Articles Tagged with: Real 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


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!


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

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.


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.


Aimee + Jonny // 07.04.18

This month we are handing the blog over to Aimee (& Jonny), who had their wedding reception inside two of our Giant Tipis back in April at the fascinating Chiltern Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire. Check out their story, and some snaps from the wedding by the hugely talented fine art photographer (and Aimee’s sister!) Lori of Terri & Lori.

How did you meet?

We met through mutual friends when I (Aimee) was 17 and Jonny was 18. We both attending a DJ set in Hitchin where I was attending sixth form. I had to wear a wristband to state I was under 18, so Jonny bought me a diet Coke! We hit it off and met again the following week, becoming great friends and eventually a couple about a year later.

How long have you been together?

8 years! In that time, we’ve studied for our degrees, lived in three different cities, I’ve set up as a freelancer, and Jonny has embarked on his career as a primary school teacher.

Tell me your proposal story.

It was a couple of weeks before Valentine’s day in 2017 when Jonny announced one Saturday morning that he was taking me on a treasure hunt of sorts around London. I assumed it was an early Valentine’s day activity, so happily went along with it none the wiser.

Little hand-written notes led me to St Pancras train station, brunch in Soho, up St Paul’s Cathedral, and behind the scenes at the British Film Institute. Finally, we ended up in St Dunstan’s in the East, a church that was damaged in the Great Fire of London and then again in the Blitz. It’s now a Grade I listed building and has been turned into a beautiful open-air churchyard and gardens. Here, Jonny gave a lovely, heartfelt speech, got down on one knee, and produced a ring that he had created for me with the help of the brilliant designers at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. I of course said yes!

Why did you choose Chiltern Open Air Museum for your wedding day venue?

We visited the Chiltern Open Air Museum on a Summer day in 2014 with my sister and brother-in-law. We were so intrigued by the idea behind the museum, and especially loved the grounds in which the buildings are situated. It was like travelling back in time! During our visit, we noticed that Skippings Barn (where our civil ceremony took place) was dressed for a wedding reception, with a marquee pitched up in the adjoining field. We thought it was such a unique venue for a wedding!

When we got engaged in 2017, our minds turned to venues and the Chiltern Open Air Museum cropped up in conversation. We only viewed one other venue before booking the museum but, after meeting with the events manager Caroline and talking through the venue, it was just a no-brainer for us! We knew we already loved it, and booked our wedding date about a month later.

What made you want to use tipis for your reception?

We knew we wanted to make a statement with our choice of structure to accompany our barn ceremony. We really wanted to go with something to compliment the barn’s rustic charm, but also something that would completely wow our guests. The tipis were a perfect fit. We also loved the option of having a wood-burning stove and fire pit to create cosy indoor and outdoor atmospheres.

Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers.

The barn and the tipi were so full of character in their own right, that we didn’t want to add too many other details to our day.

We kept the decor simple and paired back, and added features such as wildflowers in jam jars, old books, paper lanterns, and rustic wooden items such as the school desk we used for cards and presents, and the amazing stepladder cake table, both hired from The White Emporium. For the flowers, we chose light peaches, subtle taupes, hints of pink and lots of foliage. They were all designed and arranged by Jonny’s very talented mum!

What were your favourite parts of the day?

For Aimee, the speeches, the cocktails, the dancing, and catching up with friends from afar. For Jonny, chilling out by the fire pit, and enjoying the relaxed, informal atmosphere.

Who was your wedding photographer? 

We’re incredibly lucky that my sister happens to be a professional wedding photographer at Terri and Lori, a Photography & Film studio she co-owns with her business partner. We were thrilled that my sister was willing to capture our day and be my bridesmaid as well – no small feat! We love their effortless, fresh and relaxed style, with not a single moment missed. And, not only do we have amazing pictures from our day, we can also relive it all over again through the beautiful footage.

What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?

Decide what is really important to you both as a couple, and don’t be afraid to stray away from the norm!

 

If you’d like us to feature your wedding or event please email ceri@countrytipis.co.uk

 


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