Fun & Colourful Tipi Wedding with Happy Sunflowers

Bedfordshire Farm Wedding Milkbottle Photography

Oh what a joy it is to be sharing this Bedfordshire farm wedding with you today. We are joined by Nic and Megan who tied the knot in a church ceremony followed by a tipi wedding reception at The Meadow at Charity Farm on the 3rd August 2019. Their day was so colourful and vibrant, part in thanks to the cheery happy yellow sunflowers and the 1000 origami paper cranes they hand crafted as a canopy in the tipi. OH YES!

Their day was heaps of fun with a silent disco into the early hours, a bouncy castle and an ice cream competition. Amazing! The countryside setting ensured a really relaxed atmosphere and the images here captured by Milkbottle Photography ooze warmth and love all round, we are so grateful to be sharing them with you guys.

Do keep a look out for seriously gorgeous attire; a dreamy tulle gown, bridesmaids in skirts with flower crowns and vibrant blue suits, not to mention all the multicolour DIY decorations that kitted out the tipis. Enjoy it all folks.

Dress Gown Bride Bridal Tulle Straps Willowby by Waters Crochet Bedfordshire Farm Wedding Milkbottle Photography

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The Proposal

It was a quiet proposal at home! We had gone out to dinner to celebrate our ‘house-iversary’ – an anniversary I made up to celebrate a year since we bought our house. When we got home Nic told me he had a gift for me (cue me panicking since I hadn’t got him anything!) and handed me a book titled ‘our life story’. It turns out he’d spent days sneaking around putting this book together with pictures of trips we’ve been on and stories of things we’d done over the past few years. The last page he’d filled in said ‘will you marry me?’ And when I looked up he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand!

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The Vision

We always knew we wanted a relaxed day as we’re pretty laid back and knew anything too formal just wouldn’t feel like ‘us’. Having said that there were a lot of traditional bits we wanted to keep too, like a church ceremony. As soon as we saw the tipis we knew they were what we were looking for, and they gave us a blank canvas to do what we wanted. One of our earliest ideas was the canopy of paper birds we made for the main tipi, and from there the rest of our ideas kind of snowballed. We were still adding and changing little details right at the last minute though – I think we finally decided on our ‘theme’ about a month before the big day!

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The Planning Process

We took a very laid back approach to planning (as we tend to do with most things!) but we did find it a bit overwhelming at first as we were sourcing everything ourselves and it was hard to know where to start. We got engaged in May and knew we wanted a summer wedding as it was going to be predominately outside, so we ended up with around 14 months to sort everything. We did a lot of research on wedding blogs, and found some great articles that broke down what we’d need and what to look for in our suppliers. These were so helpful as there was a lot we hadn’t thought about or realised we’d need! We made a lot of lists and Nic kept a wedding spreadsheet which kept us on track with timelines and budgets. We found we’d go through phases where we were constantly planning or sorting out something for the wedding and then not really do anything for a few months, which I think we both enjoyed!

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Budget

Around £30,000.

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The Venue

Our venue was a beautiful little field in Bedfordshire called Charity Farm. Nic found the field online once we’d settled on having tipis and as soon as we went to view it we knew it was right for our day. Not only was it really pretty, with great views and a little lake, but there was plenty of room and the owners were really relaxed about what we could do and bring. You’ve then of course got the tipis which we loved for their blank canvas and festival feel. We decked them out with wooden furniture, fairy lights, bunting, and paper cranes and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Dress Gown Bride Bridal Tulle Straps Willowby by Waters Crochet Bedfordshire Farm Wedding Milkbottle Photography

Beauty

Nic’s look was very low-key – he got a haircut about a week before the big day, trimmed his beard the night before, and he was ready!

The bride took a little longer to put together! I have a friend who is a hairdresser so luckily she didn’t mind doing a few trials until we got it right – I knew I wanted something relaxed and comfortable but that still looked ‘done’ and I think Zoe nailed it! I ended up doing my own make up on the day so I was able to do a few trials on that too which was great. The bridesmaids all did their own make up too and it made for a super chilled wedding morning as we could all get ready in our own time. My hairdresser, Zoe helped out with the finishing touches for the bridesmaids’ hair and secured all the flower crowns for us.

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The Readings & Music

We went for two traditional bible readings for the ceremony, as well as one less traditional passage we liked called ‘my personal penguin’. We had the traditional bridal march and an organ to accompany our hymns, but we left the church to one of our favourite songs – ‘here comes the sun’ by The Beatles. For the reception we made most of our own playlists to cover the reception, meal, and then three channels for the silent disco we put on later – bride’s choice, groom’s choice, and a request channel based off of our guests’ RSVP’s. We did have a DJ to do our first dance and a few hours of music before switching to the silent disco from around 10pm. The silent disco was an absolute highlight and we’re so glad we stuck with our guts to do it – the dance floor was full until 2am and our guests are still talking about it now!

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Your Outfits & Accessories

Nic’s suit was blue DKNY from Savoy Tailors Guild, with the braces a find in Next. His bow tie was from a website called Tie Room. The shirt was a fairly last minute find in TKMaxx! I chose the suit as the material was a bit lighter for a summer wedding, and the shade of blue was exactly what I wanted. I went with the yellow bow tie as it matched the bridesmaid’s sunflower bouquets, plus a bow tie looks great both tied in the day and untied for the evening.

Meg’s dress was a Willowby by Waters design called Thistle from the most beautiful shop called Heritage Brides. The owner of the shop, Sam, really took the time to ask for details about our plans and vision for the day as well as any likes and dislikes I had, and helped me choose dresses to suit my tastes. The dress I wore was actually the first one I tried on! I really loved the modern but still traditional style and felt amazing swishing around in it all day.

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The Flowers

We were recommended Tracey at Amber Weddings by some friends who used her a few years ago for their own wedding and she was incredible! I didn’t really know what I wanted in my bouquet but she absolutely nailed it from my very vague brief of ‘sunflowers and bright colours’ – they were a total surprise on the day and I loved them so much I ended up getting the whole bouquet dried and framed after the wedding. She also made the bridesmaids bouquets and flower crowns and they were all beautiful and lasted really well. She made the process super easy and had the whole venue looking stunning the night before, which gave us one less thing to worry about!

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The Details & Décor

We spent months shopping around to find decorations for the tipis that we loved, but really struggled to find anything that wasn’t either totally out of budget or not quite what we were after. In the end we decided to DIY most of our decorations and we’re so glad we did! We hand folded 1000 paper birds and strung them on fishing wire to make the crane canopy in our main tipi which ended up being a real focal point of the room. We made another 150 paper birds for our place cards, and hand-wrote one for each guest. As we didn’t really have a colour scheme, we were able to use loads of different colours and patterns of paper which we loved. We hand-wrote our table plan on origami paper, and made everyone a bar token as a favour with brightly coloured wooden buttons and gift tags. We even went as far as making our own candles in tiny honey jars when I couldn’t find anything I liked! We tied multi-coloured ribbons around them and lit them after the sun set which was really pretty. We found our card boxes in Homesense and decorated them with more paper crafts, and put together our own glitter bar for a bit of a festival feel in the evening. Our house looked like a craft shop for a few weeks before the wedding!

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The Cake

We knew from the start that we didn’t want anything too over the top for our cake, but that it had to be big enough to feed 200 guests! We used a local baker, Cristina at Cake & Co, who made us a beautiful 4 tier semi-naked cake dotted with fruit and sunflowers. We had three different flavours (lemon, chocolate, and vanilla), and she was able to make the top tier gluten and dairy free for our guests with allergies. We ended up serving our cake as dessert with fruit and cream so everyone got a piece!

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Your Photographer

We used Milkbottle Photography for our photos and they were brilliant from the first meeting we had with them! Ben and Tim captured our day perfectly and so many of our guests have commented that they actually forgot they were there which means we got loads of really great candid snaps. They made us both feel really comfortable in front of the camera from the moment they arrived in the morning, and they even stayed late to take some shots of the silent disco. We also got the photos back within about ten days which was amazing as we were desperate to see them!

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Your Filmmaker

Ryan Devine did our video, and like with our photographers we almost forgot he was there! He took shots from the church right up until the silent disco and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time for the best bits. He was also great at encouraging us all to be a bit silly and have some fun with it all!

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Bridesmaids

I found the bridesmaids really difficult at first, as they all have such individual styles and I wanted them to be comfortable on the day. We thought about having them in different dresses but it wasn’t easy to arrange, as one was living in London and one in Egypt at the time! I ended up finding some pictures of bridesmaids in skirts and tops and fell in love with the look. We didn’t really have a colour scheme but I knew I wanted them to have sunflower bouquets as to me they’re such summery, happy flowers, and when I saw the sage green I knew it was perfect. We ended up finding the tops in Oasis and one of the girls found the skirts through a seller on Etsy called Dressromantic. All we needed to do was measure their waists and I could order them online. It felt a bit risky doing it this way at first as I’d never seen the material even but they ended up stunning!

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Groomsmen

The groomsmen and both our dads all wore the same suit as Nic – we wanted them all to match, with the only difference being the groomsmen were in ties instead of a bow tie. They all also had a sunflower buttonhole to match the bridesmaids, and a yellow pocket square also from the Tie Room.

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The Honeymoon

We knew when we got engaged that we wanted to do something amazing for our honeymoon, and go somewhere neither of us had been before. We spent ages trying to find the perfect place and settled on Bali. We had another family wedding a few weeks after ours so ended up waiting six weeks before going, but it actually worked out really well and gave us more time to plan. We spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur, two weeks in Bali, and a few days in Singapore on the way home – definitely a trip we won’t forget! We did manage to get a few days away by the sea in Brighton straight after the wedding and came home to find our families had decorated our house with all the cranes from the tipi – we’re still finding them hidden around the house now!

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Memorable Moments

There were a few! One was definitely when we first saw each other in church and said our vows – we couldn’t stop smiling! Another was having Nic’s cousin turn up after dinner in his ice cream van to hand out 99’s, and Nic’s dad and uncle jumping in to see who could serve the most ice creams at once – the competition really pulled a crowd! I think the last one has to be the silent disco, we’ve always loved going to them and to get to throw our own and have it be such a success was amazing!

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Advice For Other Couples

Don’t take it too seriously, and remember that while your wedding important, it is only a day and it’s all over before you know it! Make sure the day is what you want, everyone will have an opinion but it has to be what you and your partner want it to be – if you’re enjoying yourselves then everyone else will too!

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Credit Where Credit Is Due

So so lovely! I do love sunflower wedding flowers, aren’t they just beautiful?

Nic and Megan, thanks so much to you both for sharing your really wonderful wedding celebrations xo Lou

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