In March we also attended Sam and Marnie's wonderful wedding at Lake Tarawera. Sam was one of Jason's groomsman and is an old Uni/Canoe Polo mate.
For those of you not from New Zealand Lake Tarawera is the largest in a series of lakes which surround the volcano Mount Tarawera. It is not far from Rotorua. The lake is primarily filled by sources from the nearby Blue and Green Lakes. The lake is a popular holiday spot as it has a number of hot water beaches.
The lake was substantially affected by the violent and destructive eruption of Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886. The eruption killed over 150 people, and buried a Maori village. The legendary Pink and White Terraces were also destroyed by the eruption.
Check out the beautiful scenery at Lake Tarawera (double click on the photo for a bigger image).
We stayed at a hired house called The Tree Hut (bottom right hand photo in the above collage). It was amazing. It was situated up the steepest drive way, nestled high amongst the native bush, with spectacular panoramic views overlooking Lake Tarawera.
It's the perfect retreat to escape to, for a private, tranquil and relaxing environment. By day, tuis and wood pigeons visit from time to time to hang out in the trees in front of the living area (a lot nicer that the aussie crows). By night, its truly magical, as starry nights can be experienced from each bedroom, through the skylights above, and apparently occasionally glow worms in the hillside come out to shine (we didn't see any though).
We were staying at the Tree Hut with some work mates of Sam's. We had such a good time with them. Lots of good food, wine and laughs. Unfortunately I had a bad cold from my race the week before, so I wasn't the best company.
The wedding itself was on the Saturday, Jason and I spent the morning in Rotorua and cut it a little fine to get back to the wedding in time. But we did manage to scrub up well (even if I say so myself).
Marnie arrived at the ceremony on a Boat which was wonderful. The ceremony was incredible, with many of the 170 guests becoming very emotional. Sam was also very emotional and it was great to see the love that Sam and Marnie have for each other.
Following the ceremony there was champagne by the Lake, while all the group photos were taken. After the champagne we headed off to the Marquee and were treated to some nice nibbles. The reception itself was wicked, lots of thought and care had gone into the planning. For example, there was a powder tent, with mirrors, lights, tissues, insect repellent and all sorts of other things.
Lots of people has contributed to the reception. One family providing the pork, another providing the beef and family friends making the salads (for 170 people). Homemade ginger beer and limoncello. The ginger beer for me and the limoncello (lots of it) for Jason. Here is a snapshot of the top table, the marquee and wedding cake.
The speeches were brilliant, funny and full of emotion. All in all the wedding was really fantastic day. I headed home early though as I wasn't 100%. Jason partied well into the night. It was wonderful seeing Sam again after nearly 6 years (our wedding was the last time that we had seen him) and meeting his beautiful wife Marnie.