Book your wedding at Silverstream Retreat and we’ll send you a personalised wedding invitation

Fill in the details below, choose your colours and let us know the date of your wedding at Silverstream Retreat Wellington and we’ll email you a printable invitation to print off. It’s that easy.

If you wish to customise the design, please use the form below to contact us. Watch this space for more wedding invitations.

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Tips to help plan a successful event

Event planners play an important part of any event, they require acute organisation skills and pay constant attention to detail. We often watch with great interest the event planners we have at Silverstream Retreat, you can usually pick them out of the crowd they’re the ones with the clipboards or iPads delegating jobs and directing traffic.

  • Organisation and preparation are key when planning an event. Use the tips below for successful event planning:
  • Set your budget – determine which items are necessities and which are luxuries
  • Create a schedule – create a timeline, when to send out invitations, deliveries etc.
  • Determine the target audience – Tailor the event to suit your target audience, knowing the age group of your guests help you choose catering options and entertainment.
  • Assign roles – e.g. marketing coordinator, treasurer, contact person …
  • Update your budget weekly, give your team regular updates to help keep everyone on track
  • Communicate clearly, be specific with your instructions to staff, clients and vendors
  • Evaluate the event – provide and evaluation form at the event

140430_Wedding-ringsTips on Choosing Wedding Rings

It is customary for married couples to wear wedding rings as a symbol of their love for each other. It’s important to buy the right rings, you’ll be wearing them for countless years to come. We’ve put together a shopping guide with some tips to ensure you choose wedding rings you love and wear forever.

When setting your overall wedding budget, be sure to include wedding rings. Seeing as you’ll be wearing your wedding rings forever, it would be nice to spend a little bit more than you would compared to your regular jewellery. Establish your budget before going out shopping it will help you stay on track.

Narrow done your options first. What colour metal e.g. yellow gold, white gold, platinum and titanium, whether you want precious stones or to keep the rings simple?

Start searching early, research styles and prices and visit several shops to ensure you are happy with your choice. Allow more time if you having the rings custom made or engraving.

Select rings that reflect not just your personality but your lifestyle also. If you’re a conservative person then a simple metal band may suit you best, perhaps you’re a little more contemporary and choose platinum with accents and interesting details. Keep in mind that you wear your wedding rings every day, if you work with your hands you may consider a smoother style.

Don’t forget you ensure your rings (including the bride’s engagement rings encase they get stolen or go missing.

Lastly, don’t forget your rings on the day!


Silverstream Retreat Wedding Survival Kit

We all hope that our wedding day will go off without a hitch, but unfortunately there will always be hiccups along the way. A chipped nail, broken heal or a stained dress. We’ve put together this handy Wedding Survival Kit list so you can remember all the last minute things you might need for your big day. Feel free to download the list and print it for the wedding day. Happy planning.

Personal Hygiene

  • Perfume
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Razors
  • Tooth Brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Dental Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Tampons/Panty Liners
  • Chapstick/Lip Gloss
  • Tissues
  • Tweezers
  • Deodorant
  • Hand Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Make Up Remover
  • Cotton Tips

First Aid

  • Prescription Medication
  • Paracetamol
  • Plasters
  • Antacid
  • Antihistamine


  • Hair Comb
  • Hair Spray
  • Hair Bands and Bobby Pins
  • Clear Nail Polish (for stocking runs)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail file
  • Concealer
  • Safety Pins
  • Glue
  • Small Mirror
  • Spare Underwear
  • Extra stockings
  • White Chalk for a quick stain disguise
  • Baby Wipes
  • Fashion Tape
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Small Scissors
  • Lint Roller


  • Bottle of Water
  • Mints/Breath Spray
  • Snacks

Download a printable version of the Wedding Survival Kit here.

Common food restrictions and allergies

Silverstream Retreat is committed to meeting the needs of guests who have special dietary restrictions (such as a food allergy, intolerance or other medically restricted diet) and recognises that many of our guests may also adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The Silverstream Retreat Function Manager can safely and reasonably guide event planners in making menu selections which can accommodate their guests.

Below is a basic outline to provide some knowledge into the most common restrictions and allergies. We have not included religious food restrictions as they are vast and complex.

 Gluten free (Celiac)

Gluten is a protein found in all forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, and spelt), rye, oats and barley. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, the absorptive villi in the small intestine are damaged, preventing the absorption of many important nutrients. The long-term effect of untreated celiac disease can be life threatening. However, with a completely gluten-free diet, the intestinal lining will heal completely allowing most patients to live a normal, healthy life as long as they remain free of gluten in their diet. Even a small amount of gluten can cause symptoms to reoccur.

Gluten is hidden in many unsuspecting foods such as liquorice, soy sauce, vinegar, some flavourings, most processed foods, self-basting turkeys, some cold cuts, and many prepared stocks and soups. It’s also used as a binder in some pharmaceutical products and can be the starch in unidentified food starch, modified food starch, caramel colouring, and vegetable protein. Avoid products where the ingredients are of questionable origin or are listed as simply “natural flavourings, flavour extracts, or spice extracts.”

Products to be avoided in any form are;

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Spelt, semolina, millet, buckwheat
  • Couscous, kamut
  • Commercial salad dressing
  • Instant coffee, malted milk
  • Canned stock, soup
  • Avoid white vinegar, beer, ale and anything made from grain alcohol
  • Curry powders, dry seasoning, some gravy mixes
  • Oil that was previously used for frying breaded foods
  • Canned tuna (except tuna containing only water and salt)


There are several types of diabetes. The most common are type 1 and type 2. In type 1, the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Individuals with type 1 need insulin injections in order to stay alive. Type 1 can occur at any age, but is usually seen in children and young adults.

With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces some insulin. Type 2 diabetes need insulin to regulate their blood glucose, while others respond well to diet therapy and exercise alone, or a combination of diet, exercise and oral medication.

Starches (pastas, rice, bread, cake, potatoes, corn, etc.), fruit and milk are high in carbohydrates. Once in your body, they break down into your cells’ preferred form of energy glucose. Insulin is needed to help your cells take in the glucose. With diabetes, your insulin cannot do this task properly. A diabetic diet helps you schedule your carbohydrate intake so that your cells can get the glucose that they need. Consuming too many carbohydrates – containing foods can raise your blood glucose way above normal; eating too few, can hurt your body by denying it the high quality energy that it needs. The timing of your meals is also important. The more that you eat at one meal, the more insulin you will need to utilize the energy from the breakdown of those foods. If you eat smaller portions throughout your day, you will not need as much insulin to bring down your blood sugar.

There are many types of diabetic diets. Some require a lot of measuring; some don’t require any measuring at all. All are planned to provide you with the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, along with vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients needed to keep you healthy. It would pay to have the guest give you some guide lines to what would be a suitable meal.

Medical and food allergies

True food allergies come in various forms. It can be a slight case such as a headaches or a rash to a certain product to some causing severe reactions, including death. The most common individual food allergies include those to peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans etc), fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, corn and wheat. If you are given information a guest has a food allergies to a product make sure you consider all the ingredients used in the meal being served. Read the ingredients on the packet of any products used in the guest’s meal.

Do not ever think that “little bit should not matter”. Allergies can kill!

Milk Allergies and Lactose intolerant (dairy free)

Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly digest milk sugar, also known as lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal bloating, gaseousness, flatulence, cramping, and diarrhoea following the consumption of food containing dairy products or by products. Milk protein allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins commonly found in cow’s milk. It is caused by your immune system reacting because it believes the protein in the milk is a threat to your body. Your immune system will do it’s best to get rid of the invader, just as it would a foreign virus or poison. During the allergic reaction your body releases histamine, a chemical which causes blood vessels to dilate and leak, mucous membranes to start producing skin rashes, vomiting and other effects.

Rice milk and soy milk and tofu are excellent substitutes. Avoid any dairy products such as butter, cheese, some margarines, cream and milk powders.


Lacto-ovo Vegetarians eat dairy foods and eggs as well as plant foods. They do not eat the following;

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Ovo-vegetarians eat only eggs and plant foods. They do not eat the following;

  • Dairy foods
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Lacto-vegetarian eats dairy foods and plant foods. They do not eat;

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Vegans eat only plant foods and products. They do not eat any;

  • Animal foods
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products


Harvard University

What to look for in a wedding videographer


Your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life, and there’s no better way to remember it than having a video made. You will be so involved with the atmosphere and proceedings that it will not be possible for you to enjoy every moment as it happens.

Firstly you have to find somebody that is within your budget. Make a list of things that you want and find a videographer that can give you everything you want for the best price. Videographers will offer different packages according suit many budgets. Don’t compromise by going cheaper instead of getting what you want.

Packages usually contain many options such as, multiple cameras, bride and groom interviews, slideshows for the reception, additional hours, multiple copies, and the list goes on. So make a list of the options you want before looking at packages, then find packages to fit your needs.

Experience & Reputation

The internet is always a great place to start searching for a local wedding videographers, but don’t forget to ask friends and family and even other wedding vendors if they recommend anyone. Browse each videographer’s website and watch their wedding demos, make sure you also ask to see an entire wedding, demos on websites are usually the ‘cream of the crop’. Ask the videographer how many years’ experience they have and how many weddings they have shot.

You might also like to ask for references from previous customers, testimonials are also often found on websites.


A great wedding videographer should be able to clearly articulate what their video style is. A wedding video with a cinematic style resembles a movie, including a trailer at the beginning and montages set to music, which require heavier editing. Documentary or journalistic videos incorporate more natural sound and the order of the video will mimic the real-life progression of your wedding day.

So when narrowing down the list of videographers go with the one that fits your budget and your needs.

Natalie and Brady’s Wellington Wedding

Take a look at this time lapse video by Von Photography. Shot outside in our Boardwalk garden on a beautiful Wellington day.  It’s a great example of how wedding videography can be creative and fun.



Von Photography


Choosing your wedding theme should be one of your first wedding planning steps. Your theme is usually incorporated into all aspects and details of the wedding, such as invitations, flowers, cake, bridesmaid dresses and cars.

When you start thinking about your wedding theme consider things like your personal style, what you wear, what furniture you like, things that you love to do such as hobbies and interests. Family culture, family heirlooms and traditions can also be a great starting point.

Sometimes a wedding venue dictates the theme of a wedding, Silverstream Retreat for example is located in beautiful Wellington with natural surroundings and rustic features that can be transformed into any number of theme. We’ve had artful vintage styles, romantic floral-inspired themes and elegant retro themes. We always enjoy watching our wedding venues transform.

Use the lists below to help you decide on a wedding theme, pull out the two or three that mean the most to you and your future spouse.

Formal, casual, modern, natural, rustic, country, seasonal, glamorous, medieval, whimsical, cultural, beach, decade, sophisticated.

Conference trends in 2013 and what to expect for 2014

We can’t believe its December already, we’ve had a busy year at Silverstream Retreat. Hosting a large number of events from small meetings and intimate dinners to large conferences and award ceremonies. We thought this was a good time to reflect on the changes we have noticed in the events held at Silverstream Retreat in 2013.

Technology and social media has made an impact this year in terms of marketing strategies, developing online communities, tweeting and sharing photos. Instead of being told to turn off your mobile devices at conferences and events, people are being encouraged to leave them on (switched to silent or course).

Tablets are being used more often, not just by attendees connecting to social media but for event organises needing quick access to information.

Online event registration seems to be fairly standard, with most companies having registration forms on their websites, some with standalone websites just for the event.

We predict that in 2014 video conferencing is going to become more popular. With the availability of state-of-the-art programmes video conferencing means that people who can’t attend a meeting or conference can connect from different geological locations.

2014 is going to be an exciting year we already have a number of great events booked in. If you have any questions about conferences in the Wellington region or have anything to add to our 2013 trends, get in touch today.

Team building activities

Team building activities can be used at a conference or meeting for various reasons, including: Improving communication, boosting morale, motivation, ice breakers to help get to know each other better, learning effective strategies, improving productivity, learning about one’s strengths and weaknesses and many others.

Stereotype party

This is a fun exercise for a medium to large group. Write on name tags many different ‘personality types (see the list below), and pin or tape one tag to each person’s back. Don’t show people which tag is on their back – they’ll be able to see everyone else’s tag, but not their own. Now, ask each person to figure out which personality type is on his or her back by asking stereotype-based questions of other people – “Am I a man?” “Am I an athlete?” “Am I an entertainer?” and so on. Allow group members to answer only yes or no, and encourage participants to ask questions to as many different people as possible.

Here are some personality types you could consider:

  • Auto mechanic.
  • Olympic medallist.
  • Professor.
  • Fast-food restaurant worker.
  • Postal worker.
  • Movie star.

Paper tearing game

Participants each get a sheet of A4 paper and have to close their eyes during the exercise. As the instructor you have to participate along and pause after each instruction to give everyone a chance to complete the action. Here are the basic directions – Fold your sheet of paper in half, tear off the upper right-hand corner, fold it in half again and tear off the upper left hand corner of the sheet, fold it in half again and tear off the lower right-hand corner of the sheet. Now everyone can open their eyes and observe the differences. This exercise is a great way to challenge basic assumptions, encourage participation and create awareness of the importance of two-way communication.

A truth and a lie

Have each member introduce themselves by stating their name plus one truth about themselves and one lie. After each person makes their statements, allow for open conversation where everyone questions each other on their two statements. The idea is to convince the other members that your lie is actually a truth, while guessing the truths/lies of the others. After the questioning period, vote as a group on each member’s statements. Points are awarded for each lie guessed right or for stumping other members on your own lie. This exercise helps to get to know your co-workers better and encourages group interaction and communication.

The mine field

The idea behind this exercise is to improve team members trust, their relationship, and to communicate in a more effective way. You will need an open space such as an empty room or hallway in which you will distribute ‘mines’ that are placed haphazardly around the area. The ‘mines’ can be cones, balls, bottles etc. Team members are paired into teams of two. One team member will be blindfolded and the other can see and talk, but is not allowed to enter the field or touch their partner. The challenge is for the blind-folded person to walk from one side of the field to the other, avoiding the mines by listening to the verbal instructions of their partners.


Websites used as reference


Download our meeting agenda template

Running an effective meeting requires planning and preparation. Following on from our previous post ‘How to run an effective meeting’ we’ve created a meeting agenda template that you can download, fill-in and distribute to your meeting attendees.

Download our Fillable Meeting Agenda Template here.