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The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

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.

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.

Honeymoon Destination: Geejam Hotel, Jamaica

When considering an overseas honeymoon, the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. In this post, we've profiled a truly amazing location to inspire your wanderlust. This week’s venue is the breath-taking Geejam Hotel in Jamaica.

The Geejam Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Jamaican bush but boasts world-class views of the Caribbean.The hotel is only a 10 minute drive west from the historic town of Port Antonio, located on the northeast coast of Jamaicåa.

A honeymoon at the Geejam is like no other with its mix of native bush and tropical waters, and close location to town, so much is to be done. The perfect honeymoon suite is the Mento. The luxurious escape is surrounded by rainforest which can be seen from all windows. The deluxe cabin features an indoor-outdoor bathroom with a steam, which leads on to the patio. The patio is perfect for a late night jacuzzi looking out of the waters, or a morning relax in the hammock while reading a book. Its is its own private niche with high ceilings, hardwood floors and white linen, the atmosphere is relaxing.

A driver can drop you off at any of the white sandy beaches of Frenchman’s cove, Blue Lagoon, Pellew Island, San San Beach, Winnifred Beach, Boston Bay or Long Bay where you can swim or snorkel with the tropical fish. Rafting down the Rio Grande is another option, and a popular favorite - complimented by a home-cooked on-site river lunch of local fare, bringing you so close to nature you can almost taste the landscape.

By day, Port Antonio is bustling with local culture with gift shops and restaurants to sample local food. By night, Port Antonio prides itself on its history, culture and the natural beauty of its environment. Thanks to its off-the-beaten-path location and word-of-mouth recommendation, the town is a welcome diversion from the traditional tourist destination.

The tropical Geejam Hotel offers a relaxing, and casual stay in one of Jamaica’s most spectacular locations. Whether it be relaxing on a beach, or in a hammock overlooking the rainforest, the Geejam can only be the best choice for a Jamaican honeymoon getaway.

Easily Forgotten Wedding Details

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A wedding day can be just as nerve-racking for the bridesmaid as it is for the bride. To each bridesmaid the pressure of the role will vary, but if it’s your first time, making sure you do all the right things at the right times can be daunting. It is inevitable that certain smaller details can slip through the cracks. Making a list early and ticking off each detail is important to ensure they aren’t overlooked.

Directions and signs

You don’t want guests getting lost at the wedding let alone on their way to the venue. If you spell it out to them on the invitations they’re more likely to arrive on time. Making sure they know the right path to the function, or where the bathrooms are at the venue are quite important. Place some signs around the venue so guests know they’re on the right path.

Bouquet accessories

Personalising yours and your bridesmaid bouquets with unique accessories to match the wedding theme can complete each outfit. From delicate ribbons to vintage lace or the bouquet stems wrapped with greenery, each accessory can be important. Depending on the theme and your style, an attached locket or brooch to the bouquet can add deeper meaning to the bunch of flowers.

Weather plans

No matter where your wedding is, planning for various unexpected weather events such as rain, wind, cold and heat, is a pretty big detail. Discussing these options with the venue can avoid any disruption and discomfort to the day. This could include back up plans such as having a marquee instead of in the open or having an indoor rooms as back up. If you have a wedding planner, this will have been discussed and pre-empted very early on.

Specific guest dietary requirements

Various dietary requirements can pose a complicated situation for menu decisions. It can range from vegan, vegetarian, dairy and gluten free and any allergies. Ensuring you know well in advance of making any final menu decisions is vital. There’s no one correct way to approach the topic but asking for details on the response cards is a simple start.

On-the-day helpers

As we all know, the wedding day can be a whirlwind event where you may not get enough time to chat to certain family members or make sure everyone is happy. Support from friends and family throughout the day can be a lifesaver to help things run smoothly. Some common wedding responsibilities can include gathering guests for photographs, helping guests to find their seat and helping with gifts.