Articles Tagged with: Hertfordshire

Real wedding – Georgie & Liam at Walkern Hall

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.

Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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.

Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April

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! 

Teepee Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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!

Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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.  

Outdoor Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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.

Table tennis at a Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall
Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April band
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.

Bride and Groom dancing at a Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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!

Dusk falls on a Tipi Wedding at Walkern Hall in April
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


What a year it has been! 2019 in Photos.

2019 has been a year to remember for us. We had such a great time providing outdoor venues, structures, furniture and bars for our amazing clients in one of our busiest years yet. Here are a few of our favourite bits, and a few comments from happy customers. Here’s to a brilliant 2019, bring on 2020, we’re ready for you!

The Rustic Wedding Show

© Lattenbury Hill Weddings

We kicked off the year with a mammoth 3 Tipi, Triple Pole Celeste and Naked Tipi set-up for the Rustic Wedding Show. This was held at Lattenbury Hill Weddings near Cambridge; a beautiful, well managed farmyard venue.


Our first curated styled shoot

© Binky Nixon

We’ve been involved in styled shoots in the past, but this year we decided that we wanted to organise one with a handpicked team of our favourite suppliers. We held it at Lodge Farm House (near Hitchin) and are so happy with the results! It was shot by the amazing Binky Nixon in our Triple Pole Celeste Marquee – full blog post including suppliers involved can be found here.

© Binky Nixon
© Binky Nixon

A real party!

© Emily Little Photography

Emily & Joyce got married in two of our Tipis at the end of September and went for the “Tipi Package” from Disco Nyts for entertainment. How cool are those lights! Captured perfectly by Emily Little Photography.

© Emily Little Photography
© Emily Little Photography

Some kind words

Sally & Steve got married at Springfield Park (close to Radlett) in 3 of our Tipis back in August, here are a few words from them: “We used Country Tipis for our party early this month. The three tipi set-up was perfect for us and looked amazing, pretty much all of our 250ish guests said so. All the Country Tipis crew were professional, polite, efficient and super-helpful, Ceri in particular worked with us right up to the last couple of days before the event to adapt our set-up and add in furniture we thought we’d be able to get from another supplier but couldn’t at the last minute. Thanks to everyone for helping us plan a fantastic day.”

© Kitty Appleby

Dani & Matt got married in our triple pole Celeste at Lodge Farm House in September this year, they commented: “It was really great working with Crystal and the team. They were so communicative and the marquee looked amazing on our wedding day. Would recommend. Thanks to the team.” Shot by Ross Willsher.

© Ross Willsher

New venue partner!

We were lucky enough to be the first people invited to put Tipis up at the exclusive Island Hall on the banks of the Great Ouse in Godmanchester. This photo is from their wedding showcase shot by Kevin Scott-Wood.

© Kevin Scott-Wood

Country Tipis & Friends Charity Bonanza

© Pike Photography

At the end of a manic summer season we decided to throw a charity party with our friends in our Tipis at Vanstone Park Venue. To try to increase the donations we ran a bar ‘stock exchange’ – changing the price of drinks every 30 minutes, above you can see the results of the stock market crash! We’re super proud to have raised over £2,000 in support of Keech Hospice Care, The Alzheimers Society, Air Ambulance & Cancer Research UK.

© Pike Photography

Rustic DJ Booth & entertainment provided by Disco Nyts, Party snaps by Pike Photography. Thanks for a great night all who helped and attended!

© Pike Photography

Meet the Crew – The Life of a Tipi Man

Having just completed his second summer season with us, Bertie has been a huge asset to the team since he joined Country Tipis. We had a quick chat and asked him a few questions:


How did you wind up working at Country Tipis?

I saw the job advertised on Gumtree and noticed it was just down the road and thought hey, brilliant! I didn’t really have any expectations, though I knew it would be a physical job working mostly outside and I hoped it would be good fun!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items could you not live without?

Music (to keep me entertained)

My Tipi Team-mates (because they’re great)

Alcohol (I’m hoping that the high water content will keep me hydrated)

Walk me through your typical day at work.

I start the day by getting picked up from my place, arriving at work for the designated time, then have the piss taken out of me from the start of the day until the end of the day. Once we arrive at the set-up location, we measure up, build the Tipis or Celeste, kit them out with flooring, furniture & lighting. We then sit down to enjoy a bit of lunch, after which we return to the yard, unload, reload and go home to get some rest before the next day.


What aspect of the tipi build do you enjoy the most?

I prefer building to taking down. I love going up the ladder and rigging up the electrics – fairy lights, chandeliers and everyone’s favourite – the disco ball.

What do you do with yourself throughout the quieter winter months and how does it compare to building tipis?

I work for private families as a household manager / chef in the winter. This is very different as I’m working alone, whereas I work as part of a team in the summer. I do enjoy the camaraderie that comes with working as a team!


What’s your favourite aspect of working at Country Tipis?

Every day is different, every job is different. I like the people the most – they’re a good bunch of people who have fun whilst building these structures. Who wouldn’t have a good time working here?!

If an alien walked up to you asking for your advice on tipi building, and you only had 30 seconds to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Get a reliable, hardworking crew who have a passion for doing it. It’s not easy work – carrying tables, chairs and other heavy kit in often boiling weather. You’ve got to have a passion to get up in the morning and come to work – it’s not easy getting up so early in the morning to carry stuff!

What makes Country Tipis stand out from the rest?

Country Tipis is a very professional outfit who take pride in what they do. The whole crew show attention to detail with everything they do, no job is rushed – everything is finished to a high standard and is nothing short of perfect. 


What is your favourite product that Country Tipis offer

The rustic pallet-wood bar finishes the Tipi well, as well as the nimbus Tipi which creates a separate area outside.

Thanks for the insights Bertie, until next year!


Recent Weddings and Events at Vanstone Park

We’ve hosted a number of great events over the last couple of years at Vanstone Park, which borders a vast woodland just outside Hitchin in Hertfordshire. It is the perfect backdrop for anyone looking for a blank canvas tipi wedding, festival or party.

© Pike Photography
© Nikki’s Moments
© Caroline Opacic
© Verman Photography
© Shoot it Momma

Country Tipis

We’re Country Tipis and since setting up our base at Vanstone Park Garden Centre, we would use the adjacent parkland to host our open days and to showcase our giant tipis. Guests would always comment on how lovely the site was and that it should be a wedding venue. Once Abi & Dave asked if they could have their wedding onsite back in 2017, Vanstone Park Weddings and Events was born! 

The Garden Centre provides mains power, an 80 space dedicated car park and a pergola entrance decorated with wisteria and jasmine to create a gorgeous welcome for guests on to the site. You can even hire plants and trees from them to decorate the tipis.

© Nikki’s Moments

All the Essentials

Now with two very successful wedding seasons under its belt, we have created an all inclusive package in collaboration with Vanstone Park which provides you with all the essentials you’ll need to get started. Such as; three giant tipis, seating for up to 120 guests (adjustable), a dance floor and a luxury toilet block to name just a few. Then you can add on any extras to tailor it to your needs. What’s more, we offer exclusive weekend hire so there is plenty of time for all you DIY-ers to create the day you want!

Vanstone Park offers you the space and panoramic setting to create your bespoke wedding day just how you want. Personalise your special day by choosing your own catering, entertainment and styling suppliers or we can recommend some to get you started. Along with your choice of decoration, colours and theme, each wedding and event here is truly one of a kind.


The Hammered Peg

We also run our bar, The Hammered Peg, for your event. Providing a full bar service with a range of drinks and cocktails to suit any taste. We can also take care of your table and welcome drinks. Serving from our rustic pallet wood bar, our experienced and friendly staff ensure your guests are welcomed and watered throughout the day.

© Pike Photography

Your tipi man will oversee the day and take care of the little extras like welcoming your suppliers onsite and lighting the gorgeous fireball, leaving you to enjoy your magical day. 

© Shoot it Momma

Vanstone Park Garden Centre

Surrounded by an array of wildlife, greenery and a miniature railway ride, Vanstone Park is not just a field. Why not make use of all the space, just like Adele & Paul in September 2018. They ventured throughout the garden centre and its grounds to get some special pictures of their day.  

© Shoot it Momma
© Shoot it Momma

Situated next to the family run Vanstone Park Garden Centre, you arrive through the main gates and follow the winding grounds passed a hidden stone palladium and little bridge home to an assortment of wildlife. Once on site and in the tipis you start to realise how tucked away Vanstone Park is and appreciate the gorgeous setting even more!  

© Shoot it Momma
© Shoot it Momma

Big thanks for our office queen Crystal for putting this blog post together, and to all of the photographers who have shared their photos with us, we’d highly recommend all of them and you can find their websites below:

Pike Photography

Shoot it Momma

Caroline Opacic Photography

Verman Photography

Nikki’s Moments Photography & Film


Want to take a look around?

Come join us on our open day on Sunday the 15th of September between 11am – 4pm! Message us to book a chat with a member of the team and discuss your ideas or simply swing by to take a look. We’ll also have some of our favourite suppliers on such as; 

Disco Nyts (DJ, entertainment & PA)

Plenty of Thyme (catering)

Hungry Hog BBQ (catering)

Fleur de Lace (styling & decor)

Lisa Lyons Bridal (bridal wear)

Pike Photography

Hobo Chic (music)


We hope to see you there but if you can’t make it, please get in touch and we can organise an alternative time for you to come by.


Real Wedding – James & Faye

We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front lately due to a few manic weeks, but we’re back on the horse now! James & Faye got married in our triple pole Celeste at Lodge Farm House back in August last year, and what a day it was. Beautifully captured by the hugely creative Rafe Abrook, check it out below.

Hanging lanterns, floral centrepieces and fairy lights really brought their Celeste to life

The ever popular Lee Smith wowing James & Faye’s guests with his magic

The bride & groom!

The First dance

Time to party!



Congratulations Faye & James, it was our absolute pleasure being a part of your special day. We wish you all the best in the future!

Featuring:

The ever amazing Lee Smith Magic, Disco Nyts who provided the lighting and the band (James is the owner!), Rafe Abrook, and the beautiful Lodge Farm House.


And we’re off!

Georgie & Liam kick off our 2019 wedding season with their reception at the stunning Walkern Hall in Stevenage.

On a chilly but beautiful Spring evening, Georgie & Liam brought 120 of their favourite people to party in a 3 hat Tipi, and they had a blast!

Once the sun set over Walkern Hall, the temperature dropped close to freezing which meant the heaters were working on overtime. This created a cosy atmosphere inside the Tipis; the perfect setting for an amazing evening.

Delectable food was provided by the experienced Clark & Blackwell, and the drinks were provided by our own bar The Hammered Peg. It was a pleasure to welcome The Nameless Three into our Tipis, who put on an amazing set; definitely one of the best party bands we’ve heard in a while. Thanks for the photos too! Wedding planning was provided by the efficient Louise Felstead Events.

© The Nameless Three

Below are a few words from Georgie & Liam, it was our pleasure to work with you both and a real privilege to be a part of your special day.

“We hired 3 tipis from Country Tipis for our wedding on 13th April, and had the most amazing day. We knew from the moment we met Rich and Ceri that they were the tipis to go for! The tipis themselves are beautiful and the attention to detail is second to none. The whole team at Country Tipis are always helpful and nothing is too much trouble. The Hammered Peg also ran a fantastic bar. We have had so many comments about the tipis and everyone has been so impressed, with many saying they were the best tipis they’d seen! Highly recommended!

Thank You Rich and Ceri and the whole team at Country Tipis! can we do it all over again?!”

Georgie & Liam
© The Nameless Three
Can you spot the Tipi projected onto the front of the hall? Not an accident at all!

Win your own wedding!

As you’re here, we thought you should know that we’ve got three open days coming up in the next few weeks, and are offering you the chance to win your own wedding! You simply have to come along to one of the following open days and fill in an entry form to be entered into the ballot. On the 28th of April we’ll be providing the structures for the Rustic Wedding Show at Lattenbury Hill Weddings. On the 4th of May we’ll be up at Tip Top Venues, and on the 6th we’ll be at Lodge Farm House. Please get in touch to book a slot with one of our team.


Real Wedding – Rachel & Ryan

A dream wedding

In late August last year Rachel & Ryan decided to tie the knot in the grounds of Lodge Farm House close to Hitchin, Hertfordshire. The ever stylish and creative Nicki Shea Photography captured their special day in this selection of beautiful snaps, enjoy!

Lodge Farm House in all its glory
The magician Lee Smith wowing guests with his tricks

It’s always great to see Lee Smith wowing guests at one of our weddings. He’s great at keeping everyone entertained, kids and adults alike!

This is the secret garden, where you can hold your ceremony, shhh!

Choosing the right venue

It’s so important to choose a venue that suits both of you. Location, facilities, accommodation options, style and size are all important factors to consider. Lodge Farm House is a B&B, so you have an accommodation option right next to the reception. It’s only a small house, so other guests can stay in nearby Hitchin or Stevenage. Their secret garden provides a beautiful quiet setting to hold a “show” ceremony and comes complete with an arbour. If you like the look of the venue get in touch with Maria who will be more than happy to show you around. If you’re looking for something a bit different from your venue send us a message or take a look at our interactive venues map.

Rachel & Ryan heading down the walkway
They opted for 3 Tipis in a triangle formation
We love this table decor, it suits our rustic tables so well
Time to party!

Rachel & Ryan hired the incredible beatboxers Bloxed Beats to perform in the evening, as you can see they provided some great entertainment!

Fairy lit Tipis at night, what more could you ask for?

Big thanks to Nicki Shea Photography for sharing these fantastic photos with us.

If you’d like us to feature your wedding or a wedding where you worked alongside us please send an email to hello@countrytipis.co.uk.


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