Articles Tagged with: Wedding

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

 


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


Crystal’s introduction to the world of Tipis

Two months ago I was working in the dentistry industry, organising annual conferences and awards ceremonies to promote the highest levels of clinical excellence within the profession. I loved managing the organisational aspects of the several awards ceremonies we hosted, and seeing the teams working hard to give their patients the best possible care get the recognition they deserve. But, coming from a hospitality and events background, I really missed the variety that the events industry offers and knew it was time for a change.

Lloyd Goodall @lloydsfreelancephotographyandvideo

The world of tipis

Once I found the role online, I did some googling and was introduced to the world of Tipis. Not having really seen them before I was fascinated by how they looked, how they worked and how they formed part of such unique events. After looking at photos of some of the events Country Tipis had done, the lovely venues they work with and most importantly all the fairy lights everywhere, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with. Although, I was a little worried that working in an office with just men would be a bit awkward, I’m a bit of a neat freak and like things in certain ways. Boy, did I have nothing to worry about, both Richard and Ceri, are just as organised as me! Phew!

Learning the ropes

In my first month with the company, I had been shown so much. I learnt how to PAT test and helped to test all of our equipment; all 400 cables worth (now that’s a lot of fairy lights!). I also assisted on a site visit to understand how to measure out the tipis to ensure they will fit into a space and that the ground is suitable. Best of all, I became a crew member for the day and helped set up and take down 2 tipis. This was for one of our open weekends at the Letchworth Centre for Health Living. It was a really great way to understand how these unique structures work and a brilliant introduction to the team.

I was actually surprised by how prepared the team were for my arrival, it really made me feel welcome. And, since joining the company, Richard & Ceri have enlisted my help to decorate the office to ensure the space is inviting for both us and our visitors. As I’ll be in the office most days, Richard even bought me a toaster for my morning crumpets! Based at Vanstone Park close to Hitchin, our office is a little unconventional but with the right decoration, some decking and flowers, it really has become an unique place to work. There’s also a pen for the staff’s dogs!

Always moving

It was an exciting prospect to come and work for a company that was still early on in their journey, however, I was amazed at the growth Country Tipis has seen already. Not just in the number of events they host but also in the services they offer. Continuing to develop, we will soon be launching our new Celeste Pole Marquee and I cannot wait. It gives clients another avenue to consider for their events without losing the rustic outdoor theme.

Having done some local research into different tipi companies when I first started, I was able to understand structurally how our tipis differed to many other companies. Although, I really believe it’s the attention to detail that sets Country Tipis apart from the rest. I’m looking forward to supporting the team and helping to make it the busiest and best year yet!


The boss gets hitched, in Tipis of course!

The perfect day

Our last wedding of 2017 was a big one, the boss married his beautiful lady! After a long period of consideration he decided to go for an epic four Tipi wedding. As you can imagine everything had to be perfect for this one, one above his normally sky high standards.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

The crew reported that during the build he’d turned into someone who could only accurately be described as “groomzilla”. He went for a 4 tipi layout, with guests entering beneath a row of 3 naked tipis draped in fairy lights.

Floor plan for tipi wedding with Country Tipis

Their floor plan, including a mobile casino and a crepe stand

The entrance was through one of our entrance tunnels, which guided people in through two clear extension panels; a great new product from The Tipi Company. Being an October wedding, it was important to keep it warm inside, and these panels allowed us to retain the panoramic views. Check out a time-lapse of the build below, and watch out for the tea break!

The venue

Richard was lucky enough to know a farmer who was happy to lend him his field in Ampthill. He found a quaint 14th century church nearby, with a vicar who shared his passion for Sunderland AFC. The field was in need of a bit of work so Richard spent many weekends atop a roller to flatten the ground. Thankfully there were a few rogue bullocks in the area who were happy to chase him across the field, which made for amusing viewing.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

Inside the Tipi

The catering was run by the incredibly affable Chris at Hungry Hog BBQ, who created beautiful canapés, organised a fantastic Savoie inspired main course and BBQ’d burgers in the evening. The bar was provided by our very own Peggy’s Bar with drinks being served both out of the horsebox and 4m rustic wooden bar.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

The tables and flower rings were lovingly decorated by Anne from Betty and Bear Flowers, who sourced an incredible selection of seasonal foliage to create some beautifully varied bouquets.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

Entertainment

It was imperative that no one got bored so Richard booked a brilliant four piece wandering band who kept everyone entertained throughout the meal.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

The evening music was provided by the amazing Daisy B & Al Jones who kept the music flowing until the early hours. Richard booked a roulette and two blackjack tables from Andy Smith Presents to satisfy the guests (or his) love of gambling.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

To satisfy Vicki’s love for horses, Richard surprised her by booking a vintage (and very physical) horse racing game. This entertaining addition resulted in a few out-of-breath and thirsty guests!

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

To cater for his sweet tooth Richard ordered some brownies from the legendary Pudding Stop in St Albans. He also invited the talented Little Brittany Crêperie, who served up wonderful crêpes in the evening.

It really was a day to remember. Huge thanks to everyone who came along or was involved in any way for making it so special.

Tipi Wedding in Hertfordshire with Country Tipis © Ben Moore Wedding Photography

After conquering his own wedding, Richard and the team are at your service and always on hand to help out. Please get in touch here or call us for a chat on 07486 542374.

Photos by Ben Moore Wedding Photography.

Tipis by Country Tipis.


The Bohemian Shoot – Behind the Scenes

As the wedding season approaches at speed we are gearing up for another summer of tipi weddings, parties and festivals. Just a quick mention of the three open days we have coming up:

10th & 11th of March at the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living (SG6 3NA).

28th & 29th of April at Tip Top Venues, Newton Longville (MK17 0BU).

If you prefer something a bit more traditional we’ll soon be taking delivery of a beautiful 24m x 12m vintage pole marquee which we’ll be launching on the 20th of May at Lodge Farm House, Kings Walden, Hertfordshire (SG4 8LL).

The shoot

For a while we’ve been wanting to post the “behind the scenes” shots from our burgundy bohemian styled shoot that happened in the rolling Hertfordshire hills late last summer, so here they are!

The shoot was organised by Caroline from Caroline Opacic Photography and in between the photos are a few words from her about her inspiration and what feeling she was trying to evoke through the shoot.

“This shoot was designed to be inspiration for a vampy, bohemian tipi wedding. I love outdoor, festival style weddings, and wanted to play with merging boho and deep wedding hues. Normally I go for pastels, so using burgundy and navy as the primary colours, was new for me, but I totally fell in love after this shoot.”

“The venue was a gorgeous tipi by Country Tipis, styled by Vintage Garden Weddings. We opted for lots of macrame, navy and red dream catchers, vintage glassware and mossy centrepieces for an alternative banquet set up. We also set up an incredible outdoor ceremony area with a macrame arch, and decorated with flowers from The Urban Flower Farmer. Possibly my favourite setup was our Moroccan snug area, underneath one of Country Tipis’ smaller tents. We finished the day with a fire pit set up, complete with marshmallow roasting and snuggly blankets provided by Brolly Bucket.”

©Caroline Opacic Photography

The bride

“Our bride Eva was wearing Lucy Can’t Dance’s ‘London Calling’ dress which I had wanted to feature in a shoot for a long time. I love the tassels on the sleeves – they really matched the festival feel and perfect for an autumnal wedding. To go with the dress, we opted for some great wedges from Emmy London and an eye catching Victorian inspired ruby ring from London Victorian Ring Co.”

Hair & makeup

“To create the feel of a carefree bride, Cassandra Rizzuto created very loose boho hair, combined with a fresh floral crown. Our make up artist, Kayleigh Keen, added the final touches and created a gorgeous vampy look, perfectly matching with the dark florals.”

Concept, Planning & Coordination: Caroline Opacic Photography
Photography: Caroline Opacic PhotographyCountry Tipis
Venue: Country Tipis
Styling & Hire: Vintage Garden Weddings
Cake & Sweet Treats: The Dandelion Bakery
Flowers & Crown: Urban Flower Farmer
Dress: Lucy Can’t Dance 
Shoes: Emmy London
Ring: London Victorian Ring Co
Stationery Suite: Wonderland Invites
Hair: Cassandra Rizzuto 
Make up: Kayleigh K MUA
Umbrella & Blanket Hire: Brolly Bucket
Confetti: Shropshire Petals
A huge thank you to the Models – Eva & Boz

We’re always on the lookout for suppliers to collaborate with on shoots so if you’d like to discuss working together please fire us an email to hello@countrytipis.co.uk


Tipi evolution and development through the eyes of Jamie

Well, where do I start with my time at Country Tipis, I know exactly where I’ll start, with myself.

Pouring drinks behind Peggy’s Bar at one of our events

I began my journey to become a tipi erection specialist in early summer 2017 and if I’m honest I don’t know what they would have done without me… only joking! On a serious note, when I first joined I was so impressed with the rate at which Richard and Ceri have built the business to where it is today. Anyway, enough about them back to me.

My studies

Before beginning my Tipi adventure, I completed an engineering degree at Oxford Brookes University. Country Tipis offered me the perfect job during the summer months until I started my adventure in the city by the sea of Plymouth. I have recently moved down there to study towards a masters in Coastal Engineering. You never know I may be writing my dissertation on the feasibility of a water born Tipi! I am a budding surfer (hence the move to the glorious south west) and just a few weeks after leaving Country Tipis I was reunited with the beautiful structures on the beach at a surf event.

Enjoying some airtime next to Smeaton’s Tower in Plymouth recently: I’m studying hard I promise!

Through the ages

Throughout summer I have been curious as to the origins and practical engineering element of a tipi structure. The origin of Tipis (or Teepees) lie with the Native American tribes whose main aim for survival was to follow the buffalo herds across the American plains. The tipi was the perfect structure for the nomadic lifestyle, as setting up and disassembling was frequent and required minimal effort but maximum effectiveness. This is completely relatable to when we were trekking all around, setting up and taking down these amazing structures!

An interesting fact I stumbled across was that the women of the tribes were the sole assemblers, organisers and decorators of the tipis. Men were required to receive permission from the women to be able to carry out any decoration…not too dissimilar to many conversations over heard during many set-ups… I shall say no more! The tipis were often arranged in a circular pattern to create a secure living environment. We too can arrange as many tipis as required in a variety of formations to fit the space and type of event.

Working from an overlaid schematic

Tipi design

The design of the tipi is well suited to cope in all weather conditions. Similar to our modern day equivalent, the native Americans too had smoke flaps which kept the wind and rain out. It is well insulated to protect inhabitants from the cold and frost during winter months. The uninterrupted surface around the entire structure prevents the wind catching and blowing it over. The smoke flaps also allow for air flow, creating a cool environment during hot days.

Linking Tipis

Our tipis, designed and manufactured by the UK based The Tipi Company are simple but very effective. One of the key elements to a Tipi is the use of straps when joining more than one, to maintain tension on the canvas and keep it taught and safe. Visually, the tension creates a smoothness to the tipi canvas and it became a challenge for every event to be able to create the cleanest, tightest and most satisfying join. From an engineering aspect, when the wind applies a force to the canvas, the majority of the load is transferred through and around the canvas and because the canvas is made of a partially elastic material it absorbs the energy from the wind in the stretching of the material (I hope I’m not boring you too much!).

Our Tipis are often likened to a Tardis: from the outside, the scale and height of these structures is amazing but the most underestimated part of the tipi is the open plan space that is created inside. Tipis are so adaptable, many times we would arrive at a site and really question whether the tipi is going to fit/work but we always pulled it off. I felt like everyone had a particular skill that we would perfect every time, one of mine were fitting blanking panels to tidy up the joins, shout out to my blanking panel buddy Jason, who taught me everything I know ????.

Development

During one return journey from a job, I was boring Ceri with the idea of possible improvements to the design of the tipis. One idea was to use a lightweight alternative material legs such as a carbon fibre composite with a wood laminate to still give the natural feel.  The Tipi Company, if you’re reading this and decide to follow this up, copyrights are here. Another really cool idea I had was to create a mezzanine level, I think it would really make the most of the height of the Tipi just make an event even more exciting, it would also be a great storage place for those who just don’t want to go home!

It was a fantastic summer working for Country Tipis, I explored parts of my own county I never knew existed. Richard, Ceri and all the team are inspiring and I wish them all the best for the future. Peace out from Plymouth!


New for 2018 ▲

Thanks!

We’ve had an such a good summer of weddings and would like to extend massive congratulations to all of the couples who have celebrated their marriage with us, along with the festival goers and the birthday partyers who have all celebrated inside our Tipis this year. Each of you helped to make 2017 our biggest and best year yet! We were also very lucky to have such a committed and dedicated crew who helped us ensure that every build was spot on, we couldn’t have done it without you Country Tipi men!

@Asassynation

Our first published shoot

Earlier in the year we collaborated with Carolione Opacic Photography on a burgundy and bohemian shoot in a Hertfordshire wildflower meadow. Last week we were so chuffed to find out it got featured on the Boho Weddings blog (check it out here)! Thanks so much to all the suppliers involved and Caroline for organising and coordinating it all so seamlessly.

©Caroline Opacic Photography

©Caroline Opacic Photography

What’s next?

As for 2018 we’ve decided to branch out slightly (no pun intended!) and we’ve bought a beautiful wooden pole Celeste Marquee ready for next year. We’ll be able to offer it in 3 lengths: 12m, 18m or 24m (12m width) and it will be priced from £2100 to £3900 including flooring, festoon lighting & LED uplighters. This round ended marquee provides an open and practical space that is perfectly suited to those wanting an outdoor wedding in an interesting yet traditional structure. The main poles are over 7m tall and they support a vast sail-cloth like roof which is firmly tension strapped to the ground. If you’d like any further information about hiring our Celeste Marquee please get in touch. 

Tip Top Venues – Newton Longville

We’re also super excited to announce that we’ve got a collaboration starting next year at one of our favourite venues. This beautiful lakeside spot at Tip Top Venues is ours for the summer: nestled in sprawling farmland in Buckinghamshire close to Milton Keynes. It is one of the first venues we built our tipis at, so it’ll always have a special place in our hearts. We’ll have two of our tipis up throughout 2018 with the option to add another if required.

We’re always on the lookout for individuals and companies to collaborate with, so if you feel like you would be a good fit with us at Country Tipis please do get in touch 🙂


From horse transporter to alcohol transporter: the story of Peggy’s bar

Back in January we published a post about Peggy’s Bar: our new offering for 2017. Now we’re going to revisit the conversion process and update you on how she’s getting on after her first summer season.

The conversion

Peggy’s bar started life as a humble Rice horse trailer and came painted a glossy green as you can see below with a very proud Richard at the workshop. We decided that a converted horsebox bar would be the perfect companion to our tipis, as it fits well with the outdoor alternative wedding venue we create. Before starting work on her we took her to our good friends at GT Towing in Hatfield to make sure that she was safe to transport our valuable drinks. We then set to cut out a serving hatch, which proved to be quite a nerve-wracking task but it all went well as you can tell from Richard’s face below!

It took us a few weeks to replace the rusty bolts, give her a new paint job, and wire in 13A electrics. We then built a bespoke back bar with shelving and a wooden bar top with a hinged hatch cover. After installing a fridge, she was ready for her first job, check her out before her first outing below:

We were excited to take her out on an event, so we launched her at our autumn open day almost a year ago. Peggy was initially very protective of her new bar as you can see below, but she’s learned to chill out a bit now!

Bar, Alcohol, Mobile, Party

Wedding hydration

As 2017 came around we took the bar out on many new adventures around Hertfordshire (and sometimes further afield), and had so much fun behind the bar and seeing how much fun people have in our tipis! We are constantly reviewing our bar menu, in order to be able to offer you high quality drinks at affordable prices. We stock a wide selection including top notch ale from Tring Brewery, fine wine from Yellow Tail as well as a selection of our other favourite drinks. We now have the capability to attach the horsebox to our tipis to create a sealed, all-weather bar solution.

Branding

Tipi men Ceri & Jamie decided half way through the summer that Peggy’s bar was in need of some branding, so they set to work on creating and installing some custom decals, Peggy was very impressed, what do you think?

As well as Peggy’s converted horsebox bar we offer our 4m rustic pallet wood bar which can be used inside our tipis or outside underneath our Nimbus mini tipi. Email hello@countrytipis.co.uk for more information and a copy of our current drinks list.

Cheers!

Country Tipis & Peggy’s Bar x


Meet Charlie: Tipi flooring extraordinaire

On the first day of meteorological Autumn, as the diary starts to change down through the gears, we offer you an insight into Country Tipis through the mind of Charlie: Tipi flooring extraordinaire. As you can see from the photos he is a natural in front of the lens, enjoy!

 

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring with you?

The sensible side of me would bring a boat, some water and a Freddo. In reality, I would first take my samurai sword. I do not know what else is on this island and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It would also come in helpful when constructing a tree house or shelter to live in. My second item would be some factor 10 suncream. Although a low factor, I can withstand the sun quite well. You wouldn’t want to burn on one of your first few days there because it just ruins the rest of the trip. Hopefully by the time I got through the whole bottle I’d have adapted slightly to the sun. My last item would be a copy of Country Tipi’s pamphlet for when I’m feeling lonely and want to see some Tipis (they paid me to say that).

Teepee flooring

How long have you worked for Country Tipis?

I’ve worked for country Tipis for 2 summers now. I was lucky enough to join very early on in Country Tipis existence when no-one really knew what was going on. It has been amazing to see how far the company has come and how the construction process has changed. The time taken to take a Tipi up and down has halved in the last 2 years and even now we are learning new tricks.

Tepee flooring for a wedding

Walk me through a typical day at work. 

If I’m going to run you through a typical day I must run you through the night before first. If I know I’m working the next day I always make my lunch for the following day just before I go to bed, which is usually at a sensible time so I’m full of energy and ready to seize the day the following morning. Most days require a pretty early start. Therefore a few alarms and a few snoozes are necessary. When I finally get out of bed I head downstairs and grab myself a nice of cup of Joe and maybe a slice of toast if I’ve left myself enough time. Then when I see the 15 minute mark approach I dig out my aforementioned lunch, slip into my steal toe capped boots, and rush to work because I’ve left it a bit late. Once we’ve loaded the trailers for either a set up or take down we hit the road. This could be driving just down the road or the other side of the M25. We usually aim to be at the venue by about 8am. We then get to work which can be tough as Rich is a merciless boss who is happy with nothing but perfection. Most of the build is complete by lunchtime, and the period after lunch is always a bit lethargic for me, but we smash it out, put the finishing touches on the tipis and head back to Vanstone Park to unload the trailers. Then Rich tells us thats it’s going to be another early start, Jason grumbles, we all say Ciao for now and head off home.

What aspect of the Tipi build do you specialise in?

Without coming across too arrogant, when it comes to laying the carpet I am second to none. I was born with great hands and for the first 20 years of my life I was endlessly wondering why on earth I had been blessed with these beautiful paws. Then I joined Country Tipis and it became very clear, very quickly that I was destined for the carpet life. There are few things in this world that excite me more than nailing down a tight bit of carpet. There are 3 key processes to laying carpet, and I have perfected them all. Hammering is crucial. You need not be hugely strong to sink a nail as it is more an art of precision. Then there is the gentle velcro-ing of the carpet to the carpet strips which requires steady hands and a keen eye for detail. Finally, (and my favourite) is the chuckie shuffle as I like to call it. This involves shuffling your way down the carpet to remove any rucked bits of carpet and nailing it down tight. Only once you have mastered these techniques can you lay a tight carpet, and ultimately find inner peace.

Yes, these actually are Charlie’s hands!

What do you do with yourself when you’re not erecting Tipis?

This summer, when I haven’t been working, I have been jet setting off on holiday and spending every penny that I’ve earned. Other than holidays I occasionally play cricket. Depressingly I can’t think of anything else I do in my free time.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Country Tipis?

This one time, Rich bought us all Mcflurries. That was the happiest I’ve been in a long time. On a serious note, I enjoy being out and about with an okay bunch of guys and throwing trees & canvas around. It’s a rewarding job: seeing the happy faces of nearly and newly married people definitely makes the long hours and hard work worthwhile.

Tipi wedding in Hertfordshire

If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice on Tipi building and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Firstly I would tell the kid he’s not old enough to put up a Tipi because it’s dangerous work. Once I’d wrapped him/her up in bubble wrap I would give them my advice. It would be to work on communication and teamwork. You need a minimum of 3 people to put up or take down a Tipi, and for it all to go smoothly every one needs to know what they are doing, as well as what everyone else is doing. With such heavy equipment flying about you have to be careful and constantly aware.

 

What makes Country Tipis stand out from the rest?

If I’m brutally honest, I don’t know. All I know is that, despite everything I may have said, we are a very hard working group. Especially Rich, who’s only days off this summer were spent on his own stag do, where he was working hard to not lose his dignity completely. I have it on good authority that he failed. We, however, will never fail to do a top notch job of making your dreams come true.

Tipi flooring flowers


The Country Tipis wedding checklist

So, you’ve booked your venue and your Tipis, paid your deposit, chosen your Best Man, bridesmaids and grooms men and now comes the organising! We are here to help you out with any of the details below, just let us know if you need any suggestions.

12 months before your wedding

  • Start looking for your dream dress.
  • Have you thought about Save the Date cards, especially if you are getting married at a busy time, namely Bank Holidays and early September when every one is back from Summer holidays?
  • Research and narrow down your wedding suppliers such as: florists, photographers, invitations, cake, decor, music hair and make up.
  • Think about possibly insuring your day – you can never be too careful!
  • Research glorious places for your honeymoon (rubbish job).

© Jason Mark Harris

8/10 months before

  • Order your dress.
  • Shop for the groom’s suit.
  • Have you booked your photographer, florist and DJ/band?
  • Have you thought about accommodation for family and friends who are travelling from out of town?
  • Order your wedding cake.
  • Check passports to make sure they’re in date.
  • Who’s arranging your Stag and Hen parties? Are they on it? They better be and it better be good.
  • Book transport to the ceremony.
  • Do you need music for during the ceremony?
  • Start thinking of your guest list. Are you going to have a A and B list? Are you going to invite that cousin that you’ve met once…?!

© ELS Photography

 4/6 months before

  • Choose bridesmaids dresses.
  • Choose and order invitations.
  • Book honeymoon!
  • Do you need vaccinations?
  • Buy wedding shoes, accessories and underwear (that goes for the Grooms too!)
  • Organise the legalities – give at least 3 months notice to registrar, priest, vicar or celebrant.
  • Choose your favourite Hymns, prayers and readings.
  • Lay out your order of service and order the booklet.
  • Slim down your guest list if needs be. Be ruthless.

2/3 months before

  • Send out the invitations
  • Order wedding rings.
  • Rent the groomsmen’s suits.
  • Attend dress fittings.
  • Have a meeting with your florist and decide on the colours and style you would like. Romantic roses or wild and wonderful?
  • Organise gifts for your family, bridesmaids and groomsmen. Book hairdresser and makeup.
  • Order or get making your wedding favours. Some people keep this super simple or go along the route of personalised miniature bottles of Limoncello! You choose.
  • Start thinking about your seating plan. Who, under no circumstances, should sit together, are you going to have a naughty table etc…

© Karen Massey

4 weeks before

  • Have final wedding dress fitting!
  • Check in with all your suppliers, any final tweaks needed?
  • Finalise details and proof read your order of service.
  • Look at your RSVP list and call all the irritating guests who haven’t replied!

1 week before

  • Check in with the caterers and give them a final head count and inform them of any dietary requirements.
  • Nail your table plan and then walk away from it. Not everyone will be satisfied but it’s your day!
  • Give the venue a heads up on when Country Tipis will be arriving to build your Tipis, plus other suppliers like furniture hire, florists etc.. including phone numbers for them in case you are not there.
  • Pack your overnight bag for your wedding night.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Order currency for the honeymoon.
  • Do all your bits and pieces like nails, waxing and general making pretty (that goes for the groom too!)

2-3 days before

  • Go back to your table plan and take off the 4 people who have cancelled and the 3 that can now come!
  • Groom: get your boys to pick up their suits and make sure everything fits. Confirm times with the wedding car companies.
  • Start taking very deep breaths!

 

1 day before

  • Go to your venue, gasp in awe at the gorgeousness of your Tipis and set about making the tables look amazing with your name places, favours etc. We recommend your florist is there for table decorations before you so as you don’t have to move anything.
  • Make sure your cake is on track and will be delivered on time.
    Have a wedding rehearsal at the ceremony venue to iron out the details.
  • Warn the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids to behave themselves tonight as it’s a long day tomorrow!
  • Don’t drink too much and get some rest.

 

Your Wedding Day!

Relax (if you can) and enjoy this amazing day and please tell us all about it after its all over. Good luck!

© Naughty Cat Media


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