Brides of The Hunting Lodge

April 7, 2020

Dreaming of beautiful food, breath-taking scenery and a custom-built wedding barn nestled on an 80-acre vineyard estate only 35 minutes from the Auckland CBD…but not sure if such a thing even exists? Well, dreamers, we’ve got some really great news for you. Located in West Auckland’s lovely Waimauku, The Hunting Lodge is the sophisticated, stylish and stress-free venue you’ve been waiting for. With its team of highly experienced staff, its stunning natural surroundings and ‘Jerry’ the fully refurbished caravan serving drinks, this venue truly has it all (not to mention being home to some of New Zealand's finest wines).

 

But don’t just take our word for it - read on to find out what three Hunting Lodge brides have to say. Spoiler alert, they all absolutely loved it.

MARIJA

  

What inspired your choice of venue?

As soon as we drove in we just knew it was the one. We wanted something relaxed and not so pretentious. The Hunting Lodge ticked all those boxes. It has a great chilled vibe.

 

What inspired your wedding décor/theme?

I didn’t have one! I just decided to take my bridesmaids shopping for dresses of their choice & told them to choose whatever colours they wanted. Luckily the colours they chose looked amazing together! After that, I briefed the florist and matched the florals to the bridesmaids dresses. It worked perfectly I thought!

 

Tell us about the food and beverage at your wedding…

I had The Hunting Lodge cater all the food and wine with some extra champagne for celebrating! I had heard from a friend that The Hunting Lodge did amazing platters, so I told Alex (the events manager) that I’d like something similar to start. She arranged the most incredible grazing table instead of entrée’s!

The grazing table was ideal because it gave everyone a chance to hang outside and catch up with people over a drink instead of being seated for entrée’s. After that we had mains, which were also amazing.

 

What part of your wedding Wow’d you?

We just had the best time taking photos! We went down into the family zone by the olive trees and it was so much fun.

 

What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding?

No challenges! It was easy breezy and I was not stressed. I am not the most relaxed personality but it just goes to prove that with the right planning and the having the right people involved you really can just enjoy the process!”

 

 Did any part of the day exceed your expectations?

The grazing table definitely exceeded my expectations. It was honestly just incredible and everyone loved it. I had tried most of the other food before the wedding, but not the grazing table – so I was seriously blown away when I saw it!”

 

What future advice, tips would you give couples when planning their wedding?

Just trust in the process and chill out! I enjoyed the entire process and found it really easy to just take it as it came. Alex was my wedding planner and she was amazing.

 

If you could describe your experience here at the THL what would you say?

It was a breeze! Alex was at my beck and call 100% of the time - for any questions, small or large.

 

 

 

 

MILA

What inspired your choice of venue?

We found that some of the venues we viewed before The Hunting Lodge had an existing theme. I loved The Hunting Lodge right away because The Barn is like a blank canvas that you can make your own. We also loved the family zone, which is where we had our ceremony. It was secluded and private!

The Hunting Lodge is also reasonably close to home and has a nice local feel.

 

What inspired your wedding décor/theme?

We wanted to keep it really simple. To be fair, I did spend A LOT of time browsing Pinterest. We only really had flowers in the end and chose an earthy toned colour palette which gave off a really comforting vibe. My bridesmaids were in green dresses and I think they looked amazing next to our florals. Plus, it really suited the rustic venue!

 

Tell us about the food and beverage at your wedding…

We had the Sharing Menu by The Hunting Lodge which had delicious things like cold cuts and burrata to start and then Lamb and risotto for a main. It was just amazing.  

We decided to go with The Hunting Lodge wines as well, because it felt sentimental to drink the wine of the winery we were getting married on! The wine is so delicious & local is important to us.

 

What part of your wedding Wow’d you?

The ceremony was just wonderful. The location of the family zone was perfect and it looked so great when it was all set up. I was also blown away by the seamlessness of the entire day and night. Alex and Mariana were so professional and organised. 

 

What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding?

Probably the liability of people! There were quite a few last minute changes with guests which had knock on effects that made things stressful! I am a very organised person, but a few things happened in the last few weeks that you just can’t prepare for!

 

Did any part of the day exceed your expectations?

Again, the ceremony itself. It was just perfect.

 

What future advice, tips would you give couples when planning their wedding?

#1 Don’t sweat the small stuff, it really doesn’t matter!

#2 Don’t feel like you have to do anything you don’t want to at your wedding. Don’t follow any traditions that you don’t want to!

#3 Enjoy every single minute because it is all over so fast! Try to allocate some time to spend with your new husband or wife regardless of how busy you are and how many other people you need to catch up with!

 

If you could describe your experience here at the THL what would you say?

I just loved it – every single moment. The entire venue is stunning and Alex is so fantastic and calm. She kept the focus about us and always let us know that she could arrange absolutely anything we wanted for our special day. That meant so much to us. Not to mention the wine and food! All amazing – like a well oiled machine.

LARISA

 

What inspired your choice of venue?

I live locally, in Kumeu and had always wanted to get married at a West Auckland venue. The first thing we did was jump on the web, and The Hunting Lodge definitely jumped out at us!It was very new at the time, so I wasn’t overly familiar with it, but as soon as we entered the property I knew I wanted to get married there. It was only the 2nd venue we viewed but it was enough!

 

What inspired your wedding décor/theme?

The Hunting Lodge website gave me a lot of inspiration! I saw a flower wall image on there which I wanted to be the main feature behind the bride & groom table – and I decided that I wanted everything else to be nice and simple.

Tell us about the food and beverage at your wedding…

We had Mint Kitchen, which was one of the third party catering service recommended by The Hunting Lodge. We had a buffet style with 3 different meat options, loads of veges and loads of desserts! We had great feedback from our guests.


To drink, we had a keg of beer, a wide variety of The Hunting Lodge wines, and champagne of course! – for the toast.

 

What part of your wedding Wow’d you?

My husband had broken his leg only a week before the wedding! He really impressed me. He didn’t even use crutches and not one complaint the whole night!

 

Also, my favourite part of the night was when we were walking back into the wedding as husband and wife! All our friends were screaming and dancing – we felt like celebrities.”

 

What was the biggest challenge you faced in planning your wedding?

It was definitely my husband breaking his leg a week out! It made things quite stressful.

 

Did any part of the day exceed your expectations?

Totally! I came to the venue quite a few times to view and for rehearsals, but it really does look so amazing all set up. We got married down by the olive groves and it just came together perfectly. The Barn also came together so nicely all dressed up and styled.

 

What future advice, tips would you give couples when planning their wedding?

Just make sure you have plenty of time to plan and do small bits at a time! That way, you can really enjoy the process of planning the wedding and you don’t get overwhelmed.

 

If you could describe your experience here at the THL what would you say?

In one word: Magical.

Everything was done for us, making it stress free and enjoyable! We didn’t have anything to worry about on the day because Alex coordinated it so perfectly.

Click here for more information on weddings at The Hunting Lodge.

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Image credit:

Larissa: Perry Trotter

Mila: Samantha Donaldson

Marjia: Kate Wark