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!
February 14th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Happy Valentine’s Day Brides up North! Did you catch our weekend wish list?
It’s time to get all romantic on these pretty pages as today’s seriously sophisticated couple pulled out all the stops for their wedding in glorious Yorkshire. After the groom’s idyllic proposal in Champagne, Lindsey wore Madison James, Andy wore his RAF Number Ones, and beautiful blooms, jaw-dropping home bakes and fizz (Champagne, obviously) were the order of the day.
This outdoor-loving pair created a striking fusion of styles – Lindsey’s deep-cut beaded dress and the colour scheme’s copper accents feel very city chic, but their stunning sailcloth Sperry marquee and those hayfield tandem photographs are pure countryside class.
The best of both worlds – and simply gorgeous to boot.
lindsey says: We got engaged in the Champagne region of France in August 2015. Andy booked us first class Eurostar tickets for a weekend in Paris and Champagne. On the day we got engaged, he had hired a tandem bike (we both like cycling and had cycled from London to Paris earlier in the year together). We cycled from vineyard to vineyard and sampled lots of champagne. It rained a little in the morning so we got wet on the bike but at the last Champagne House the clouds parted and the sun came out beautifully. At around 3pm we got back on the tandem for the last time to cycle back. We’d only been cycling for about ten minutes down a beautiful quiet country lane when we got to a hill. Having had a good few glasses of bubbly in us, Andy asked if we could ‘take five’ at the top and enjoy the view down the valley. And that’s where he took off his helmet (and I thankfully did the same!) and he dropped down on one knee and popped the question!
We spent the rest of the evening drinking champagne (obviously!) and got planning what our dream wedding could look like….
We got married on 30th July 2016. We wanted a day in the summer so that (weather permitting) we could celebrate in the sun in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire. I grew up on a farm and we both love the countryside so we wanted to be able to celebrate in with the trees and flowers in full bloom and Yorkshire looking glorious.
We got married at St Helen and the Holy Cross Church in Sheriff Hutton, followed by a Sperry (white marquee by Papakata) reception at Aldby Park in Buttercrambe. We fell in love with the venue and it ticked every box for us – a combination of a stunning stately home surrounded by acres and acres of open fields and countryside as far as the eye can see. A very country style look with the glamour of an incredibly handsome period property. The owners allowed us to have our marquee on their beautiful garden at the rear of the house so that we also had a view down the steep bank to the River Derwent. Perfect! The owners also allowed us to have a camping area so as many of our friends as we wanted were able to camp at the venue for free which was really helpful. We hired a handful of deck chairs and shepherds’ crooks (from Add Vintage) to create a summer’s evening chillout area on the lawn.
The Sperry tent is stunningly elegant. It is made out of sailcloth and has incredible roof contours. We both loved how striking it is and different to any normal marquee we’d seen. Also, Andy has sailed extensively (his parents have a boat on the South coast still) so having a tent made out of sail cloth seemed very apt.
We had a bit of a bike theme (referencing back to the big fat engagement) so we made a bicycle wheel chandelier, sprayed it bronze and suspended it above the dancefloor. We also had a tandem on the day and cycled through the fields at dusk (I just about mastered the art of hitching up a wedding dress!)
Our colours were pale blue and copper. We wanted some blue in the theme as Andy’s RAF uniform is blue. So we went with a pale shade throughout with some copper touches to complement and also to bring some sparkle to the colour theme.
I wore a fitted beaded gown from Madison James. It had straps and a deep cut-out back. I actually found it at a wedding fair in Manchester. Andy agreed to attend one fair and accidentally (honestly!) I picked one of the biggest in the UK. Typically, I found the dress on a mannequin while we were walking round so I waited until we were well past it before asking Andy if he wouldn’t mind finding a quiet spot in a café at the other side of the show and having a coffee on his own while I checked something out! About 45 minutes later I returned to poor Andy, knowing that I had probably found the dress, but hadn’t felt brave enough to hand over the credit card without having had a second opinion.
The same show returned in the October so I went back with my mum and one of my bridesmaids (Natalie, who had flown over from Amsterdam where she lives) so I could try the dress again. I safely assumed that mum and Natalie’s tears were a good sign so half-an-hour later (after they’d wrestled the dress off me!) we were sitting drinking more champagne celebrating that I’d found my dream dress.
Andy is an Officer in the RAF so he wore his Number Ones to get married in. He changed into a navy suit (matching the bestman and ushers) just after our drinks reception and before sitting down for dinner. Andy’s wedding ring was made out of an engine turbine from a Concorde airplane. His dad was a flight engineer on Concorde and flew for British Airways for 20 years until retirement. We trawled the country trying to find a working jewellers who could work with a titanium piece of engine and eventually found one in Birmingham. They etched a drawing of Concorde into the inside of the ring alongside our initials and our wedding date.
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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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December 12th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth
Following a picture-perfect proposal in New York city, today’s couple Caitlin and Mark tied the knot at the Grade I listed Capheaton Hall in Northumberland. This is a truly stunning venue, complete with parkland and landscaped gardens, and as you will see, the couple really made the most of this backdrop in their beautiful wedding photography.
With a nod to Caitlin’s birthplace of South Africa, their special day brought together fantastical outdoor tipis, toasted marshmallows, a hearty barbecue and the perfect cake topper for fans of Disney – but we’ll let the couple tell you all the wonderful details…
With images by JPRShah Photography.
mark says: We got engaged in New York, in Central Park in a section called Shakespeare’s Garden. Caitlin surprised me with tickets to New York for Valentine’s Day in 2014. I knew there and then that Caitlin was the girl I wanted to marry. We ended up missing Valentine’s Day due to delayed flights. Caitlin was so sad but I kept telling her it would get better. On 15th February I took her to Central Park. I felt nervous but excited at the same time.
caitlin says: It was snowing so much that day! We had been walking around Central Park for a while and I couldn’t understand what he was looking for! We got to Shakespeare’s Garden and the view was beautiful! Mark pulled me close and started saying all these lovely things to me. I had turned to look at the view and when I looked back at Mark, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! My first response was, “are you serious?” as I couldn’t believe it! Of course, I said “yes”, but I think I had him second guessing for a moment!
We got married on 16th July 2016. We knew we wanted to get married in July as Mark’s birthday is in June and mine is in August, plus it was easier for our family members due to their jobs.
We tied the knot at Capheaton Hall – a romantic venue that’s full of history and culture. A lot of people have never heard of Capheaton Hall so that made it stand out, too. The venue only takes a handful of wedding bookings each year so we felt very lucky to secure a date with them. It’s very secluded and has beautiful views, which was perfect as we hosted our ceremony outside.
Our wedding style was a combination of romantic, elegant, African and Disney. Mark and I both wanted a very elegant wedding, however we wanted to add our own touches too. I was born in South Africa so I really wanted a part of home with me on the day so we hired two giant tipis for the night time reception and a South African company provided the food. I don’t think Disney needs an explanation – everybody loves Disney!
The colour scheme was blush. I just fell in love with the colour while looking for bridesmaid dresses. It’s a very romantic colour and it was very ‘in’ this season.
My mum bought my dress from Mia Sposa Bridal in Newcastle city centre. I had originally chosen a fitted mermaid style dress, however after trying on about a million dresses (we’ve all done it) I fell in love with the stunning Pronovias Dagen gown. It was a tulle princess dress with lace appliqués, a draped tulle bodice, sweetheart neckline and a grosgrain belt with gemstone embroidery appliqué in the centre. It was the perfect Disney fairytale dress.
My bridal makeup was done by Jenny Daglish. She was the only makeup artist to actually listen to what I wanted and understand my skin type.
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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