Articles Tagged with: Hertfordshire

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.


Hot wedding trends to look out for in 2019

Are you daydreaming of your tipi or marquee wedding but struggling for some inspiration? We’ve asked Crystal who loves keeping on top of “what’s hot” to outline some of the key trends you’re sure to see in 2019 and how you can combine them with your tipi/marquee wedding dream!

 

Unplugged Ceremonies

An unplugged ceremony is where guests are asked to put away their devices and enjoy your special moment. No couple wants to look down the aisle after their I do’s and see all their family and friends hiding behind their phones and tablets, ruining the professional photos you’ve paid a photographer to take!

© Studio29 via The Huffington Post

This theme is being increasingly popular across all areas of the wedding industry and can easily be incorporated into your day. You can send it out on your invitations or use signage on the day which can be both professionally or home made, using a framed chalkboard, mirror or clear acrylic sheet.

 

Bringing the Outside in

Sustainability is more than just a fashion trend and the wedding industry is taking notice. Expect to see a rise in eco-friendly occasions, featuring flowers that can be replanted and minimal plastic. Relaxed dining has always been a sought-after style for outdoor weddings and now that the focus is on minimising plastic use, wooden and eco-friendly alternatives are flooding onto the scene!

© Country Tipis by The Tipi Company

2019 will be about creating a feeling of outside, inside. It will see low flower arrangements with a focus on greenery, trees and potted table plants which can be reused or given as gifts. Our 2019 couples will be able to take advantage of this by hiring plants and trees from our neighbours at Vanstone Park Garden Centre in Codicote. Simply drop by and enquire in the plant nursery next to our HQ.

© Country Tipis

Hanging Florals

Florists are being inundated with new requests for hanging floral arrangements and floral hoops.  Hanging floral pieces will be one of the biggest requests from couples having tipi and marquee weddings as they don’t take up space on tables, reducing or even skipping individual centrepieces altogether. Here at Country Tipis we love a flower ring and include them in our offerings to hire, complete with an easy to use pulley wheel system.

© Hannah Duffy Photography

Floral hoops are also a great option as they can be an alternative to bridesmaid bouquets and then be hung at the reception. Choosing to hang flowers and foliage over placing them on tables alone completely transforms a venue, making this the perfect tipi trend for all seasons.

© Alex Wysocki Photography

Drones

2019 will see couples capture their big day using drones, Snapchat geofilters and custom hashtags. Drones have been increasing in popularity recently for the unique views they provide and will continue to do so. Particularly for couples having outdoor weddings as the footage is incorporated into your wedding video showcasing the beautiful grounds and structure you’ve chosen for your big day. More companies are offering drones which can be easily added into your videography package.

© High Sight UK

In contrast to unplugged ceremonies, couples are getting social with their wedding reception, encouraging guests to share the celebrations online. It’s great for couples who have friends and family that can’t make the big day or to catch those funny selfies your photographer might miss! Couples using a custom hashtag can easily inform guests on their invitations or have some simple signage around the venue. There’s even options to buy custom signs on sites such as Etsy. Snapchat geofilters can be made using the app and the venues address in minutes and will come up on your guests snapchat automatically throughout the day creating custom photos for your guests!

© Sweet Snaps Co via Weddbook

Arches & Backdrops

With the demand for outdoor ceremonies becoming more and more popular, couples are looking at ways to create ceremony altars and backdrops that are in keeping with their outdoor theme. There is is a number of arches and backdrops available to hire or if you’re creative they can be made to suit any budget. Popular themes include; copper frames, wooden archways, hanging paper, macrame and flowers walls. You can customise them with flowers, fabrics and lighting. All of which can be made to match the colours of your day. You can even create a Tipi altar to match your Tipi wedding!

© Elena Popa Photography

Dessert Tables

Food stations such as buffets, donut walls and pick n mix corners have always been a treasured reception highlight. Now, creative dessert tables are becoming a new favourite for tipi and marquee weddings for 2019. They are an impressive way to layout reception treats which will be sure to excite all your guests. An easy way to do this is with oak barrels. You can use them to create your own unique dessert table. They can also be used as a cake table and they tie in with your Tipi wedding perfectly.

© Katie Jackson Photography via Boho Weddings

Neon & Industrial Lighting

We all know how important lighting is on your wedding day and how it can transform a venue. Giant love letters were hugely popular in 2018 but now the focus is shifting making room for two new lighting trends: Neon and industrial theme.

© David Campbell Imagery via Instagram

Neon lighting is popping up everywhere and the team at Country Tipis is loving it. This retro wedding decor idea makes an insta-worthy focal point and can be used for a number of backdrops and signage such as for your ceremony, top table, photobooth and directions. Because they can be custom made, they make the perfect wedding keepsake to hang in your home long after your big day has passed.

The industrial theme is sure to be everywhere in 2019. It’s very contrasting which is both eye-catching and romantic in its own special way. Backdrop walls, hanging lighting, copper and metal – all combined with greenery, flowers and some cute rustic details will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Industrial lighting can easily be incorporated into your Tipi dream. We took this shot at The Tipi Company’s Tipi at The Showman’s Show to inspire you.

© Country Tipis by The Tipi Company

Huge thanks to Crystal for putting together this blog, if you’ve got any questions or are still struggling for inspiration feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, bring on 2019!

Photos feature from the brilliant:

Hannah Duffy Photography

Alex Wysocki Photography

High Sight UK

Elena Popa Photography


Our Giant Tipi Showcase – In photos

Thanks to everyone who braved the drizzle to come to our Giant Tipi Showcase at Vanstone Park Venue, it was great to see all of you and talk about your wedding or event plans. In case you missed it, here are a few snaps taken by the hugely talented Stephen from Pike Photography. The “Live Tipi Build” was a bit of a washout but a lucky few managed to catch our crew in action!

We had a number of great wedding suppliers joining us for the day, their details can be found below:

Plenty of Thyme are event caterers and create incredible pizzas, along with a lot of other things! Get in touch with head chef Dave for a quote.

We’ve worked with Disco Nyts on many occasions, and we know they are reliable and will deliver an amazing service every time. They even built a rustic pallet-wood DJ booth to match our tipis, now that’s commitment!

Often people ask us how we build the Tipis, so we thought we’d hold a live build demo throughout the day. This is Ryan, he regularly sleeps in his harness he loves it so much!

 

Kerry from Foxgloves + Alice is a locally based artisan florist who creates bespoke arrangements for weddings & events. The vintage crockery, styling and quirky extras were provided by Herts Vintage Hire.

We run our own mobile bar “The Hammered Peg,” and you can choose either our converted horse-box or our 4m rustic wooden bar as pictured. We base the hire price on a minimum spend that we take as a refundable deposit.

Lisa Lyons creates bespoke wedding dresses, at her studio in Harpenden, check out her amazing handiwork!

Kat from Kat’s Cutouts launched her face-in-the-hole boards at our Showcase, aren’t they amazing!

We always love working with Alice from Fleur de Lace. Her funky, bold and creative approach to each job is incredible and really adds the perfect finishing touch.

Rosie from Brolly Bucket provides lovely umbrellas along with wicker baskets and cosy blankets, delivered to your door.

And that’s farewell from the team at Country Tipis, see you next time, and thanks again for the photos Stephen! Please do get in touch if you’d like any advice on any aspect of your event, we’re more than happy to help.


Twigs + LEGO – Behind the scenes on the “Tipi Showcase” shoot

We recently organised a shoot to promote our upcoming “Tipi Showcase,” and to be a little bit different we featured a real couple: Sara & Peter.

The Shoot

Sara & Peter arrived early at a blazing hot 30-degree Vanstone Park Venue early last week to prepare for the shoot. Sara dealt with the heat well in her beautifully tailored wedding dress, clutching a bunch of beautiful red peonies. An impeccably smart looking Peter managed just as well in his light blue 3-piece-suit. He paired his suit with a maroon tie, with his chiselled beard and glowing skin completing his look.

The dynamic between the couple was amazing; they got on so well from the off which made the shoot incredibly easy. The fact that they are a real couple helped enormously, we sure hope they go for a tipi wedding when their wedding comes around!

There were a few mishaps throughout the day, with both Sara & Peter being slightly unsteady on their feet at times, but we managed to get the crucial shots we were aiming for.

The Showcase

Make sure you don’t miss our Tipi Showcase on the 22nd of September from 9am – 9pm, featuring a few slightly larger tipis, plenty of food & drink and live tipi building demonstrations from our crew throughout the day. Use our contact form or email hello@countrytipis.co.uk to book a slot, or just come along!

We’ve invited the following suppliers along who we love:

The Hammered Peg – mobile bar

Plenty of Thyme – event catering

Fleur de Lace – wedding & event styling

Disco Nyts – DJ & PA

Pike Photography

Virtual Weddings

Fineshade Films

+ more to be announced!


Introducing… our new Celeste Pole Marquee

The build

Our crew started bright and early, and we couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop than that of Lodge Farm House in Kings Walden. The well kept gardens are beautifully quaint and secluded, complete with a secret garden for your ceremony (or somewhere to put the kids!).

Learning the ropes

 

The Launch

This was the first time we had erected the Celeste in public, and as you only ever get one shot at a launch party we had to get it right! After a lot of searching we chose this peak top marquee because we felt it enabled us to retain a rustic style which enabled us to remain true to our beloved tipis.

Photo: Pike Photography

Why the Celeste?

The structure differs from that of the tipis in a number of ways, apart from the obvious visual differences: The usable space runs right up to the wall panels, which can be either clear or opaque, and are easily removed by anyone as required. The 8m tall poles support a sweeping high ceiling which creates a feeling of space inside the structure. The detailed design work that surrounds the poles adds to the magic of the Celeste. It has been likened to a sperry or a sailcloth tent; structures that were borne and popularised the other side of the Pacific.

Photo: Pike Photography

What are my options?

We’re ecstatic that we are able to offer the Celeste Marquee to you, and really offer you something unique for your special day or event. The 24m x 12m marquee (triple pole) can seat up to 200 people, the 18m x 12m marquee (double pole) can seat up to 140 and the 12m x 12m marquee (single pole – circular) can seat up to 80 people. Though these numbers depend on what else you’d like inside. Our pricing includes a woven matted flooring (suitable for high heels) and lighting (fairy lights and LED up-lighters).

Photo: Pike Photography

The below floor plan illustrates a layout option inside the 24m x 12m Celeste Marquee, we’ll create a custom one of these for you to help you visualise your event.

How about the colours on this beautiful table run and garland by Kerry at Foxgloves + Alice?

Photo: Pike Photography

Huge thanks to the other suppliers who helped make it a day to remember:

Photos: Pike Photography

PA: Disco Nyts

Venue: Lodge Farm House

Styling: Fleur de Lace

Flowers: Foxgloves + Alice


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