September 24th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Bringing their love for the outdoors to life, Lucy and Christopher’s big day back in July is the template for the perfect tipi style wedding, taking place in the mother and father of the bride’s back garden in Yorkshire. Cue plenty of picturesque country backdrops and even a rainbow!
Going for a DIY approach, the couple paired lots of quirky, rustic themed decorations with a pastel palette, not to mention plenty of inspiring, local touches – from the personalised water glasses to beers from their local brewery and platters brimming with Yorkshire goodies.
As well as supporting a host of independent suppliers, including the Flowers from the Farm network, there’s a heartfelt charitable component to their celebrations and even their honeymoon, with different elements of their wedding giving a little something back to the community. Feeling inspired to do the same? Let’s hand the blog to Lucy to tell us more…
With images by Paul Hawkett Photography.
lucy says: We got engaged while we were staying at a cottage on a remote sheep farm near Keswick in the Lake District at the end of October 2017. After a long walk we came back to dry off and whilst I was cooking dinner in my pyjamas, Christopher got down on one knee in front of the log burner and asked me to marry him. We had no phone signal so couldn’t break the news to our friends and family until the next day, which made it even more special!
We got married on 28th July 2018. With me being a teacher, getting married during the summer holidays made sense, and we didn’t want to wait another year to tie the knot.
Despite currently living in Surrey, as I grew up in Yorkshire, the north has a very special place in our hearts and we spend a lot of time visiting family there and generally enjoying being outdoors in the area. We got married in All Hallows, the stunning Anglo-Saxon church in Bardsey, the village where my family lives. This was an intimate and special place for us, and the ceremony was made particularly personal as Alan, the Reverend from the school where I teach, travelled all the way up to conduct the ceremony.
We wanted a relaxed, informal wedding reception and knew straight away that we wanted to hold this in the fields behind my parents’ home, which have picturesque views out across Yorkshire.
Early in our wedding planning we were lucky to stumble across Totem Tipi, who are part of North Yorkshire Council. Not only were they amazingly lovely to work with, and the structures themselves are stunning, but knowing that our money was going to help disadvantaged young people in Yorkshire cemented our decision to have a tipi wedding. This suited our style perfectly and received so many compliments from our guests; not many people get fairy lights and a fire pit at their wedding!
Due to the setting and reflecting our love of the great outdoors more generally, we wanted our wedding to have a relaxed, rustic vibe with really beautiful personal touches. In my spare time, I run a charity in India, and it was important for us to use local suppliers and to give back to the community wherever possible.
We also wanted to create a true Yorkshire welcome for everyone coming up for the wedding! We are both creative and like a challenge so weren’t put off by the difficulties involved in organising a DIY wedding, even though we had no idea what that would involve at the time!
We started off imagining a really rigid colour scheme but in the end went totally the opposite direction by incorporating lots of different pastel colours to reflect the beautiful shades of the flowers and fauna of the Yorkshire countryside. Chris’ favourite colour is purple so we reflected this in the outfits of the ushers and the stationery.
September 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There are some lovely special touches present at today’s real wedding between Alun and Sophie, which takes place by the sea for an extra air of romance. We love the personalised order of service with its bridal party roll call and amusing message to the guests as they await the bride’s entrance. Then there’s the sign that states “Uncle Alun – here comes your bride”, proudly held by the groom’s nephew to signal her arrival. Not to mention the personalised poems written for the guests and left at their place settings.
In sight of the glorious coastal view, the couple arranged lawn games to keep guests entertained and hay bales with blankets around a fire pit upon which family and friends could toast marshmallows and enjoy the sea breeze. Which leads us nicely on to cocktails – all personalised of course to add to the unintentional theme noticed by Alun and Sophie’s guests as very “them”!
The tipi wedding setting looks spectacular against the cerulean Welsh sky – we can totally see why Alun and Sophie wanted an outdoor wedding in such a spectacular location!
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sophie says: Alun wanted to make sure I didn’t suspect the proposal – not an easy task as all I had spoken about for the last three years was getting engaged! As I’m a teacher, he decided to surprise me after school; keeping me in school was tricky but, with help from my workmates, Alun managed to sneak in and be in my classroom as I walked back from the staff room. I was surprised to see him there! He handed me a letter and, as I read the beautiful words, I had tears in my eyes. Alun went down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course, my answer was yes!
We got married on 5th August 2017. We needed to choose the school holiday and, as we wanted an outdoor wedding, we felt August would be perfect.
We had the ceremony in a beautiful church in Llangwnadl and the reception was in a field overlooking the coast. I fell in love with the church when I first visited Alun’s sister’s house in the same village. As we both love the sea, the field was the best choice and the tipi made it extra special. Having a tipi meant we could personalise everything.
The order of the day was fun! We wanted everyone to be relaxed and enjoy themselves. I’m not sure there was a theme as such but lots of our friends commented afterwards that the wedding was very “us”.
For our colour scheme we chose burgundy and baby pink. I liked the contrast of colours and wanted summery and country flowers.
When it came to the dress, I visited lots of shops and tried on several dresses but couldn’t quite find the right one! I wanted a simple gown due to the venue. I finally found one in a little village down south when visiting my best friend for the weekend. It was in a pre-loved wedding shop and, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. After a little altering by a wonderful seamstress in Chester, the dress was perfect.
May 28th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th June 2018 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Rustic, homemade details ruled for Craig and Sarah’s big day, with mismatched flowers, neutrals, fairy lights and paper lanterns. Sarah is justifiably proud of the fact that almost everything for their wedding was made by them, from the beer bath to the bouquets. They even foraged for the ivy they used to dress their tables – now that’s dedication!
The result? A gloriously sun-soaked, boho affair which will have you lusting after a fairy-tale woodland ceremony.
The ultimate take-home detail from this visual feast of gorgeousness, though? The flower crowns. Oh Lordy, those flower crowns. They’re giving us palpitations. We strongly suggest you take a comfy seat for this one – it may well cause weakness of the knees!
With photography by Emily Hannah Photography.
sarah says: We got engaged in Palma city by the cathedral after a few too many mojitos! Craig got down on one knee when only the two of us were around.
Our wedding day was the 8th July 2017. We decided on an outdoor wedding, so we chose summer and prayed for a dry day!
Our venue was Camp Katur, Kirklington, North Yorkshire. We chose the venue as it was so different to a typical hotel or stately home and had such a relaxed vibe. The ceremony area was in the forest and felt perfect while the reception was in the rustic barn. We also loved the fact that our guests could stay over in different glamping pods!
We went for a festival/bohemian-style wedding with a relaxed feel and a neutral colour scheme. We wanted to make as many things as we could for the wedding so that it was as ‘us’ as possible. With help from a good friend, we created a bar made from pallets along with a beer bath. In the end, we created almost everything for the day ourselves.
I bought my dress from Happily Ever After in Darlington. Amanda, the shop owner, couldn’t have been more helpful or lovely. Unlike most people, I knew what style I was after: simple, with lots of chiffon.
Craig wore a brown suit and jacket with a white cotton shirt, black chinos and tan brogues. The jacket, shoes and waistcoat were from Rocha John Rocha and the chinos were good old M&S. The shirt was Jasper Conran.
February 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
With ever expanding location options for couples to tie the knot, we love to see brides and grooms taking their celebrations outdoors to make the most of the North’s stunning areas of natural beauty; from sweet coastline settings, to historic woodlands and beautiful open areas of rolling countryside.
Though enjoying some fully open-air elements, most brides and grooms still require a structure to provide shelter (and warmth!) for certain parts of the celebrations, such as the feasting and dancing. For us there’s nothing more stunning than a tipi tent to fulfil this need, and we just so happen to be talking to an expert in the field on the blog today, our wonderful Yorkshire-based Sponsor Totem Tipi.
Super-striking from the outside and wonderfully atmospheric within, Totem’s gorgeous and adaptable tipis provide a blank canvas for couples to make their own and can cater for any size wedding, during any season of the year.
Furthermore, those that choose Totem for their big day will have the added feel good factor that all proceeds for hire of their structures feedback into a local youth arts project, which helps at risk and vulnerable children and young people build confidence and self-esteem, whilst instilling positive attitudes.
The Totem team are here now to tell us more…
DIARY DATE: Totem Tipis will be showcasing their fabulous structures at Brides Up North’s epic festival style wedding fairs; WEDSTOCK’18 at Stockeld Park, Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Sunday 6th May, and WEDSTIVAL’18 at Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire, on Sunday 20th May 2018, both open 11am to 3pm, FREE ENTRY.
What type of structures do you offer?
[jennaopne]totem tipi say: Our event tipis are Stratus 72 tipis, also known as a Kata tipi or Giant Hat. The stratus 72 is based on a traditional Scandinavian design. Due to their unique interlocking features, the kata tipis make stunning intimate venues for a small wedding party, or can be joined together to create bigger structures to cater for the largest of wedding parties.
Can they be hired for weddings all-year-round?
The structures are built to withstand harsh weathers. With strong sustainable timbers and waterproof fabrics, we can cater for all events in all seasons. So, whether you want to create a summer celebration with the sides up, or you fancy a winter wonderland with an open fire pit, indoor heaters and warm blankets, then the tents can accommodate all ideas, seasons and tastes!
What kind of numbers can the tipis hold and how are they laid out?
The tipis can be set out however you like! Whether you want a dance floor and bar area or want the whole space for seating. It’s really up to you. We can work together to design a plan that best suits you and your guests. As a basic guide we recommend the following maximum numbers per tent:
1 x Stratus tipi – can seat up to 64 guests
2 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 120 guests
3 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 160 guests
4 x Stratus tipis – can seat up to 200 guests
What would you say are the main plus points of an outdoor tipi wedding?
There are so many advantages to having an outdoor wedding, there are masses of choices of stunning locations, you can bring the outside in on a lovely summer’s day, and the events are always different. But I think the greatest is the freedom that you get to plan and design your wedding to be exactly how you want it to be. You literally get a blank canvas to stamp your personalities onto!
How can you help couples to enhance the tipis with furniture/decorations/expansions?
At Totem we allocate a member of staff to look after your wedding from start to finish. Your Totem contact will come out and view your location, talk you though the best options for your event and discuss all of our added extras, from chill-out furniture to extra lighting and additional tents!
January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon’s real wedding is a shining example of just how beautiful an outdoor British ceremony can be. Marrying at the height of summer, Emily and Jordan enjoyed an open-air ceremony before partying the night away under the cover of a cool tipi tent.
Highlights for us include Emily’s stunning lace detailed dress, the beautiful ‘meadow’ colour palette and that gorgeous floral archway!
With images by Mick Cookson Photography.
emily says: We got engaged in Bali on a very relaxing holiday. Jordan had booked a ‘100 candlelit’ meal at a 5* restaurant. We had our own table by the riverside surrounded by candles and flower petals. We were laughing because they provided us with speakers but the only music they had put on the iPod was Boyzone and Westlife. Very cheesy but great to sing along to! I turned around after a photo to find Jordan on one knee saying “you going to marry me or what then?”
We set the date of the wedding for 30th July 2016, as it was the only date our perfect venue – Sycamore Farm Barns in Matlock – had available. It’s in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We love the great outdoors so it was perfect. We had a tipi and we were able to get married outside, which was amazing. We were able to stay at the venue in beautiful cottages from the Thursday to the Monday so we could decorate the tipi, put up an archway and include personal touches. Our friends could also camp in the field.
We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted things relaxed, informal and beautiful.
We had a humanist ceremony led by Janice Castings – it was perfect. Janice was brilliant and it meant the ceremony was personal to us. We married legally on the 24th July with close family present.
I found my dress in The Cheshire Wedding House. The staff were so friendly, they made me feel really comfortable and at ease. They also let my four-year-old niece try on a flower girl dress, which made her day! My dress was made by Romantica of Devon and it was called Yvonne. The skirt was made out of delicate tulle and felt lovely and floaty. The sleeves were lace and it had a heart-shaped cut out back. I loved it!
My wedding makeup was done by Sarah Morten and I loved it! Luckily, she is an amazing makeup artist and one of my best friends so she also doubled up as one of my bridesmaids.
Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.
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November 28th, 2016 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a testimony to the power of DIY. Louise and David did what so many of us dream of doing (if only we were brave enough!): they hired a village hall on Ullswater in Penrith, created a bright, white blank canvas and went to town with personal touches and pops of pastel colour.
Family is everything to this gorgeous couple and there’s plenty of inspiration here for family-focused wedding planning; from kids’ goody bags to their relaxed honeymoon in Pooley Bridge.
In need of some pretty on this Monday morning? Sit back and enjoy.
With images by Jenna Carpenter Photography.
louise says: We got engaged while on holiday in Tenerife with our little girl Alice and our friends. I had been making several (fairly obvious!) hints to David but he seemed oblivious. One evening we went to a restaurant and everyone was just chatting away when David started talking to me, at first I didn’t realise what he was saying or what he was taking out of his pocket! It didn’t register until our table fell silent and I saw that everyone had massive smiles on their faces. It was so lovely and just the kind of proposal I’d dreamed of. He said some lovely things and I said yes, of course! I later found out that he’d gone to my parents and asked for their blessing and then asked my friend Sarah to take care of the ring for him as we went through the airport!
Our wedding date was Saturday 20th August 2016. We chose it as we thought a summer wedding would be lovely and the date just jumped out at us.
We got married in Ullswater, Penrith at Watermillock Village Hall. We absolutely love the Lake District as a family and have lots of ties with the place so we knew it was meant to be.
The venue we chose was actually where my sister’s wedding reception had been held. We checked that she was ok with it first and thankfully she was. It’s a great little place: completely versatile, large rooms and a nice big field for a marquee for our ceremony.
We used a celebrant on the day as the hall wasn’t licensed for weddings. We had such a personal ceremony conducted by Louise Burns from The Ceremony Company. There were several different ceremonies we could choose from and then personalise and Louise spent lots of time asking questions and finding out about us. We went for a traditional service with the vows included and it all came together in the most amazing service, full of tears and laughter. My sister read from A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, which was lovely! Louise did an amazing job and we are so thankful for the care and attention she put into our ceremony.
The style of our wedding was laidback and relaxed. We just wanted everyone to have a good time, enjoy the day and let their hair down. I think the theme could perhaps be described as ‘love and fun’ in the end!
Our colour scheme was white with bright pastel colours. I knew straight away that I wanted a bright, white backdrop. Then the pastels could be integrated in different ways, from flowers to table decorations.
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