inspiration: denim

inspiration: denim

casual blues for a rustic barn wedding complete with denim stationery – embroidered denim rather than a traditional paper suite: menus on napkins, name place sleeves around milk bottle glasses, table plan labels hung on Portuguese laurels plants

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

2017 Review of the year

2017 Review of the year

I hope you’ve had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas. At this between and betwixt time, I often take the time to reflect on the past year. And what a fantastic year it’s been for Hanami Dream weddings and special occasions in 2017.

Photography by Squib Photography

This year, my focus has been on developing the blog commercially, as well as providing inspiration to brides and grooms in the Cotswolds. Plus I’ve continued to combine my marketing experience, with my local knowledge, in the scope of the wedding industry. It has been great to provide marketing consultation to some local, independent wedding businesses in and around Witney, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. I’ve been affectionately titled the Wedding Inspector – a bit like the Alex Polizzi of the local wedding industry!

I’ve also organised a festival style wedding open day, along with three styled bridal shoots with some amazing local suppliers this year. These have included The Secret Garden, Festival and Journey to the Centre of the Earth themes (look out for images from the latter of these coming soon). I was chuffed to have these shoots featured on Bride Magazine online and SoGlosWedding too.

#UKWedLunch has been going over a year now and attracts new followers every week. This is a great Twitter hour for wedding planning in your lunch break with other brides to be, grooms to be and wedding professionals in the UK.

I’m delighted to have enquiries for different aspects of the business including venue styling and consultancy, as well as such lovely testimonials from happy couples and suppliers I’ve worked with in 2017.

The blog featured posts on different elements of wedding planning, local wedding venue reviews, wedding fairs, wedding transport, favours, alternatives to bouquets, wedding cakes and some wonderful guest posts from local wedding professionals (with top tips and an insight in to different elements of wedding planning from their area of the wedding industry). Plus my series titled ‘the holy trinity of wedding planning’ looked at wedding budgets. See the top posts of 2017.

My blog has had an exciting year and continues to go from strength to strength. The highlights of 2017, were being a finalist in the UK Blog Awards in April again, having one of mood boards picked as finalist again in the UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning SS18 Pantone® colour trend challenge, plus I was proud to win Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday #SBS recently.

Now is also a great time to look forward to working with more local wedding professionals, services and venues in the brand new year ahead. #keepitlocal. And I can’t wait to produce more styled photo shoots and have opportunities to collaborate with local suppliers.

Please get in touch if you’d like to advertise on the blog, submit your own wedding details, would like to collaborate on a shoot, write a guest post or need some marketing advice and guidance. Together we can build the local wedding industry and inspire brides and grooms for their special day.

Many thanks for your support in 2017 and here’s to an exciting and very Happy New Year!

Inspiration: festival wedding

Inspiration: festival wedding

This festival wedding was a real break from tradition – full of alternative ideas for couples to get inspiration for their big day. It showcased an abundance of hanging greenery and was really tactile using different materials such as denim, macrame, paper, wood and terracotta details.

The colour palette had a 70s vibe full of Fall 2017 colours of a pale blue Bluebell, a soft Copper Tan coral, Navy Peony blue, brown and white. It was planned and designed by Hanami Dream and fantastically captured by Cat Stephens Photography.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On Sunday 17th September 2017, Cogges Manor Farm held a festival styled Wedding Open Day that Hanami Dream helped to organise. But this was not a traditional wedding fair – the Barn was dressed as if it were a real wedding.

Think dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl. It was a different take from the norm to provide options and open people’s eyes to the huge spectrum of ideas to bring their dream to life.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

For example, there weren’t any real flowers at this wedding. They were either paper flowers or house plants showing couples that they can achieve this look by making (or borrowing) things themselves – this is great for any diy wedding couples.

Plus, all the stationery was embroidered on to denim rather than traditional paper – menus were on the napkins, name places were sleeves around the milk bottle glasses, table plan labels were hung on Portuguese laurels plants.

It was a relaxed and informal open day showcasing a truly personal wedding option – not a cookie cutter approach at all. Take a look at some of the testimonials from the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Cogges Manor Farm was the ideal location for this wedding as it offers the perfect blank canvas to add personalised details. It is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns as well as a beautiful walled garden, stunning grounds and an impressive Manor House as a remarkable backdrop.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The festival vibe was hailed from the entrance with impressive towering festival flags (from Event Flag Hire) – signalling the way to the party.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Couples walked in to the Wheat Barn down a tree lined aisle. The vintage mismatched chairs (courtesy of Linda’s Vintage Hire) were beautifully decorated with macramé chair coverings (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and the Portuguese Laurels (kindly provided by Bampton Garden Plants) guided the way right to where the ceremony would take place under a stunning macramé backdrop (wonderfully created by MacrAmy’s Macrame) and framed by two beautiful olive trees (also from Bampton Garden Plants).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

One side of the barn was decorated as a seating area to enjoy a sumptuous wedding breakfast. The vintage tables and chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire) were laid out below an impressive array of trailing plants in spectacular hanging macramé holders (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and under spectacular festoon lighting (from Oakwood Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

They were set with denim napkins (gorgeously embroidered by Little Pickle Creations) containing the menu, mini macramé favours (from MacrAmy’s Macrame), milk bottles (from Mabel & Rose) acting as drinking glasses with an embroidered denim name place (by Little Pickle Creations), placed inside were stripy straws (from Little Cherry), plus amazing natural biodegradable tableware (also from Little Cherry) – a perfect accompaniment to our street food reception.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The tables were also decorated with more terracotta pot plants and impressive paper flowers (from Pretty Big Flowers) that lit up for an incredible atmosphere.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The delicious ombre ruffle cake (by The Cake Element Bakery) echoed the colours of the denim stationery and sat beautiful on a vintage barrel (from Mabel & Rose) and amongst a display of framed absent friend photographs, crates and potted plants. The wonderful props from Mabel & Rose really brought the place to life and were dotted around adding features to every area including the bar which had a vintage tin bath and giant wooden barrels.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The other half of the barn was dedicated to the entertainment and dance floor – lit to accompany a party – including an impressive 7 square metre lit paper flower wall (constructed by Pretty Big Flowers).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Over the dance floor hung a white chandelier adorned with coral and denim ribbons and a 4-point drape star that flowed to the dance floor (from Oakwood Events), along with 4ft tall light up LOVE letters (wonderfully contributed by Gilt Edge Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was also a chill out area complete with a comfy brown leather sofa, bales of hay as well as more vintage chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire). These were strewn with gorgeous lambswool wide-herringbone throws in mandarin and azure (from The Witney Blanket Hall).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Outside the party continued with a firepit to sit around, garden games and chalk boards highlighting the events of the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On top of all this, there was delicious food to try (courtesy of Goujon Monkey) such as beer battered cod, Cajun breaded chicken and deep-fried brie, along with paprika dusted chips. Plus, cake tasting from The Cake Element Bakery, drinks from Firkin Mobile Bars, live music from Joely Rendle and Natalya Williams, owl ring bearer from J.E.T. Falconry, a fashion show from Rosie Red Corsetry, plus two workshops on how to make some of the décor that was on display, expertly delivered by MacrAmy’s Macrame and Pretty Big Flowers.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was a real festival vibe with macramé, hanging plants, dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl.

Thank you to all the wonderful suppliers that made this such an amazing wedding open day. It was lovely to meet excited couples in the midst of wedding planning – all the best with your special days!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Festival shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Photographer | Cat Stephens Photography | https://www.catstephensphotography.com
Location | Cogges Manor Farm | www.cogges.org.uk
Tree hire | Bampton Garden Plants | https://www.bamptongardenplants.co.uk/
Flag hire | Event Flag Hire | https://eventflaghire.co.uk/
LOVE light up letters | Gilt Edge Events | https://www.giltedgeevents.co.uk/
Food van | Goujon Monkey | http://www.goujonmonkey.com/
Chairs & tables | Linda’s Vintage Hire | www.lindasvintagehire.co.uk
Cutlery & crockery | Little Cherry | https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/
Stationery | Little Pickle Creations | http://www.littlepickle-creations.com
Props | Mabel & Rose | http://www.mabelandrose.com/
Macrame | MacrAmy’s Macrame | https://www.facebook.com/MacrAmysMacrame
Lighting | Oakwood Events | www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Paper flowers | Pretty Big Flowers | https://prettybigflowers.com
Cake | The Cake Element Bakery | http://www.cakeelementbakery.co.uk/
Blankets | The Witney Blanket Hall | http://www.witneyblankethall.co.uk/
Delivery | Global 360 International Freight Forwarders | http://www.globalthreesixty.co.uk/

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

This festival wedding was a real break from tradition – full of alternative ideas for couples to get inspiration for their big day. It showcased an abundance of hanging greenery and was really tactile using different materials such as denim, macramé, paper, wood and terracotta details.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers #keepitlocal


Photographer – Cat Stephens Photography

Award winning, Oxfordshire based wedding, family and lifestyle photographer. Full day coverage wedding packages available from £750

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@catstephensphotography


 

Location Cogges Manor Farm

Cogges Manor Farm is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns for weddings. They are a perfect blank canvas where you can add loads of personalised details to make your special day complete. Your wedding can be as individual as you are with your own choice of catering, furniture and decoration.

The magnificent and spacious Wheat Barn can seat up to 200 guests, with refurbished stone floor, and portable heating included in the cost of hire. The more intimate and adjacent Barley Barn can seat about 60 guests or is an ideal choice to use as a dance or ceremony area. Each barn can be hired separately, or as a combined hire. Cogges offers a civil ceremony license and is next door to Cogges Parish Church.

In addition to any indoor space you hire, you and your guests can use the charming outdoor space to wander and enjoy (and after 5pm you will have exclusive use of the site). Cogges has many perfect locations for your wedding photographs, such as the Manor House lawn, the walled garden or the orchard and you can even include the farm animals in your photos.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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 Tree hire – Bampton Garden Plants

We are a retail nursery in Bampton, West Oxfordshire. We have a passion for plants and our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you find the plants or give you the advice that you require. We pride ourselves on having a fantastic range of plants small and large including beautiful home grown summer and winter bedding.

We also boast a fabulous café serving hot lunches everyday. The shop offers further products including hand tools, furniture, pots and planters and gardeners supplies area as well as gifts and our food shop, stocked with local produce.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Flag Hire Event Flag Hire

At The Event Flag Hire Company we design, manufacture, hire and install beautiful handmade flags, bunting and banners, perfect for your festival wedding. Our lightweight self-install telescopic poles and flags were designed to be a visually stunning but simple and cost effective way to decorate any venue. We also offer a full bespoke service which allows flags, banners or bunting to be made to a particular specification.

Our stunning flags and bunting will make your festival wedding stand out from the rest, plus we offer a 10% discount for weddings. All styles are available in hues of white and made specifically with weddings in mind. Alternatively our bright colourful silk flags will equally compliment a festival-themed wedding. We use over 70 colours of silk so can match any colour scheme.

Our flags and bunting hire represent a quick, effective and environmentally friendly way of creating a festive atmosphere. We have created simple wedding packages to make it cost effective for you to decorate your venue yourselves using our self-install flags and bunting. Prices include flags (style and colour of your choice), 6m telescopic poles and ground fixings, bunting and return next-day courier service direct to your door. All these packages are portable and will fit in a standard car.

We have been making flags for 15 years and keep coming up with unique designs to keep up with demand. Each flag is a unique work of art hand crafted to an extremely high standard in our Bristol Studio. We cover the entire of the UK and abroad so please get in touch where ever you are!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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LOVE light up lettersGilt Edge Events

Specialists in Bespoke Wedding Venue Decoration From Centrepieces to Flower Walls, Candy Carts to Starlit Backdrops, Garlands, Fairylight Canopies, Giant LOVE letters, Disco’s Grand Floral Arch and much, much more.

A Complimentary Design Consultation to transform your chosen venue into something magical for your big day. Working with you we can create the theme of your dreams, all installed & removed with the minimum disruption to your big event.

We can supply Starlit Backdrops, Table Decorations & Centrepieces, Chair Covers, Fairylight Canopies, Garlands, Grand Floral arches, Candy Carts, Sweet/ Dessert Dressers Flower Walls, Giant LOVE Letters and much, much more.

Karen, with many years experience as a fashion designer in London, combined with Phil, with a career in the Graphic Design, Signwriting and Event Industry will deliver a bespoke wedding, leaving you to concentrate on having the Best Day of your life.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Food van – Goujon Monkey

Goujon Monkey are an Oxfordshire based gourmet street food caterer offering traditional favourites with a modern twist.

They pride themselves on serving the finest quality street food available, using only the freshest ingredients. All of their food is cooked from scratch and served from a lovingly restored vintage Citroen H van.

With menus to suit different tastes including their hand prepared Beer Battered Cod, Goujon Monkey offer a unique addition to your big day.

Our prices start from £750 for private event catering for 75 guests. Contact details Tim 07469710373 or Matt 07917284944.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Chairs & tables – Linda’s Vintage Hire

We provide a stress free vintage hire service for all occasions. If you are organising an event with a vintage flare we can supply furniture, crockery and a range of props and accessories to give your event that much loved nostalgic vintage feel.

We work with theatres, corporations, event and wedding planners, caterers, photographers and festivals to mention but a few.

So if you’re planning your vintage event whether it’s afternoon tea, the wedding of your dreams, a magazine shoot or creating something inspirational for a large festival there is no end to what can be achieved with the help of Linda’s Vintage Hire. We can deliver up and down the country so just give us a call on 07532 184174 for a quote.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Cutlery & crockery – Little Cherry | https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/

Little Cherry are an online supplier of natural biodegradable tableware and a wide range of ethical and stylish party supplies for weddings, street food, festivals and events throughout the UK.

Our aim is to make food look fabulous on our environmentally-friendly tableware. Ranges include the ever-popular Palm Leaf plates (made from naturally fallen palm leaves in India), compostable Sugar Cane and the largest selection of Wheat Fibre tableware in the UK, including a new takeaway range.

We cater for any size of event and offer discounts to caterers for bulk orders. We also have a dedicated Trade Site, can offer next day delivery and offer a sample pack service allowing customers to “try before they buy”.

Our fantastic selection of cups, cutlery, napkins, picks and skewers are the perfect accompaniment to any of our ranges of tableware.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Stationery – Little Pickle Creations

Nicola from Hanami Dream approached us to provide wedding accessories that she had imagined, but never seen made before – that’s our ideal brief!

We love a challenge, and love making unusual items that no-one has ever produced before. The wedding items we produced were around a denim theme, so we embroidered guests names onto handmade denim bottle sleeves, and made individual hanging name labels for the table plan along with napkins embroidered with the menu.

Really unique and personalised, just as it would be for any couple planning their own special day with their own ideas and themes that they wish to use. Sometimes these unique items aren’t ordinarily available from traditional wedding suppliers and that’s where we come in – creating special unique items tailored specifically to our clients requirements.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Props – Mabel & Rose

Mabel & Rose vintage prop logo

Mabel & Rose has a lovely array of original vintage and rustic props available to hire. Our large range includes old apple crates, oak barrels, chalkboards, vintage suitcases, rustic wheelbarrows, an old delivery bicycle plus lots of smaller items like vintage bottles, jars, jugs and pots. So whether it’s large milk churns filled with flowers or a selection of vintage tin baths to keep your drinks cool we would love to help you enhance your venue and create the perfect look and feel for your wedding. Styling and on the day venue dressing services are also available.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Macramé – MacrAmy’s Macrame

Macramé artist

Keeping it natural!

Workshops and evening classes…

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Lighting – Oakwood Events

Oakwood Events supplies stunning lighting for stylish couples. We design and install lighting schemes for barn weddings using fairy lights, festoon lights, bare bulbs, paper lanterns, chandeliers, drapes, uplighting, bunting and dance floor lighting.

Lighting is a unique addition to your wedding and can be used to highlight features like beams or stone walls, change the atmosphere between day and night or make a colour or design statement to match your theme. We pride ourselves on top quality design, professional installation and amazing features; explore our Pinterest boards for inspiration and to see how our lighting adds wow factor to barn weddings.

See your wedding in a different light!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Paper flowers – Pretty Big Flowers

Our self-assembly kits let you create stunning giant paper flowers. Why settle for factory made sameness when you can create a totally unique display at a fraction of the cost?

We’ve taken the guess work out of self-assembly – even a crafting beginner can get professional and consistent results.

Paper flowers add a touch of feminine glamour to lots of situations. Enjoy creating your own decorative accents with our giant paper flower self-assembly kits for a wall at home, a stunning backdrop for wedding photos or an eye catching motif for an important event. And of course you can take the credit because the flair you add is all your own (we’ve just made it effortless!)

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Cake – The Cake Element Bakery

We are a successful duo of husband and wife working together to produce a really superior product.

Any size and any design, we love making wedding cakes. We offer a variety of delicious flavours and fillings. We use the best ingredients and passion to create a beautiful and delicious wedding cakes, making your special extra special.

We are committed to quality and excellent customer service. Our cakes are fleshly baked to order and crafted by hand.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Blankets – The Witney Blanket Hall

Witney Blanket Hall was built in 1721 by the Company of Blanket Makers. For over 120 years, every blanket woven in the town came to the Hall to be weighed and measured, and upstairs in the Great Room the Company set the Rules for the Trade. After 1845 the New Mills established their own measuring, and the redundant Blanket Hall became variously a Brewery, a Lemonade Factory, Engineering Shop, Office of births marriages and deaths, Dancing School, and latterly, a distinctive gentleman’s house. During most of its history, the Hall is also where many of the town’s Public Meetings took place, the death of Kings solemnly commemorated and the birth of Princes celebrated with great feasts. In the 18th Century, the Hall housed the town’s Fire Pump. In 2015, the Hall reopened its doors to reveal this illustrious past and offer woollen blankets and throws, coffee pies and assemblies, both commercial and cultural. Visitors are always welcome and are invited to come and find out more about the infamous Witney Blankets.

The Pie Shop offers its famous pies and platters, as well as tea, coffee and cakes. We are licenced so wine and Blanket Hall Beer are always available. The Hall can also be open outside hours by arrangement and is often available for hire by Companies and Societies.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

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Delivery – Global 360 International Freight Forwarders

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Take a look at a behind the scenes look at the briefs that were given to these fabulous suppliers and how the Festival theme came to life with their designs and products.

Inspiration: festival

Inspiration: festival

A real break from tradition, this festival wedding showcased an abundance of hanging greenery, dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl, using different materials such as denim, macrame, paper, wood and terracotta details.

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

festival

festival

#UKWedLunch – Wednesday 21st September 2016 – tipi weddings

#UKWedLunch – Wednesday 21st September 2016 – tipi weddings

#UKWedLunch – Wednesday 21st September 2016

As well as general wedding planning chat, there’s some #toptips as well. This week’s theme is ‘Tipi Weddings’ #UKWedLunch 

TOP TIP 1: Find out if the location has power & other utility services – you might need to bring in a generator, toilets and water #UKWedLunch

TOP TIP 2: The number of guests will dictate how many tipis & configuration that would work for your gathering #UKWedLunch

TOP TIP 3: If it’s cold you may need heaters. If it’s likely to rain then consider walk ways to avoid slippery grass areas. #UKWedLunch

TOP TIP 4: Think about your floor plan – dance floor, bar & seating etc. Do you want long tables & benches or round tables with chairs? #UKWedLunch

TOP TIP 5: Lighting is vital for an outside venue- to create ambience, &atmosphere plus light the way when night falls #UKWedLunch

TOP TIP 6: Everything you want inside the tipi, you need to think about and either buy, hire, make or borrow #UKWedLunch

This week’s top tips taken from Hanami Dream blog  ‘A complete blank canvas: our guide to Tipi Weddings’ #UKWedLunch

JOIN US EVERY WEDNESDAY! on Twitter between 1-2pm GMT

Next week’s theme is ‘Wedding Traditions’ #UKWedLunch

Photography by Farrow Photography

A complete blank canvas: our guide to tipi weddings

A complete blank canvas: our guide to tipi weddings

For those couples who like to think outside of the ‘box’ (or building!) when it comes to picking a wedding venue, you may be interested in having somewhere that is a complete blank canvas (perhaps literally a canvas!). Somewhere unique and flexible so that you can decorate and lay out everything exactly how you want. A shell of a place that can cater to your very own style, be built around your theme and be set in the location of your dreams.

For a magical, sometimes intimate and truly romantic experience, many are choosing a marquee alternative to ensure a personal and unusual place to say ‘I do’. With current trends of festival and Coachella style weddings, people are looking for flexibility from the next generation of marquee style weddings.

Photography by Xavier Wedding Photography

No longer just a white tented box to offer, there are now numerous tented options to choose from including marquees, katas, yurts, sail cloth tents, circus tents, canopies, Chinese hats, pavilion tents and tipis. They each offer something a little different. For examples, marquees may not offer as much character as a tipi but wouldn’t have as many poles inside. So it depends what style you are going for and what you want the space to say and do for your big day.

At the moment, I am really loving the trend for tipis. The dictionary definition of a tipi/tepee/teepee is

a tent of the American Indians, made usually from animal skins laid on a conical frame of long poles and having an opening at the top for ventilation and a flap door.

For me, the fun, unique, and intimate, tipi-shaped structure is a space your guests will never forget. They can come in different sizes and can cater for large or small gatherings. For example a single tent would be better for a smaller gathering, or as a structure for a chill out area. Whilst a large gathering can be housed by linking tipis together to create a wonderful festival vibe space.

Putting together any marquee style wedding is certainly more work than going with a bespoke hotel package but the world really is your oyster when you have a blank page to start from and you’re only limited by your imagination! Here are my tips when planning a tipi wedding:

  1. Where to pitch your ‘tent’? Finding the right site is key to whether logistically your dreams can become a reality. Find out if the location has power (if not you’ll need to bring in a generator) and any other utility services (you’ll probably need to bring in toilets and the caterers will need to bring in water).
  2. How many guests are you inviting? If you have a number of guests in mind then you can start to decide how many tipis and the configuration that would work for your gathering.
  3. What time of year are you planning on tying the knot? If it’s going to be cold you may need to bring in heaters. If it’s likely to rain (and let’s face it, that’s always possible in the UK!) then you need to consider walk ways to avoid slippery grass areas.
  4. What do you want inside the ‘canvas’? Think about your floor plan and where you want the dance floor, bar and seating etc. Do you want long tables and benches or round tables with chairs? Everything you want inside the tipi, you need to think about and either buy, hire, make or borrow.
  5. What style or theme do you envisage? This will help you decide on décor and accessories (and where the fun begins on Pinterest!)
  6. How do you want the place lit? Lighting is vital for an outside venue, not only to create ambience and atmosphere but also to practically light the way when night falls (let’s face it, you don’t want to have a dark walk to the toilets in the middle of the night!)
  7. What style of catering do you require? If you want a hot sit down meal then you need to make your catering company aware of the venue location so they can factor in the equipment that they will need to bring with them. Or you may choose to go for a catering van that can just drive right up to the venue with everything ready onboard!
  8. Do your guests know about your location? It’s worth letting your guests know if you are getting married in ‘a field’ so they can wear appropriate footwear. Consider laying on special transport to get them to a remote location and maybe provide umbrellas and wellies on stand by if the weather is not favourable.

Photography by MIchelle D Mockbee

For more guidance on what to think about when planning a tipi wedding, we suggest speaking to the lovely folks at Love Tipis. Here’s their introduction to some of the services that they have to offer, kindly written by their Event Coordinator, Michelle Mockbee.

From themes of woodland fairytale to the wild west or for the festival bride, tipis give a new approach to hiring a marquee. In the world of weddings this caters to a couple that desires an unconventional and stunning approach to celebrate your big day. (Beyond weddings, tipi hire is becoming a more common choice for family celebrations, festivals, charity events, retreats and corporate events.) Tipis may give the impression of being casual, however this feeling of relaxation comes from a coordinated team with months, or in some cases over a year of planning.

Photography by MIchelle D Mockbee

Tipis hired by Love Tipis originate in Sweden and are of substantial size, able to fit 12 Pine Wood Tables and Benches per tipi or a space for a concert and bar. The larger Giant Hat Tipis are 10.3m in diameter and link to other tipis. These tipis are also able to have the sides up, which gives the feeling of blending into the beauty of the natural environment. They also come with smaller tipis that link into the larger ones, allowing you to shape intimate tucked away spaces for a chill out or bar area. The number of seated guests determines how many tipis you will require. An average of 12 long tables with 8 to a table is able to fit per tipi, although this is a very tight fit. With round tables, the maximum you are able to fit per tipi is 7, which accommodates 10 people per table. Caterers will love you more if you hire long tables over round ones (they are easier to navigate).

There are other accompaniments such as a broad selection of LED lighting, indoor fire pits, bar, snug furniture and a dance area with a wooden dance floor. Some new additions at Love Tipis include some custom chill out or snug furniture featuring hand-stitched sheepskin cushions that settle in on apple crates. These seats serve as both luxurious seating and storage for your guests. They provide neutral tones to match any theme or colour scheme. Benches with cosy sheepskins have a lovely rustic feel, but your older family members, colleagues or friends might be giving you the evil eye all night and be quite uncomfortable.  Remember you can always have a mix of chairs and benches.

Love Tipis work closely with clients to design the interior of the tipi from seating to fire pits.  All the extra items you request takes up space.  Exploring all the possibilities through floor plans, really allows the day to unfold before your eyes.  The orientation/formation of the tipis, and how it all comes together allows for a stress free planning process. It’s their job to stress out over making sure everything fits, and they will walk you through the process so you can concentrate on the more important details, not the general logistics. They are also happy to come out for a site visit and walk you through the process. Your safety is their first concern.

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For events that will go throughout the night, lighting will leave your guests breathless. Beyond fairy lights, there are many considerations.  The neutral tone of the canvass allows lights to create absolutely stunning effects.  For example, it is not the disco ball that catches the eye, but the reflections and patterns it makes on the canvass.  LED indoor uplighters can be set to multiple colours or hooked into the sound system to change with the beat of the music.  LED outdoor uplighters create dramatic effects on both canvas or up in trees. Festoon lights are brilliant for pathways and setting the tone outside the tipis. All of the lighting is LED, which is very useful if your event is being run on a generator.

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Tipis have smoke holes in the centre, and they hire out firepits to go inside the tipis.  They also offer outdoor fire pits to cosy up to under the night sky.  In regards to walkways, they provide flame torches or vases with slow burn candles. They also have a variety of candle chandeliers to hang inside the tipis in dining areas. All of these choices are based on your budget and your theme. Love Tipis make sure that the lighitng you pay for compliments the look your are setting out to achieve.

Love Tipis have developed special relationships with certain companies to provide all encompassing packages for clients that could include glamping, accommodation, license for marriage, as well as catering with bar and dining. They work closely with three companies that provide a variety of settings and themes depending on the ambience you seek.

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The Maybush Wedding Company based in Oxfordshire is a pub on the Thames that provides an exclusive package to the pub with a field that hosts bell tents and two Giant Hat Tipis for your event. There are also options of accommodation nearby, along with a beautiful and quaint canal boat to be hired. For those of you seeking a mix between the outdoors and the facilities of a pub with catering, the Maybush is happy to make your dreams come true.

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The Bell Tent Company based in Brighton provides all-inclusive packages with bell tents and tipis that host for any occasion. They are able to provide a variety of venues for those seeking a glamping, festival or woodland feel. Their sites provide bell tents, luxury loos, hot showers and a real ale bar with signature cocktails. Depending on your menu preference, there are options of hiring in a wood fired pizza boxcar or Mexican style cuisine. To get away from it all for a natural and relaxed feel in a field or in the woods with bell tents, food and a warm fire, this is the company for your event.LOVETIPI_Beacon

The Beacon is an idyllic rural setting with 17 acres and three ponds nestled in the woodlands of Tunbridge Wells. The newly revamped pub is at the top of a hill overlooking small villages and lush rolling hills. Their all-inclusive package is where luxury meets the wild west. This venue is licensed for marriage ceremonies and offers a variety of options to host up to 100 guests for a Love Tipis reception overlooking the natural beauty of the ponds and woodlands. The Beacon is part of the local food movement offering a gorgeous menu, and a top-notch service. For those of you looking for that luxury feel, whilst still being surrounded by the countryside, The Beacon is a gorgeous option. Take a look at their wedding pack for more information.

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Love Tipis are based in Oxford and Brighton, which lends flexibility in hiring with Love Tipis. Each venue sets a certain tone and aesthetic. The tipis are able to offer numerous styles that provide a standard of event that compares to no other. With a vast knowledge and experienced team that loves the product they provide. At Love Tipis they pride themselves in providing a high quality service to work individually with their clients and their venues. By providing custom floor plans, lighting and seating layouts of the tipis, they strive for a stress free process that is thorough and prompt.

For more information go to www.lovetipis.co.uk or contact info@lovetipis.co.uk or call the Oxford Office on +44 (0)1865 250027 or the Brighton Office +44 (0)1273 689891.

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