Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

fun & distinctive: introducing special event tipis

January 13th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Here at Brides Up North we make no secret of the fact that we love an outdoor wedding – hence our WEDFEST’17 tour of festival style wedding fairs! As such, we’re super thrilled to be introducing our new Sponsor Special Event Tipis, to the blog today.

Set up and run by husband and wife team David and Kate following their own tipi wedding, these two know first-hand how effective a striking tipi can be in providing a wow-factor setting for a couple’s special day.

With bases in both Cumbria and Northumberland, the Special Event Tipis team provide fun and distinctive tents for weddings of all sizes and themes, and have an impressive stock of interior items, – such as Chesterfield sofa, antler chandeliers and fire pits – to help make each big day truly unique (and they’ve a special offer for Brides Up North readers… read on!)

Here to tell us more about their stunning structures is the lovely Kate.

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Can you give us a little overview of Special Event Tipis and how the business first started?

kate says: Special Event Tipis was established in 2011 after our own tipi wedding.  We wanted an intimate atmosphere mixed with the wow-factor. Our special day was a one-off occasion and we wanted it to be magical!

The tipis were the perfect solution and provided us with the quirky, fun and unique venue that we wanted. It truly was the best day of our lives and we have now helped more than 300 couples plan their perfect day

We are very much client led and can be involved as much or as little as is needed; from simply providing the structures through to organising a full wedding package including styling, catering and bar services.

In your opinion, why do tipis make a great option for weddings?

The warmth and atmosphere created by the tipis is just so special!  They are really versitile structures and they make for great parties!  Whether you want to bring the outside in during the summer months or cosy up with warm skins and open fires on a winter’s evening, our tipis provide a warm neutral space for you to unleash your individuality.

What types of tipis do you offer?

We stock three different types of tipi structures – the Giant Hat, the Kung and the Nimbus.

By linking our Giant Hats and Kung structures together we can create a variety of diverse and interesting spaces!  The floor plan gallery on our website gives a really good indication of guest capacities, as well as ideas on how best to optimise the space inside the tipis.

The Nimbus structure is a standalone mini tipi perfect for bar’s, photoboooths,  pamper areas – the possibilities are endless!

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How many guests can your tipis cater for?

We cater for events of any size; from intimate wedding parties of 25, to large corporate events. The largest event we have done to date, was 16 tipis for 2,000 guests at a Bank of New York’s sponsorship event.

Can the tipis be used for weddings all year round or are they just available during certain seasons?

We work all year round and offer great deals on out of season events (October to the end of April).  David and our crew are experienced in working in all types of weather and we stock everything needed to make a winter event perfect.

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Do you offer extras, such as toilets and heating, to make hiring a tipi a simpler option for brides and grooms?

We stock our own heaters and can organise toilets and generators from excellent and reputable companies at no extra cost to the client.  We also have excellent links with venues, caterers, florists, photographers and all things bridal!

What other extras do you offer in terms of decoration, and how can these help couples to personalise/theme their weddings?

We love finding new and interesting items for our tipis.  Our wine box bar, tree trunk table (a hollow tree trunk shaped like a heart and filled with fairy lights), wine barrel seats and carnival lighting are bespoke pieces made just for us.  Our real Chesterfield sofa, antler chandeliers and crate tables are also really popular.  Wherever possible, we try to upcycle interesting bits and pieces that are not only quirky, but that fit in with the look and feel of the tipis.

Our lighting packages are also really special and help to create an amazing atmosphere.  Lighting is such an important part of the structures and is an area that we are continually developing.

Do you offer brides and grooms inspiration and advice on how to style the tipi and do you dress the tipi as part of the service?

We love getting involved with the dressing side of things, from simply chatting through ideas to full event styling.

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If couples don’t know of a plot where they can pitch a tipi are you able to help?

Absolutley, we work with fabulous venues across Cumbria, Northumberland, Scotland, Lancashire and North Yorkshire.  A selection of these can be found on the Friends page of our website, these are all venues we have worked with before and can really recommend!

We also install on a wide range of private sites and offer free site visits to help you decide if your site will work with our tipis.

How long before the wedding will be tipi be constructed and when will it be taken away again?

Your tipis will be completed and handed over to you at least half a day before your special event (we aim to give one full day) and are taken down one to two days after.  Our clients are more than welcome to use our structures the day after their event (we love an after party!) at no extra cost, but this is on a first come first served basis.

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What is the feedback like from your bride and groom clients?

We have received amazing feedback over the years which can be viewed on the testimonials page of our website.

You get to know people over the duration of their wedding planning and I actually miss our brides and grooms once the big day has been and gone! Luckily we have plenty of anniversary parties in the pipeline and we do get to catch up with people, as friends and family decide they would also like a tipi party to help celebrate a special occasion!

What sets you apart from other tipi and marquee suppliers?

Our knowledge and experience of the structures and our customer service.  We basically love our jobs!  Working in the wedding industry is a privilege and we never forget that we are playing a vital part in a couples big day!  Our interior items are also pretty special.

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

Yes! We would like to offer half price fire pits to BUN readers using the code FP50.  Our new fire pits run off bio ethanol fuel instead of logs meaning there is no need to manage the fuel or the chimney flaps!  They are basically smoke free, smell free and hassle free!

How can Brides Up North readers find out more/get in touch with Special Event Tipis?

You can give our team a call on 0800 321 3677or fill in our online customer contact form, we will then prepare a bespoke quote for you based on your event needs.

Anything else we should know?

Our interior stock can be hired separately to our tipis!  We have done some beautiful installations in barns and halls including lighting, furniture, dance floors, heaters.

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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