Weddings at Oruawharo

Elegance, tradition, nostalgia . . . the 120-year-old St Vincent's Church,
its surrounding gardens and parkland combine all the essentials of an idyllic, romantic wedding. Oruawharo’s variety of wedding sites, services and catering can be tailored to very individual needs.

The photographic opportunities at Oruawharo are limitless. Wherever you turn some spectacular backdrop will create unique, lifelong memories of your day. The steps to the front door, the elegant hall, dignified rooms and a fine collection of antique furniture provide elegant settings for formal photographs. Or you can capture Oruawharo’s rural tradition and choose the beautifully restored 150-year-old coach house and stables, the woodland, or gardens as your surrounds.


Your wedding is among the most important occasions of your life.

Oruawharo welcomes you to celebrate it with a share in the heritage of one

of Hawke's Bay’s finest old homesteads.

Wedding Bells

Written by . . . Riddiford Johnston

Tuesday was a red letter day in the history of Takapau, for probably never before were seen so many motor cars in the township.

Business was practically suspended, and the one topic of conversation was the marriage of Mr Daniel Henry Strother Riddiford to Miss Jessie Meta Johnston, of Oruawharo. The guests began to arrive at an early hour, and by the time the marriage was solemnised the township was thronged. The church, which was beautifully decorated, was crowded with relations and friends of the contracting parties, while a large number were unable to gain admission. As the bridal party entered the church the Waipawa Orchestral Society, consisting of 14 instruments, played the Sandringham March. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in a princess robe of moire, beautifully embroidered.

The square train was separate and also embroidered. The customary veil and orange blossom were worn, and she carried a beautiful shower bouquet. She was accompanied by Miss Nancy Johnston (sister), Doris Johnston, Gwendolin Mason, Florence St. Clair Inglis, Ida Duncan (cousins of the bride), Ruth Humprey, (cousin of the bridegroom), Sophie and Marian Watson (nieces of the bride). The bridesmaids wore dresses of white satin, roses and large black hats. The bride’s mother wore a handsome dress of white and black lace, black hat trimmed with pink and red roses. Prior to the nuptial knot being tied the orchestra played Mascagni's Ava Maria. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Johnston, assisted by the Rev. Father O’Shea.

The bridegroom was attended by Mr Arthur Harrick as best man. The wedding party left the church to the strains of the Wedding March. The presents were numerous and costly. The bridegroom gave the bride a diamond necklace and the bridesmaids muff chains, and to the three little ones, blue enamel and pearl necklaces; to Miss Inglis turquoise and diamond ring. The brides father gave a diamond star, the bride’s mother house linen. Bride to bridegroom silver cigarette case. A beautiful silver rose bowl was received from Takapau friends, and silver tea service from the employees of Oruawharo Station.

After the ceremony about 200 guests were entertained in a large marquee at Oruawharo, where the usual toasts were duly honoured. The health of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by Sir William Russell in a very happy manner. In the course of his remarks Sir William alluded to his long friendship with the father and grandfather, also the mother and grandmother of each party, and said if heredity was any guide then the young couple should be very happy. The father and the mother of the bride were held in the highest esteem throughout the province, and their hospitality was a distinct feature of life at Oruawharo. During the breakfast the orchestra played the following selections:- “Innocence’s Dream,” “Spirit of Love,” “Kenilworth,” “Lurline,” “Rose of Castille,” “Queen of Goloonda” “Maritana.” “Coon’s Parade” (two-stop). A dance was held in the evening, which brought the ceremony to a close.

On Friday evening the residents of Takapau will be entertained at a dance in the public hall.