Tipi fans are in for a treat today as we hear all about these super cute and rustic outdoor celebrations. WWW readers Michael and Rhianna wed at Newlands Bishop Farm on the 25th June 2016 and they knew that they wanted a relaxed atmosphere and a nod to their love of festivals. I’m a big fan of the festival flags, which really set off the vibe.
I love that once Rhianna had found her dream Ian Stuart dress, she had it altered to ballerina length so that it didn’t trail in the mud or get in her way on the dancefloor! Michael was a Reiss groom and don’t the lovely bridesmaids just look so glam in their gold gowns?
Our pair had their outdoor venue for the whole weekend so were able to take their time with preparations and get everyone back together the following day for breakfast. It was a simply perfect backdrop for the hay bales, fire pit and lawn games that they provided for guests.
Thanks so much to Nicola of Daffodil Waves Photography for providing these super images for us today.
THE PROPOSAL | A gorgeous private moment overlooking the boating lake in Hyde Park on a sunny September day.
THE VISION | We wanted a super relaxed day surrounded by family and friends. We’ve been to at least one festival every summer since we were 16 so we decided a festival theme would be perfect, what better way to celebrate our wedding than partying the night away in a field!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had nine months to plan our wedding and because we had a clear vision of what we wanted our day to look like it was just a case of slotting each element into place. We were pretty chilled out about the planning, and just wanted to make sure our day was as relaxed and fun-filled as possible.
THE VENUE | The church I went to growing up, Olton Friary in Solihull, and then on to our festival-themed tipi reception at Newlands Bishop Farm, Solihull. We loved the farm from the very first visit – it was recommended to us by the team at Elite Tents (who supplied our tipis) and we loved that it’s a charitably-run venue so we knew the hire fee would be going to a good cause, supporting the people who work on the farm on a day-to-day basis. This meant a lot to us as both of our mums have worked with people with learning disabilities whilst we were growing up. The team at the farm also added some amazing touches to our day, like the gorgeous ‘Bishop’s Bar’ and our beautiful cake stand, alongside the team staffing the bar on the day (we also received a beautiful gift of a lucky horseshoe!). We couldn’t have wished for a venue with more helpful and friendly staff, and so many of our guests commented on the amazing service on the day.
The food was catered by Heather at Rustic Roast Kitchen and was absolutely incredible! Rather than a ‘traditional’ three course wedding breakfast, we had a relaxed summer barbecue menu with flatbreads, skewers, sausages and amazing salads, followed by strawberries and cream for dessert – perfect for a summer wedding. Everyone loved the food and I’m still heartbroken that I was too busy chatting so I missed most of the canapes!
As we hired Newlands Bishop Farm for the whole weekend, we were able to set up and decorate the tipis on the Thursday and Friday (with the help of our fabulous family and friends), and had a barbecue breakfast (again, thanks to our wonderful family) for all our guests on the Sunday morning. This was the perfect way to carry on celebrating, and to spend some time with our guests reliving the night before (and to hear all the gossip!).
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a gorgeous ‘Mayfair Mini’ by Ian Stuart (from Adele Louise Bridal). It was an ankle-length, full-skirted ivory dress with tulle overlay, and was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. I knew it was meant to be mine as soon as I tried it on.
My shoes were ‘Nick of Time’ by Irregular Choice – total sparkly princess shoes! My beautiful gold and pearl hairpiece was by Laurel Lime and fitted our festival theme by letting me wear flowers in my hair, and my pearl-drop earrings were a wedding gift from my parents.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found my dress by accident at the National Wedding Show. My mum and I went along to browse not long after Mike and I got engaged, and I had my mind set on a certain designer who was due to be showing there. Whilst we were exploring the show, we saw some polka dot tulle peeking through on a rail of dresses and the rest is history! I had it made to ballerina length so I wouldn’t be dragging it through the field on our big day, and so I could hit the dancefloor without tripping over myself! It was also the perfect length to show off my sparkly shoes.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Mike wore a suit in ‘Airforce Blue’ by Reiss and brown shoes by Ted Baker, with blue laces which matched his suit perfectly (but accidentally!).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had traditional Bible readings in church, and my mum read a beautiful Apache blessing which we loved. The bridal entrance music was Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ and we left the church to Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’, both played by the Six O’clock Group at Olton Friary.
The music in the evening was provided by the utterly incredible Rebel Party Band – I kicked off my shoes straight after our first dance, and we didn’t stop dancing all night! Having such an amazing live band (who were also genuinely nice guys) made all the difference to our day, and really gave it that festival feel. We’re already looking for another excuse to book them!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My gorgeous bridesmaids (my sister and three best friends) sparkled in Sorella Vita gold sequinned dresses from the Bridal Boutique Warwickshire – they looked stunning and were very easy for me to spot when I needed my dancing buddies!
THE FLOWERS | I carried a beautiful bouquet of the palest pink peonies, darker pink astilbe and gypsophila, whilst my maids had simple hand-tied gypsophila. Our mums had corsages of roses and gypsophila too.
We had handmade gold glitter-dipped jam jars filled with gypsophila on each of the tables at the reception. All our flowers were put together by the fabulous team at Lily Jones Flowers in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.
THE CAKE | Our amazingly talented friend Sarah made our wedding cake (as well as being one of my bridesmaids!). It was a delicious three-tiered naked cake, with strawberry and lemon jam and buttercream, finished with berries and icing sugar. It looked and tasted incredible!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We worked with Nicola from Daffodil Waves Photography, who was so much more than ‘just’ our photographer. After meeting Nicola at an Elite Tents open day, we knew that her style was exactly what we wanted – relaxed, gorgeous, ‘in the moment’ photos. Neither of us wanted to stand posing for hours on end – we wanted to be partying! – and Nicola made sure that we had exactly what we wanted on the day. One of our favourite parts of the day was just the two of us with Nicola on a photo walk, exploring the farm, and we ended up with some amazing backdrops. So many of our guests told us they hadn’t even realised Nicola was there snapping away, which was exactly what we wanted. Not only did Nicola take photos which perfectly captured all our favourite moments of our day, but she also helped us out by portioning up our wedding cake! Thanks to Nicola we have the most gorgeous snapshots of our day which we will treasure forever.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The tipis were great as we could decorate them however we wanted. Our colour scheme was blush pink, mint and gold – we had bunting and paper lanterns hanging in these colours. We handmade lots of our décor (with the help of our mums and my bridesmaids) including the hessian table runners, bunting and our cute table numbers which were mini tipis named after our favourite festivals.
We had garden games on the field for our guests to play during the drinks reception, and the team at the farm built us a fire pit and straw bale sofas which added to the festival vibe. We also hired some festival flags and placed them outside the tipis – they were the perfect finishing touch.
THE HONEYMOON | We had a week-long minimoon in Tavira, Portugal after the wedding (to recover!) and then headed to Kuala Lumpur and Bali for a private tour in September which was perfect as it helped us to prolong the celebrations!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Getting ready with my bridesmaids was so chilled and lovely; arriving at the church to a sudden hailstorm and puddle-hopping, then leaving church in glorious sunshine; the most wonderful and personal wedding speeches; our very own mosh pit to ‘Sabotage’ by Beastie Boys; space hoppers and inflatable pigs on the dancefloor!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t feel pressured to have a ‘traditional’ wedding day – make sure your day reflects you as a couple and that you can relax and enjoy the day. Lots of people told us that the day flies by, and it does, so make sure you savour the little moments too.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Daffodil Waves Photography
Wedding Dress | Ian Stuart at Adele Louise Bridal
Bride’s Hairpiece | Laurel Lime
Groom’s Suit | Reiss
Flowers | Lily Jones Flowers
Band | The Rebel Party Band
Catering | Rustic Roast Kitchen
Festival Flags | FestiFlags
Make Up | Amy Moore Make Up
Hair | Aesthetics, Solihull
Rhianna and Michael, thanks ever so much for sharing your fabulous day with us. Rachel x