Fun & Personal Elegant Tipi Wedding

Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace Dress Gown Navy Suit Groom Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

I have to say, today’s wedding has me longing for warmer weather and the outdoors. The whole of Carly and Pete’s day took place in a kind neighbour’s field, and I think you’re going to love it. They tied the knot on the 8th September 2018 and chose to have an outdoor ceremony led by their actress friend, their reception then took place in a beautifully decorated tipi.

Can you believe that Carly arrived in a carriage pulled by her family’s horse? So special! There are lots of other touches to enjoy too, from the delicious cake to the tumbling florals and brilliant wooden signage. So much thought went into their day and it really shows.

Our pair also really wanted their guests to have a really fun day so they provided inflatables, which look like a real laugh and the party was kept going late into the evening by their band The Courts, booked through WWW faves and Supplier Love members Alive Network.

Photography was an easy choice for this couple as the fab Natalie Stevenson Photography is Carly’s best friend’s cousin. Didn’t she do a wonderful job of capturing their day? Thank you for sharing Natalie.

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The Proposal

The proposal was a little cruel in a way, my now husband had planned to do it when I least expected. So on holidays to New York and Jamaica, you can imagine the amount of beautiful moments when both myself and onlookers did wonder if he was going to pop the big question. Even writing in the sand at sunset, will you…get me a drink! At least he found this amusing!

Having had the ring for months, he decided to ask at my 30th Birthday party. Unfortunately, my dad became ill and due to being in and out of hospital, he was unable to come, so Pete didn’t feel it was right to do it without him there.

Then with even more bad luck, after my party Pete tried to help a young boy being beaten up by a huge group. The group turned on Pete and the rest of December was sadly spent in hospital trying to save Pete’s eyesight and to rebuild his face.
 Pete and I became even more inseparable than before and I think the reality of life being too short hit home so on Christmas morning, he enlisted the help of his partner in crime, Loki the German Shepherd, sporting a beautiful bandana asking if I would marry his daddy with Pete stood over with the most beautiful engagement ring.

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The Vision

We wanted our wedding to be exactly that, our wedding. As much as everything was planned around giving our guests the most amazing day, it was exactly what we would have wanted if we had of gone to a wedding. We wanted a day to celebrate finding each other. I think we found the perfect mixture of love and fun, which is how I would describe our relationship.

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The Planning Process

Planning was done pretty quickly, we were engaged on Christmas day 2017 and were married just under 9 months later.

To be honest, it made it all the easier because I knew exactly what I wanted. It was just finding the right suppliers to be able to fulfil this. I was extremely lucky that the tipi company I chose to use pretty much covered all of the large bits – toilets, heating, fire pit, generator etc. The decorator was amazing, after telling her what I liked, she did everything!

The main thing I struggled with was getting everything to run smoothly. Because everything was fragmented with regards to timings, everything was due to arrive and leave at different times throughout the day. But I just ensured each supplier had a clear plan of what was expected of them. In addition, the tipi company provided an on-site co-ordinator. I also found an events company online that provided waiting staff for the day that went above and beyond what I expected and just made the day run without a hitch.

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The Cake

I used a local cake maker who had previously created an amazing 30th birthday cake for me. She designed the most beautiful four tier cake including fruit cake, red velvet, oreo fudge cake & victoria sponge – again something for everyone.

I also had a personalised cake topper made of my myself, my husband and our dog. This was created to not only look like us but to match our wedding outfits.

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Budget

I was very fortunate that my dad was paying for the entire wedding, I went to him with the type of wedding I wanted and he worked the budget around that. In total, it came to around £26,000 – this also included a free bar for the majority of the day/evening.

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The Venue

The field we used has become a little of a ‘Lake tradition’, both my brother and sister also had their receptions in the field. It’s up by our horses but so not to disturb them, the field actually belongs to our extremely generous neighbours and is closer for guests to get to.

We legally got married in Bedford registry office, due to the current restrictions on what locations are licensed for marriage. This was just us & my parents so not to take anything away from the big day! The main structure of the wedding was a giant tipi supplied by events under canvas.

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Your Outfits & Accessories

I knew what I wanted from a wedding dress. I wanted something beautiful but lightweight enough that I could get about in the field easily as well as go on the inflatables we had booked for the day. However, I found out a few weeks before the big day that I had a little uninvited guest in my belly, so inflatables ended up being off the table anyway!

My dress was from George James Bridal. I found a beautiful hair piece from Etsy and for shoes, my husband had made some personalised Converse trainers. As my dress was very detailed, I didn’t have any other accessories.

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Beauty

My incredibly talented hairdresser friend, Anika, did my hair. I wanted to give all of my bridesmaids the freedom of how to wear their hair and Anika was amazing at meeting everyone’s expectations. Beauty wise, I wanted a more made-up look, so a friend of mine knew of a makeup artist and put me in contact with her, Tia-Jade Moss.

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Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids dresses were from Coast and I matched these with nude chunky heels – this was mainly to help with field walking/not sinking. The flower girl dresses were from Monsoon with pink glitter converse trainers.

Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace V Neck Dress Gown Navy Wool Tweed Suit Groom Waterfall Bouquet Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace V Neck Dress Gown Navy Wool Tweed Suit Groom Waterfall Bouquet Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

The Readings & Music

The day was as much of a friend affair as possible. I had my good friend Su (who is an actress by trade) hold the ceremony for us.

One of my best friends, Naomi, did a beautiful reading which helped make the day even more personal.

Music on the day was done by a local musician, Matt Roberts (who also performed for my brothers wedding), he learned and performed his own version of ‘Run to you’ by Lea Michele to which the bridal party & I walked up the aisle to. He then performed throughout our welcome drinks. For the evening music, we had an amazing band called The Courts, who not only did three sets as planned, they event stayed on for longer due to the dance floor being packed for the entire evening.

Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace V Neck Dress Gown Navy Wool Tweed Suit Groom Waterfall Bouquet Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

Groomsmen

The suits were a little bit of a lucky find for us. My husband just stated he wanted to wear a blue vintage suit. So I google imaged exactly that and he quickly pointed at the one he liked. Clicked on the image and it turned out to be from a shop located 15 minutes from us! We got matching waistcoats and accessories all from the same store – Vintage Suit Company. All of the pageboys had blue vintage converse trainers.

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The Flowers

We used a local florist for the bouquets – April Flowers. Notes from my florist are below:
Bridal design – shower bouquet trailing loosely design, main flowers ivory calla lily and ivory roses
Filler wild flowers such as daisy, astrantia, astilbe, sweet pea, campanula and lisianthus including buds.
Pretty shades of ivory, pale pinks and lilac.
Our decorator then contacted the florist and ensured that the table flowers all complimented each other.

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Your Photographer

I was extremely blessed that my best friends cousin just so happens to be an amazing wedding photographer. Natalie listened to everything I wanted, didn’t force us into any ‘staged photos’ yet made us feel comfortable enough to get some beautiful shots of just me and my husband. Everyone was just so at ease with her that you can see this in the shots. She honestly captured the beauty of our day and its really a pleasure to look through the photos again.

Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace V Neck Dress Gown Navy Wool Tweed Suit Groom Waterfall Bouquet Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bride Bridal Short Sleeve Lace V Neck Dress Gown Navy Wool Tweed Suit Groom Waterfall Cascading Bouquet Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

The Details & Décor

I’ve already mentioned the incredible venue decorator. I wanted the wow factor when everyone saw how the tipi was dressed – and she really accomplished this. The guests couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful it was and when looking back through the photos, even I can’t imagine the detail she put in.

I have since noticed from peoples comments that it was the little things that made it all the more special – faux fur rugs for the benches for example, warmth, comfort but is also just made the tables look even more plush. Blankets for the evening for those sat around the fire pit. Having a semi open seating plan – guests knew their table but were free to sit as they pleased. This helped with those with babies for example.

Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

The Honeymoon

Being honest, our honeymoon may have been slightly different had we of known that our little boy would be tagging along when we booked it. However looking back, it was the trip of a lifetime. We started off in Las Vegas, then had a week in Hawaii and then finished in Seattle. Hawaii has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. A trip I will never forget.

Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

Memorable Moments

It’s hard to pick just a few. But getting on the horse and carriage with my dad (the horse being our own Lady Laura – again made it all the more personal) and I could barely climb up I was so nervous – he took my hand and told me how proud of me he was.

Pete’s speech. Pete isn’t one for public speaking and I could see how nervous he was before he stood up. Watching how he held himself and listening to the beautiful words he spoke just made me fall in love with him all over again.

Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography Bedfordshire Tipi Wedding Natalie Stevenson Photography

Advice For Other Couples

It’s a piece of advice a friend of mine gave me – and he said make sure to take a moment in the day to just have some time together. The day goes so quickly and can be so overwhelming that actually by the end of it all, you have barely had any time with the most important person there – your partner. That’s exactly what we did, we went back to the family house and just took 15 minutes to re-centre with each other.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

What a beautiful and personal day you had Carly and Pete. Thank you for sharing all the joy with us today. Rachel x

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