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.
August 22nd, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
July 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Today’s DIY wedding on the edge of the stunning Peak District is a step-by-step lesson in how to plan and execute that sought-after tipi-style wedding with gusto.
With no overall theme or colour scheme in sight – the couple, Linsey and Tom, show us what it really means to personalise all those finer details. We’re talking flowers, decorations, tables runner, the wedding cake and even the confetti cones, with family and friends all contributing in their own special way. And we just adore the picture-perfect results (and think you will, too…).
Serving up pie and mash, pizzas, Aperol spritz and gins galore, with a Caribbean steel band, toasted marshmallows, sparklers and a silent disco to boot, this wedding was more akin to one big outdoors party. Surely, the best kind of wedding celebration there can be?
With images by Alex Abbott Photography.
linsey says: Tom’s mum and step-dad have a place in Nice, so we tend to go out once a year to relax and get some sunshine! In 2015 we were there for a week, and a couple of days in we had planned to go to Monaco for the day. We ended up getting off the bus a couple of stops early and it turned out that Tom had hired a boat for the day as a surprise (he had secretly done a course to get a powerboat license earlier in the year). We went out on the boat and about 20 minutes later we stopped – we were way out in the bay in front of Nice and Tom was pointing out that we could see the place where we stay, and when I turned around he was on one knee!
We chose the 9th September for our wedding. We wanted a couple of years between getting engaged and married so that we could enjoy being engaged and so that wedding preparations could be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
We got married at St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Hathersage. We love the Peak District – both of us grew up nearby so have spent a lot of time there. We knew from day one we wanted to get married there. Most of our friends and family are close by too which was definitely a big factor.
We began the venue hunt for our reception by looking for barns in the Peak District and places where we could put some sort of marquee. In the meantime, my mum had come across a venue called Woodthorpe Hall – a private 17th century country house set in 2.5 acres of gardens on the edge of the Peak District. Mum had kindly booked us a viewing as she knew it was somewhere we might love. Within minutes of being there we knew it was where we wanted to hold our reception. They only do seven or eight weddings a year and we were the last wedding of 2017 for them!
The gardens at Woodthorpe provided the perfect location for us to put a marquee / tipi and would allow us to spend a lot of the day outdoors. I want to say it was also the perfect blank canvas for us to really make the day our own, but that plays down how stunning the gardens and setting of this venue are! One of the most appealing things for us (apart from the setting) was that we weren’t restricted and could put glamping tents and motorhomes in one of the fields next door, so our guests could stay over if they wanted to.
We initially fancied a sperry tent but after visiting a tipi open day we fell in love with the idea of having a tipi wedding! The indoor fire pits, wooden tables, and general rustic feel really appealed to us – as did the fact that they could withstand whatever the British weather might throw our way!
We didn’t really have a theme, we wanted the day to be relaxed, enjoyable, not too formal, and to reflect our personalities. Our main aim from the beginning was for our family and friends to be able to let their hair down and have a really good time – we knew that if they were having fun, we would be able to properly relax and enjoy it with them!
We didn’t have a colour scheme, although I am superstitious and so didn’t want any red and white together (which Tom was more than happy to go with due to footballing reasons!).
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!
May 17th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s styled shoot is perfectly timed for the summer months and takes us inside a magical tipi in Chesterfield for an uber cool, rural affair brimming in boho-inspired fun – we’re talking a polka-dot dress, laughter by the fire pit and a spot of marshmallow toasting.
And ranking high on the cuteness factor – there’s the most adorable puppy (a bridesmaid nonetheless) vying for our attention, too. She could be our plus one any day, that’s for sure.
Keen to spotlight those memorable quirks that make a wedding day truly unique, this styled shoot is all about originality and personality, and showcases some top suppliers from the locality. It’s a welcome reminder that when it comes to your special day – with a little imagination – you really can make a space your own.
laura & kym say: We named the shoot Boho Belle, after deciding that we wanted to create a shoot that fused bohemian fun with simple elegance. With a magical tipi setting, a polka-dot tea-length dress and an impossibly cute puppy bridesmaid, our shoot was all about inspiring our brides and grooms to incorporate their own personalities and little quirks into their wedding day.
We at Once Upon A Wedding Events work closely with Tipi & Kata as their recommended coordinators – as soon as we stepped inside the tipis, we fell in love with them and instantly began planning a styled shoot incorporating the space. The dance floor, fire pit and fairy lights naturally fit with our theme and provided a fab backdrop for our models, Katy and Doug.
To style Katy, we chose one of Susanna Greening’s tea-length dresses, which fitted with the relaxed, outdoor wedding vibe. Complete with a polka-dot print, this bespoke bridal design instantly stood out to us as a fun alternative to the classic floor-length wedding gown. The buttons on the back of the dress added that extra bit of quirkiness, in keeping with the ‘something blue’ theme.
As we’d opted for a tipi venue, we wanted to incorporate plenty of greenery into the floral adornments for the shoot. Our lovely florist Polkadot Florist crafted a hanging foliage feature, blending purple hues and greenery to create a flower crown and two beautiful bouquets.
Matching buttonholes were made for Doug and Scout’s collar to tie in with the bohemian theme. Avoiding the traditional suit, shirt and tie, we dressed Doug in simple chinos, paired with a waistcoat and bowtie from Tweed & Groom, available at The White Yard. The dark grey-blue tweed waistcoat complemented Katy’s tea-length dress and was the perfect fusion of smart-casual for our Boho Belle shoot.
With lots of lovely suppliers on board – including Oh So Makeup, Whyte Weddings (who supplied our signage and stationery) and videographer Lukas & Laura Films – the shoot ran smoothly without a hitch!
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