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Renee and Jesse’s Poronui wedding
– Weddings

In the lead up to Renee and Jesse’s Poronui wedding, COVID-19 event hosting restrictions came in to play, forcing last-minute changes to their plans. However, nothing could detract from their perfect day.

“The people at Poronui Lodge are passionate and love what they do. It is reflected in a flawless service that made our day unforgettable.”

Poronui: How did you meet?

Renee: We met while studying agriculture. Both of us have a passion for the farming industry.

Why did you choose Poronui as the location for your wedding?

We love big country stations — especially being farmers of the land ourselves. We knew years ago that Poronui was for us — we never even bothered looking at any other locations. It’s like Poronui called us there in a way. It just never left our mind whenever we thought about what our wedding would be like.

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

We struggled to visualise the layout of all the furniture and the marquee, how the day would run, how do we get from A to B, and also how do we ensure that our guests are well looked after during the times we weren’t there? Our wedding was the very last weekend before Covid-19 lockdown. It was extremely emotional and tested everyone’s patience.

The Poronui staff were fantastic and had all the furniture set up. They helped the other vendors put their things in place. Claire was a constant right from the start of the process. She’s like the mum of the day who just gets it all done and everyone feels compelled to listen to her. Under the circumstances of reducing guest numbers, Claire was an absolute professional and such a pleasure to work with. We felt that she had our guests’ best interests at heart and wanted the day to be up to everyone’s expectations. Poronui knows their wedding industry inside out and the team are there to help make your day the best it can be.

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

The biggest help of all was Claire at Poronui. She suggested a range of vendors that could provide what we wanted. Everything came together and we celebrated an amazing day, and coincidently a really good pre-lockdown party.

What was your favourite part of the planning process?

Paying the deposit and having it confirmed was a great feeling, and so was going out to Poronui for the initial visit. But seeing it all come tother the day before the wedding was just so beautiful and it makes you feel so happy that it’s what we all envisioned. It shows Poronui delivers and the team listens to what you want. The day before, you get to see a small glimpse of the magic that will follow the next day.

What’s your most precious memory of the day?

After the ceremony, Claire suggested that we get the helicopter to take us up to a peak high above the wedding venue. At the time when it was bought up, we just liked the idea of having a helicopter involved. But looking back on the day and some of the most amazing photos, this was a moment that we both really valued. It was way up where no one could be with us and we had a chance to take it all in and just not have any background noise. Just silence and big country and us. It was the perfect touch. It was very special to us.

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

Poronui is a location that no one ever forgets in a hurry. It’s big, it’s regal, and it suited our personalities down to the ground. For us, it’s a place we can revisit for many other reasons because it’s such a versatile venue. The memories we will always have are the vast hills that were golden from the dry summer, deer in the foothills, and the buildings that we used for the ceremony and reception were just exceptional and oozed elegance — the kind you expect from a very high-end hunting lodge. Poronui is exceptional and its reputation in the wider public is well-known for being the finest of its kind.

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

Probably the photos that were taken of us up in the hills together. But we love the photo of Jesse and the men’s wedding party at the stables in front of the billiards table. It’s very Mafia-looking and very masculine but suited to the setting.

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

Nothing but the best! Family and friends that have never been to a lodge of such high calibre were blown away by it all. Everyone commented on how well it went, everyone was well looked after, and guests knew exactly what was happening and when. Claire and our MC communicated well and that made it all run smoothly. All guests loved that there was no cellphone reception, which was great! It forces people to be present and a part of the day.

Would you recommend Poronui to other couples?

Most definitely. We would recommend Poronui for weddings, weekends away, hunting — the lot. It’s a place where you feel comfortable and welcomed and that’s something that many places lack. The people at Poronui are passionate about being there and love what they do. It showcases the lodge well and is reflected in a flawless service that made our day unforgettable.

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