We are two Aussies who have made New Zealand home since 2017. We love golfing and exploring all across the country together. We love our work, friends and seeing family as often as we can. This year our greatest gift and achievement is on the way, with little baby Eatts due in July.
We both live in Auckland, New Zealand. Discovering Old Forest School as a venue by good old google.
We knew Old Forest School was the place for us…
It was honestly the first venue we looked at online and in the flesh. Straight after we visited, we pretty much signed the contract then and there. The deciding factors were simple,
- The beautiful space
- The fact that we could host the whole day there
- Everything was already set up for us to put our own flare to it
- We knew we had a majority of guests visiting from overseas, so it was the perfect location to not only spend a wedding but to give our guests the opportunity to explore the region
- There was no phone reception – one of the biggest factors!
I stayed with my bridal party at a beautiful Airbnb at Pukehina. We woke up early to do a meditation as the sun rose over the ocean before breakfast, hair and make-up all resumed. It was super relaxing and enjoyable.
Wade was at an Airbnb also at Pukehina where we was with his groomsmen. They had a relaxed morning before going to Old Forest School where they got ready with our photographer taking some snaps. Dan came to the girls after the boys to take some more photos.
We had about 50% of our guests attend from Australia from varying states.
Our best tips for people getting married at Old Forest School…
- Su-an and Alistair are fantastic hosts. They have the most stunning venue so don’t feel like you need to build on it with expensive decorations and add-on’s. It honestly speaks for itself.
- Bus people in and out. It brings all of your guests together beautifully and brings added excitement to the day as guests can truly, let their hair down. We were so well looked after with Go Bus Transportation and they really took care of our loved ones.
- Choose vendors who do it all for you. While this can be the more expensive approach we had the most relaxed and enjoyable lead-up and post wedding because of it. Our main priority was having the best day surrounded by those we love and therefore, we did not worry about a thing on the day because of the people we hired.
Initially we were steered in the direction of a celebrant that Su-An and Alistair recommended which was amazing – however he fell through and as they say, “everything happens for a reason”. We were then recommended Will Johnston who hands down made our (and our guests) day. Will is so personable, kind, funny and just a genuine legend. Our guests are still singing his praises as being the best celebrant they have ever heard. Furthermore, Will MC’d for us which took the stress away from one of our loved ones and kept the formalities fun, professional and wrapped up in a timely manner. No one wants to go to a wedding and sit and listen for hours – there is far too much dancing and drinking to be had!
The part of our day guests are still talking about…
How good the whole day was. The main stand outs were our celebrant/MC Will, the venue, the food (No Biggie) and the band who had everyone up and loving life the whole night. Furthermore our catering team come out with some late night toasties which really hit the spot!
This was a choice that Wade had no say in the matter… I (Kate) had followed Dan Evans work for a long time on Instagram and always knew I wanted him to photograph our wedding. Dan is based in Adelaide but was well worth every cent. When he arrived, he did a pre-shoot at Piha Beach in which we had a ball and made the wedding day itself that much more relaxing. We adore our special images from the day.
Best spendy item was our band (our neighbours at the time) who were incredible. A band can read a room and that they did. Our guests did not stop dancing all night.
Best savey item was not having a wedding cake… or videographer. We were told by many people that we will regret not having a videographer, but in all honestly, we haven’t had a second thought and love our photos so much that it really wasn’t what we needed or wanted.
Best ‘on the day’ tip…
Kate – Enjoy your day. It is you marrying your best friend so enjoy it. You haven’t paid so much money and planned it all for you to stress on the day. Therefore, hire the best vendors and let them work their magic.
Wade – Pay for the experience of your vendors. Don’t try and do it all yourself.
The best memory from our day…
Kate – My personal favourite was taking some time at the golden hour to sneak off with Wade and our photographer Dan to get some photos. The timing was perfect I feel as we could both take a breath and absorb what had just happened. Upon returning from this shoot, we walked into the most beautiful setting of all of our loved ones enjoying their meals and just generally, loving life.
Wade – There was no individual best memory of the day, it was the whole day combined.
The best part about married life
You get to do life together. Having a partner in crime for the rest of your life we think is pretty special.
Celebrant & MC @radiowill
Music Our neighbour Adam
Make Up & Hair @sitashairandmakeup
Florist & Styling @onmyhand
Favours, Menus & Neon @sketchandetchcreative
Transportation Go Bus
Bar Staff Eddie & Dani
Guestbook/ wedding zine @bowandarbour
Bridesmaid dresses @shonajoy_