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.
March 29th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
Johnny Dent Photography, image source
Outdoor weddings used to be a bit of a rarity in the UK, favoured by a few hardy souls who wanted a boho big day with all the festival feels and weren’t put off by Britain’s notoriously unpredictable weather. There was also the issue of licensing; in England and Wales (the rules are more lenient in Scotland), you have to be married under a fixed roof for a marriage to be legally binding – not a marquee, a tent or a flower arch, however lovely the photo opportunities might be. Gah, pesky laws!
However, in recent years there’s been a rise in the number of venues licensing beautiful outdoor structures for the ‘I dos’ or offering the option of a legal ceremony indoors followed by a beautiful symbolic ceremony outside. Alternatively, some couples opt to do the legal bit in a lowkey ceremony at the local registry office and then go all-out on their outdoor ceremony and reception a few days later. It seems like years of stunning photos of American brides walking down aisles of meadow grass and couples exchanging rings by a lake on Pinterest have worn us down – we want the same levels of pretty! And with numerous companies specialising in props and accessories for outdoor weddings to help your day go without a hitch whatever the weather, open air ceremonies are becoming more common.
Of course, putting the ceremony aside for a moment, the outdoor reception has always been pretty popular concept, from a relaxed marquee ‘do’ in a big back garden or a farmer’s field to a luxe tipi or sperry tent affair resplendent with oak chandeliers, firepits and fancy portaloos (piped music and funky lighting optional). But can an outdoor reception ever really wrestle the crown from indoor weddings, with all their certainty and control? Let’s see…
Photography34, image source
Control, Control, Control: From temperature to lighting, most factors can be controlled with an indoor wedding – appealing for a couple who want things to go as predictably as possible. Most couples worry about rain, especially if planning a spring or summer wedding, but extremely high temperatures can also pose problems: sunburn, wilted canapes and guests going a bit, err, wild on the drinks in an attempt to cool down. If this sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, then perhaps indoor is the best choice for you.
Rest Your Head: With most indoor venues, there’s ample accommodation to be had either on site or nearby. Hassle-free, all you need to do is confirm your venue and send the details around your family and friends inviting them to book. No worries about putting on transport, setting up a campsite or shepherding people into taxis at the end of the night…
York Place Studios, image source
Extra facilities: With a conventional indoor venue – hotel, restaurant, country house etc – you may have access to other facilities in the run up to or the morning after your wedding. You might find yourself in the spa, letting the other half loose on the golf course, hiring bikes or enjoying a final meal together as Mr and Miss. Not quite so easy if you’re having an outdoor celebration.
Marie Marry Me, image source
No hangover: The morning after the wedding, you want to be scoffing Eggs Benedict and flashing your new jewellery to anyone who’ll humour you – not sweeping up confetti and packing away 300+ glasses. With a conventional wedding this is taken care of by the in-house team, whereas with an outdoor wedding you’ll have had lots of freedom in your planning but also may have to shoulder some responsibility for dismantling/packing up – or hiring somebody to do it for you.
Suzy Wimbourne Photography, image source
Laidback vibes: There’s just something so – chilled – about an outdoor wedding, whether ceremony, reception or both. If the gods are smiling and you land a day that isn’t too extreme at either end of the weather spectrum, there’s nothing more wonderful than a relaxed open-air celebration. The feel-good factor increases by 100% when we’ve got our shades on, a little bit of sunshine on our skin and a glass of something refreshing in our hand. It might be a little risky, but it’s nigh-on impossible to beat if you manage to pull it off.
Super styling: Unless you’re Mariah Carey, you can’t really walk into a hotel and demand that they change the wallpaper, the chairs and that hideous light fitting. Whereas with an outdoor wedding – marquee, tipi or sperry tent – you’re almost given a blank canvas to play with. You’ll have more freedom with styling and decor and, dare we say, simple (and cheaper) decor often works better outside – a few candles, fairy lights and flowers can transform a venue from a Plain Jane into Sandy-at-the-end-of-Grease.
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!
December 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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 8th January 2018 (we’re hoping we’ll be over the hangover by then, right?) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from last 6 months.
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.
If your morning caffeine hit hasn’t managed to fully wake you up, we’re pretty sure this stunning real wedding will open your eyes – and possibly cause them to pop out of your head – as this is an outdoor celebration with a difference! We’re talking chandeliers, sofas, mirrors and all kinds of opulent details that you wouldn’t expect in this woodland setting.
Opting for Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds, this backdrop was everything they could wish for, giving them free rein over the décor, entertainment and catering for their special day. The transparent marquee offering stunning views of the tree canopies above sounds positively dreamy, and as for the cocktail shack – this is the kind of bar we’d just love to stumble upon in the forest!
Here, Rosie tells us more about how they brought their original and boldly imaginative theme – The Ritz in the Woodland – to life…
With images by A Little Picture.
rosie says: We got engaged on 10th of December 2015, in Lake Bled, Slovenia. Every year we go away for a short break during the festive period and we had decided on Lake Bled for its fairytale, picturesque landscape. On our first day, whilst we were walking round the lake, I stopped to take a photo to send to friends, when I turned around Ben was on one knee! We continued the walk together knowing it was only the two of us who knew, and stopped for lunch and champagne to celebrate!
We got married on 19th August 2017. We didn’t choose the date for any particular reason. We knew we didn’t want a traditional reception venue, such as a manor house, and I came across Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings. They had only done one wedding before and we knew we could make it our own. They had two dates left for 2017 – so the 19th August it was!
We held our service at St Mary’s Church, Mirfield, which is our local church and happens to be stunning, and then the reception at Applewood and Blossom Barn Weddings on the outskirts of Leeds. We knew we wanted a traditional church service and a different reception venue. We have been to a lot of weddings and though each was beautiful, we wanted something different. At Applewood you can do whatever you want (within reason), so we could pick the decoration, food, music, drinks, entertainment, cake – everything!
The theme for our wedding was ‘The Ritz in the Woodland’. We wanted to create a complete juxtaposition between what people would traditionally expect of a woodland wedding (bunting, wellies, burlap, hay bales) and instead create drama with chandeliers in the trees, plush sofas, mirrors, texture, all white flowers and minimal greenery.
We had a three-course meal, including steak and wine on white table linen with champagne velvet table runners. We had a transparent marquee so people could sit in luxury and see the trees, and walk through the woodland and see elegance and opulence every step of the way.
Our colour scheme was simply ink blue and white. We wanted to keep it classy and elegant.
White flowers with a focus on peonies, roses and hydrangea stood out from the dramatic woodland background – the concept was to use flowers that you wouldn’t find in a woodland setting. We had white table linen and white flowers on mirrored centrepieces.
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