Back in April last year Georgie & Liam got married inside a three Tipi set up in the grounds of the beautiful Walkern Hall, close to Stevenage. We asked them a few questions about how their wedding came about and how they built their dream day to celebrate. Photography by Peter Oliver.
How did you meet?
We met at Liam’s sister Zoe’s birthday party. Georgie was Zoe’s teaching assistant at the time and charmed Liam by making him an Irish Coffee whilst they chatted about all things from philosophy to preferred duvet togs! Georgie had actually met Liam’s whole family before she met him.
How long have you been together?
We met in November 2013, and went on our first date in December 2013, slightly delayed after Georgie gave Liam the wrong number. We moved in together in October 2014 and got engaged in October 2017.
Tell me your proposal story.
Liam proposed on Keem Bay, Achill Island on the West Coast of Ireland in October 2017 after re-setting Georgie’s Mum’s diamond ring. The morning of the proposal Liam’s anxiety had been driven through the roof by the recent influx of tourists on the island and Georgie spending 10 minutes looking for her snood in the car, but in the end we had the whole beach to ourselves and it was a perfect moment. We celebrated with a nights stay at Ashford Castle that Liam had sneakily snuck into the itinerary!
Why did you choose Walkern Hall for your wedding day venue?
As soon as we drove up the long drive to Walkern Hall, we were captivated by the grounds and beautiful house. Georgie had grown up down the road, and had always loved it. We had been to a few other potential venues for a Tipi but as soon as we saw Walkern Hall we knew it was perfect – from the expansive, flat front lawn in front of the house, to the beautiful fountain and gardens behind. David and Kate, who own Walkern Hall, were warm and friendly, and we knew from the start that they would help us in any way they could. We were able to plan our perfect wedding just the way we wanted.
What made you want to have your reception in a field using Tipis?
We had visited several venues in the Hertfordshire area, but were often put off by the conveyor belt feel and the restrictions that were put in place by the venue. As well as a beautiful and unique wedding reception venue, having a tipi gave us a full day to set up on the Friday, and we were also able to come back on the Sunday for an informal BBQ.
We felt that our wedding was more than just a day, and incredibly unique and special to us. We had not been inside a tipi before we started looking but we were struck by the warmth, coziness and the unique space they offered to create our perfect day. From the first time we met Ceri and Rich at Country Tipis, we knew they were brilliant and the perfect company for us. Their attention to detail and quality of the tipis was obvious and stood out from other companies. Book them!
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers.
We were drawn to green, gold and white for our wedding day. We wanted a relaxed day but with traditional elements of a wedding such as a formal wedding breakfast. It was important to us that we had a ‘blank canvas’ feel inside the tipi, with round tables and white tablecloths to provide the formal contrast with the relaxed nature of the tipi.
After they’d been put up and we first saw them, they looked incredible – it looked amazing inside the tipi! Georgie’s Mum is a florist we were lucky that she offered to do all the flowers. We wanted a lot of green on the tables, so we had lots of rosemary and eucalyptus on the tables, then we opted for white Hydrangeas, Earl Grey and Amnesia Roses. We were so pleased with the flowers, and had so much fun choosing them. Georgie also made the corsages which seemed like a good idea at the time… but she would now recommend anyone to order them and get them delivered them on the day!
Georgie wore a sparkly Jenny Packham dress which she luckily managed to find on eBay, which was a lovely experience and we are now friends with the couple we bought it off! It was complimented by Liam’s tailored navy 3-piece suit from Beggar’s Run in London, silver tie and white pocket square. The bridesmaids wore blue dresses and the ushers wore grey suits with navy ties.
What were your favourite parts of the day?
The traditional walk of the aisle at St Edmund’s College Chapel was something neither of us will ever forget. Arriving at the tipi after the ceremony was then a huge highlight – seeing it in all its glory, and filled with all our favourite people. We also loved the transformation of the tipi in the evening, and the party which took place. The Nameless Three were definitely one of the highlights, and got everyone on the dance floor, with the tipi providing the perfect setting. Despite the freezing temperatures outside, it was warm and toasty inside! (Thanks Ceri and Rich) – and a night we’ll never forget.
Who was your wedding photographer and why did you choose them?
Peter Oliver (Oliver Photography) captured our day brilliantly. Peter offers beautiful natural photos, and a perfect mix of humour and efficiency, which we were grateful for! Through his friendly and relaxed nature, he made everyone feel at ease and blended into the day perfectly. He had previously been the photographer at Liam’s brother Gareth’s wedding so we knew his style and had been 100% confident in him, but when we received the photos we were once again blown away by his ability to capture the story of our day so perfectly.
Who was your caterer and why did you choose them?
While we had chosen a Tipi for our reception, we still wanted the formal reception feel for our catering. We were recommended Joe and Jack at Clark and Blackwell by Country Tipis. After an initial meeting and tasting, we chose them due to their friendly nature, flexibility, and the stunning taste and presentation of the food. We also knew they had worked with Country Tipis before which allayed some of our worries about the dangers of a DIY wedding! Our wedding breakfast consisted of canapés, shared camembert to start, beef sharing platter (including bone marrow!), and sticky toffee pudding. They also served delicious pulled pork or halloumi wraps out of their street food van in the evening, and cooked up our BBQ on the sunday. Everything was delicious!
While Joe and Jack do the cooking, front of house at Clark and Blackwell is run by Louise Felstead who was absolutely brilliant in ensuring everything went smoothly. We were so impressed with her in the build up we hired her as an ‘on the day co-ordinator’ which was invaluable in letting us completely let our hair down on the day! We loved choosing our cake from Emily Jane Cakes. There were so many delicious varieties but we settled on raspberry and coconut, lemon and a carrot cake. We decided to get a three tiered semi naked cake. We were not going to get a big cake, but we were so amazed with Emily’s cake- it turned out to be a bit of a highlight. It was wonderful seeing the cake in all it’s glory, with the decorations, greenery, and our names as the topper!
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their outdoor wedding?
If you are considering an outdoor wedding but are worried about the DIY nature, weather or anything else – just do it, you won’t regret it, and you and your guests will have an unforgettable day! (whatever the weather).
Huge thanks to Georgie & Liam for answering these questions for us, we hope that some of the answers inspire you and give you an insight into what’s involved in the planning of an outdoor wedding. Country Tipis x