We had originally looked into going to New Zealand for our honeymoon, but when we found the weddings page on the Takou River website we knew that we just had to get married there too!
I was a bit anxious about trying to arrange something on the other side of the world, but Anna helped with everything, from putting me in touch with a celebrant, to arranging the food and flowers and photographer. Nine months of planning, and many email conversations later we arrived in Auckland and spent a week travelling around the Bay of Islands before heading to Takou River.
We had booked three nights at the Magic Cottage and, although I had seen the photos on the Net, I still wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with respect to its location and proximity to the other accommodation. Takou Lodge itself is about 10 mins drive north of Kerikeri, with the last mile or so being down a gravel track (past Anna and Ian’s house). The main lodge is located 100m or so up the hill from the river, with beautiful tropical gardens lying between this and the Magic Cottage.
The cottage itself fronts onto the river, so you access it along a jasmine-lined path to the rear of the building, which makes it seem even more private. We were pleasantly surprised how luxurious it felt inside, and relieved that it surpassed our expectations. We had arrived at the beginning of summer, so we spent the night before our wedding sitting on the terrace relaxing to the sounds of the river.
Anna had kindly arranged for me to get ready in one of the rooms up at the lodge, so I left my future husband at the cottage while her staff prepared the area for a riverside ceremony. They made the area look so pretty, scattering freshly cut flowers and covering the gazebo with sparkly decorations – it was just perfect! Anna and Ian acted as witnesses while we said our personalised vows in an idyllic location, it was even more special than I could have imagined.
Andy the photographer recorded the day with the help of her son and daughter, being attentive without intrusive, and coming up with a series of photos and video that really captured the atmosphere of the day, as well as showing off the stunning location of course!
After the ceremony we returned to the cottage, which had also been decorated with sparkly ornaments and confetti, and sat down on the terrace to an incredible feast of all our favourite foods – yummy!
We could not have wished for a more perfect wedding day and, after visiting the rest of New Zealand over the following weeks, we knew that we had made the right decision. Although there are plenty of awesome locations in the country, the relaxing atmosphere in the Bay of Islands is unique and the service that Anna and her team provided was first rate – plus the cottage itself gave us the right balance between luxury and nature.
-and to think we were originally contemplating a registry office wedding!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set a short distance from Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands and voted one of the Top Ten Luxury Lodges in New Zealand, Magic Cottages at Takou River are secluded and beautiful riverside retreats set on the banks of the picturesque Takou River. Within earshot of the sea at Takou Bay and surrounded by 150 acres of certified organic pasture, native bush and 5 acres of sub-tropical gardens, the 4 cottages and recently completed Lodge provide boutique self-catering accommodation that is eco-friendly yet still indulgent.Peace, seclusion and tranquility abound - a beautiful private river frontage; 150 acres of organic farmland with marked walks along the river bank, through native bush and pastures to secluded swimming and picnic spots; magical glow worms; 5 acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens to wander and explore; our private jetty and boat house with free kayaks, canoes and fishing rods; and last but not least, access to the beautiful deserted sandy beaches at Takou Bay a short paddle or drive downstream. Once you've finished exploring, relax and unwind in the privacy of your cottage with a pampering massage or spa treatment. To complete your stay, gourmet meals are also available by prior arrangement. Magic Cottages are centrally located to explore the wider Bay of Islands and Far North, yet hidden away from the hustle and bustle amid 150 acres of organic pasture, native bush and river frontage. Enjoy the flourishing birdlife; wander enchanted gardens and riverside walks; paddle to Takou Bay; relax, refresh and romance in the claw foot bath – or bask in the bliss of doing absolutely nothing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Magic Cottages At Takou River Hotel Kerikeri