How it works

Old Forest School is a family owned and operated business. We believe its in the best interest of couples to have a “No Hidden Charges Policy”, we want to make sure you are 100% clear on fees upfront without the risk of additional (surprise) charges.

What’s included in the venue hire?
Generally speaking the hire fee includes exclusive use of the venue and grounds for the duration of your event, and includes;

  • Indoor ceremony with maximum capacity of 120 (seating for 90)
  • Outdoor ceremony with maximum capacity of 120 (seating for 90)
  • Signing table/chair
  • Reception tables and chairs for 120
  • Toilet facilities
  • PA system at reception
  • Cake table (wine barrel)
  • Installed festoon lights, fairy lights and task lights
  • Outdoor bar with drinkable running water
  • Tuck shop with rinsing facilities
  • Outdoor seating, tables, bar leaners and umbrellas
  • Various games (tennis, badminton, petanque, giant Jenga, etc)
  • Outdoor fire and firewood (subject to fire permit availability)

When is Old Forest School open?
We open our wedding season on the first weekend in October and close at the end of April. Our season books out very fast, we suggest you contact us soon.

What is the maximum capacity at Old Forest School?
Our maximum is 120 people (guests and bridal party).

How does catering work? 
Old Forest School requires you to hire a professional commercial caterer that are mobile and self contained. We can provide a list of caterers who have worked at Old Forest School previously.

How does bar/alcohol work?
You purchase and provide your own alcohol/refreshments, glassware and chiller trailer. We only require you to hire a dedicated, experienced Bar Manager/Staff (we can provide you the contact details of a suitably qualified and local person) and follow our Bar Management Guidelines.

For details of our rates and booking conditions click here.


Here is some feedback and comments from the lovely people who have experienced Old Forest School…

We still can’t get over how much fun our wedding was.
I’m not one for cliches but it literally was the “BEST DAY EVER”. Some of our family and guests were a little sceptical about why we asked them all to travel (mostly from the South Island) for our big day, but as soon as they stepped off the bus they could instantly see why. Old Forest School is the perfect combination of well designed spaces, each having its own individual character but contributing to this huge cohesive beautiful and fun venue. But the icing on the cake is the way you and your family run the place. You run a well oiled tight ship in the most relaxed way possible, all of this attention to detail allowed everything to run perfectly with minimal effort from us! We loved that we could make Old Forest School work for what ever we wanted for our wedding. The huge variation of excellent suppliers familiar with the place make planning pretty easy once you’ve picked who and what you want. We can’t thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to get hitched at what is sure to become one of NZ’s most popular wedding venues.
Emily & Omid

We just wanted to say Thank you so much to Su-an, Alistair, Holly & Rose! They did such an incredible job on the day, from coordinating with our mc and suppliers, to keeping us in the loop and supplying things we had forgotten (like a needle and thread!), and to helping Anita run the bar and clean up! Old Forest School is truly one magical place and we can’t stress enough how grateful we are to the McMahon family for letting us use their place as a venue for our big day. They really have thought of everything and each time we visited, there was always something new for couples to see and enjoy! Our family and friends couldn’t stop raving about how amazing the venue was and how they wish they had/could have their wedding at OFS. It is the perfect place for everyone to have a great time and it provides a unique experience like no other.
Akira & James

From the moment we stumbled across Old Forest School, we knew it would be the perfect venue for us.  A vintage theme, quirky chairs, a magical forest and a gorgeous schoolhouse for us to be married in.  Without further ado we booked from afar in London.  Su-an and her team were fantastic and were happy to answer all of our queries and help every step of the way.  Our wedding day was blooming fantastic.  It rained, it shined, tennis tournaments were played, we ate until we were stuffed and we danced our little socks off.  Old Forest School you will hold a very special place in our heart for many years to come…
Sarah & Steve xx

Luke and I would just like to thank you all for an amazing day on Friday! What a day! You guys nailed it! You all must be so proud pulling off weddings day after day. Such an incredible venue and the comments we had from our guests were awesome and of course, all positive! Being named a ‘hidden gem’ is exactly what OFS is. So from Luke & I, thank-you. And thank-you to Rose as well, she did well coping with those boys. I hope they behaved for her!
Lisa & Luke

Our day has been and WOW what an amazing perfect day it was. Everything we could have asked for and more. Surrounded by our family and friends, laughter and all the love in the world. Su-an and Alistair what a magical wonderland you have created. Everything was absolutely beautiful and so well done. All our guests were so amazed by the venue and everyone could see the love put into each and every thing. You both also deserve every bit of thanks and love from us, running around behind the scenes on the day making sure everything was perfect and ran smoothly. OFS is a magical woodland wonderland, such a beautiful and relaxing location we couldn’t have found a better venue to have our big day!!
Jodie & Blair

Seriously, I can not thank you enough Su-an and family, you are running such a finely tuned machine out there, you gave us the wedding of our dreams. Your help and advice leading up to the day was simply invaluable, as was all the behind the scenes work on the day. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful setting to say “I do” and our guests have been raving about how much fun they had playing tennis, cricket and giant jenga. The whole day was a huge success, we are so so happy that we chose Old Forest School. Thank you!
Emma & Andy

“Thanks so much, and thanks for all your help on Friday, we had an amazing day and everyone is raving about what an incredible venue OFS is, we felt very lucky to celebrate our wedding there so thank you.”
Renaya & Jeremy 

Thanks sooo much Su-an, Alastair and Rose. We had the most amazing wedding. Your advice, thoughtfulness, beautiful calming nature and venue were, wow!! I have no words!

Thank you so very much to Su-an, Alistair and the team for ensuring our day went so smoothly, for being so friendly and approachable, helpful, flexible and just beyond amazing! It is so very special to have been able to make everlasting memories at such an amazing venue and with such cool and hospitable hosts. We are eternally grateful.

Our souls finally saw Old Forest School and went “Oh, there you are. We’ve been looking for you.” Just like a lot of other women, I have had my wedding planned out and well-rehearsed since I was just a little girl. My fairytale included a beautiful, expansive forest with character, wild flowers, grass, a horse,  a special tree to give the “I Do’s” beneath; and to top it all off, an old, vintage barn where my prince charming and I could dance the night away. However, once my real prince charming, Jonty, had proposed, finding this perfect wedding venue seemed impossible and after months of scouring the internet, we almost came to the conclusion that we would have to give up on our dream wedding at the realization that a venue like that just does not exist. So, you can imagine our excitement and utter disbelief when one day we happened to stumble upon Old Forest School! At every picture Jonty and I scrolled through on the website, our hearts became more set on the fact that this was ‘the one’, and we had already decided before our first meeting with the lovely Su-an at OFS that there would be no other option. Throughout the whole planning process, Su-an and the team put in the extra mile to ensure that we were in the know, that everything was going to plan and that we weren’t getting too stressed by it all. On the Big Day, they went above and beyond, doing far more than any other venue would to make everything flow without a hitch and to make ours and all of our helper’s lives so much easier! They made our day very personalised, calm, relaxed and everything that it was, which was perfect! Our guests still have not stopped raving about what an amazing place Old Forest School is for a wedding; we agree. Old Forest School not only delivered our fairytale, (right down to the horse), but our day was in fact, far more perfect than we could have ever imagined! We couldn’t be more thankful.”
Jessie & Jonty

Su-an and her family made our day. They provided a stunning venue which our guests all raved about and they worked quietly behind the scenes to make sure everything ran smoothly. When some ominous thunder rolled in the decision was made to move our ceremony inside. The McMahons moved our beautiful and delicate flower arrangement from the doors under the trees onto a ladder and carried it into the school house. They knew how much thought I had put into decorating so it was lovely that they made the effort to transport it.From offering me parasols to shield from prying eyes (like I was a celebrity hiding from paparazi!!) to absolutely smashing out the clean up, providing lots of support and answering loads of questions in the lead up, Su-an and her family were absolute stars. We cannot recommend Old Forest School enough.
Tash & Brent

Thank you so much for helping to make our wedding day come true. You were so helpful and supportive throughout the whole process and we are very thankful for all that you did for us. The extra help and thought that went into the day from your end was much appreciated. Planning a wedding from London was much easier than we thought thanks to your smooth prompt communicational skills and ideas. Thanks again Su-an, we appreciate it more than you will ever know! To all future brides and grooms – if you are lucky enough to book into this dream venue you will never look back! Enjoy xx”
With love, Shaina and Jason 

Su-an, thank you so much to you and your wonderful family for helping me have the best day of my life and my dream wedding! The whole day was utterly gorgeous, I still can’t believe my dreams came true! xx

Amazing amazing amazing!! Old Forest School is simply amazing. LOVE! We loved it our guests loved it…was a perfect day and evening xx

I truly had the best day of my life.  I was the happiest I’ve ever felt and could not stop smiling all day. Old Forest School is magic ! Just exceeded my expectations and we would not change a single thing was just perfect . A huge thank you to Su-an and Alistair. They went above and beyond and the thing which rings through more than anything is their incredible passion for this school. Thank you so so much.

So I never thought one single day could be such a massive highlight of my life but it was phenomenal. The 25 degrees, clear blue sky day didnt hurt either! Without sounding like a Hallmark card – Su-an, Alastair, Holly and Rose – you are spectacular. We’re so incredibly grateful the care, love and detail you put into making sure we had an amazing day. Thank you a million times over xxx

I have to say thank you so so so very much for providing the venue for the wedding of my dreams. I can’t believe how much fun we all had and absolutely everything about it was just perfect. You have been so helpful over this past year. I really couldn’t have pulled off that level of organisation without you! You have such a beautiful soul. And thank you to Alistair and the girls. The secret heroes that do the work behind the scene and expect no credit.

Old forest school is the perfect venue for any bride and groom that want to stand apart from the crowd. The grounds are beautiful, the buildings are unique and the fact that there is no cellphone coverage just adds another bonus (in my humble opinion). Su-An and Alistar are amazing hosts.  We truly had the best day of our lives and a memorable night in the gorgeous cabins.

I cannot speak highly enough about this venue.  Old Forest School is a pinterest dream!  I am entirely sure there is no better wedding venue in New Zealand. The owner Su-An and her lovely family have created the perfect venue.  It is so picturesque, our photographer was in heaven, and everywhere you look are little details that just blow you away. The owners are just lovely.  They are so easy to deal with (respond to emails immediately), are so accommodating (they even got us an overlooked fire permit on the day with minutes to spare!), and were genuinely enthusiastic about our wedding even though they see so many!  There are also none of the limitations that lots of other venues impose so you are free to create a wedding that is unique to you and not just one like every other wedding. Old Forest School was also extremely cost effective since you bring your own alcohol and food and are not paying inflated wedding venue prices for those.  Our wedding day was exactly as we had hoped and we are so grateful to Su-An and Old Forest School for making it happen.  Go for a drive and see this awesome venue.  Su-An will make you a cup of tea, you will get that ‘its meant to be’ feeling, and the rest will be easy!

Compliments to you guys and Casey and everyone else who helped put contingency plans B and C into action ! It all looked more amazing than we could have imagined, and I think if the weather had been nice we wouldn’t have had such a nice intimate reception   When Grace sends through the proofs I’ll be happy to forward them on, we would be honoured to have some on your website 

We had the absolute pleasure of getting married at Old Forest School, we came to look at their beautiful place 22 months ago and at that stage it was a diamond in the rough but we put our faith in Su-an and Alistair as we knew where they were heading and that it would be stunning when it came to our wedding day. After a long 22 months we finally got married and the day could not have been more magic and the help and advice that Su-an and Alistair provided was excellent. The guests thought the cricket was a fantastic idea, and our guests who stayed their with us for the weekend loved the accommodation with the added bonus of comfy beds!  Old Forest School is permanently attached to our story, it has a special place in our hearts as is  Su-an and her family.

We decided to have our wedding at Old Forest School and loved every part of this venue. The class room was perfect for a vintage type ceremony.  The tennis court and surrounding area was excellent for drinks and games. We haven’t got our photos yet but I am sure they will be amazing with a huge range of options, even being able to have total forest surroundings. The hosts were extremely accommodating went to great lengths to make our wedding day awesome. Highly recommend anyone who is looking for a venue to check this place out.

Old Forest School was a brilliant wedding venue for my husband and I. We love sports and the outdoors and will both be working in schools. We also have a passion for everything vintage. It was great not having to worry about the cost of hiring chairs/tables and excess décor. Everything we needed was already at hand. In addition, there were so many activities on offer to entertain the guests whilst we went off to have our photos taken. Not only that, but the photo opportunities were endless. Su-an and her family were a great help, offering potential ideas, contacts and most all assistance on the day where required.

Thank you so much again, it’s such a special gift to be able to provide couples with a venue like that you should be so proud of your vision and what you have created 
Jade and Ben