Featured Supplier

weddings with feel good factor: totem tipi

15th February 2018 | Rachel Hirst

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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!

What would you say to couples who are worried about hiring a tipi as they feel it’s too much work to source all the add ons, such as staff, toilets, electricity?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the additional planning that an outdoor wedding entails, but we can help you with so many of those elements. We have lots of contacts within the industry and you can sub-hire through us, so we do the work for you. Most of all though, it really is worth the extra effort to have a truly personal wedding!

Tell us about catering and bar options for those who hire Totem Tipis?

We have lots of suppliers that we recommend after working with them on lots of joint projects, however it’s totally up to the couple to decide which suppliers they bring into the tipis to provide their feast and drinks.

Totem Tipis are unique in that all proceeds for hire of the structures feedback into the council’s CYC Youth Arts Project. Can you tell us a little about this?

CYC uses the arts as a tool to engage with children and young people. Much of our work focusses on the engagement of at risk and vulnerable children and young people across North Yorkshire to help build confidence and self-esteem, create resilience and instil positive attitudes.

One of our largest projects is Fuse Theatre. Fuse is an inclusive youth theatre, bringing 180 SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) and non-SEND young people together annually, participating in weekly workshops developing theatre and performance skills, and building towards public community performances twice a year. The project aims to provide high quality accessible art provision which increase confidence, self-esteem and a range of skills whilst challenging prejudice surrounding disability and celebrating diversity within communities.

So, all in all the profits from Totem Tipi enable CYC to continue developing projects and working with young people across the county.


What do couples love about Totem Tipi’s ethos and service?

We’ve had some amazing feedback from our couples who love our personal approach and attentive service. We try and answer queries within a few hours and always keep our couples up to date with each stage of the booking process. We pride ourselves at being on hand at all times to discuss their ideas and requirements.

The fact that our profits feed into a worthwhile project is often a real bonus for our couples, they feel that they are able to give back to a good cause whilst making the most of their big day!

How can our readers find out more about Totem Tipis/get in touch?

By visiting our website, emailing totem@northyorks.gov.uk or phoning us on 01609 535758.

Do you have any events coming up that our readers should know about?

Yes, ware all over the place this spring! We will be at Brides Up North’s fabulous 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. We also have wedding fairs coming up in Leeds, York and Durham. Check out our events page for more details. www.totemtipi.co.uk/events

Any other exciting news to share?

Indeed. We have just invested in an anchorage system so we can now put the tipis up on hard standing, which means even more fabulous location choices for our couples!

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