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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.

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.

Honeymoon venue: The River House, Sri Lanka

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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 a boutique hotel, The River House, which is tucked away along the banks of the Madhu Ganga, Sri Lanka. The River House’s magnificent beauty is a place that will make you treasure the scenery and indulge in the seclusion. This honeymoon location lies in between the coastline and the Randombe Lake.

The luxurious suites, each named after surrounding rivers, Menik, Gin, Kirinda, Kala and Walawe, each boast their own unique style offering a sanctuary to yourself. The beauty of this boutique stay is that each element of the accommodation, whether it be the suites, dining or the location in its entirety, nature is heightened.

Imagine having a champagne breakfast laid out by the peaceful river or a romantic dinner for two served underneath a native Kumbak tree. The River House aims to keep your stay in with the culture of Sri Lanka. The menus offer rare native vegetables and fresh seafood from the nearby coast.

An inviting element to the accommodation is its dipping pool, engulfed by cashew nut trees, the pool will whisk you away. A mid-afternoon dip coupled with cocktails can be perfect wind down from a day of adventures, and you may even be treated to the entertainment of purple-faced langur monkeys.

Dubbed one of the most romantic honeymoon locations in Sri Lanka, it’s hard to find a fault at this luxurious accommodation. The complex lies along the Madhu Ganga riverside. Its swift waterways and immaculate forest, recognised by Ramsar - wetlands of International importance, are home to many native species. Guests can take the offer of a morning boat ride to visit the nearby temple, or take the adventurous option and spend the day kayaking.

The River House is only a 15 minute drive to the ‘workaday’ town of Ambalangoda. The town is uniquely known as a place to discover the magical meaning of the ‘devil’ masks, and dances which drive out spirits causing illness. The town is also known for being overshadowed by nearby Hikkaduwa as the tourist destination. It’s the perfect location for a day trip away from the secluded oasis at the River House. Top activities include the the Sri Lanka Camo Tours. Rated the second top activities for honeymoon couples to do, the tours give tourists the inner secrets to finding the best local food, beaches and immerse in the scenery. After the tour, why not stop by the Sea Turtle Hatchery and get up close to baby turtles.

The secluded River House accommodation oozes with elegance and romantic surroundings making it an ideal getaway in a country that boasts beautiful scenery. It’s handy location offers the chance to explore more of the coastal area too.

Making Your Guests Feel Comfortable

Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and most couples want their day to stand out from the rest. Adding details to your wedding day that are customised to you and your partner is the perfect way to make your day more special and unique. To help make your wedding as unique as you are, we have crafted together our top tips for customising your wedding day.

There are a handful of things to keep in mind when thinking about guests’ comfort on your wedding day. While it is the bride and grooms day, making sure guests are treated like royalty while they celebrate is important.

Tips for outdoor weddings:

Outdoor weddings provide a beautiful backdrop and a fun atmosphere, but they can also bring unpredictable weather. Summer weddings have the blessing of warmer evenings but the heat can be overwhelming if guests are seated outside, so offering a hand fans for guests is an easy solution. Another way to protect guests in the heat is offering sunscreen or sunglasses. Winter weddings can bring similar changes in weather, so having umbrellas and throws for those outside can be an easy way to make sure guests are comfortable.

Tips for guest activities:

Some brides can be worried if their guests are really having a good time at their wedding. Offering activities for guests of all ages can put a bride’s mind at ease. For those who plan to have children at the wedding, a craft table or simple games are a popular trend, such as activity or colouring books. Even the older guests would get involved in these. Outdoor weddings are perfect to offer lawn bowls or croquet as an easy way to keep guests involved.

Tips for the reception:

Involving guests in certain phases of the reception is a nice way to end the day. Song requests cards can be a great way to make sure everyone can hear their favourite.