Our wedding is going to be held in New Zealand, in the Tasman region. This area is known for its national parks, lovely beaches, stunning scenery, and best of all mild climate! The cherry on top for us is that my parents happen to live there...and have an extensive garden....
With that plan in place, I began looking for a reception venue in the area, and that is where I ran into trouble!
Originally I wanted to hold the reception in the small seaside town of Mapua...near my parents and a convenient place for all of our out-of-town guests. This was a big Fail!
The first venue double booked us, then tried to charge us extra to book the following weekend. Because the location of this place was so good we hoped that third time would be the charm, and I flew to NZ to meet with them and sign a contract...and then barely four days later, once I was safely back in Australia they emailed me and informed me they were selling up! I was so annoyed, as they would have known at the time that they were going on the market, yet the owner stood next to me and watched me sign a contract for the end of the year. We have now realised they did this because they wanted to sell the business as a going concern...complete with our "future business". Needless to say, we cancelled our contract and eventually got our money back!
So then the hunt really began. I saw some awful places, too tacky for words. Some places were so lapse in their email communication that I gave up, and some venue managers were just plain uninterested and rude.
I was looking for a place with some character, and nice surroundings. If I had REALLY wanted character I would have defiantly gone with The Playhouse. The staff were super friendly and helpful, and the food was very tasty, but I sadly couldn't ignore the inside cave decor. Another option was the Moutere inn, but I wasn't so keen on having to organise a caterer, we may get some local brews from them though. Founders park was also an option, but as cute as it is, it is just too far from the ceremony location. After emailing more than fifteen possible options, I finally had a shortlist, all meeting the character/low budget requirements!
Mum and Dad went and checked them out for me, and they came up with a winner.....