Nestled amid an enchanting Bay of Plenty forest, Old Forest School emerges as the hidden gem you never knew you were seeking. Originally a modest 1933 country school, now beautifully restored, beckons with its captivating allure – a haven for unforgettable events positively cloaked in antiquity.

Embark on a whimsical journey through Old Forest School’s charming spaces – from the timeless Schoolhouse to the original 1943 tennis court and rustic barns, gravel pathways leading to wildflower meadows, walled gardens, pavilions and old world gardens. Picture it as a quaint village, a canvas waiting to be painted with the magic of your special day.

Old Forest School is your playground for creativity. Design indoor or outdoor ceremonies, infuse your style with floral accents, collaborate with caterers to curate bespoke menus, and handpick entertainment that resonates with your essence. Here you are granted the freedom to personalize your wedding day, whether you’re a culinary connoisseur, a music aficionado, or simply desire an effortlessly beautiful ambiance.

The dedicated team stands by your side with unwavering support, offering invaluable planning packs, curated vendor lists, and exclusive invites to events. On the big day, they ensure flawless execution, leaving you and your guests to savor every enchanting moment.

“The way you organised things on the day, and the way you were so easily (as far as I was aware anyway) able to pivot from the outdoor ceremony space to the indoor one in that torrential rain set my mind at ease. Last but certainly not least, it’s a stunning venue and I’ve had multiple people comment on how beautiful it was.”
E & L 


Since reopening to the world we have made a certain number of days over the warmer months available for weddings.  These dates often sell out 12-24 months in advance and we fully book every year…however last-minute availability isn’t unheard of, with our record being four weeks from booking to the wedding day. Regardless of if time is a luxury or not, reaching out is worthwhile, as plans change, and opportunities arise.

The Noshery, an open-air haven, is adorned with mid-century tables, old-school chairs, and cake tables crafted from cast iron and native timber. It accommodates seating for up to 120 guests. Meanwhile, your chosen band or DJ sets up in the original Redwood Barn, the primary dance floor area, where the revelry often spills out under festoon lights and stars.

When it comes to food, the options are as diverse as your preferences. Select a full-service commercial caterer, choose your preferred catering style and menu, and dictate how the food is served—be it family-style, plated, or buffet. Enhance the casual vibe with a fork-and-walk menu, add a grazing table, picnic baskets, or desserts. The flexibility extends to incorporating a sweet wee food truck or an ice cream van for that extra touch.

What sets Old Forest School apart is its NO Charge BYO Venue status, eliminating expensive and restrictive alcohol options or corkage charges. 

Beyond the formalities, Old Forest School offers a wealth of entertainment for your guests throughout the day. From garden exploration to engaging with our animals, writing on the old school blackboard, or partaking in various lawn games, there’s no shortage of laughter, friendly competition, and unforgettable moments. The Schoolhouse, Fernery, Tin Tabernacle, and Sports Pavilion beckon exploration, each a beautiful space in its own right.

In the grand tapestry of Old Forest School, your bespoke event unfolds with a blend of sophistication and individuality, where each moment is a chapter in a story crafted exclusively for you.

“Having our wedding at Old Forest School felt like spending the evening in a magical secret garden with all of our best friends and closest family.  The whole day was executed flawlessly and it was all due to Su-an being there to guide and support us on the months, days, hours and minutes leading up to the ceremony as well as her solid relationship with the various vendors. Everything about Old Forest School is nothing short of perfection.  Thank you so much for such a beautiful and memorable evening! Thank you so much for everything.  I will be sure to recommend OFS to anyone planning on having an event as we definitely need an excuse to come back!”


So, here you are, looking for the ideal place to host your unforgettable wedding. You’ve been around all of the local venues, and there’s that one that’s alright, that other one that could be okay, oh and then there’s the one your future mother in law likes. But, nowhere that makes your heart flutter, that special place that you’ve always dreamed of, your forever ‘special place in your heart’ location, you know, the one you’ll bring your special people back to and relive your special day. 

You might be thinking what if we got the whole crew together and had our wedding out of town, maybe even in the Bay of Plenty. 

Old Forest School as the ultimate destination, conveniently located just 45 minutes from Tauranga/Mount Maunganui, Whakatane, and Rotorua. Whether you’re planning from near or far, we will effortlessly guide you through the intricacies, offering local insights, planning tools, and a curated list of recommended vendors. There’s also plenty of places to stay. Pukehina Beach is only a 15 minute drive away. It’s a ridiculously beautiful white sandy surf beach, with loads of accomodation available right on the beachfront. 

We make it super simple for out of town couples to plan their wedding, we know all the best local vendors, we’ve got handy planning sheets and information, so planning an out of town wedding super simple. 


We’ve had couples from all around New Zealand and the world plan their wedding from outside the Bay of Plenty.


Let’s start with the closest accomodation option, Pukehina Beach is only a short 15 minute drive from Old Forest School. It’s a stunning white sandy surf beach lined with beachfront houses that come in a range of flavours and budget, from humble kiwi baches to contemporary mansions. Take a look on or and do a search for Pukehina Beach. 

Alternatively guests can choose to stay a little further away, there’s heaps to pick from within a 30 minute drive at Papamoa, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua or Tauranga, there are also the stunning Rotorua Lakes (Rotoma, Rotoiti, Rotoehu, Tarawera). 

There are some fantastic local transport companies operating making it easy if you want a bus to get all of your out of town guests to and from Old Forest School safely and on time. 


Indulge in the Bay of Plenty’s offerings before or after your special day – from museums and markets to beaches and unique attractions.

Museums and art galleries
Farmers and vintage markets
Fishing, surfing and swimming at some of the best beaches Bubbling mud and other famous attractions in Rotorua
World famous Redwood Tree Walk
Bush walks, lakes and waterfalls
Cafes and restaurants
Street art


We’ve literally thought of everything when it comes to remote planning a wedding at Old Forest School.  For this reason we are proud to have hosted weddings from around the globe, year after year.

We can help you find the best local vendors.There’s big a bonus to having your wedding in the Bay of Plenty, there are so many amazing local vendors. From celebrants to photographers to caterers to florists and everything in between. For you planning nerds we’ve got a whole host of useful forms and planning sheets so you can sort, schedule and tick off all the essential jobs that need to get done. These forms and sheets are available online through a password protected part of our website. All of the important information you need is provided, from table layouts, aisle length, information packs for your vendors and so much more. 


When you’re ready for na viewing email us at If you’ve got your heart set on a specific date then get in touch and we can discuss availability. 

To download our packages, either email us at or complete the form below.

Contact Us
We don't need a specific date, just an indication of when you'd ideally like to have your event, e.g. December 2024 or anytime between November 2024 and March 2025.
Day of the week for your event (you can click on as many options as you'd like) *


We give a massive heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful photographers and couples who over the years have shared their photos with us, welcoming us to use them on websites and socials.  We love having you here, seeing how you see our world and enabling us to share.

You are awesome.  

Many photographers have moved on to doing different things in their life, some incredibly exciting, so won’t be listed below but are always in our thoughts…looking at you