Port Molyneux School

All you need is love and … a beautiful new wedding venue.

Feast your eyes on the beautiful Port Molyneux School

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The stunning new venue: Port Molyneux School.  All Photos by Williams Photography

A few weeks ago I attended the official opening of a brand new venue. I knew it was going to be awesome, partly because of the location (hello, stunning Kaka Point, Catlins!) and partly because I had met Jade (the director and visionary behind the venue) and her enthusiasm and positivity for the whole project was infectious (definitely my kind of people)

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That view from the school room, breathtaking!

Jade and her family rescued the “Port Molyneux School” from ruin, after coming across it by accident, and realising that it was for sale. She could see the potential of the location (right across the road from the beach) and for a venue in the area, because her husband and her  had struggled to find a suitable venue in the area, when they got married.

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Gorgeous buttonholes by Twigs n Twine Blooms/Design and Events

So after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and restoration work, the venue was open to the public for the first time, and it is beautiful!!! The character of the place is still in tact but it has been bought into this century with a lot of love and care, and has everything you could need to hold the wedding of your dreams.

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Night time lighting

The school rooms have been lovingly restored and are a blank canvas, as either a ceremony space area, for after wedding cocktails or sit down reception space. They feature wooden floors, and beautiful windows letting in an abundance of natural light and views across the road to the ocean. There is of course ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toilets (apparently part of the bathroom decor is original) and a fully equipped kitchen for event catering.

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Perfect spot for an indoor ceremony.

Part of the hire of the venue includes the use of the headmasters house, a stones throw along a stone path from the main building. This 3 bedroom house has been fully restored and decorated and has everything you would need to spend your wedding night in absolute bliss.  The section the venue is on is large enough and flat enough to be used by your guests if they wanted to camp for the night also. On the open day Tussock Country had set up one of their luxury camping tents, and it was amazing, so much more civilised than a pup tent and a sleeping bag.

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Now this is camping, or should I say Glamping by Tussock Country

Outside the school at the front, there is a beautiful spot which has been specially created  to accommodate outside weddings, there is a mantle and seating. This all coming together to create a perfect spot with the ocean roaring in the background to exchange your wedding vows.

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The outdoor ceremony space.
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Who wouldn’t want their wedding photos taken in this spot?

The Port Molyneux School is not just available for weddings, but any occasion that requires a unique and beautiful setting. Now I just need someone to get married there so I can visit this beautiful spot again, but as a celebrant.

Find out more about this very special wedding venue.

Jade McNab +64 (0) 21 1202 722  or jade@portmolyneuxschool.co.nz

portmolyneuxschool.co.nz/

 

 

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Engaged to Married – August/September

All you need is love and … and update on Sharmain and Jeremy.

We’re now on the home stretch, we have less than 100 days to go, so everything is ramping up. The last two months have been very busy with lots of organising, and finalising, but there’s still the little details to go.

Bridesmaid dresses have been purchased and they have arrived, and the girls will all be together to try them on in the next couple of weeks, with possible alterations being scheduled closer to the wedding date.

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Wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses.

The cute flower girl and ring bearer outfits have also been purchased.

There will be gorgeous wedding favours (which have now been paid for) for the guests and other little bit and pieces to personalise the day.

The table centerpieces are being finalised and finished, just need a bit more tweaking to make them perfect.

Wedding rings have been chosen and paid for, and are now tucked away in a safe place away from the dog.

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Ring boxes minus the rings, that have been tucked away for safe keeping.

I spent some time transferring everything into clear plastic tubs, so it’s all together in one place and easily transported, and more importantly away from the dog.

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Plastic clear boxes are a life saver for keeping everything together.

We had our second meeting with our awesome celebrant, we now have a better idea on the structure of our ceremony. She asked us a lot of questions, which she will use to personalise our ceremony, that’s what we love about her style of ceremony. We also have some ideas for writing our own vows, which we will keep secret from each other until the ceremony, something to look forward to on the day. She also gave us information on obtaining our marriage licence (an essential part of the day!!) and we are nearly  within the 3 month time period to obtain this. (Awesome celebrant has just about finished your ceremony, you should have it in a couple of days, whoop, whoop!!)

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We have our final meeting with our photographer in a couple of weeks.

Invites have been sent, and we are now just waiting for the RSVP’s to come back in.

It feels good to have all the big things ticked off, but now it’s time for all the finalising (caterers, RSVPs) and all the fiddly little jobs (centerpieces, finishing DIY projects)

It’s getting really exciting now it’s less than 100 days to go.

 

When to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

All you need is love and …to learn when to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

When I sat down to research and write this piece, it became apparent to me that the principles for the successful navigation of the wedding planning process and  successfully navigating marriage are quite similar. Although I have yet to find a need for a seating chart in my marriage, and 17 years in I don’t think there will ever be a need for one, so in that respect they are different. So while you are reading this piece, be mindful that you can take some of the advice and apply it to marriage as well as wedding planning.

Wedding planning is hard, this we know. In fact if anyone says to you “Oh I loved every minute of planning my wedding, it was all so much fun” they are lying. They are a big fat liar McLiarsons.

With my experience in the wedding industry, and the many articles I’ve read, blog posts I’ve perused and Facebook rants I’ve been privy to, the number one issue couples (well let’s be honest, mostly brides) have is every man and his dog seems to have an opinion on how you should plan your wedding.

So with that in mind I’ve put together some tips for how to handle those sticky situations and those well-meaning friends and family (who we know only want to help) during the wedding planning process.

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Come up with a budget, and stick to it – When you first start planning your wedding, you need to sit down together and have a conversation about money (I know boring as hell, but so important) You both need to decide on how much you can realistically spend on your wedding day, and what type of wedding you want. Is it going to be all out, over the top, dream wedding, or maybe something a little more scaled back? This will help you make all the big decisions (venue, photographer etc) when you know exactly how much you’ve got to spend on each element. Having a set budget means that you also have a good excuse to say ‘no’ to suggestions “Sorry I really can’t incorporate those swans  you really want into the wedding Great Aunty Fanny. I can’t afford it!” Soz not soz!

Make sure you’re both on the same page – Make sure you both converse about what’s important to you for the big day. Are there some non-negotiable items that you must have or that are priorities to you? For example, he may be a big fan of a particular type of car and really want those as the wedding cars, where you couldn’t care less what type of cars you arrive in. So you budget for those cars, and if someone offers their opinion on another type of car, you can say ‘no’. If you are both on the same page you will be in a better position  when people start questioning or offering their opinions. You will know exactly what the other person thinks and wants and can stick together.

Make sure your partner will back you up – Weddings and wedding planning can bring out the worst in people. A lot of people in your lives will have set opinions, whether solicited or not, on your wedding plans. If you’ve already had the discussion about the budget and your priorities, then you’re in good shape.  You also need to know that your partner will back you up if/when you have to say ‘no’ to a suggestion. Also be aware that some people will go for  the “divide and conquer” technique, where they will offer their suggestion on you first and if you say ‘no’ then they will try your partner. But once again if you both know the plan and know that you both  have each other’s back then you’ll come out on top.

Stick up for what’s important to you – It’s your wedding day, you get to do it your way. If there is something that you really want (priorities and non-negotiable items) and someone questions your decision then make sure you stick up for what’s important.  You don’t want to look back on your wedding day with regret on something that you gave up to keep someone else happy.

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Don’t be emotionally black-mailed, especially by family – Split families can be  a hotbed for emotional blackmail (the whole if he’s coming then I’m not type of childish behaviour, can rear it’s ugly head) Make sure all your family members know that you will not be held to ransom on your wedding day. Remind them that it is your day, and that they need to ‘pull their heads in’ and if they can’t then maybe they should not come.  You’ll find nine times out of ten, they will start behaving. No-one wants to miss a wedding.

Every-ones on the same page – If your parents or other relatives are financially contributing to the wedding then you need to have discussions at the beginning with them all about your plans. There can be times when their money will come with strings attached ( an example: if they are paying for flowers, then they want to pick the flowers) and if you’re all good with that, then great, if not then you need to discuss and come to a compromise. I know, maybe easier said than done, just make sure they know how much you appreciate their contribution, but, that you have your hearts set on your plans. And if they still won’t play ball, then you need to decide if the money they are contributing is  worth all the hassle.

What can you let go of – There may be times where you just need to let go of some of the control or your expectations and go with some-one else’s idea to keep the peace. But only if it’s something that is not one of your priorities. For example one bride let her mother in law choose and order the wedding favours, because it kept her involved (and happy) and it wasn’t really a priority for the bride. Win, win I say!

Remember what’s important -You love each other. You  are choosing to share your love story and commitment with your friends and family on your special day.

 

How to travel together without killing each other!

All you need is love and … some advice for travelling together.

They (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are but you know who I mean) think there are certain things that you should do as a couple before you get married to test whether this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  The list includes using a slow internet connection, untangling Christmas tree lights, putting together flat pack furniture and travel.

I’m a huge fan of travel, whether it’s just a weekend away some where close or a huge overseas blow out, I’m in, all in, every time!  Travelling has a way of broadening your mind I know it’s cliche but it’s so true. It allows you to see how others live, different cultures, landscapes and people. It also has the ability to show you so many more sides to your mate. So along with a heck of a lot of reading on the topic and my travel experiences with my darling husband, I’m come up with some thoughts and advice on travelling with your partner.

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New Zealand to Hong Kong  March 2016 Yay!!

You will learn so much more about your partner – Travelling takes you out of your comfort zone, both as an individual and as a couple. It opens your eyes up to the world around you.  It forces you to engage with other cultures, foods and etiquette. All of which may be scary, and new and different, and exciting and tiring and fun. It has the ability to show you how your partner deals with frustration and being tired and hungry.

One of the biggest challenges will be spending all of your time together – My husband and I are not the type of people who need to spend every minute together, in fact we start getting on each others nerves after a long weekend together.  It has taken us a long, long time of both marriage and travelling together to figure this out about ourselves and to know that it’s OK.  We make sure we have some down-time (alone time) when we travel, some-times it’s just having a few hours of time apart to wander around, or even if it’s just putting the headphones on and reading a magazine in another room.  It stops us from annoying each other, and it absolutely works for us.

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Hong Kong to Beijing, China.

Compromise – Like relationships full stop, travel requires compromise.  It requires knowing what each other wants to do and not do and then making a decision and itinerary based on making sure you both get a bit of what you want. Example, just over 10 years ago (before our son was born) we planned a 5 week overseas trip (both of us had regrets over not having done our OE when we were younger, so decided to go for it together, before we started a family) we each had a list of places we wanted to visit on our trip, so we had to compromise and make decisions so each of us got what we wanted.

Communication – Keeping the lines of communication open when travelling is essential.  You need to voice your opinion, you need to be able to say when you’re not happy, talk it through and then let it go, otherwise it’s going to be a long, long trip.

Manage expectations – Take some time before your trip to talk about your expectations for the trip.  How do you see yourselves spending your time, are you going to be up at the crack of dawn, and going all day, or are you going to be lounging by the pool all day?

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Cruising the river in Vietnam.

Budget – The dreaded B word. What are you willing to splurge on, and what are you happy to save on. Do you want 5 star hotel rooms, but eat cheap street food, or do you want to spend the dollars doing all the tourist things, or just wander around town and soak up the (free) atmosphere.

Each others schedules – Are you an early riser and he prefers to sleep in? Then you’re going to have some trouble and arguments, unless you have a conversation about it and manage your schedules.  This is where that magic word “compromise” comes into play, and managing your expectations.

Eat before you get “hangry” – I think this advice has the potential to save many a relationship in any situation, not just travel.

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Great Wall of China ticked off the bucket list.

Travelling together will definitely strengthen your relationship, it will help you to accept each other as you are warts and all (and you will probably see all the warts, and dodgy tummies and stinky feet, when you travel together). You will get an insight into your partners ‘preparation style’ my husband and I have completely different ‘preparation styles’ when it comes to travel, I pack about 2 weeks ahead of time and think of every possible scenario I will need to pack for, and probably pack too much, he on the other hand packs about 2 hours before we leave, by just randomly throwing things into the suitcase, and then forgetting essentials, which we inevitably  end up having to buy while overseas, which may not sound that bad, until you are scouring the streets of Hong Kong for deodrant (tip – it’s very, very hard to find)

The more you travel together the more of a team/unit you will become, you will become more efficient together, and learn which of you is better at holding the passports and who can read maps better. I always hold the passports and tickets and he deals with the suitcases.

Travelling together allows you to create fantastic life-long memories together.  And you’ll have so many of those “Remember when we saw that thing in that place” conversations (that is actually how we start a lot of your conversations, but they may be more about old age than anything else)

There’s nothing quite like experiencing a new place with a loved one.