Happy, Relaxed and Outdoors

Jason and Jenna wanted a relaxed outdoor wedding reception that “felt happy”.

“We certainly got it, at Ata Rangi vineyard in Martinborough” they said, and laughed at the candid images of Jase sweeping his beautiful bride off her feet among the vines.

“Finding a venue that gave us the vibe we wanted and could handle the guest numbers we wanted was a struggle at first,” Jase said. 

“Luckily, we had already decided on Ruth doing our catering, and she suggested Ata Rangi. We knew they don’t normally do many private events, but Ruth was able to get their agreement to the wedding and to setting up a marquee on their beautiful grounds”.

“We also admire owner Clive Paton’s conservation work. With the big trees and grapevines it was simply perfect. The wine connection was important to us – one of our first holidays together was to Martinborough, the vines and wines!” they smiled.  

Not all couples choose their caterer before their venue, but with a family connection there was no hesitation in choosing Ruth Pretty.

“Ruth catered for my Uncle Gavin’s wedding two years ago in Wellington, and we loved the way her team ran the day and how amazing the food was!” Jase confirmed.

“We wanted that too: for the day to be amazing, well run, and so that we had nothing to worry about. We wanted to relax and enjoy spending time with our family and friends. 

“We’re time poor and live in Christchurch, so Skype was invaluable for arrangements with Ruth and Paul. We didn’t want to spend endless time organising everything, but did want to be on top of the finer details. We came up to Wellington for a weekend, met Ruth and Paul, and made most of the decisions then.  It worked well, and they were really easy to deal with”.

The couple were clear about a few “must have” food items, with fish-and-chip cones top of the list, closely followed by Ruth’s iconic whitebait fritters.  Dessert simply had to include Jason’s favourite carrot cake.

“The passarounds were so generous and popular that some of our friends said they were nearly full by the time the main course was served.  Not for us though – we were having so much fun talking to everyone we didn’t get nearly enough of the passarounds! 

“Ruth and Paul suggested several personalised options for the remainder of the menu – they don’t do standard packages, which we appreciated – and the issue was more about what to leave out. 

“Ruth told us that wedding guests remember two things the most: the food and the dress,” Jenna added. 

“My dress was custom-made by Louise Anderson Bridal Design in Christchurch. I really didn’t have a mental picture of what it was going to look like in advance, but the style was perfect for me.

“Louise was wonderful to work with and I absolutely loved my gown” she reminisced.

Looking back, they agreed that “many of our friends and family have said it was the best wedding they’ve been to”, which reflects the great job by Ruth, Paul and team. The food and wine got a lot of praise, there was a lot of laughter and everyone had a great time.  Just what we wanted, they concurred.

Photo credit:  Billie Brooke Photography