THOUGHT of holding a wedding in a brewery?
Apparently it’s not that unusual.
When Invercargill Brewery co-owner Amanda Nally was approached to host a wedding, she was initially surprised. When a second couple also asked, she was getting more used to the idea.
The brewery was established in 1999 in Oteramika Rd, before relocating to Wood St, then at its current site on Leet St, because of continued growth.
As well as the brewery side, the Asylum function space has been evolving to allow a diverse range of art-based events, including poetry readings, art exhibitions and live bands.
Weddings have now been added.
Mrs Nally said they had previously never thought of hosting weddings, so was “really surprised when the brides approached them”.
Originally Mrs Nally thought they had meant for the wedding photos only, but it turned out the first wedding was for the ceremony and reception of 50-60 people.
“It’s an intimate, unfussy space, which appeals to people.
“Both couples held their ceremonies at the Asylum, with one couple also deciding to hold their reception there as well.”
Both brides said they didn’t want the Asylum “over-decorated”, rather they wanted it the way it was among artist Phil Newbury’s art works.
“Holding the ceremonies [in front of the fireplace] under his lily petal light art work was pretty cool.”
The first bride, Nicola Holst (nee Ronald) organised everything for her wedding, including the catering, Mrs Nally said.
The couple also decided on photos around the brewery, which, because of the industrial nature of the business, was supervised.
“Then to our great surprise, there was a second request to have a ceremony here and photos,” Mrs Nally said.
“We just open the doors and put on the staff.”
Mrs Nally said the Asylum was available on any day to host a wedding, with a limit of up to 100 people at this stage, with hopes to increase the number to 190 in the future.
She said although the two brides who had already used the Asylum were “self-motivated” and organised, the Asylum and brewery staff could help wedding couples organise music and catering if need be. The first wedding had a band, and the second a jukebox.
“We describe our venue as ‘Invercargill Brewery, the outdoor venue where it can’t rain’… that’s the benefit of having a big, open, industrial space”.
NICOLA (nee Ronald) and Jamie Holst were married on Saturday, August 12.
Asked why she chose the brewery, Mrs Holst said she and her husband had been there a couple of times for functions and enjoyed the “lovely atmosphere and friendly service”.
“It was our type of environment.”
She particularly liked the industrial feel of the brewery, with the working vats, glistening stainless steel, concrete floors and pipes, as well as the Asylum function space with its quirkiness and retro/vintage feel.
“It had an art deco/retro feel in the Asylum with the vintage couches, fireplace and artworks.”
Turns out, it was also a cool place to have the wedding photos taken.
Mrs Holst said they both wanted a casual, relaxing wedding.
“… a place where people could wear jeans if they wanted to.
“We had wanted a wedding at home, but couldn’t. Holding it at the Asylum was cosy, with a feeling of home.
“It was just us… in a friendly, relaxed environment.”
As well as holding the wedding ceremony in front of the fireplace, the couple also opted to hold the reception in the Asylum, bringing in caterers.
Apart from the wedding experience itself, Mrs Holst said some of the highlights using the unique location were the accessibility of the venue and the management and owner’s helpfulness.
“It was a good time and celebration… everything happened as it should have.”
Shh… it’s a secret wedding
Maree (nee Davidson) and Josh Boyle hosted their “secret wedding” at the brewery on Saturday, September 9.
Mrs Boyle said they both “just love the brewery and what they do”, adding “we love dealing with those guys”.
As well as the helpful staff, the Asylum also appealed because of its “slightly alternative” feel.
“It’s quirky, we love the venue… it’s local with eccentric couches and has a different style.”
The couple had decided on an intimate family wedding with 16 guests.
It was a secret, Mrs Boyle said.
“We told our family, but only gave them three week’s notice… we were strict about no-one saying anything.”
However, once the secret was out the next day, their wide circle of friends were not surprised, Mrs Boyle said.
“No-one seemed surprised when we told everyone else the next day.”
As well as holding the wedding ceremony in the Asylum, they also had their photographs taken in the brewery.
The photo opportunities were nice and the venue had a relaxed atmosphere, she said.
Continuing the laid-back theme, the wedding party progressed to the family home where they feasted on muttonbirds, paua, crayfish, venison and desserts galore, Mrs Boyle said.
“All our family are hunter-gathers.”