Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Shows Spring 2017

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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well designed. suzanne neville for a classic wedding in the north west – laura & jonathon

December 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Ladies, picture the nightmare scene – you’ve had your heart set on a particular wedding gown for years only to find that the designer as stopped producing it by the time it comes to planning your big day. Then imagine the delight when the designer offers to have a one-off of the dress especially made for you. Too good to be true, right? That’s what we thought, but for today’s real bride this was the reality when top British bridalwear designer Suzanne Neville had a discontinued design specially made for her.

So let’s get straight into Laura and Jonathon’s big day to see that super-special dress in action…

With images by Toni Darcy Photography.

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laura says: We got engaged after ten years of being together in October 2015. Jonathan took me to Paris for a surprise weekend, I didn’t know where I was going until I got to the gate at Manchester Airport! Even after finding out we were going to Paris I had no idea he would propose, we had been together so long and I had always talked about getting engaged that I sort of resigned myself to the fact we might not get married for another ten years! On the second night in Paris after a lovely meal we walked over the bridge of the river Seine, stopped to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower lit up behind us and there Jonathan got down on one knee! I later found out that he had the ring in his pocket all day whilst we were busy sightseeing, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop the question!

We decided that we weren’t going to wait for years to get married, I had always known what type of wedding I wanted and we both agreed to get it moving for spring 2016. We looked at only one venue, we both wanted a marquee wedding reception and so The Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, was just perfect, we didn’t want to look anywhere else. The reason for the date was simply because we wanted to get married in the spring and the only Saturday available was 21st May, so that was booked and was to be the date of our big day!

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We have both visited The Inn at Whitewell many times, it has beautiful surroundings and is just a gorgeous setting. We really wanted a marquee reception and to get married in church. The Inn is coupled with St Michaels Church, Whitewell, and just happens to be right next door to the venue. Perfect!

We didn’t have a set colour scheme as such, I had pale pink and soft golds in my invites, cake and decor in the venue, but chose navy blue for the men and girls in the wedding party.

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the way we like it. a relaxed tipi wedding in yorkshire – harry & cat

October 24th, 2016 | Emma Davis

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Today’s real wedding couple chose to focus their plans on the elements that mattered most to them, allowing them to spend the majority of their time and money on the things that reflect them best.

From personal food choices, to live music and explosive evening entertainment, guests were treated to a truly special day that suited Harry and Cat’s style perfectly!

Images by Jenny Maden

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harriet says: We got engaged in September 2015 whilst on our favourite walk. At the top of the hill on the route the views are amazing – suddenly the peaks and surrounding countryside unfolds. It was there that Catherine proposed to me. We celebrated our engagement at the local pub with a pie and a pint. It was perfect!

We had our legal wedding ceremony on 11th August at Sheffield Town Hall, and then had our blessing and reception with friends and family on 13th August.

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The blessing was at Bolsterstone Village Hall followed by a reception in tipis, provided by Totally Tipi, at Lazy Daisy’s Farm in Langsett. The venue was important to us as we wanted somewhere near to where we live and somewhere with a down to earth and natural charm. On viewing both of these venues we loved them immediately. Both Bolderstone Village Hall and the village itself are incredibly charming, and living nearby meant we know them well. Perhaps most importantly though is that all of the suppliers we worked with were fantastic! Carol at Bolderstone Village Hall, Sally at Lazy Daisy’s and Jay at Totally Tipi – they all made the planning and organisation easy and fun.

Our colour scheme for the wedding we blue and coral. The women in the bridal party wore coral lace dresses from Coast. The men in the bridal party wore cobalt blue suits with coral ties and pocket squares.

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We both wore pretty standard wedding dresses; we weren’t particularly bothered about the dresses. We were really happy with our choices though, and felt both comfortable and special on the day!

Our say was captured by photographer Jenny Maden. I knew Jenny from school and had been really impressed by her photography work, which I had seen on Facebook. Jenny flourishes at capturing natural moments. Her photography does not focus on staged shots but on capturing smiles, chat, joy, tears, funny faces and laughs, which make up a wedding day! We relish looking back through those photos and losing ourselves in the memories they trigger. We would highly recommend Jenny as a wedding photographer!

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love & laughter. a dusky pink wedding at the walled garden marquee – lisa & chris

August 22nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Wedding at The Walled Garden Marquee (c) Danni Maytree Photography (37)

Today’s real wedding couple are quick to confess that they’re not the most romantic, and so wanted a wedding day that was informal and fun.

Looking at the images we’d say they definitely achieved their goal, with smiles and laughter from the bride, groom and their guests throughout the proceedings.

Though relaxed, Lisa and Chris’s wedding has a lovely air of elegance to it, with the groom looking dapper in his tux and bow tie, and the bride every inch a princess in her beautiful lace detailed gown.

With images by Danni Maytree Photography.

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lisa says: We got engaged in our back garden in June 2015, after enjoying an al fresco dinner. We’re a tongue in cheek couple who love to laugh and are not overly romantic, so it was as simple as that.

We chose to get married on 2nd July as my mum and dad got married on 2nd June and my sister and brother-in-law got married on 2nd December. We all got married at 2pm too.

A Wedding at The Walled Garden Marquee (c) Danni Maytree Photography (6)

Our chosen venue was The Walled Garden Marquee at Temple Newsam, Leeds, which we would highly recommend to others. Both Chris and I have grown up visiting Temple Newsam and the marquee itself is beautiful.

We wanted it to be quite informal and so whilst there was no set theme, it did have quite a rustic feel to it.

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love train. david tutera for a rustic wedding in the north west – sarah & cj

June 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (25)

We just love it when a couple adds special elements to their wedding day to make it all the more memorable for them and their guests.

Today’s bride and groom decided the transport was a key area of their wedding where they could do things differently, in order to wow their guests. Having planned a marquee wedding on a relative’s farm through which a steam train track ran, Sarah and CJ seized the opportunity for their guests to travel from the church to reception by rail. But this was no mean feat, in order to make their wish come true, they had to build a temporary train platform so that the steam train could stop at the farm, and in order to do that they had to wait for a time of year when the trains didn’t run during the week so that we could work on the track. Top marks for effort guys!

Now let’s board that locomotive…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Zen Photographic.

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sarah says: We got engaged at Fountains Abbey, which is a place I used to go to a lot with my family when I was younger. It was just a normal afternoon on 1st November 2014, we went over for a nice walk, headed up to Anne Boleyn’s lookout, which has an amazing view to the gardens and the abbey, and whilst we stood there admiring the view, CJ asked me to marry him, completely unexpected! He’d worked with Whiting & Wilson jewellers in Rossendale to design the ring himself.

We wanted the wedding to be within a year of getting engaged and so decided to set the date for 10th October 2015.

Shades Canvas for a Rustic Wedding in the North West (c) Zen Photographic (39)

We got married at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Bury, as this is where CJ’s parents were married and he was christened. It’s also in our hometown and right opposite the steam train station, which was how we planned to transport our guests to the reception. We wanted a completely unique way to transport our guests that would be fun and meant something to us too. We live in Irwell Vale, which the steam train passes through and came up with the idea as the train passed through the village one day. My relatives have a farm, which the steam train runs right through to, so we built a temporary train platform on the farm for the train to stop at, and laid down a gravel walkway from the platform to an Indian style marquee we’d hired, which was in one of the fields. The marquee was a grand pavilion from Shades Canvas.

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making dreams into memories: big chief tipis

April 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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This afternoon we’re delighted to introduce another of our talented Brides Up North Sponsors to the blog, the wonderful Big Chief Tipis.

There’s not much that the company’s team (aka the ‘Little Chiefs’) don’t know about staging a dream outdoor wedding under the protection and beauty of a fabulous event tipi having organised 50 weddings in their very first year of operation.

Among their clients is gorgeous celeb couple Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, who hired a Big Chief Tipi for their lavish big day back in July 2015! Impressed? Us too! So much so that we’ve called upon Big Chief Tipis to showcase some of their stunning structures at our exciting WEDSTIVAL16 event at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire on 22nd May 2016 – which will be one of the UK’s first dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibitions!

To celebrate becoming a Brides Up North Sponsor, Big Chief Tipis are offering our readers an amazing 5% discount on bookings, just quote “Brides Up North”.

We’ll now hand over the blog to those knowledgeable Little Chiefs to explain what makes a tipi wedding so special…

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Can you give us a little overview of Big Chief Tipis and the services you can offer to our bride-to-be readers?

Here at Big Chief Tipis we specialise in hiring out large event tipis for weddings throughout the UK. The dream alternative to a marquee, our tipis create a breath-taking space for you to celebrate in the great outdoors. All of our tipis can be interlinked together endlessly to create a space big enough for any number of guests. They are perfect for both summer and winter weddings as you can raise the sides when the sun is shining, or you can lower them down and light a fire inside when the weather is…British!

Our aim is to turn your dreams into memories and we have a dedicated team of Little Chiefs on hand around the clock to ensure these memories are the happiest of your life!

We are a young company, with a vibrant team of enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who absolutely love weddings. In our first year of operation, 2015, we organised 50 weddings – one of them being Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s wedding, after which we appeared in Hello magazine as they loved us so much!

Why do tipis make a great option for weddings?

When planning a wedding, we ask our brides – what do you desire? Do you want something unique, exclusive, fun, stunning, individual? If the answer is yes to any (or all) of the above, then a tipi wedding could be the answer you’re looking for.

Our tipis act as a popup venue that can be erected practically anywhere, so that you can enjoy your big day with friends and family in the great outdoors. Whether you have a large garden, your grandma’s field, a campsite with amazing views or a local venue with land, our team of Onsite Little Chiefs can work their magic within one to two days, to make your vision a reality.

Our motto at Big Chief Tipis is “making dreams into memories” and with your wedding, we’ll do just that. We know that your special day means the world to you and that you want to have the best time of your life within a space that brings fun, love and atmosphere. A wedding in one of our tipis is like no other party and we can guarantee that your guests will leave with smiles on their faces and their dancing shoes worn out! Even the most sceptical of guests who are expecting to walk into a ‘wigwam’ are blown away when they see our 21st Century version of what was a very traditional space.

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What types of tipis do you offer?

We offer three different sizes of tipis – our Big Hats (10.5m), Midi tipis (8.5m) and Baby tipis (6.5m). They can all be interlinked together to create different spaces. For a wedding, we tend to work off 50 people per tipi, which will leave enough space for a dancefloor. So if you have 80 to 100 guests then two Big Hats is perfect but you may want to add on a Midi tipi to act as the bar and chill out area. In addition, our Baby tipis can be linked to the main formation using a tunnel which creates the perfect chill out space with Moroccan styled furniture or children’s play area complete with multi-coloured bean bags and bunting.

How many guests can your tipis cater for?

The answer is “How long is a piece of string?” You can use one tipi on its own for a more intimate gathering of 50 people, or you can interlink a number of our tipis together to create an incredible space to accommodate a wedding in excess of 400 guests.

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Can the tipis be used for weddings all year round?

Big Chief Tipis is open all year round as our tipis are perfect for both summer and winter weddings alike. We can lift the sides while the sun shines for you to enjoy the weather and views, or we can lower them to protect you from the elements and light a fire pit inside to create a magical and cosy vibe. The bonus of booking with Big Chief Tipis is that our sister company is The Tipi Company, which manufactures the tipis for the tipi hire industry, and as a result we have a few additional extras that set us apart from the rest – such as our weather-proofing kits complete with doors and clear view windows!

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

Yes, we can take care of all the ‘boring bits’ for you, including generators, toilets and heaters, and plan the timings of arrival / collection of them all to coordinate with the set up and break down of the tipis and the layout of the site, so that you don’t have to worry about any of it.

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