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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.

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.

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.

Choosing Your Wedding Season

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Image via: 

Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot in the perfect weather can be tricky. So to help make sure you pick a season, and venue to go with it, we have crafted together the go-to list:

New Zealand can offer some of the most stunning venues In the world. Depending on the season, landscape backdrops can include waterfalls and the beaches in the summer and snowy mountains in the winter. Different seasons can alter the menu, colour scheme, dresses, flowers and so much more.

Summer

If you have always dreamed of a beach wedding, New Zealand can be less temperamental throughout the summer. While the North Island beaches are typically warmer, some northern South Island beaches such as Golden Bay are picturesque at this time of year.

Some would argue that everywhere in New Zealand is beautiful in the summer and while this may be true, some places stand out more than others. For a warmer more humid climate, try the Bay of Islands, East Coast and Northland. For a hot, dry temperature where the afternoon sun leads well into the night, central Otago can be at the top of the list.

Autumn

A typical New Zealand autumn day can be described as a clear blue sky with a touch of winter’s fresh crisp air. Imagine walking up the path of one of Wellington's idyllic historic churches amongst a backdrop of autumn's stunning natural colours. Or down the streets in Arrowtown with the array of orange and yellow leafed trees lining the paths.

Central Otago can be breathtaking in the autumn with its colour scheme from the trees’ leaves changing and the dry hills in the distance.

Winter

The cooler season can often be overlooked as the one to say ‘I do’ in, but if planned correctly, winter can offer so much. Venues can be less busy meaning higher chance of securing them, and if you’re after a snowy backdrop, this could be on the cards.

The winter months can be perfect for cosy, candlelit celebrations. Imagine the setting at one of Canterbury’s charming venues with a cosy log fire, creamy hot chocolates and fair lights. It's the time of year that suits warmer decorations and a hearty menu.

Spring

While the season can sometimes be unpredictable with fluctuating temperatures, and thehours of sunlight increase. It is also the month of greener growth and beautiful spring flowers, there can even still be snow capped mountains with the warmer air lingering. Spring offers the most amazing garden setting with perfect outdoor venues amongst native bush or country styled venues.

Whichever season you choose, consider that each one can influence the theme, colour and added extras for guests comfort. Some pastel shades complement a spring wedding, while an autumn celebration would suit a palette of gold and rustic tones.

And don’t forget to take the climate of your honeymoon destination into consideration, too.

Wedding Venue: Makoura Lodge

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 beautiful Makoura Lodge Wedding Venue near Palmerston North.

One of Manawatu’s stunning wedding venues is just one hour’s drive from Palmerston North. Surrounded by farmland and native gardens, this venue has it all. Multiple location options for the ceremony, gorgeous backdrops for photos and accommodation for you and the guests.

The property has been owned by the McIntyre family since 1896. It is renowned for its hospitality, relaxed atmosphere and homemade food.

Exchange vows in the native gardens created especially for the special day. The beauty of this venue is it’s seasonal options. The gardens are perfect and cool for the warmer months, but during the winter and when unexpected weather hits the indoor option has a Makoura Lodge rustic charm. After the ceremony, the guests can make the most of the well kept lawns while enjoying celebratory drinks and can indulge in afternoon activities while the wedding party are out getting photos.

The reception lodge can sit up to 110 guests and offers a variety in fresh and organic produce on the menu. Why not make a trip of it and book the lodge for the whole weekend. They offer exclusive use of our; Lodge Accommodation, Glenluce Homestead, Burnside cottage, Glamping tent and our Riverside Honeymoon suite for your wedding, which can sleep a total of 62 guests.

Due to the venue’s remote location, many onsite activities are offered to guests staying at the site. Horse trekking and 4WD across the farmland can add extra fun to the special weekend. Learn to ride a horse or play archery at their facilities, and give axe throwing and crosscut wood sawing a go. Clay bird shooting then mini golf followed by a campfire can end the gorgeous weekend on a high note.

Winter wedding can also be enjoyed at Makoura Lodge which boasts an open fire at dinner time, and an old fashioned woolshed for photos. The nearby Ruahine Ranges are snowcapped during the cooler months which offer stunning photographic backdrop.

The secluded Makoura Lodge Wedding Venue is the most stunning wedding location. Whether it be for a the day, or for the whole weekend experience, this family farm venue has it all.