What’s popular this year

So you’re trying to think of a great idea for this years Christmas party. We thought we’d do a little bit of research ourselves and find out what the most popular christmas party themes are this year. We were quite surprised to find the ‘Ugly Jumper Christmas Party’ was one of the most popular themes, while the all time favourite is the ‘Winter Wonderland Party’. One our favourite themes is the ‘Beach Christmas Party’ perfect for a New Zealand christmas.

Ugly Jumper Party Theme

sweater2The Ugly Jumper party theme is a great opportunity to show off those items of clothing hiding at the back of the wardrobe loved but never before worn in public. Complete the look with a pair of 80s stone washed jeans and some cheesy christmas music, everyone will have a rollicking good time.

Image source: http://whimsydream.wordpress.com

Winter Wonderland Christmas Party Theme

Winter-WonderlandAside from being the title of one of the most beloved christmas songs of all time, you can have fun in the snow while remaining nice and warm, with snowflakes and ice sculptures. Enjoy all the festive magic of winter without the cold.  At Silverstream Retreat we have a beautiful open fire place perfect for snuggling up by with hot chocolate and marshmallows or perhaps frozen martinis to celebrate at the end of the night.

Image source: http://beauxandbelles.net/winter-wonderland/

 Masquerade Ball Party Theme

Masquerade-ballMasquerade Balls are all about masks, the mystery and intrigue. Traditionally at a Masquerade Ball guests are encouraged to conceal their identities from one another until the final dance at midnight which ends in the unmasking. Bright colours, glamour and luxury should be part of the venue decorations, perhaps even a black carpet at the entrance with a masked string quartet.

Image source: http://www.partyearth.com/san-francisco/parties/shades-of-blues-masquerade-ball-1/1st-annual-shades-of-blues-masquerade-ball-1/

Hollywood Christmas Party Theme

HollywoodLadies and gentlemen! Welcome to the land of the rich and famous! The place where dreams come true! Celebrate in style and enjoy your christmas like a celebrity with a glitzy Hollywood/black tie themed party! Have a VIP welcome, as guests walk down the red carpet, with the flashing cameras of the paparazzi on hand to take pictures of your grand entrance, enjoy champagne on arrival and indulge in a traditional christmas dinner. Sing along to all your favourite movie songs.

Image source: http://themers.com/hollywood/

Willy Wonka Christmas Party Theme

Willy wonkaRelive the glory days of childhood with a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory inspired party. Ditch the diet for the night with chocolate fountains, sweet feasts and candy floss machines with Oompa Loompas on hand to serve you and your guests. Treat your guests with a chocolate bar – who will find the golden ticket?

Image source: http://tsjphotography.com/blog/a-birthday-party-willy-wonka-style/

Beach Christmas Party Theme

Inflatable Beach BallWhy not embrace the kiwi christmas and have a beach themed party. Hang a surf board on the wall, through beach balls around the room and serve up some hearty hotdogs and cranberry burgers. Your guests can wear their flip flops, sunnies and favorite summer shorts. Let your guests entertain themselves with a game of backyard cricket or a more leisurely game of petanque.

Image source: http://partywarehouse.co.nz/hire/inflatable-beach-ball-luau-cooler-9991587.html

If you have any other fabulous ideas for Christmas parties, let us know.

Christmas FunctionsChristmas Functions at Silverstream Retreat

Daylight saving has now started and Spring is well underway. It’s a scary thought, but Christmas is just around the corner. If you are in charge of organising your workplace Christmas function this year and you are looking for a venue in the Wellington region, make sure you put Silverstream Retreat first on your list. Silverstream Retreat is the perfect Christmas venue. Our two function venues have beautiful timber rafters, ambient lighting and a characteristic modern rustic feel, the boardwalk complex come complete with a cosy stone surround open fireplace.

Our Christmas function packages include a private function room decorated with Christmas cheer; table linen and Christmas centrepieces. Canapés on arrival followed by a three course specialty Christmas buffet menu. Local
Wairarapa wines, full bar service, including a selection of beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

We also have a variety of accommodation options available, bunk rooms, twin share rooms, studio motels and fully self-contained two bedroom apartments. We have facilities to accommodate groups of up to 250 guests.

What better way to celebrate a year of hard work than a gathering with great food, wine and friends at Silverstream Retreat? Bookings are filling up fast, so don’t be disappointed book today. For a copy of our Christmas function packages give us a call or send us a message.

Meeting agenda and preparation key to a successful meeting

Silverstream Retreat offer a wide variety of meeting facilities, from small intimate meetings to large high profile meetings. With our state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, superior lighting, air-conditioning and heating systems all set in a beautiful contemporary space.

For those of you who are planning a meeting we’ve put together information about running a meeting. Running an effective meeting can save time and help you achieve your goals. Having an agenda and meeting preparation in place can ensure the smooth running of a meeting.

Meeting Preparation

To ensure a smooth running and successful meeting:

  • Make sure an appropriate meeting time and meeting space is confirmed and any specific requirements such as presentation equipment or catering requirements are booked ahead.
  • A notice of the meeting should be sent out in advance to enable people to make arrangements to attend.
  • Documents such as the ‘Agenda’, most recent ‘Minutes’ and any other required reading should be sent to meeting attendees to give them time to read.

Meeting Roles and Processes

Meeting attendees should know ahead of the meeting what their roles are and what they need to do to ensure the meeting is a success.


This is the person responsible for facilitating the smooth running of meetings – they;

  • Guide the meeting procedure and make sure the meeting starts on time.
  • Welcome members and organise an appropriate opening, and introductions.
  • List any agreed ground rules.
  • Read and call for apologies.
  • Where appropriate, advise of housekeeping details eg. time and length of meeting breaks.
  • Keep to the agenda and time-frame.
  • Allow time at the beginning of the meeting to add additional items to the agenda.
  • Facilitate discussions and avoid introducing their own opinion unless it’s necessary.
  • Clarify ‘Actions’: ensure that it is clear what is to be done by whom and when.
  • Thank everyone for attending the meeting, offers appropriate closing words.

This is the person responsible for recording the ‘Minutes’– the record of meeting proceedings which should be recorded from the start of the meeting until it closes. Minutes should include all the agreed decisions and tasks from each meeting. The minute-taker does not record everything that is said; but they should record the following:

  • Meeting time, date and venue
  • Names of those present and any apologies
  • Name of meeting chair or facilitator and minute-taker.
  • Meeting purpose.
  • The matters for discussion, agreed action points or decisions made and person responsible for and completion dates for those actions
  • Date, time, venue and purpose of next meeting


Motions are a formal proposal for consideration by a meeting and would involve change to the current practice. If possible it is a good idea to put the motion in writing before the meeting, as the secretary must accurately record it. Motions normally start with the word ‘that’ and must be clear and unambiguous, i.e. ‘that $300.00 be spent on a microwave for the kitchen’. The name of the person who put forward the motion and the person seconding it must be recorded in the minutes.


The agenda outlines what will be covered in the meeting. People attending the meeting should have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda before the agenda is completed and sent out. This Agenda is usually prepared by the meeting Chairperson.

A sample Agenda
  1. Welcome and opening
  2. Apologies
  3. Minutes of the previous meeting
  4. Matters arising from the minutes
  5. Correspondence
  6. Matters arising from the correspondence
  7. Formal agenda Items
  8. General business
  9. Reports (financial etc…)
  10. Date for next meeting

Follow Up

After the meeting has finished, the following jobs need to be carried out:

  • Action plans and follow ups confirmed.
  • Minutes checked by the chair or facilitator and the minute-taker.
  • The time-frame for circulation of minutes, new reports, background papers, and the next agenda arranged
  • Minutes circulated


Information in this article was sourced from the following websites:

Printable Wedding Photography Shot List

Make sure you don’t miss any of those must have wedding shots, download our Wedding Photography Shot List and start planning your wedding photography. This list will give you some ideas of the types of shots normally taken at a ceremony. Your wedding photographer will probably take most of these photos but make sure you let them know which ones are the most important. We also suggest giving your final list to a family member or guest on the wedding day to ensure know one is missed out.

Download our Wedding Photography Shot List here.

How to promote your Wellington conference online – Part ll

In our last blog we discussed how to promote a Wellington conference using a website and blog. We thought it would be useful to touch on other online media that will help make your next conference a success.

Video – YouTube

With over four billion views a day, YouTube is a great way to get your message seen and heard. Make a video showing clients what it’s like to experience your conference. Whether it’s testimonials, interviews, or informational pieces, video is a compelling promotional tool. You can also ask your speakers to submit short videos previewing their presentations.

Host the video on YouTube, then share the video on Facebook and embed the video on your website.


Facebook is one of the largest and most popular social media networks in the world. Create a Facebook page or a dedicated event subpage under your Facebook page. Post images, videos, conference updates, and encourage speakers to write teasers and ask questions. Invite current friends to ‘like’ the page and then that action is shared with everyone in their network. Don’t forget to add links to your conference website.


Twitter is a great way to promote your conference and engage attendees. You need to create a hashtag for your conference (a word or short phrase preceded by a hash ‘#’ symbol). Ensure you search for the hashtag before you start using it to make sure that it’s not already in use. Ideally, a hashtag should be short, obviously relevant and feature your company’s branding. A hashtag can be included in the body of each tweet. Include links to your conference website or blog and encourage speakers to include your hashtag in all their conference-related postings.


The team at Silverstream Retreat hope that you’ve found this information useful and don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


How to promote your Wellington conference online – Part l

So you’ve decided on a date, booked a venue and designed your conference brand. Now the important job of marketing your conference. Website technology makes it easy to get the word out about your conference. Good marketing inspires people to register and once people have registered it’s important to maintain contact before the conference by sending program updates, further conference or location information or news items related to the conference.

As people become more reliant on websites for information, it is important that you use the opportunity to promote your conference through this medium.

If the budget allows, create a website just for the conference, choose a website address (domain name) that is unique and uses keywords relevant to your conference. Design the website using the conference brand, keep the colours and design elements consistent. Within the website include information about the conference, a simple registration form, contact details, map of the conference location and a blog. The blog is an important tool for advertising and staying in touch with the people who have registered. You can post conference updates, announcements from guest speakers or presenters, and reminders about important dates. When writing content for the website use keywords that describe your conference, if you are targeting local visitors for your conference, include the location in your keywords.

If your business has an existing website advertise your conference prominently on your homepage. Make it eye-catching, be sure it contains all the key information about the conference and include a link to a landing page set up just for the conference. Use this landing page when directing people to the website.

Our next blog entry will include information about using other online media such as social media and email newsletters.

Indoor vs Outdoor wedding

Indoor or Outdoor Wedding: : Deciding on the right choice for you

Always dreamed of an intimate summer wedding outside? Or maybe a romantic candlelit indoor wedding.

At Silverstream Retreat we cater for both indoor and outdoor weddings, our elegant Boardwalk Garden makes a magical backdrop for any wedding, with a rustic gazebo overlooking the bush and river below. The Boardwalk complex is an indoor venue which incorporates a foyer and café area with beautiful stone fireplace and rustic furniture, and Rafters Room with natural wood rafters, a state-of -the-art multimedia screen, lighting and audio equipment. The Pillars Room is an indoor venue with bi-fold doors opening out onto a deck and outdoor courtyard, perfect if you want both indoor and outdoor options.

Deciding on the right choice for your wedding is important, whether you have your wedding indoors or out, it is worth considering the pros and cons of each option. We’ve found a great list of pros and cons which may help in your decision making. If you have any questions about how Silverstream Retreat can cater for your indoor or outdoor wedding contact us today.


Outdoor Wedding

PRO: Little Décor Necessary – Pretty flowers, rolling hills, elegant gardens, and greenery aplenty – a scenic outdoor ceremony doesn’t require a lot of flourish to make it spectacular.

CON: Lighting Limitations –  Depending on the time of day, shadows and overhanging trees and brush could make it a challenge for your photographer and videographer to get good pictures. Keep in mind it’s always a good idea to take a walk-thru beforehand at the same time of the day you plan to have your wedding.

Indoor Wedding

PRO: More Family Friendly – Keeping a toddler or a 10-year-old engaged and occupied is much easier to do outside than it is in a restricted indoor space. From blowing bubbles to hula hoop and kite lessons for the kiddies, ALL your guests will have a great time when Mother Nature plays host on your wedding day.

CON: The Weather – While we’d all love a crystal ball, the simple fact of the matter is that having a wedding outside is a gamble. You just can’t anticipate rain, high winds, or sweltering heat when planning something up to a year in advance. If you’re worried about any of these things ruining your perfect day, choose a venue that offers an indoor space to accommodate guests if inclement weather does strike.

All-in all, it’s entirely your day and you can make the most of it with these helpful considerations for whichever venue you choose!

Ideas to inspire your homemade wedding decorations

We all now weddings can be expensive and we’re always looking for ways to ‘keep the costs down’. Incorporating handmade items into weddings has become growing trend over the last few years and sometimes you just want something that doesn’t exist in the stores.

Inspired by the recent Handmade Expo in Wellington we thought we’d put together a collection of handmade wedding decor ideas to inspire.

Ideas for handmade wedding decor are virtually endless, from bunting and banners to paper lanterns and string chandeliers. One of our favourites is painted wooden signboards for directions and seating assignments. You can even go as far as arranging your own flowers, with a few simple materials such as glass preserving jar and a bit of lace.

Flower Arrangements

pink-wedding-centerpiecesCredit: Once Wed

Floral Centrepiece

Wedding-Flower-CenterpiecesCredit: 161 Studio

Paper Lanterns


Credit: Tanja Lippert

Photo Prop

wallpaper-backdrop-mwd107819_vertCredit:Tanja Lippert Photography

Fabric Bunting

homemade_bunting_weddingsCredit: Morgan Trinker

String Chandeliers

diy-modern-wedding-ideas-10Credit: Wednesday Custom Design


Useful Links

Style Me Pretty – DIY Projects
One Wedding – DIY
100 Layer Cake