Maritime Matrimony

Ben Chapman from The Maritime Room gives us the inside word on this stunning city venue…

  • Story by Words Margot Marshall

Tell us about The Maritime Room – what sets it apart from other wedding venues?

We are lucky enough to be situated above a beautiful, private marina in the Maritime Museum complex in the heart of Auckland’s CBD. Our space is modern, bright and airy, with a neutral colour scheme that allows our customers to add their own flair if desired.

Boasting incredible views, The Maritime Room is also a really versatile space and can accommodate from 80 to 180 guests for a wedding. The indoor/outdoor flow is amazing – our covered decks are sheltered, as these are often a place where people will gather at any event.

The Maritime Room offers high quality food and beverage, produced by an amazing team. From back of house production to our wait staff – everyone that works for The Maritime Room has been selected and trained by us. No one works at The Maritime Room unless they genuinely care about providing an exceptional experience for our guests!

What should couples think about when choosing their venue?

Where do you want to be – how important is location and ease of access for your guests. What style of day do you want? How much room do you need for the different components of the event, i.e. a dance area, bars, pre and post dinner mingling? Think about the flow of the room – does it make sense in your mind, and if not, can the venue provide site plans for clarity?

What are three questions a couple should ask venue staff before signing a contract?

What is the pricing policy – are prices subject to change?
Is there a bump out policy? (A policy that allows a venue to take a higher value booking over your existing one).
Does the price include GST and are there any other extra costs.

What’s a great way of setting up a room for a cocktail celebration to best promote mingling?

Cocktail celebrations are a great way for guests to get to know each other at events like weddings. Particularly when you have two families coming together for the first time! While banquet weddings are great, there is always the danger that your guests set up camp at their table, and don’t mix and mingle with the rest of the group.  If you can, work with your venue to create a site plan that allows a number of areas – food stations are ideal – and instead of one large bar, why not consider having a number of stations, like a wine table, a juice station, and a craft beer bar? Soft seating is really important, any venue should have at least 50 pieces available, including couch and ottoman clusters, bar stools with tables, plus some standard banquet furniture for your older guests.

From a catering perspective, which dishes would you choose if you were holding a summer wedding?

I personally love Spanish food, so I’d like to be eating fresh and vibrant items, and because it’s summer, nothing too heavy. Some fresh kingfish ceviche with lots of lime, some chorizo croquettes with a punchy aioli, a shooter of gazpacho and some oysters and I’m in heaven!  Mojitos are also good. For a summer wedding dinner, I’m happy with a table banquet service, simple but done really well, some warmed bread with butter, a crusted rack of lamb, carved and served on a platter, some nice pan fried fish, and a couple of tasty salads in my experience works really well.

And for wintertime?

This time of year suits big hearty meals, and so I’d prefer a plated service in winter and no doubt for me braised meat is the winner. I’m a sucker for a slow cooked beef short rib, with a nice rich sauce and a great buttery mash, paired with a good glass of Hawke’s Bay Syrah.

What are some unique ways you’ve seen couples decorate The Maritime Room for maximum visual impact?

We had a couple last summer that did a brilliant festoon install, the runs of lights stretched from inside the venue to the deck, and everything just looked better and better as the day turned into night. We also find lots of tea light candles look really romantic against our marina setting.

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