One of the best kept secrets is a little known Tauranga wedding venue set in the countryside surrounded by new and established specimen trees called Lazy River Lodge.

As the name suggests a lazy river flows through the property spilling over into several ponds dotted with water lilies, as it makes its way towards the sea. The setting is perfect for a natural forest wedding with multiple ceremony spots nestled under large trees and it is where we did this beautiful elopement shoot.

Tauranga wedding florist Rosie from Rosies Wildflower Co chose a rich autumnal hued palette, accentuated with foliage in goldens, reds, coppers and deep wines to reflect the season and the dress worn by our bride. The bouquet was a wild mix of all things autumn; foliage, flowers, gumnuts, berries and feathers which came together in a lush yet playful bouquet. The boutonnieres were mini collections of autumn. Tiny treasures foraged locally to create individual works of art wrapped in velvet. Autumn is an amazing time of year and we would love to see more couples choosing to have their wedding at this time instead of in the heat of summer. Lazy River Lodge in-house photographer Marion Heurteboust, inspired by the autumn colours, gathered local artists/vendors to create the most perfect inspiration. Bringing local vendors together was important to us. We went to pick up some of Mount Eliza Cheeses at the Katikati Friday market, our usual Friday afternoon stop! And I was thrilled to be able to showcase the earthy ceramics by Laughing Pottery in Waihi. I also loved sourcing out small details from our family belongings to make it more personable for this elopement which is how we’ve come to use Great grandma’s silverware and grandpa’s vintage whisky decanter.

Having beehives on the property, it felt almost evident to have a jar of honey as guest favours. We chose to give a nod to our friends at Bees Up Top, who inspired us in our bee journey, and use their 100% raw NZ Manuka honey. The jars, individually tied up to a wooden honey spoon, made for the perfect gift! I knew that Emma from Inkberry would understand my vision and she created bespoke paper stationery that was bold with a touch of wild. The hues complimented the other elements of the shoot and I adored the texture of the paper as well as the un-traditional curved writing. Dreaming up the shoot felt very natural and artist couple Mia & Nate were meant to take part of our autumn elopement shoot. They are such a stylish, artsy and warm couple and perfectly fitted the concept. It was a pleasure to capture them at Lazy River Lodge amongst the different shades of red and yellow trees.

Photographer: Marion Heurteboust | Location/venue: Lazy River Lodge |Flora: Rosie’s Wildflower Co | Paper Stationery: Ink Berry Calligraphy | Hair & Makeup: Sita Engling Hair & Makeup | Models + Agent: Mia at Red11models & Nate at 62management | Props: The Pretty Prop Shop | Ceramics: Laughing Pottery | Guest Favours: Beesuptop | Food Credits: Mount Eliza Cheese

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