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Exuding elegance: Hemsworth Estate

“Allow time to stop while you celebrate”. That’s the mantra of Hemsworth Estate, a glorious Edwardian former family home reimagined as an event venue.

Five minutes from Ashburton and only an hour from Christchurch, Hemsworth exudes elegance, character and the warm spirit of decades of weddings and celebrations.

The house is set on 58 acres of land with beautiful lawns, English-style gardens and old established trees; the perfect backdrop for any summer wedding ceremony. But it’s also ideal for any other joyful celebratory occasion, especially birthdays, anniversaries, cocktail evenings and Christmas functions.

Hemsworth still belongs to its original family and it is the personal touch of Margie Hulse and her daughter Rebecca that adds to the magic of the venue. They want Hemsworth Estate to be a place where precious memories are made and shared in an environment of quiet tranquility.

You can contact Margie on 027 227 5530 to discuss holding your celebration at Hemsworth.



A magical venue: Rossendale Vineyard

They perform magic at Rossendale Vineyard. It doesn’t matter whether they are magicians or wizards, the team can make wedding dreams and visions come true.



“Couples just have to tell us what they want and we will make it happen,” says events manager Graham Jones. “We have such an adaptable canvas here in our venue that it can be dressed and themed to suit all tastes – from rustic to contemporary, from traditional to funky, from sophisticated to casual.”

The large dance floor flanked with fairy lights simply adds to the magical effect – “there’s plenty of room even for dancing salsa” – while in the kitchen the chef conjures up his own form of sorcery. “Our chef has recently been on holiday in the USA. He has come back with a head full of wonderful ideas for our new menu starting this month. Keeping up with culinary trends is all part of the enchantment of Rossendale.”

There is even more enchantment in the gardens surrounding the wedding venue. “Our gardeners don’t have wands to wave, so they have been working very hard during the autumn and winter months to ensure everything will be absolutely stunning for spring and summer weddings.”

You can contact Graham on 03 322 7780 or email He will be delighted to show you how the Rossendale Vineyard team can perform their magic with your wedding ideas. He may even be able to summon up some available dates for you in the 2019/2020 season.



A World Away: Tuscany Downs Estate

Tuscany Downs Estate is a true New Zealand luxury rural lifestyle experience on five acres of farmland near Darfield, Canterbury that caters to holiday getaways, weddings and corporate retreats.



Just 30 minutes from the central city and 25 minutes from Christchurch International Airport, Tuscany Downs Estate is in the heart of Canterbury-rural living with local wineries, ski fields and golf a short drive away. It’s the perfect location to experience the best of all seasons with large garden areas for relaxing outdoor summer living, or winter drinks beside the large outside open fire after a day at one of the six local ski fields.

Over the last ten years, Tuscany Downs Estate has grown with its local environment and become a gateway to neighbouring attractions that complement the local experience, including a thriving local wine making scene. Tuscany Downs’ proprietors Matt and Tracey Jones say the most overwhelming feedback they hear time and time again from locals and international guests is ‘Location’.

Being within reach of Christchurch city, but immersed in a rural setting surrounded by farmland and views of the mountains means it creates the perfect base for a lifestyle holiday. “All the time we see people who are off for the day skiing, or off for the day on a wine trail, or even a day trip in to the city knowing they’ll return home to a quiet environment to relax in, and everyone loves drinks by the outdoor fire,” Tracey says. “We really want our local and international guests to leave with a lifelong memory being able to say they know what New Zealand rural luxury feels like.”

Tuscany Downs Estate now has an international reputation after hosting guests from over fifty countries, including Europe, North America, and Asia, and that includes people coming to get married. The requests for wedding venue hire has doubled in the last 5 years, largely due to the immediate social media posting of wedding photos. Matt Jones says, “When people see the setting in the photos it sells itself”.

Originally designed and built as a luxury B&B, different markets have presented themselves since the earthquakes, including hosting for corporates when retreats, seminars and conferences became a regular theme as a result.

Tuscany Downs has introduced a new branding campaign aimed at the corporate market titled ‘Bring the Boardroom to the Country’. This is a full-service offering including catering, seminar space for talks and presentations, plus the large garden space for team building or creative thinking.

The portfolio of corporates who have used Tuscany Downs Estate as a boardroom on location includes local Canterbury companies and some of New Zealand’s largest brand names who have brought clients for product launches.



A beautiful backdrop: Chateau on the Park

Nestled amongst five acres of stunning gardens and greenery, Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton, has a number of ideal backdrops for your big day.



Its outdoor spaces lend themselves beautifully to an outdoor ceremony, with options to add on a casual platter-style poolside reception to celebrate with your closest friends and family. They have your wet weather options covered, in either the Baronial-styled Camelot room or The Great Hall for larger celebrations.

Chat to the team about the wedding package, inclusive of venue hire and set up, a Honeymoon Suite for the lucky couple and a first anniversary dinner in the Garden Court Brasserie. The team will take care of every detail from ceremony to reception to ensure you have the wedding of your dreams.

To start planning your big day, call 03 348 8999 or visit


An idyllic location: Methven Resort

Just an hour from Christchurch, Methven Resort offers an unforgettable experience for a wedding venue or exceptional conference location.




This exclusive escape in Methven Village is renowned for fine food, fantastic facilities, entertainment, serenity and space in a beautiful mountain setting. Accommodation staff will personalise every detail for your event to ensure everything runs seamlessly. The main conference room, the largest in mid-Canterbury, accommodates up to 300 and can host a sumptuous banquet.

The resort attracts weddings and conferences all year round, with Mount Hutt offering a majestic backdrop for photos. Booking early is advisable, with summer weddings and conferences proving especially popular. Methven Resort is revered for exquisite top-class food, with the restaurant seating up to 100. There are 47 affordable and comfortable rooms, including family suites that sleep four, along with three steamy outdoor hot pools and a 25 metre heated pool.

Visit or phone 03 302 8724.


Slice of paradise: The Portage

Tie the knot against a breathtaking backdrop of the Marlborough Sounds at The Portage, a fresh, contemporary venue nestled within a perfect slice of New Zealand paradise, complete with birdsong, native flora and magical views of the ocean.


Take your dream wedding from concept to reality with their experienced Wedding Coordinator who will ensure all the finer details of your special day are looked after – from the little things that are easily forgotten to the most important aspects and the intensive preparation of your special day. A dedicated team of hospitality professionals will see that your dining experience is second to none, allowing you, your loved ones and your guests to relax and enjoy the idyllic surroundings and a uniquely personalised experience – all at an affordable price. Arrive by boat, float plane or helicopter and let The Portage host the celebration of a lifetime!


Plan your Perfect Party: Jubilee Events

After three years of managing fundraising events, fellow mums Julia Dockerill and Cassandra Kelly decided to set up their own events management company. After a chance encounter led to them to discover the Rangiora Function Centre, Jubilee Events was formed.



Now they are busy hosting events including birthday celebrations, corporate functions and weddings. The venue offers one of the largest and most versatile spaces in North Canterbury. It can be divided to create two separate spaces for smaller gatherings or used to full capacity to cater for larger events for up to 250 people. Catering, with an emphasis on old-fashioned favourites, is baked fresh on-site and the team are happy to discuss any catering requests. So whether you need help planning an affordable DIY wedding party or a more lavish high profile event, their mantra is ‘Your Day, Your Way’.

Email, phone Julia on 027 229 3159, or find them on Facebook.


Celebrate your happiest moments: Christchurch Function Centre

Life has so many happy moments and the Christchurch Function Centre is the perfect place for you to celebrate them.



The venue has four beautifully presented versatile function rooms suitable for larger groups or more intimate gatherings. Set within garden surroundings, there are comfortable accommodation options and convenient parking for everyone.
So whether you want to plan the perfect intimate outdoor ceremony in the garden with only your nearest and dearest or entertain a larger group of up to 200 for your wedding reception, the team at the Christchurch Function Centre is ready to exceed your expectations.

To discuss your function needs or to have a look around, please contact Events Co-ordinator, Catherine at or phone 03 352 9165. To find out more see



Beautiful Year-Round Weddings: Rossendale

Every season offers brides and grooms unique opportunities to celebrate their wedding, says Rossendale Vineyard Manager, Graham Jones.



“We focus on what the couple want. Every wedding is different and we design it around them.”

Unlike some wedding venues, Rossendale is a year-round venue that can easily accommodate 150-200 guests indoors and/or outdoors.

With award-winning in-house catering, experienced friendly and professional staff, and a stunning, working vineyard as a picturesque backdrop for photography, Rossendale Vineyard is the perfect place for small, intimate weddings or large, boisterous affairs.

There is plenty of information on Rossendale’s website – – including a 360 degree visual tour and a drone-shot video that shows just how beautiful the setting and facility is.

“The venue is basically a blank canvas,” Graham says in the video. “It can be themed and dressed to suit all sorts of tastes.”

Summer, spring, autumn or winter, Rossendale Vineyard is the ideal venue for your very special day.



Historic heart & soul: Ilam Homestead

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments,” said Shakespeare and, while we are there, let’s throw in true heart and soul as well.


At Ilam Homestead, once home to the Rector of the University of Canterbury, you will find mind, heart and soul wrapped in with the beauty and history of the very fabric of this gracious historic homestead.
General Manager Glenda Clark says, “With its sweeping driveway, imposing entranceway, glorious panelling, high-ceilinged rooms and open fireplaces, it is a glorious setting for weddings and events”. The lush and historic gardens that frame the house are haloed by the upper reaches of the Avon River, spanned by a series of picturesque wooden bridges ideal for photos. “Our garden is so camera-friendly, and there are multiple ceremony sites to choose from inside and outside,” Glenda says. “Spring and summer are particularly luscious when the renowned azalea and rhododendron garden is in full bloom.”

There has been an Ilam Homestead here since 1852 and this building which replaced the original in 1910 has been hosting weddings for 40 years. “We can seat up to 110 in our upstairs room, and we have smaller rooms too,” Glenda says. This gorgeous and gracious vintage home and garden is the perfect place for all events. “Our beautiful rimu and brass bar is an ideal place for post-ceremony drinks before heading upstairs for dinner. We have plenty of beverage options and three caterers to choose from – we cater for almost every budget.”