Articles Tagged with: Outdoor wedding

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


Guest blog: 5 Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding

In today’s blog we hand the reins over to Caroline Opacic (of Caroline Opacic Photography) who we’ve loved working with over the years and is a firm favourite on our recommend suppliers page. Over to you Caroline!

Today I’m chatting all things outdoor weddings! I’m a huge fan of outdoor weddings and tend to specialise in laid back, festival, tipi, boho or outdoor weddings. They are some of my favourite big days to shoot because they are relaxed, fun and usually set against a stunning backdrop. I adore using nature in my images, so outdoor weddings totally fit with that.

In this blog I’m going to give you my top 5 things to consider when planning your outdoor wedding – from a wedding photographer’s perspective! 


1. Ceremony location / timing

Karin & Neil walking down the aisle

If you are planning on having your ceremony outside – AMEN! I love outdoor ceremonies! It means you can say ‘I do’ in some stunning locations, and why would you not make the most of the great British summer while it’s here? However, if we are for once having an actually good summer, consider the weather during the ceremony. Will your guests be sat in the shade or potentially in a very hot sun? Will they be blinking into the sun – or could even you and your fiancé be as you say your nuptials? 

Claire & Tanya wedding ceremony civil partnership

Because English weddings tend to have ceremonies around 1-3pm, this is when the sun is going to be at its most intense in the sky. From a photographer’s point of view, this is not ideal, but there are ways you can navigate it. Have the sunlight either behind or in front of the ceremony. At least this will mean even shadows on you both. If you’re worried about relatives and friends being sat in a potentially hot sun, look for a venue with a shady area. 


2. Portrait timings

Sarah & Andy hug at Vanstone Park Wedding Venue

Touching on when the sun is at it’s peak leads into my next consideration – leaving time for your wedding portraits. The traditional time would be during the drinks reception/ canapés. The light at this time tends to still be strong but I have some tricks up my sleeve to deal with this. I normally like to have my couples mingle with prosecco and relax for a bit during the drinks reception. With about half an hour to go, I’ll then take them to do  portraits. This is great because of 2 things. One, it means you get to say hi to everyone and enjoy the party, which really is priority #1 ! Second, it means we’ll do your portraits later in the afternoon when the sun is less strong. I’ve also got a secret third reason – you’ll be nice and relaxed after some glasses of fizz! 

Couple photos between the pillars at Vanstone Park Venue

If you are planning wedding portraits, chat to your photographer about the timings of the day and where they could fit in. The end of the drinks reception is great, or even before speeches/dancing. 


3. Embracing the Golden Hour

Abi & Dave at Vanstone Park Venue during Golden hour

My dream couples all love golden hour as much as I do! This is that time just before sunset when the sun is beautifully orange and sending some insane colours across the sky. The light is perfectly soft and has a picture-perfect hue to it. While I tend to do drinks reception portraits, I also like to take my couples for a golden hour stroll. Depending on what month you have your wedding, the exact timing of this will vary. In the summer it tends to fall either just before or after your first dance. 

Bride Esmerelda enjoying the diffused light in the woods

If you are having an outdoor wedding I would seriously consider having golden hour portraits. Why waste that stunning outdoor venue and all it’s grounds! 


4. Party Games / Entertainment

Guests enjoying the bouncy castle at a wedding party

The lovely thing about outdoor weddings is they really do mean you get to soak up every last bit of sun and the outdoors. With traditional weddings, once the call has come for the wedding breakfast, it’s rare everyone will get a chance to go back outside and see the sun go down. One of my favourite things about a Country Tipis wedding is everyone sitting on the grass or cosying up around the fire-pit in front of the tipi after dinner. It makes the day feel longer and is a beautiful pause before the party kicks in properly on the dancefloor! 

Garden games at an outdoor wedding

To keep your guests entertained I would recommend some games or some sort of activity. I’ve seen couples with bouncy castles, rounders, treasure hunts, giant jenga etc. Options are endless and you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. A lot of games can be DIY or be as simple as hula hoops. As a photographer I love them as they can make for some really fun candid shots!


5. Formal or festival dining?

Canapes by Hungry Hog BBQ at Vanstone Park Venue
Canapés from Hungry Hog BBQ – a caterer I love

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you should consider whether you want a traditional sit down wedding breakfast, or something a bit different. Because you are likely going to be required to organise your own catering, it means the possibilities are endless. I would take advantage of that! A great option I’ve seen at Vanstone Park many times is a buffet BBQ as the main meal. You could also consider hiring in food trucks, particularly for the evening buffet.

Esmerelda enjoying the pizza

I can vouch for pizza being a very popular choice, especially once a good amount of alcohol has been consumed! You should also consider whether you want guests to be sat at normal tables, or whether you have a festival feel and allow people to sit in less traditional setups eg: chill out area, hay bales, picnic benches. 

Rolling Dough Pizza Horsebox in the woods
Rolling Dough Pizza have an amazing setup, their pizzas aren’t bad either!

All photos in this blog are by Caroline Opacic Photography and may not be used elsewhere without her permission.

Thanks for writing this guest blog for us Caroline, here’s hoping that we can catch up soon! If you’d like to write a guest blog for us please send us a message.


Real Tipi Wedding – Gina & Per

Back in July last year (doesn’t that seem ages ago?!) Gina & Per got married inside Two of our Tipis in the quaint village of Yeldon, close to Milton Keynes. We are totally in love with the small details that featured in their special day. Enjoy a few snaps taken by the brilliant duo Benni Carol Photography.

Two Tipis with walkway matting
Round tables and folding wooden chairs inside the Tipis
Table plan inside the Tipis - inside a copper ring

Benni from Benni Carol Photography tells us more about the wedding:

Gina and Per envisioned a tipi outdoor wedding and since they wanted to get married in Gina’s home town, they decided to set up the bell tents in the backyard of Yelden Village Hall in Milton Keynes. The colour theme they chose was lavender inspired and you could really see the pattern going through every detail they carefully chose for their day. The reason why they decided to choose this colour theme has to do with the shared love Gina and her mum have for the lavender flower. Gina mum’s garden was full of these wonderful flowers and she picked them up herself on the morning of the wedding and had them carefully placed in the church so all the guests could enjoy their perfume throughout the whole ceremony.
The bridal bouquet, as well as the bridesmaids ones, had all the same lilac colour pattern, which was the colour chosen for the bridesmaid dresses too.

Gina wanted to feel comfortable on her wedding day, so she decided to give up on wearing high heels, opting instead for low shoes. Just after the ceremony, she pulled off a pair of wonderful and unique lilac All Star sneakers, which were just perfect for the couple shoot we had in the fields surrounding Yelden.

If we had to choose three of our favourite details from their wedding, we’d go for:

  • The seating chart display, made of two golden loops decorated with eucalyptus leaves with the actual seating plan hanging from them.
  • Flowers, those lilac wedding flowers, so so incredibly beautiful
  • The Wedding cake decorated with paper pressed flowers, it was gorgeous and at the same time so different and unique.

Oh right, and the photo booth made out of hay of course, not only did it look beautiful and in perfect fit with the whole country chic concept, but it also served perfectly for some fun, alternative photos both of the couple and of all the guests! So really, a must-have!!

Deserts provided by Hall & Co Event Design
The first dance
Tipi disco time
The Lion Men live Tipi band
Having fun inside the Tipis

Featuring the following amazing suppliers:

If you’d like us to feature your wedding, please send us a message!


Hot Wedding Trends to Look out for in 2020

Are you daydreaming of your Tipi or Celeste wedding but struggling for some inspiration? Just like we did last year, we asked Crystal (who loves keeping on top of “what’s hot”) to outline some of the key trends you’re sure to see in 2020 and how you can combine them with your wedding dream!

Whilst some of the trends she predicted last year will remain popular, there are some new ones set to take centre stage. Here are our predictions for 2020:


Comfy Shoes

As outdoor weddings continue to rise in popularity, one of the trends we have noticed is that brides are opting for more comfortable shoes. Not just for the evening reception but for the whole day, allowing them to enjoy their venue just as much as their guests. They’re making it part of their style and companies are now starting to offer options that the whole bridal party can choose from!

© Ben Moore Wedding Photography

Food & Cocktails

For years pick and mix stations reigned supreme during the evening reception and while it’s still a well-loved tradition, couples have expanded on this concept. Last year we saw an increase in dessert tables where guests picked their own dessert from a number of visually impressive options. This gives them control of how much they have, reducing food waste after the large and often heavy meal! This theme is continuing into the main meal for 2020 and couples are moving away from traditional one-plate-fits-all in favour of accommodating a number of dietary restrictions and creating a more relaxed and sociable experience. Food stations, grazing tables, food trucks and BBQ-style meals will provide a range of options to please all and leave even the fussiest of eater well fed. Hall & Co event planners provided the food station below, I think you’ll agree it looks irresistible!

© Emily Little Photography

Help yourself beer barrels and pimp your drink stations have been popular for a while now but 2020 will see it move on to cocktails. Signature drinks and customisable cocktails will give couples the chance to incorporate the drinks into their day. An example of this is The Hammered Peg, who offer their couples the choice of three cocktails to be served on the day which can be renamed, alongside their full bar service. This can be to simply personalise them or to match them to their overall theme.

© Caroline Opacic Photography

Flowers

Flowers will continue to be the biggest feature for wedding day decor next year. Rustic wreaths mixing flowers and wood, and greenery such as indoor trees will play a huge part in the overall look for tipi and marquee weddings. 

We spoke to one of our favourite florists Kerry Ashby from Foxgloves and Alice who confirmed that “small table arrangements have taken a back seat and have been replaced with big freestanding and hanging floral arrangements. White flowers with lots of foliage is still a key colour palette”. She also let us know sustainability is “hugely important now with lots of couples using British flowers and eco-friendly techniques.” 

© Ross Willsher Photography

Wedding Favours

Weddings favours were once an essential component of the day though now many choose not to have them at all or to replace it with a charitable donation. Couples that do have them in 2020 will have to offer something that does not contain wasteful packaging and has a practical use such as an edible, cookable or growable favour.

© Terri & Lori Photography

Venue

Venues offering space for both the wedding ceremony and the reception will be the way to go in 2020. Outdoor ceremonies have been increasing in appeal over the last few years and now couples are risking the delicate British weather to tie the knot in an outdoor ceremony and then move their day into their chosen structure. This way they have a picturesque backdrop for their ceremony and a unique structure for their day while still benefiting from outdoor space and gorgeous views. Dual-purpose venues will be in high demand as they reduce time and costs moving guests to another location.

© Nikkis Moments Photography & Film

Currently, not all outdoor venues in the UK have ceremony licenses, however, as couples become less religious and desire a more personalised ceremony they are moving towards celebrant and blessing style ceremonies that offer them offer the ceremony they want (simply completing the legal one prior). It means they have a completely personal day and can incorporate things that are important to them. Such as, their four-legged friend, who is a big part of their life, so can also be part of the big day too. Vanstone Park offer both the space and perfect backdrop for an outdoor wedding. Guests enter the site through a decorated pergola entrance to the ceremony in front of the gorgeous woodland and huge willow tree before moving into Giant Tipis for their meal and evening entertainment.

© Shoot it Momma Photography

Decoration

Wedding decor is always really personal and as couples have become more creative and with lots of platforms offering inspiration, there is a shift from the traditional colour block looks. The atmosphere and overall vibe of the day are playing a bigger role and couples are creating their own themes and putting unique twists on old favourites. Mixing colour and texture will be a major consideration with unique lighting still a key focus in 2020. 

“Foliage is hanging around (literally speaking!) but with the foliage I’m seeing more big blooms, paper lanterns and dried flowers, being added to create cool ceiling scapes in both tipis and marquees,” says Alice from Fleur de Lace, one of our favourite stylists.

© Pike Photography

Alice was kind enough to give us insight into what her couples are loving for next year. “Tables are becoming less busy making way for sharing platters” she continues. “I’ve never been one to be hellbent on couples deciding and sticking to a colour scheme and 2020 has shown that my couples aren’t particularly bothered too. Many are simply deciding the scheme of the wedding based on the season they are getting married in. These are a few I have heard for this year; Summer Vibes, Autumnal Feels and Mystic Winter.”

With people becoming ever conscious about how they are affecting the environment, growing numbers of couples want to ensure that their day is both eco-friendly and sustainable. With an increasing demand for plastic-free weddings, “couples are scrapping plastic straws for paper ones, recycling glassware/bottles and fusing loral foam-free arrangements. Confetti is becoming more fun, couples are throwing paper airplanes, waving flags, using pom-poms instead of sprinkling confetti over the newlyweds this year,” adds Alice.


Well, that’s it folks, our predictions for 2020 outdoor tipi and marquee wedding trends. With a big thanks to Kerry & Alice for sharing their insights.

What trends are you loving and will be on the lookout for? Need some inspiration for your 2020 tipi or marquee wedding? Why not check out our Pinterest Page here.

Photography credits to Ben Moore, Emily Little, Caroline Opacic, Ross Willsher, Terri & Lori, Nikki’s Moments, Shoot it Momma and Steven Pike. We appreciate you sharing your amazing photos with us!


It’s all in the detail

Our structures and extras have a number of unique features that allow us to offer the very best product and service, staying at the top of our game. This always has been at the heart of what we were trying to achieve with Country Tipis – creating unique, successful events with the support of a dedicated, professional team. It is so important to us to continue to build on our already strong reputation in outdoor events, so we thought we’d fill you in on a few features we’re most proud of:

Neat and tidy tipi link with custom stitched blanking panels

© Emily Little Photography

We’re lucky to be one of a handful of rental companies in the south of England who are supplied by The Tipi Company. Alongside the brilliant structures they created a full range of stitched-to-fit blanking panels that mask the main Tipi canvas links whilst offering an additional layer of weatherproofing. The eaves beam and side blanking panel pictured here on the left allows you to run additional tables in the eaves, giving you more space inside.


Handmade rustic tables with chairs to match

© Emily Little Photography

When we started Country Tipis around 5 years ago we looked at the furniture options available and weren’t blown away by what was on offer. As a result we decided to make our own tables and benches from scaffold boards. These have been incredibly popular over the years, so we added some European-made folding wooden chairs to our hire range. These were stained to match our tables and complimented with grey seat pads to be kind to your bum.


We’re available right from initial enquiry right through until your event day

© Pike Photography

We appreciate how important it is to have questions answered and your worries alleviated efficiently, so we make sure we get back to you as soon as we can. We’ll always come and survey your site for suitability prior to your event day to ensure there are no surprises on the day we set-up. One of our experienced crew will be on call throughout your event day so you can relax and enjoy yourself. If you’d like someone who has a knowledge of the structure to be around on the day we offer the option of hiring a “Tipi Man” who can assist you as required.


We offer a full LED professional lighting package to create a magical atmosphere

© Country Tipis

In our Tipis we include fairy lights, customisable LED up-lighters, chandeliers and a disco ball in our base price, as we know you’ll love the ambience they create! In our Celeste we offer the same without the disco ball and chandelier. All of our lighting uses LED bulbs so draw minimal power, meaning that we can normally power a 3 Tipi / 24m Celeste set-up from a single 13a house plug.


The Hammered Peg – our own bar service

© Pike Photography

In 2017 The Hammered Peg poured their very first drink, since then we’ve kept revellers at over 50 events well watered inside our structures. We love to see you having the time of your life, and with your bar you’ll get at least one experienced member of Tipi crew to keep an eye on everything.


Woven matted flooring

Our flooring is natural coloured with black fleck which creates a neat finish throughout. It follows the contours of the ground beneath it when laid as grassy areas are seldom flat. In certain circumstances we lay it on top of plastic underlay to prevent water soaking up through it.


Handmade in the UK

© Pike Photography

We proudly support UK businesses and try to buy locally wherever we can in order to minimise our carbon footprint. The Tipi Company hand make all of our equipment up in Bolton, stitching our rugged canvas together and refining the main legs from slow grown Scandinavian spruce.


Hessian edging to hide cables and grass

© Pike Photography

We use hessian around the edge of our tipis to neaten up the Tipi, hiding electric cables and any grass that may be showing. It also serves as a draft excluder around the edge of the Tipi.


Minimal strapping on the front

© Nicki Shea Photography

Whilst some structures require a large amount of strapping on the front, ours do not need a lot. As well as looking tidier, this also allows us to minimise potential trip hazards.


Non-slip wooden dancefloor

© Emily Little Photography

Get dancing on our non-slip wooden dance-floor, creating the perfect arena for you to throw some shapes. Its modular nature means that you can choose the dimensions to suit you. In this photo you can see the Tipi package from Entertainment, PA & lighting pros Disco Nyts which includes a rustic DJ booth alongside an upgraded lighting package.


Huge thanks to all of the photographers who have contributed their photos to this blog – Pike Photography, Emily Little Photography & Nicki Shea Photography.

Feel free to fire us a message if you’d like to chat, Country Tipis x


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