Why You Need a Forest Wedding

by Helen Cordery

Your wedding or elopement is your chance to create special memories to remember for a lifetime. There are options out there for all tastes and budgets, but have you ever thought about getting hitched in a redwood grove? Forest weddings at Pūkaha give you the opportunity to combine your special day with the work we do here, making it the perfect option for people wanting to give something back. Here we present our four favourite reasons why a forest wedding at Pūkaha is for you.

Contribute to New Zealand conservation

As a registered non-profit, Pūkaha is involved in national-level captive breeding programmes for whio (blue duck), pāteke (grey teal), yellow-crowned kākāriki, red-crowned kākāriki, orange-fronted kākāriki, North Island kākā and North Island Brown kiwi. For more Information on our captive breeding successes, have a read here.

We are also actively restoring our 942-hectare reserve using a mix of old-world skills and modern technology. Our forest is home to wild populations of kōkako, kiwi, korimako, tuna, moko kākāriki (barking gecko) and more. For more Information, take a look at this.

2) Nature equals happiness

According to Psychology Today, studies have recently been published that show a considerable connection between nature and happiness.  Getting married in a forest only encourages those feelings of connectedness, because is there anything nicer than saying “I do” beneath the treetops and with birdsong in your ears? We love to use the redwood grove as a ceremony setting, which also doubles as a much-loved home to kārearea (New Zealand falcon) and even wild kiwi at night.

Support local

Our all-inclusive option gives you the best of what the Wairarapa has to offer. We have carefully handpicked the best local providers so that you don’t have to worry about the details of your wedding. We are concerned with the health of our environment and the quality of the services and are really proud to say that our wedding functions contribute to our local region.

Some of the top providers we work with include Mount Bruce Lodge (gorgeous boutique accommodation), He Puti Puti (unique floral arrangements following Māori tikanga), Wild Rose NZ (venue styling) and local celebrant/radio personality, Wendy Morrison.

One-of-a-kind venue

Imagine that while you are busy getting your portraits done, your guests are exploring the Pūkaha reserve, learning about conservation in action here in New Zealand. Maybe they will meet Kahurangi, our resident kōkako, or Manukura, the white kiwi.

Thanks to Wild Rose NZ, our forest is represented across all aspects of your celebration with details lovingly placed. We do have a couple of requirements though: our forest is only suitable for a maximum of 60 guests and all wildlife must be respected which means you cannot leave any external foliage in our reserve.

And here’s a bonus one:

The photos will be gorgeous

The light down at the redwoods is simply magical, with beautiful warm tones of red, yellow and brown. Award-winning wedding photographer, Lucalia Photography, is on hand for your photos, including the stunning portrait sessions down beside the trees. Forest weddings always give the best photo opportunities!


Are you interested?

We are excited to announce that weddings at Pūkaha are now well underway! We have two customisable options either all-inclusive or venue hire only. If you’d like more Information, have a read here or contact [email protected]