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Surprise Wedding – a First at Matakana Country Lodge!

Surprise Wedding

Surprise Wedding!

Who would have thought our first wedding at Matakana Country Lodge would be a “Surprise Wedding”? Weddings were not our target market, but the phrase “Surprise Wedding” had me intrigued.

When Darrin first contacted me about using the Lodge as a venue for his “Surprise Wedding”, I told him he had been watching too much reality TV.

After numerous emails back and forth we agreed to host the wedding and I received the following schedule from Darrin.

8am – Proposal
9am – Drop Wanda at dress shop where she has 2 hours to choose a dress
Noon – Arrive at lodge and Wanda teams up with the bridesmaid to have hair and makeup done
2pm – 42 guests and 3 piece band arrive
3pm – We say “I do”
5:30pm – Depart for dinner in Matakana

Wow, if he could pull this off I was going to be very impressed.

Needless to say, he did just that. From proposal to marriage took just seven hours for Darrin and Wanda Robertson.

Wanda looked extremely relaxed when she arrived at the Lodge and over a cup of tea told me about her day so far.

When she walked into their living room that morning Darrin was waiting on bended knee holding a sign saying ‘Because you have my heart, I’m asking for your hand. Will you marry me . . . today’.

She said she was lost for words as she was expecting a surprise birthday gift but not of that magnitude.

The plan was to get married outside on the terrace with the views as a backdrop but unfortunately we woke that morning to rain; hence the plan was now to hold the service inside.

Luck was on their side; at 2:45pm the rain ceased, the clouds parted, the sun came out and they were able to getting married on the terrace as planned. A rainbow then formed behind them as they were saying their vows – it was obviously meant to be.

One of the most memorable moments of that day for me was the 3 piece band Darrin had arranged. When the best man signalled that Wanda was about to walk down the aisle they belted out the Darth Vader theme song, The Imperial March from Star Wars. I am not sure if one or both of them are Star Wars fans but the guests like myself were clearly taken aback.

Band playing The Imperial March from Star Wars

The next morning over breakfast I asked Wanda how she was feeling about the events of the past 24 hours and her response was “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, it was perfect”.

Their wedding made front page news of the local paper “The Rodney Times” and since it was published I have been asked by numerous people if I would consider hosting weddings in the future. I’m still considering that option but know one thing that would be made very clear right from the outset, there would be no confetti. It took hours to pick it all up, I now understand why certain churches forbid the throwing of confetti.

I wish Darrin and Wanda a long and happy life together. It was wonderful being a part of your big day. We look forward to welcoming you back for anniversaries in the future.

If you are contemplating a small wedding (40 people maximum) and looking for a unique venue, check out this link:

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