography, it offers a range of visual stories in one location; the fresh and distinctly Hawke's Bay landscape of the vineyard, the diverse interior spaces, the romance of the candle-lit underground cellar and the rustic charm of the church set at the end of a long tree-lined driveway.

This venue offers the best of each season. Whatever the season or weather, the venue is perfect for both. Autumn and Winter weddings are equally if not more beautiful than those in summer. With the sun setting earlier, the beauty of our fairy lights, candlelight and beautiful chandeliers glow in all their magnificence. The exceptional colors of the leaves of the Vineyard lend an incredible background to your wedding and photography.

The Old Church also offers a smaller location for the more intimate weddings. The villa on site offers space for up to 50 people. This stylish renovated villa, set amidst graceful surroundings next to The Old Church, is enhanced by tall trees, ornate gardens & a beautiful fountain.

The gorgeous The Old Church offers many options for couples to make the most of their wedding weekend. Whether it be the ceremony in the church, photos amongst the vines or candle-lit dinners, this Hawke’s Bay venue is one of a kind.