How to choose your wedding date and time.

All you need is love and … a date and time.

How do you choose your wedding date and time? The majority of weddings I attend  take place in Summer, on a Saturday at 3pm. And there’s a good reason for that, it’s warmer in Summer (well sometimes, although not always in Dunedin) a Saturday means no-one has to go to work early the next day, so they can party late into the night, and 3pm works well, for the ceremony, photos, dinner time line.

But…

Is it really the best time?

Ask any photographer, and 3pm in Summer is not always the best time for those magical wedding photos. There are times of the day (morning and late afternoon/dusk) that they call the ‘golden hour’ because it provides stunning light, and thus equally stunning photos. It can be harder for a photographer to work with the light in the middle of the day in summer to make sure the bride and groom aren’t squinting during the ceremony, or that half the bridal party is in direct sunlight and the other half are in shadow, a bit of a nightmare to make everyone look great.

Summer, while it should be warmer, and less chance of rain, is peak wedding season, so all the good venues, celebrants, photographers will be booked up really fast. You snooze unfortunately you lose in some cases. And I know not everyone’s that organised to plan 18 months ahead. Where as Autumn, you get great colours, leaves falling, it’s still not that chilly yet, and the light is better for photos. Google search ‘weddings in Queenstown’ and you will see the most stunning winter wonderland images. There are also some absolutely stunning venues around that lend themselves to the perfect winter wedding, and if you plan a winter wedding inside, you don’t have to stress about whether it’s going to rain or not. I know many a bride to be who has been constantly checking the weather app on their phone the week leading up to their wedding.  One less stress in my opinion.

winter-wedding-newzealand24.jpg
Photo via: Heliweddings.co.nz

 

3pm, or as I call it “wedding o’clock” is the most popular time for a wedding. Why?  Well most people figure it gives the girls long enough to get hair, make-up, maybe a glass of champers under their belt, and then it leads nicely into canapes after the wedding, while the couple go off to have their photos taken, leaving the guests to their own devices, and the open bar, then back after photos straight into speeches or dinner and dancing the night away. But what about exchanging your vows at sunrise, then having a wedding breakfast with your guests?  Or having an 11am wedding, then heading into a beautiful lunch somewhere fancy, or having your ceremony at 5pm (having your first look and photos before hand) and then not having to leave your guests, who you invited because they are your favourite people, and starting the party straight away?

Why Saturday? Fridays are awesome for a wedding, you get to spend a long weekend with your loved ones, especially those who have travelled a long way to hang out with you. And if you give everyone enough notice, then most people will be able to get the time off work, and still not have to go to work the next day. And you’ll have a better pick of venues, celebrants, photographers etc. Having a wedding out of season could also let you take advantage of specials that many photographers, venues etc may have to build business in the less busy season.

If you’re looking for a way to stretch the budget, then consider thinking outside of the 3pm on a Saturday in Summer square. There’s plenty of other options around if you just be open minded.

Just remember it’s your day, and of course you should do it your way, whether it’s 3pm on a Saturday in Summer or not.

Port Molyneux School

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

Feast your eyes on the beautiful Port Molyneux School

school
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)

school1
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.

school3
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.

school6
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.

school2
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.

school7
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.

school4
The outdoor ceremony space.
school5
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/