© 2019 by MsMagnifique

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PREVIOUS EXCHANGE STUDENTS                PREVIOUS BRIDES & GROOMS

Solene - Wedding Valouze August 2018

Kiri Eldridge helped me to organise my wedding at La Valouze. We exchanged firstly when my fiancé and I were looking for a place to book.

 
She answered precisely to our questions, reassure us about making the good choice with La Valouze, suggested how we could use all the different rooms, outdoor areas etc.


Months before the wedding we - as every soon to be bride - had plenty questions about the place and we wanted to make sure of the good process of our stay. 
Kiri helped us not to get stressed, gave us good tips about local contractors and answered even the craziest questions we had about the organisation of our wedding.


When something seemed too difficult to organise or when we didn't know how to make our crazy ideas got real, Kiri was there to advice us. 


She clearly was a great asset of La Valouze and a person you want by your side when you're planning your wedding.

Ollie & Jennifer Prince – Wedding Valouze March 2018

Kiri was an absolute star on the build up to the wedding and throughout the weekend. She worked tirelessly to ensure we had a dream wedding and was there every time we needed her assistance.

 

Kiri was incredibly accommodating and made what could have been a stressful process very smooth and enjoyable.

She went way beyond the call of duty for us and for the chateau.

 

The chateau was beautiful, clean and in high demand which I know was very much down to the hard work Kiri and Steve put into the place.

 

I can't thank Kiri enough for the contributions she made to the best weekend of our lives. 

Ricky & Amina – Wedding Valouze June 2018

Words cannot express how thankful my wife and I are to Kiri. Our wedding was amazing, perfect in every way and it couldn’t have happened without Kiri’s help!


Our wedding consisted of a two day Hindu ceremony plus a traditional French ceremony on the third day.

 

Although Kiri was new to the Hindu wedding aspect,
she embraced it, she took it all on board, was able to digest the bigger picture whilst maintaining a keen eye for the detail. She raised questions that hadn’t
event crossed our minds, she made recommendations that made our guests feel extra special and most importantly, she was always there for us… every time we had a panic or frantic moment (and there were many), she always responded calmly and with several options or solutions to the problem at hand. 

 

Kiri has a little black book of local suppliers that she has built up over the years and it served us well.

Kiri’s contacts were able to provide everything (wedding cakes, wedding catering, flowers, hair / make-up and alcohol) at a far better price and better quality than we were able to source ourselves! 

 

I couldn’t recommend Kiri enough, she was absolutely central to the success

of our 3 day, Hindu-French wedding. 


Kiri’s involvement definitely helped in making our wedding a great success!

Maggie – Wedding Valouze August 2018

Kiri is an all encompassing manager and would bring her skills, vigor and outstanding attention to detail to any role. 
It was an absolute pleasure getting to work with Kiri for eight months.

 

While being extremely professional she still manages to make the client feel that they are being taken care of individually and to feel special. What every bride wants is to
have information at their fingertips and cure he is able to deliver.

 

She is always available and no ask is ever too big. She goes out of her way to find a solution whether it be a vendor, or local know-how, she won’t stop until the client is
satisfied.

 

What’s more is how accommodating and down to earth she is. Never did it feel like she was doing a job but rather that she was a friend with our best interests at heart as well.

 

That’s the sign of a great manager. 

Even after leaving her last position we have kept in touch and that shows the genuine nature of her character. 

Sincerely, Maggie

Mark Gordon - 40th Birthday Celebration Valouze May 2018

Kiri was my primary contact for a fortieth birthday celebration. 

I hosted at Chateau de la Valouze in May 2018 for 60 guests.

 

She provided reliable support throughout the organising process and the weekend itself, and was a pleasure to work with.

 

She went out of her way to assist with last minute changes

and organisational support, and was available to call upon whenever we needed, as well as being very easy to converse with.

 

I do not hesitate to recommend her for such a role in the future.

All the best

Mark Gordon

Rebecca & Charlie – Wedding Valouze May 2018

Kiri was so supportive when we were planning our wedding at Chateau Valouze, she was always available to answer any questions or help find suppliers and I wouldn’t have been able to sort all the suppliers from abroad without her help.

 

Every single one of her recommendations worked out amazingly for us, so I know that Kiri really does her homework before recommending you use someone, which is fantastic.

When picking a venue from the many options in France, Kiri was a huge part of our decision. From our first visit around the chateau with her, we were filled with confidence in her ability to help us create the wedding that we wanted.

 

She and Steve put so much work into making the venue amazing, and it really paid off because we, and our guests, had the most amazing weekend wedding!

Over the year that we worked with Kiri, she was always so happy to help and full of ideas and I would never hesitate to recommend her to other brides.

Thank you, Kiri!

Rudy & Yara – Wedding Valouze June 2017

"We met Kiri the first time when we visited Chateau de la Valouze to decide on our wedding venue. She was extremely welcoming and helpful. She showed us around and was very supportive as she understands the amount of stress and frustration the couples go through in that phase.

 

We've had several interactions with her and she was always super responsive and helpful whenever she could. She was doing an exceptional job of keeping up with all the work that had to be done around the chateau but also keeping in touch and communicating with all the couples that were planning their weddings at the chateau. Although she was under a lot of stress to meet deadlines, every time we saw her, she welcomed us with a big smile and a hug.

 

That made us much more relaxed knowing that she's got our back and we can rely on her. She offered us some space in the chateau to store our wedding related things 3 weeks in advance because we were not living nearby. That was of tremendous help!

 

On the wedding weekend, Kiri made sure to put up all the signs and instructions for all our 55 invitees that were staying at the chateau.

 

Welcomed every single one of them with a warm heart and throughout that weekend whenever we needed her, you would find her in a second. She was there making sure everyone was feeling home and at ease. She took care of guiding the caterers to where they need to without bothering us with all the tiny details.

 

Everything was super clean and well thought-off when it comes to having things organized and in place. It really shows how experienced she is in hosting and organizing events as well as managing stress and tight deadlines.

 

We strongly recommend working with her as she will do her best to make the couple's experience enjoyable and less stressful."

Simon Ford – 60th Birthday Celebration Valouze Sept 2018

For our 60th birthday my wife and I invited friends from around the world to join us at Chateau Valouze in the Bordeaux region of France. The Chateau itself was exceptional, with excellent facilities, in a wonderful setting and very reasonable.

 

From the outset we were put in touch with Kiri who was managing events on behalf of the owner. Kiri went the extra mile to ensure our stay was enjoyable, trouble free and great fun.

 

In addition to her role as event organiser, she organised room allocation, and importantly:

*Initial shopping of food for the self-catering element of our stay, so that when we arrived it was all in place.

*The wines through a local agent, including a large format bottle and excellent desert wine.

*An external caterer for a special dinner suggestions of places to go, things to do that interested us and more…

 

During our stay Kiri was friendly, helpful and very effective.

 

Simon Ford

Ruth Sanders - Wedding Valouze August 2018

I couldn’t have organized my wedding in France without Kiri’s help and guidance. She was so friendly and accommodating during our first visit and made us feel at home in the chateau from our very first meeting.

 

Her organization and local knowledge were invaluable, without which I would never have found excellent local suppliers for the day. These suppliers were brilliant on the wedding day, going above and beyond to make the day run smoothly.

 

Kiri supplied innovative ideas for the wedding day and assisted in coordinating all the brides to enable purchase of outdoor lights which was more economical and more beautiful than the available hire options.

 

Kiri also went far beyond her duties by recommending wines available locally - without this advice we would have had to spend significantly more time with these choices.

 

I would wholeheartedly recommend Kiri - her personality, friendliness, organizational skills, generosity and dedication to detail make her perfectly suited to managing and running a chateau and important events. Ruth Sanders

Anette & Ludovic – Wedding Valouze July 2018

"We had the pleasure of meeting Kiri when we booked Chateau de la Valouze for our wedding venue. She was always very arranging so that we could drop by, even on short notice. Kiri is a positive, full-of-energy, and solution-oriented person.

 

Nothing seems to be a problem for her. She prepared a wedding planner kit, with addresses to local suppliers, caterers etc., and flyers from people she had already worked with.

 

She also created a WhatsApp group for all the people getting married that season, so we could exchange questions, worries, and of course, good solutions. When somebody asked a question in the group, Kiri would respond within the next hours (often next minutes..!).

 

She showed excellent organization skills, and provided services way beyond what we expected. We were always well received by her and her charming husband and boys. I give my warmest recommendations to Kiri."

Leona & Peter – Wedding Valouze August 2018

Kiri and Steve! What a duo. In preparing for our own wedding in France we stumbled across a beautiful chateau.

 

As any nervous couple we wanted to get a feel for the place. On our first visit we were met by Kiri and her family.

 

Kiri was as professional as she was warm and caring. We immediately felt at ease. We even ended up having a few glasses of wine and hearing about her own upcoming nuptials.

 

Kiri has this transferrable calming manner and really gets your vision no matter how outlandish or simple. Kiri and Steve both provided us with helpful tips, handy links to local vendors and a reassuring voice at the end of the phone.

 

A wonderful addition to any wedding planning.

Audrey – Wedding Valouze July 2018

“Kiri was our contact at Château de la Valouze where we decided to organize our wedding. 

 

She was very kind, flexible and always available for any query we had. I had the feeling to be really supported by someone I felt close, with always a real and sincere behavior.

 

Her and her husband Steve made a huge work on the Château too: everything was clean, inside and outside of the château, whatever the season, and I know that they did a lot of things alone to keep everything so charming. 

 

Kiri was also a good support with all the future brides and she tried to find solutions to common issues we faced individually on the organisation, and she always spread a dynamic and friendly mindset during all the preparations. I am sure that this was a huge chance especially for future brides not living in France”

Emmanuelle – French Wedding Planner


Kiri is a very good venue’s manager. She takes care of everything.

 

On one side, she is managing to protect and optimise the venue, so owners could let her their venue with all confidence. And on an other side, she takes care of clients, she is able to find solution and adapt situation at each problem.

She is very kindly and it is difficult to not like her. She exactly knows how to manage people, to embellish a venue and to organise an event. Because of her job, lot of bride & groom choose her venue, because it is very important to have feeling with manager’s venue and she is perfect for it.

 

I really recommend her to manage a wedding venue.

Vishal & David – Wedding Valouze May 2019

"Even though we only had a brief meeting with Kiri, her optimism, attitude and detailed knowledge of the venue and potential wedding options helped me and my partner decide to book her venue over the other 10 we viewed that weekend. 

 

You could see how much work she and her husband did at the venue and her passion and joy in working at the venue and managing weddings definitely helped sway our decision. 

 

She always came across as friendly, available and willing to help with all our queries, no matter how small and I would recommend her managing other wedding venues"

 

PREVIOUS EXCHANGE STUDENTS                PREVIOUS BRIDES & GROOMS

Mica Tuperetama, Brazil - Feb 2013

I am Micaele Leite, I'm 21 years old, Brazilian and I did an exchange to NZ in 2014 during six months for study at High School and to improve my English. I was so lucky to have had Kiri and family as my host family!!!

 

They are such amazing people! So kind, careful and fun! They have good friends and a great family. During my stay there, me, Kiri, Steve and the boys went to many cool places. I traveled by boat, cable car, airplane (to Auckland) - and there I went to the Sky Tower, to the Art Gallery, Rainbow's End park, SEA LIFE Aquarium, etc.

 

I also went to Kiri's parents farm, Te Papa Tongarewa museum, to the Zoo, Botanic Garden, Mount Victoria, The Weta Cave, and to Taupo with my exchange friends and the coordinator of the college program. I travelled around NZ in the school vacations and other awesome places.

 

My host family wanted to show me some nice places in NZ and they did! I'm so grateful for that. The boys - Liam, Quin and Wynter are so cute, intelligent and friendly!

 

I also made nice friends there! I keep in touch with my NZ host family and wish to see them again in the not to far future! 

If you are planning to do an exchange in New Zealand this family are the best to be your host! 

Francesca Geneva, Italy - June 2013 & 2014

Hi everyone, my name is Francesca and I’d love to share my experience in New Zealand.
 

I spent 5 months, from June to October 2015, in Wellington in a nice neighbourhood called Eastbourne, with such a special family made up of two awesome parents (Kiri and Steve) and three
little crazy boys (Liam, Quin, Winter). I know it might seem trite but it has been the best adventure of my life.


I have many good memories about those five months but the greatest ones are related to the host family. I have been lucky to spend so much time with them and to be part of their family.

Even if at the beginning my English was extremely bad and It was difficult for me to understand them, they tried everything to involve me and make me feel like home. As an example, I’d like to remember my earliest memory in Wellington when Steve, at the airport, mimed the plane to ask me if my journey went well.

Luckily my English got better after few weeks and I finally got the opportunity to deeply understand them.


First of all, I must say that they all know the real meaning of love. Steve and Kiri are incredible parents, they are lovely, sensible and determinate to do everything they can to make their little boys happy and responsible. Just looking at the blue eyes of the kids you can tell that they are full of joy, clever and crafty. Even if they are really young, they care a lot about everyone that surrounds them and they take nothing for granted. Liam is the oldest one, he is a natural actor, makes lots of jokes (such as his dad) and takes seriously his big brother role; Quin is a little scientist, he is curious and loves talking about everything; Wynter is a little crazy and cute boy that loves dancing to every kind of music.


I really love this family, they mean a lot to me and they will always have some space in my heart. Even if they live on the other side of the world I managed to see them many times after I finished
my experience as an exchange student. I decide to go back to New Zealand on august 2016 to spend more times with my Kiwi friends and of course with my awesome host family!


As I said they are a little crazy and they decided to spend two years in Europe to give their kids the opportunity to embrace new cultures. It was a special opportunity for me to show them Gressoney, a tiny place in Italy that means a lot to me, and to let my real family know these fantastic humans being.

Sophie Frankfurt, Germany - July 2014 - January 2015

I was a 16 years old student from Germany when I stayed with Kiri and her family. For six months I was part of their family and still am. 


Staying with them includes having 3 little, lovely brothers.
You might think living with 3 little boys might be exhausting and annoying especially when you come from a family with no smaller siblings as me but honestly it's not. At the end of my stay when I went back home, I missed the noise and always having someone around. 


While staying with them I was able to play with the boys, have a little chat with Kiri or Steve or just relax on my own.
I was always very welcome to join them on their family activities which was always a lot of fun. 


In the evening we always had dinner together as a family. After the boys bedtime, Kiri, Steve, another international student (if there was one) and I often sat in the lounge with a cup of tea and talked about all the world or played games. 


I was given the opportunity to stay with them for Christmas. Since I was part of their family I wasn't missing my family back in Germany. It was a great experience to celebrate Christmas in summer and would definitely do it again! 


To put it in a nutshell I enjoyed staying with them heaps.
They have been the perfect family for me. Through my time abroad I got to know a new culture, I was able to become nearly fluently in English and importantly I gained a second family.

 

Four years after I left New Zealand I'm still in contact with them.

Come Colombe, France - April 2015

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Ana – Sao Paulo, Brazil -  July 2015

I always say that the 5 months I lived in New Zealand was the best time of my life!

 

It was a moment of really getting to know myself and discovering the beautiful culture Nz has.

 

I fell in love with the view of my room, with peace that surrounded the streets and even the bus, and also fell deeply in love with my new family.

 

My host family really changed this experience for me. They were loving and caring at all times. Made me feel really comfortable and at home. I could never have asked for a better family. And I wish I could go back every day, hug my little brothers, drink some tea and laugh till late hours with my loved host parents.

 

I just want to say, that there is no way someone could regret this.

OTHER TESTIMONIALS

Laura – Yoga Retreat Valouze April 2018

I had the pleasure of meeting Kiri and Steve at Chateau de la Valouze earlier this year when I ran a large yoga retreat at the Chateau. They were fantastic hosts and made myself, my team and my guests incredibly welcome. 

Kiri's organisational skills are highly commendable. Nothing was too much trouble, they took deliveries for me, advised on transport and their knowledge of local amenities was really useful. 

They made sure we had everything we could to make the retreat run smoothly. Communication was clear and prompt. The Chateau was beautifully maintained and Kiri's sunny, personable attitude made the experience a lovely one. 

I highly recommend Kiri and Steve for any role in the hospitality industry. They would be an asset to any similar venue.

 

Having met several wedding/event space managers over the years, I can safely say these are two of the best: efficient, calm and competent whilst being charming, open and friendly. 

You guys Rock! 

Xx