A Homemade Tipi Meadow Wedding

meadow tipi wedding

Emily and Stephen tied the knot in a weekend long extravaganza in June. Owning the company Tipi & Kata they used one of their beautiful tipis on a field owned by Steven’s parents. The meadow setting was delightful, with the sun shining down on their outdoor blessing and picnic wedding breakfast.

They wanted their wedding to have a homemade feel, with family and friends contributing towards their day. Emily looked utterly gorgeous in a dress she designed and made with her mum. The oodles of lovely details and decor were made by Emily and Stephen including the ceremony backdrop and the homemade wedding cake baked by Emily’s mum.

I so love Stephen’s wedding day look, with fun bow tie and waistcoat and their sweet little girl who wore a pretty Monsoon dress. Beautiful.

Thanks so much to the wonderful HBA Photography for sharing their images and stop motion film with us today.


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The Proposal… October 2011. Stephen said we had a dinner date for a friends Birthday at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow, Derbyshire (http://www.cavendish-hotel.net/) We had a two month old baby at the time so I was um-ing and ar-ing however I was persuaded to make an effort and get dressed up, none the wiser. Shortly after arriving Stephen said he had something to show me. It was dark so I wondered what on earth it could be.  My first thoughts were of the Tipis and an event at Chatsworth. He took me to a lovely moonlit spot in the grounds with a view of rural fields and got down on one knee under the stars. So romantic! I was utterly surprised and overjoyed! My sparkling solitaire diamond ring was breathtaking. Of course I said yes! To top it off we were greeted at the entrance with a glass of champagne and had the restaurant to ourselves.

The Vision for the Day… Luckily we both have very similar tastes and knew we wanted to create a unique, happy and fun day that didn’t cost the earth. We were always going to have a Tipi wedding. Searching for something different for our wedding day was how Stephen came across the business idea or Tipi and Kata (http://www.tipiandkata.co.uk/) initially and it had to be outdoors in a meadow. A perfect setting for a perfect day!

We just aren’t big white wedding people and wanted to move away from the expected. It meant a lot to us that our guests felt comfortable and relaxed so we tried to focus on small details and fill time gaps. Emily has a design background and couldn’t wait to get stuck in making things. It was very important to her that the wedding had a handmade edge because it feels so much more personal that way. We also asked family and friends to help in certain areas and use their strengths and experiences to contribute to the wedding and to help us keep costs down. Emily is a sucker for anything sentimental and it meant alot to her that family were involved.

The Planning Process… Stephen runs his own business (Tipi & Kata) and so it’s second nature for him to organise and work to deadlines so he handled all the ordering. Emily with her design background, focused on the smaller details and aesthetics. We created our own spreadsheet with tasks and days to go and allocated slots to complete each one. Because we planned to do everything ourselves, we had to be ultra organised and tick things off gradually so as not to get overwhelmed.

Emily got lots of ideas from Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/emilybarnes22/n-u-p-t-i-a-l-s/)which was a fantastic source of inspiration throughout the whole process.

Budget… We didn’t really have a set in stone budget but wanted to keep it reasonable.

The Venue… Stephens mum and dad let us use their field. The grass was grown long so we could have the meadow setting and views of rural countryside.

Our wedding was a two day event, spread over a weekend. We had an intimate registry office ceremony on the Saturday at Bakewell Registrar’s Office. This was for our immediate family and closest friends, followed by a handmade picnic and game of rounders at the Tipis. In the evening we had a meal at Nonna’s Italian Restaurant, Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield (http://www.nonnas.co.uk/restaurants/) . Our favourite local restaurant! The Sunday ceremony took place in the Tipis , in a field at Stephens parents house.

The Dress & Accessories… Emily designed her own dress and her mum made it. It was shell pink, raw silk for the body and silk chiffon for the top detail and fluted skirt. (All fabric from John Lewis.) The beading was all hand-sewn around the neck and sleeve lines.

A little lace jacket was made from Emily’s mums wedding dress and had the dates of the wedding sewn into the hem in blue stitching for the ‘something blue’. The weather was so warm she didn’t get chance to wear it for a photo. Simple pearl earrings and trusty cork wedges (perfect for the rough terrain) finished off the look.

Groom’s Attire… Debonaire and a bit more quirky than a formal suit. Grey and pink checked waistcoat and trousers, coral bow tie, and candy striped shirt all from Ted Baker. Finished off  with Stephens favourite blue suede shoes.

The Readings & Music… Pre ceremony music –  ‘The Lark Ascending’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Entrance music – The intro to ‘All you need is love’ by The Beatles, played on piano by Daniel (Stephens younger brother). Ceremony song ‘ All you need is love’ by The Beatles. Exit Music – ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Billy Joel.

Readings – Passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (read by Michael, Emily’s younger brother).

Beautiful Bridesmaids… Emily’s sister – Kate who wore a dress ‘Siobhan’ by Jarlo. Flower Girl – Daisy Barnes (our daughter) who wore ‘Baby Christabel’ dress from Monsoon.

The Flowers… Emily wanted to do her own flowers and was aiming for a simple blousy bouquet and live potted plants for the tables to fit the colour scheme. A family friend who used to own her own florists (Mandy Temporal) arranged the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets and buttonholes for the wedding party. Emily ordered the cut flowers from an online auction.

Tables: Pink ‘Sea Thrift’ (potted) and French Lavender (potted). Bridal Bouquet:  Cream Standard Rose ‘Vendala’/ Pale Pink Spray Rose ‘Bombastic’ / Pink Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ / Lily of the Valley (Emily’s Birth Flower) / White Lilac (from the garden). Buttonholes: Each one unique, made from a mixture of the above flowers with additions of pink ‘sea thrift’, ‘ox-eye’ daisy and ivy

The Cake… Emily’s mum made the cake which was a two tier fruit cake. It was then iced by a family friend who also made the cupcakes for the afternoon tea.

Your Photographer…. HBA Photography who were absolutely fantastic all day! We are over the moon with the results and the stop motion is just something you can only dream about.

The Details & Decor… Tables: Vintage China – Tipi and Kata / Hessian and raw cotton table-runners and napkins – Emily / Plant pots – Ikea / Plants – Local Nursery / Menu’s, place name tags and bread bags – Emily / Table Numbers (wooden blocks, sides painted black with stencilled numbers for a chalkboard effect) – Stephen

Decor: Ribbon scrap buntings tied on twine – Emily / White paper buntings – The Range / Photo-booth and cardboard props – Steve / Instruments for the ceremony from toilet roll tubes and old pipe – Family effort / Vintage typewriter for guest book / Photos of parents and grandparents weddings in black and white / Pinboard of photos of us through our relationship  / Photos of us growing up / Mini Terrarium for cards to be posted into – Ikea / Jam Jar with ribbons tied around tops for tealights – Emily / Vintage buckets of ’Cow Parsley’ sourced from the local flea market /  Chalkboards signs – Stephen / Lawn Games – Croquet, hoopla, skittles and baby play area (stored in old tin bath) / Wooden arrow signs – Stephen / Tissue paper pom-poms – Emily

Stationery: Invitations, menus, programs – made and printed by Emily.

The Honeymoon… We wanted to stay in the UK because we didn’t want to leave Daisy for too long so went to Sussex for 4 days. It was Fantastic! Total luxury at  http://www.5thelawn.com/

Memorable Moments… Making the stop motion – so much fun! Seeing each other for the first time. Speeches from Emily’s Dad, Emily, Stephen and the best men (Stephen making everyone cry!)

Advice for Other Couples… Get a fantastic photographer – they are the ones who will make it last forever and catch bits you may have missed. Spread over two days if you can, one day goes so quickly and we loved how we had a whole weekend to celebrate. Accept all help offered!

Don’t waste time worrying about the insignificant details you won’t remember, instead focus on the things you really, really want and spend the extra time and money making them extra special.

Get the music right. We had a great band who set up before the ceremony and came back for the evening. We could even request 5 of our own songs on top of the ones they already performed. It got everyone dancing. http://www.thestones.name/

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photography: HBA Photography

Tipis: Tipi & Kata

Suit: Ted Baker

Flowergirl Dress: Monsoon

Bridesmaid Dress: Jarlo

Flowers: Triangle Nursery


Steve & Emily’s stop motion wedding video with cool Tipi’s! from HBA Photography on Vimeo.


Incredible, and that film is just amazing! Thanks so much to Emily and Stephen for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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