To enable us to host a wedding here at Ohau, it has to be a private function so all accommodation is closed off to any other guests other than the wedding party on this date. We charge a “Venue Fee” of $500 and for us to accept a wedding booking there has to be a guaranteed minimum of 80 adults staying.
If you are wanting a Saturday, try and find a weekend where there is plenty of availability on the Friday as well and ask reception to hold some rooms for that night as well so that your guests can make a weekend of it.
Lake Ohau Lodge has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. We will send you a booking form that you should send out with the invitations to your guests. They then book directly with us which takes the pressure off you. It also answers all the questions that we need answered and helps them to get the best accommodation to suit their requirements. We can liaise with you at any time to advise who has booked so you can chase up any late bookers.
Usually our best room is reserved for the wedding couple. If you want to reserve any rooms for the wedding party, you should do so before the invitations go out.
Once you have decided on Lake Ohau Lodge as your venue we ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure your booking.
Table & Restaurant Set Up
The restaurant comfortably seats around 85 and can squeeze in 110. We have a number of table plans that we can send to suit the number of guests.
Most couples have a Head Table with 3 of our restaurant tables put together and seating just down one side. You can seat 9 this way and if you add one at each end, you can seat 11.
If you are having the maximum 110 seated including the Head Table, it requires a casual seating arrangement with long tables. With the Head Table seating up to 11, we set up 3 long tables that seat 12-14 on the lake side of the restaurant and bring inside 3 of our outside tables to create long ones seating 16-18 on the kitchen side. It is a bit of a squeeze and requires some bench seating for guests on the kitchen side of the restaurant as it is narrower.
On the tables typically there is the menu that either we or you have printed, up to 3 of your chosen table wines, a carafe of chilled Ohau water, a basket of home made bread, flowers & possibly candles.
We have 13 restaurant tables, 10 measure 1.72 x .9m, 3 measure 2m x .9m and our outside tables measure 3m x .76m.
We have a Top Tips for wedding guests template that you can personalise as a plan for the weekend that can be placed in your guest’s room for when they arrive.
Please ask for our current Suggested Wedding Menu.
We offer a plated meal, served to the table which includes a soup with home made bread, a choice of two mains on the same vegetables and a choice of two desserts. This is followed by tea and coffee which you can help yourself to. If you have a wedding cake, once you have had the “cutting of the cake” it is taken to the kitchen where our chefs will cut it into small pieces to be served with the tea and coffee.
Our current wedding wine list is sent for you to make your choice. This includes a discount on our standard price in recognition of the fact that you are having a large function. After the ceremony, the drink of choice is of course BUBBLY! On our wine list we have a methode champenois or a sparkling, both are delicious. If you are having a wedding in the cooler months some couples offer a warming gluhwein to start.
Most couples choose to offer bubbly first then either beer (tap and/or bottled?), our house wine selection and juice/soda straight after the ceremony, saving the nicer wines for the table. For the wedding breakfast the couple usually choose 3 wines from our wine list, a red and two whites.
The rule of thumb is ½ bottle per person for wines during the wedding breakfast and a budget can be worked out for what the bar tab is likely to be overall once you have decided what you would like to offer your guests.
Please be aware that there is no BYO or corkage offered.
We always have friendly, professional staff who love to be part of a wedding and will bend over backwards to make your wedding day very special.
The restaurant has had some wonderful colour schemes. It depends on your preference and maybe what you are wearing.
For a classic look, we provide white starched cloths. These cloths are not floor length but for the head table we wrap the front to the floor. This can be teamed with our donkey brown chair covers or hired white chair covers.
We also have Forest Green tablecloths that look smart with white napkins and our brown chair covers.
If the above do not suit then you can hire tablecloths and matching chair covers from a hire company.
You definitely need these for this occasion. We supply white fabric napkins at no charge.
They look great. As is often the case, the tables have 6-8 people on them and there is not an abundance of room so tea lights can be a good choice or maybe some big fat candles in with the flowers. My favorite look is tall candles as the light is reflected in the windows of the restaurant and looks really magical. Please ensure that there is some provision for containing dripping wax. For tea lights we have plenty of small dishes.
These are brought and organised by the bridal party. If you have a budding florist in the family this is a good job for them. Often the mother of the bride or groom takes charge here and delegates a friend to help. They like to contribute. Our garage can be made available with a trestle table placed inside to do the arranging. There is also a walk in chiller there for storage of flowers. We have a few large vases that you are welcome to use, alternatively the Warehouse is a good source of cheap vases or containers and oasis.
Flowers on the tables are better kept low and long rather than tall and skinny again so that there is enough room for all the other accoutrements on the table and so your guests can see each other.
For other places to set flowers, in the restaurant there is only one large area and that is by the bar door. Sometimes the mantelpieces are used. Other than the restaurant sometimes a bowl of flowers is placed at reception, in the bar, the TV room or the ladies loo.
Our recommended florist is Bourbon Rose, 13A Riccarton Rd, Christchurch, 8011 – phone: 03-348 4103
Tablecloths, Chair Covers, Plants etc
You can also arrange hire of chair covers, tablecloths and fabric napkins from Party Warehouse, 133 Blenheim Road, Christchurch. Phone number is (03) 377 8228 or www.partywarehouse.co.nz
If You Are Hiring From Christchurch
We can arrange for our truck to pick them up first thing in the morning on Thursday before the wedding. You will need to arrange for one of the guests to take them back to Christchurch on the Sunday as the hire companies need them back at the beginning of the next week. You order and pay with credit card. If you are hiring please advise us of your order number to make it easier for our truck to locate the order.
Recommended Marriage Celebrants
- Andrea Chambers
Address: Doctors Creek Rd, Kurow.
Phone: (03) 4311843
- June Taylor
Address: Struan Meadows, RD1, Kurow
Phone: (03) 4360414 or Fax (03) 4350415
A local marriage celebrant is typically chosen to perform the wedding ceremony in your chosen spot. Sometimes though there is a family member or friend who is a JP or Marriage Celebrant who takes the ceremony.
Helicopter Line, PO Box 97, Twizel (0800) 650 652. Email Twizel@helicopter.co.nz
- Jim Pollard
Queenstown - email email@example.com or visit https://www.pollardweare.com
- Bev Bell
www.simplyinspired.co.nz Phone (027) 4558 3865
- Stu Jackson
Timaru. Phone (0800) 746 861
- Susannah Blatchford
Christchurch - Phone (03) 967 1570 or www.susannahblatchford.com
- Jemima Helmore
Shine Spa & Salon, Corner George & Stafford St, Timaru, Phone: 03 684 7699 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Black Velvet Band, Christchurch. Email email@example.com
You can provide an iPod which we can plug into our bar system. We have speakers in the bar and restaurant and can connect a couple of extra speakers outside for the ceremony.
Highly recommend – Tracy Gunn who is a local NZ Master chef finalist and can make any fantasy cake you desire. Each cake individually quoted. Her contact is Rusty Halo kitchen on facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will provide
If you are employing a band and/or photographer;
F.O.C. accommodation and a staff meal for band members in our cheaper accommodation for the night of the wedding
F.O.C. accommodation and staff meal for photographer for the night of the wedding
- Knife for cutting the cake – if you have a special knife, please bring it.
- Seating plan
- Place names
- Speech plan - It is very helpful to us to have a list of speakers and an indication of how long they will speak for. It enables us to have the next course ready to go when the speech is finished and ensures a seamless evening.
- iPod of recorded music
- Printed menus
Depending on the time of year, times vary but typically the wedding is held at 4 or 4.30pm.
A ceremony held on the deck is the number one choice. We arrange some bench seating in an arc with an aisle down the middle and facing towards Mount Cook. This leaves room for others to gather around. A table from the upstairs wing is set up on the deck as a place to sign the register with a chair beside for you to sit when signing. The bride typically comes from inside the Lodge, through the restaurant and walks through the guests to join her husband at the front.
If you are outside on the deck, music can be hooked up through our bar system to non permanent speakers that we can connect outside, one of the guests is asked to be responsible for liaising with the barman on this.
The grassy knoll with the stone cairn beyond the deck is another favourite for an informal gathering of guests around the couple. If marrying out on the knoll, the bride might walk up in front of the Lodge with guests already there or perhaps she arrives by car.
On the lake shore is also a lovely spot if the weather is good. We are happy to provide the bench seating – be aware that sandflies can be a problem if there is any dampness in the air.
If the weather is not kind, you must not stress about this. One cannot control the weather!! The TV room can be made to look quite “chapelly” or the other alternative is the Games Room.
Your Wedding Day
Breakfast time is 8-9.30. Once that is over, the staff gets into action.
The restaurant will be cleaned and ready to set up for the wedding by around 11.30am. Often we find that there are guests who are wanting to help so if you have hired chair covers that is a great job for them to do. We also like someone in the know to help with putting the place names around. If there are any fine adjustments to be made they know who is who.
Lunch is provided at 12.30 for guests. We ask on the booking form provided for guests to indicate if they will be here for lunch on the day of the wedding. Quite often when guests receive the booking form they are not sure of their plans, so please can this be followed up closer to the time so that we can have accurate numbers. Quiche and salad is offered, in the bar, casual, on the knee. Chefs are pretty busy this day so something casual works for us. For the bridal party we are happy to deliver the lunch to you in your room.
Guest’s Check In
On check in, your guests will be shown the seating plan if one is provided and confirm the wedding ceremony arrangements and directed to their room. We will double check any dietary requirements and if there are any special requests we can help them then.
The guests are asked to gather and once everyone is there, music is often the indication that the bride is on her way! The ceremony is your choice. The times vary from 10 minutes – 45 minutes. Discuss with your marriage celebrant how you would like it to be.
After the Ceremony
The wedding party often departs at this point for photographs but sometimes couples have done these beforehand as it gives more time to enjoy the occasion. A basket of bubbly, beers and nibbles can be provided to take away for the group, please advise us how many people are in the party and what drinks you would like included.
The bar is opened ready to serve what has been chosen for the celebration.
An antipasto offering is usually ordered for this time and placed in a central area for people to have with drinks.
The Wedding Breakfast (the first meal of your married life) or Wedding Feast
The wedding party arrives back from photographs and the MC or Maitre’d invites everyone to take a seat for the wedding breakfast. This typically starts at 6 or 6.30pm. The MC introduces and welcomes everyone.
This is usually a good time for the MC to advise your guests of “a couple of housekeeping matters”. We have Tips for the MC. The housekeeping staff would be grateful if those guests checking out could vacate their rooms by 10am as we usually have more guests arriving in on the Sunday night. It would also be appreciated if people could be considerate of the fact that we have to set tables for breakfast and move through to the bar or TV room when we start to clear. Please be assured that we are not going to move people early though.
It is suggested that the soup be served with speeches to follow, just so that everybody is feeling relaxed with something in their bellies. While the soup is being served orders will be taken for the main course and dessert. Vegetarians and any other people with dietary requirements will be catered for individually but using the same menu where possible.
After the speeches, the main course will be served. After the main course is when the cutting of the cake usually happens. The cake is often displayed as a centre piece on the head table or by the bar on the L shaped bench. The couple can move to the cake or the cake can be brought to the table for you to cut.
There are usually photographs taken of this and then the cake taken away and cut up to be served with the tea and coffee following dessert.
Dessert is served to the table. This is followed by tea, coffee and wedding cake which guests help themselves to.
The Party Begins
When everyone has had time to enjoy their tea, coffee and cake, we start setting the tables for breakfast. We hope then that guests will move through into the TV room (which has comfortable seating for those who want to relax but can still see the bar activities through the slide), or to the bar for dancing. If the time of year and weather is right the deck can be used for dancing.
The bar closes when the majority of people have gone to bed.
The Next Day
Breakfast is typically served from 8-9.30 the next day but arrangements can be made for a later finish. Just remember that if there are children or guests having to leave to catch planes, often they can’t wait past 8am.
If you don’t want to go . . . we are happy to offer a simple buffet lunch or casual BBQ to enable you to savour the moment. Please ask for some menu suggestions.
Check Out Time
10am please. Guests are more than welcome to stay on in the restaurant, TV room or on the deck but we require the rooms to be vacated so that the housekeeping staff can start their job.
All accounts are to be paid for at the conclusion of your event. There is no credit arrangement. All prices quoted for your event are on the assumption that Lake Ohau Lodge supplies all food and beverage. A corkage fee may apply for any agreed beverages.
The Ohau Wedding Planner
Download the Ohau Wedding Planner for your reference.