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festival chic. justin alexander for a tipi wedding in lancashire – emily & richard

August 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (71)

The super gorgeous real wedding we’re bringing you today combines a smattering of our favourite things, including fairy-tale like tipis, a VW campervan and lots of glamping-inspired fun. What’s not to love about this wedding party?

Tying the knot back in May, Emily and Richard decided to hoist up some tipis in a neighbour’s garden and centre their celebrations around a dreamy festival theme! Cue some fabulously wild blooms, twinkly lights, wicker hearts and milk urns to complete their chic wedding day look.

Alongside their two-course wedding breakfast, the couple also hired prosecco and fish and chip vans, with marshmallows for toasting in the evening for a real laid-back vibe. The guests even had wristbands as little keepsakes from the day – perfectly in tune with the theme. Like all good parties, we like to reminisce, so let’s pass the blog over to Emily to share the ever so wonderful highlights from their special day.

With images by Ian MacMichael.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (40)

emily says: We were on a two-week holiday in Mexico in 2016, when Richard proposed. I decided I’d love for us to get a professional photo shoot done of the two of us and we booked the shoot for 15th June at around 4pm. We went to the beach to meet the photographer and had a couple of pictures together. I was then having a picture by myself and to my surprise Richard walked in front of the camera, got down on one knee and proposed. The photographer had no idea it was coming either – we then carried on with the shoot and got some beautiful pictures. We had an album made so all our family and friends could see the special moment.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (48)

We got married on 26th May 2018. We chose that date because we hoped the weather would be nice. It was also a bank holiday, which meant we could carry on the party until the Sunday, too.

We exchanged vows at St Mary’s Church in Rufford, and then celebrated in a tipi on my mum and dad’s next-door neighbour’s field at the back of the house. We chose this style of backdrop because we loved the feel of the tipis. We hired ours from All About Me Marquees and Events and would definitely recommend them, from the initial contact right through to the end – they were great.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (13)

We had a festival style theme, with hay bales laid out around the field, ten glamping tents for all the bridal party to stay in and a converted horse box – The Prosecco Pot – pulled up on the field from where we served our reception drinks of prosecco and Peroni. We also had a fish and chips van – Just For You Fish and Chips – serving fish, chips and a choice of gravy or mushy peas. Both companies were fab!

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (97)

My dress was a Justin Alexander gown from a shop in Whalley, Lancashire called Lulu Browns Bridal, who were fab! I tried on so many different styles and always thought I would choose a lace mermaid style dress, but when I tried the dress on that I eventually bought – I fell in love with it instantly. In fact, I cried, as did my mum and mother-in-law.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (4)

Richard wore a three-piece tailed suit in blue with a tweed waistcoat to match and a silver tie, all hired from Slaters in Preston.

Our groomsmen wore the same suit as Richard as well as the silver tie and they all looked so smart.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (35)

My bridesmaids wore satin bow back maxi dresses in whisper pink from ASOS. They had to be altered slightly but all in all my bridesmaids felt very comfortable in them and that’s all I wanted. We got the flower girls’ dusky pink dresses with a full floating skirt and flower details round the waistband from Monsoon.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (50)

A friend of a friend did our makeup. She actually trains all the ladies who work for Charlotte Tilbury, so she was amazing. I don’t really wear lots of makeup, and neither do my bridesmaids, so I was definitely going for more of a natural look and she achieved this with all of us so perfectly.

Another friend of a friend did our hair. She works in a salon not too far from home. I had a trial with her a few weeks before the wedding so we had an idea of what hair I’d like. As for my bridesmaids, it was a pretty simple style we went for, but it fitted in well with the theme.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (56)

On the day, Richard arrived at the church in the best man’s Range Rover. For the bridesmaids and I, we hired a VW camper van from Funcampers Campervan & Retro Vehicle Hire. The van took my mum and four bridesmaids to the church then came back for my dad and me. After the ceremony, the van took Richard and I to the venue. The driver parked it up by the tipis, which looked great!

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (60)

Our photographer was Ian MacMichael and his wife Hazel. They are family friends, so we always knew we would love them to photograph our wedding. Both Ian and Hazel are fabulous photographers and they captured our wedding day perfectly. The thing I loved most about their style of photography was that hardly any of it was staged – each photo told the whole story of the day so well. We had a pre-wedding shoot, which was great too as they both made us feel very relaxed (this was a big deal for Richard as he’s not a fan of getting his picture taken). It also gave us a feel for how things would be on the wedding day.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (69)

All the flowers on the wedding day were wild flowers. I had a full bouquet of an arrangement of different flowers. A local company down the road from my mum and dad’s called The Flower Farm provided them. Claire was great and captured exactly what I was looking for. She scattered jugs of flowers along the windowsills of the church and on the pulpit. We also had two milk churn arrangements outside the church.

For extra décor, me, my mum and my bridesmaids all made wicker heart pew ends with gypsophila in them. Claire then kindly moved the jugs to our tipi and onto the tables. Our top table was then filled with both the bridesmaids’ bouquets and mine.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (74)

For our favours we had festival style cloth wristbands made with Emily & Richard – 26th May and our #whytewedding18 hashtag. Everyone loved these and it was really cool to see everyone wear them.

A family friend made our cake. Our favourite is Victoria sponge, so we always knew we’d be having it as our wedding cake as we both hate fruitcake! I loved the style of a naked wedding cake with fresh fruit and our friend did us proud – it was five-tiered and looked fantastic (I even cried when I saw this as I was only expecting three of four tiers).

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (79)

As we had the tipis we then had to find all our other vendors to make the whole thing work. We used a catering company called Totally D’vine for the food and they were fantastic. Along with our welcome drinks from the Prosecco Pot, we had mini finger food consisting of mini chicken bang bang, mini pulled pork rolls and a mini gourmet steak burger.

For our wedding breakfast we went for two courses, including sage butter chicken, dauphinoise potato in a red wine jus and, for dessert, a trio of desserts: sticky toffee pudding, apple crumble cheesecake and milk chocolate espresso mousse. I would highly recommend this company as their eye for detail and timings were spot on. For drinks, we had wine on the table and then a cash bar.

We had a cake made of cheese too, and, as there was a fire pit at one end of the tipi, we bought sticks and marshmallows, so guests were able to toast them (the children loved this!)

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (80)

For the entertainment, we booked JC and The Two-Steps, a band from Liverpool. We found them online and listened to their tracks via the internet and were not disappointed. All of our guests loved them; they played two 45-minute sets of various cover songs that got everyone up dancing.

We then had a DJ for later on who actually DJ’d at my 21st party – we had a meeting with him prior to the wedding to go over songs we liked and didn’t like. James was great – he got people on the dance floor and we were able to dance the night away till late.

As a special touch, we had a message tree made by my dad. This consisted of a bare twig tree cemented in a planter with fairly lights draped around. There was then a table next to the tree with heart shaped black boards for people to write us a special message or even draw us a picture and then hang onto the tree.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (89)

After our wedding, I would most definitely recommend having a tipi wedding to other couples – it’s not that straightforward and yes, a lot of planning has to go into it, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. The wow factor and amazement you get from your guests is brilliant.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (87)

One of my favourite parts of the day was putting on my dress after my hair and makeup had just been done. I was so in love with my dress I just couldn’t wait to wear it! My other favourite part of the day was sitting at the top table and watching all our family and friends having an amazing time. It was nice to step back and actually see this and I’d recommend brides and grooms to take the chance to do the same on their big day.

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (99)

We have booked to go to Miami for our honeymoon and then fly onto the Bahamas and stay in the Sandals resort in October – I can’t wait!

A Festival Wedding in Lancashire (c) Ian MacMichael Photography (106)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be: make a budget spreadsheet – the money side of things can easily run away from you!

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...

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