Wedding destination pitched
A community of Central Otago entrepreneurs have collaborated to promote the Maniototo as a wedding destination.
About 30 business people ranging from wedding celebrants, florists, photographers to landowners, tavern owners and transport companies have compiled a wedding guide for the region.
Wedding celebrant Val McSkimming said the idea to create a comprehensive guide had been ‘‘murmuring’’ a while.
‘‘The idea was a no-brainer really. We don’t have to put any capital into it, the facilities are already there.’’
The Maniototo was renowned for its magnificent scenery, wide open spaces and relaxed, country hospitality. The area’s landscapes made perfect wedding photo backdrops and venues ranged from rustic country woolsheds, gardens, taverns and hotels to quaint churches and country town halls.
‘‘The key one is affordability. We think we can do it cheaper than the likes of Wanaka and Queenstown, but every bit as nice.’’
Florist Jan MacKenzie said people worked together in a small community - and this initiative was no different.
‘‘For this to work we have got to work together...Quite often when you are doing a wedding, people ask, ‘who can do my hair?, ‘who can do my photos?’. This way all the information is easily accessible and a good way to promote what is available. The community is trying to think outside the square and see weddings as a real opportunity.’’
It had all the ingredients needed to create the perfect wed- ding, with a wide range of accommodation choices, great hospitality, award-winning food providers and operators passionate about the region.
Florist Lynda Galt said there was a lot of talented people in the community, and a lot chose to offer wedding services as a sideline hobby.
Photographer Peter Andrews, of Naseby, said they were just like ‘‘one big family’’.
‘‘Divided we are nothing, but together we can be everything.’’
Ancient Briton Hotel owner Jan Rutherford said the scenery and accessibility to different landscapes were a huge drawcard.
‘‘You might have a wedding venue in Naseby or Ranfurly but it is not far to go for photographs. You can be in the mountains within 20 minutes.’’
Val McSkimming, Peter Andrews, Lynda Galt, Jan Rutherford and Jan Mackenzie.
Meg Kirk started at Omakau School on October 10, 2016.