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Luke & Samantha’s Warm Spring Wedding
– Weddings

On a special day in November, Luke and Samantha tied the knot, surrounded by a sense of love, happiness and warmth at Blake House private villa. Their perfect spring wedding was topped off with an intimate wedding photoshoot in the Poronui Beech Forest.

How did you meet?

Luke and I met at a friend’s 21st. Luke wooed me with toasted marshmallows and I let him drive my car. It was a perfect match.

Why did you choose the location you did?

We both have a passion for the outdoors, and particularly the wilderness aspect. We’d spent a lot of time in the Taharua Valley and it was always a dream of mine to get married at Poronui – I never thought it would be a reality. We knew after the first visit to Blake House that no other venue would compare as it suited our personalities perfectly. It was also the perfect middle ground for friends coming from north and south.

Did you have any “concerns” about the day beforehand and, if so, how were they overcome?

At first, I had concerns about the logistics of getting 70 people to a relatively remote venue, but I needn’t have worried. Claire and her team had done it all before and organised it all for us without any trouble.

We also knew that getting married in November was a risk with the weather but Blake House has an amazing indoor ceremony venue which put our minds at ease. The team were incredibly flexible and we were able to make the decision to move inside at the last minute. Getting married in front of the fireplace was just as magical as having the ceremony outside and didn’t detract from the day at all.

Who helped you organise your big day? Who was involved in the planning?

Luke and I did most of the planning ourselves with a lot of help from our parents, but the thing that made it easiest was the list of incredible vendors that Poronui supplied. Because we were from out of town, having a list of trusted people that had worked together at Poronui before made planning so easy. Claire was also instrumental to our planning by coordinating every little detail and thinking of things that we hadn’t even considered (like lawn games and knee rugs for the oldies).

What was your favourite part of the planning process?

Seeing everything come together in the last few days. It was amazing to see the vision that had been in our heads for the last year and a half come to life. Luke says his favourite part was the cake tasting 😊

What’s your most precious memory of the day?

It’s so hard to pick just one memory but a moment that stood out for me was when Krystle our photographer took just Luke and I up to the Beech forest after the ceremony. It was the first time we had had alone together all day and being in such a stunning peaceful spot amongst the trees with the chance to reflect was priceless. Another was sitting down at dinner and looking out at all our laughing guests that had travelled to celebrate with us – such a special day all around.

From Luke: The sense of love and happiness and warmth that surrounded the whole weekend was indescribable, far more powerful and moving than I ever expected it to be. It was truly the most special day of my life. But if I had to pick one particular memory, it was when Sam first appeared in the aisle. She is always beautiful, but never listens to me when I tell her that. On our day she was radiant, and the difference was she realised it too.

What did Poronui contribute to the memories of your wedding day?

Aside from the breathtaking scenery, Poronui contributed by taking all the stress out of the day. The memories we have are nothing but fun and celebration. Poronui made that possible by their absolute commitment to our enjoyment. They allowed us to treat Poronui as our own, we felt like we were welcoming guests to our home. It was hard to leave the next day.

Do you have a favourite wedding photograph, and where was it taken?

We have hundreds of favourites because our photographer and the locations were spectacular. If a we had to pick a few, one that comes to mind is a photograph taken of the two of us in the Beech forest. The moody lighting and isolation made for a stunning shot.

Another was taken in the middle of the track next to the Red Hut. Such as unassuming spot that turned out to be one of our favourite locations. The other standout was one taken in the field near Blake House. The wide-open space on such a misty day summed up Poronui well.

Was there anything you would change? E.g. the one thing you might have done differently?

The only thing we would have changed was to book our photographer to stay longer into the evening to capture more of the festivities. Other than that, wouldn’t change a thing!

What sort of feedback did you get from friends and family?

“Best wedding ever” was what we heard time and time again from so many of our guests. People felt privileged to visit such a beautiful part of New Zealand, both the venue and the setting were spectacular. We also had great feedback on the incredible food and entertainment that had people up dancing for hours.

Would you recommend Poronui to other couples?

Absolutely! Poronui was really something special and we’ve run out of superlatives. It was the most beautiful, love-filled, stress-free day we could have asked for thanks to the incredible team.


To enquire about your own spring wedding at Poronui, email our dedicated wedding planner Claire

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