Happy Bank Holiday Monday guys! I hope you’re having an awesome long weekend so far. To make it all the better, let me introduce to you WWW readers Sophie and Sonny and their super gorgeous tipi wedding held on the 2nd September 2017 at Bridge House Barn in Leicestershire.
Hold on to your hats because this DIY fest is a total dream. It’s colourful and fun with festival vibes and so much love. I have a feeling you’re going to utterly adore it. So just what gave me butterflies when compiling this feature? A cute pup in a bow tie, the multicolour ribbon adorned chairs, the glorious sun shining countryside venue, the beautiful imagery by Ben Wetherall Photography (thanks Ben!), the super stylish attire and all the quirky signage throughout.
With three years to plan their day, it meant that they could consider every little detail. Thoughtful touches included flower crowns for guests, flip flops for tired feet and a photo table. Guests must have been utterly blown away by everything this pair put together along with their loved ones. So inspiring!
THE PROPOSAL | On a skiing trip in Feb 2014, Sonny pulled me to one side at the top of a chair lift (I was mildly annoyed at him as I thought he just wanted a drink and I wasn’t sure why he was making me drag a snowboard up a hill). It was beautiful with the view of the mountains around us. We were there with friends (including Sonny’s best man so he also got to pop the big question to him), which made it even more special and we celebrated hard that week!
THE VISION | Our one aim for the day was to throw a really great party and for all the guests to have a great time. We knew we wanted great food, a free bar and everyone to dance the night away.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Luckily we had a lot of time (almost 3 years!) between the proposal and the big day and it was probably about a year after that we really started planning. We started with the venue and the food and went from there!
THE VENUE | We quickly ruled out more traditional venues which offered “Menu A/B/C” and that charged ridiculous corkage. We realised from looking around that we needed a venue that would offer a lot of flexibility and ability to personalise. When we went to Bridge House Barn and saw the tipi, we knew it was for us – it was a perfect blank canvas to do what we want with.
Bridge House Barn, Leicestershire. A beautiful tipi venue next to a canal with a barn with bridal suite and 2 rooms. They offered fab flexibility and it was a complete blank canvas. We loved that we could do everything ourselves and find our own suppliers but did have a panic about half way through that we wished we picked a venue that did everything – we even had to source ice for the bar and think about napkins etc which is usually a given. We’re glad we persevered though and got a truly personal experience there.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Amanda Wyatt Promise in Ivory
Headpiece: Handmade by friend’s mum including seed pearls and Swarovski crystals. I sent her a picture of my dress and she designed it from that including matching seed pearls, which were scattered over my dress.
Earrings: Blue Pearl earrings from Harriet Kelsall
Shoes and Trainers: Quiz
FINDING THE DRESS | Although I didn’t have any pictures in my head of “the dream dress”, I knew we were getting married in a field so I knew what I didn’t want. I knew I didn’t want heavy or big. I tried two shops including a trip on my own before finding the dream dress at The Wedding Room in Peterborough. I didn’t just find one and could have picked a number of Amanda Wyatt dresses as they were perfect – the chiffon was flowy and light, which was exactly what I wanted. In the end, I went for “Promise”, which was covered in seed pearls, which were beautiful. They were great in the shop and really listened to what I wanted/didn’t want.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Sonny went shopping with his best man Joe for a scouting trip in December 2016 and I got a worrying call to say they found some jackets… but they were navy, velvet and paisley. I had a worrying image of something Austin Powers/Hugh Hefner but then they sent me a picture and I was sold, we knew we were looking for something slightly different and they fitted the bill perfectly. They wore them with black trousers and matching bow ties. Marvin, our cockapoo also had a matching bow tie!
Jackets, waistcoat and trousers all from Moss Bros.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our friends Dave and James are very talented musicians and they very kindly played us up the aisle. We wanted up beat, happy songs so I walked up the aisle to My Girl by The Temptations which is my favourite song. They also played Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and “On My Way” by Rusted Root.
I’ll be there for you by Louise Cuddon
He’s not Perfect by Bob Marley
The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
We had an amazing celebrant who was incredible at including exactly what we wanted for the ceremony.
We decided early on that we really wanted a live band, we chose The Black Hat Band and they were worth every penny. The dancefloor was full all night until the last second of the last song (and even for a bit after when Dave and James started the guitar again).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had two of my oldest friends Sarah and Helen, Sonny’s two beautiful sisters Laura and Victoria and my two lovely cousins Antonia and Amy.
As they are all different sizes and shapes, I loved the idea of mix and match bridesmaid dresses. I ordered loads (probably about 40!) and we set up a mini bridesmaid dress shop in my mum’s house. Who knew there were so many shades of pale pink! Helen, Sarah and Laura all chose beautiful beaded gowns by Adrianna Papell. Victoria’s dress was also Adrianna Papell , Antonia’s was from Coast and Amy’s from ASOS. They all had slightly different bouquets – all gypsophila but each pair of bridesmaids had a different flower from my bouquet.
THE FLOWERS | To go along with the theme of the day, we knew we didn’t have a set colour theme and we wanted colourful and bright and not too formal.
After trawling through many websites, I came across Bluebell Floristry and prayed they were available on my date. Marion only does a select few weddings a year so I was nervous but so pleased as soon as I got the email back. I loved how honest she was at our meeting about waste and prices and the flowers that last throughout a long day outdoors. She really listened to what the vibe was for the day. Sunflowers are really important to me as they bring back great childhood memories but I didn’t really want them in the bouquet. Marion really listened and incorporated them in beautiful floral displays up the tipi poles.
All the guests commented on how stunning it looked and I totally agreed, they were the stand out piece of the day! She also worked closely with a local styling agency Honeybees Vintage Teas and together they were the dream team – with Marion’s beautiful flowers and Helen’s beautiful props (i.e. suspended ladder with moss and fairy light filled jars and vintage bottles for the top table with selected single stems).
Table flowers: Sunflowers, Blue hydrangea, Tanacetum, Nathalie spray rose, Orange Dahlia, Pink Astrantia, Purple Scabiosa, Blue Cornflowers, Cerise Gebera, Craspedia.
Brides bouquet: Miss Piggy Rose, Purple Scabiosa, Tanacetum, Craspedia, Purple Veronica, White Gypsophila.
Helen and Sarah with White Gypsophila, Tanacetum, Craspedia.
Victoria and Laura with White Gypsophila, Tanacetum, Purple Veronica.
Antonia and Amy with White Gypsophila, Tanacetum, Purple Scabiosa.
Flower girls: Gypsophila flower crowns.
THE CAKE | I knew quite early on that I would quite like to make my own cake and quickly realised the easiest way to do this was to make a fruit cake so all I had to worry about was decorating it coming up to the wedding. I made this the year before (yes a whole year!) and fed it up with lots of brandy. I spent the year making sugar flowers to decorate it with and think it came together really well. We also invited our guests to bake and bring cakes and we ended up with the most beautiful and delicious cake table.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We spent hours looking at portfolios to narrow down the style we wanted, which was a good mixture of natural shots and styled shots with lovely colours. We were about to pay a deposit to a photographer when she emailed and advised us she wasn’t doing weddings any more. Nightmare! Anyway we think it was a blessing, Ben was the fiancé to one of Sonny’s uni friends and we got him to send us our brochure and it was perfect. He was an absolute gentleman and pleasure to spend the day with for our engagement shoot and to be around on the day. I can’t imagine it being anyone else now and the photographs are beautiful.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As I’m a bit of a detail freak, we spent a lot of time making things and trying to ensure everywhere somewhere looked, there was another little detail. We also had the blessing of time so we accumulated lots of bits across the 3 years! We also bought a lot of second hand wedding bits from gumtree and eBay e.g. 100m of bunting, a huge box of sunflowers, loads of blankets, tins – you get the picture.
As part of the aim of the day was for the guests to have an awesome time and a real festival feel, we also had a little tattoo station with gold tattoos. We also had a basket of flower crowns for the evening, which everyone looked amazing in.
We started collecting frames and mirrors quite early on, you can get them for as little as £1 from charity shops and we dotted them around the venue with quotes written on. Blackboard paint and chalk pens became my best friend.
Our neighbour is super talented and very kindly gave us some incredible crochet bunting, which we used on the entrance of the tipi, it looked super cool.
Sonny is a vet and we both love animals so we spray painted some cheap plastic animals in a copper colour and stuck them to a little wooden block (yep, painted in blackboard paint).
One of our favourite last minute details was to have a wedding photo table, we printed off all the wedding photos of our married guests and put them on a table next to the cake table. It was a great surprise for them and fun to see how all the styles have changed. We also strung up loads of pictures of our guests around the tipi. It looked really cool and people had fun looking at old pictures – don’t underestimate how much time it takes to go through all the pictures of friends and family and get them printed – deffo one we wish we had started earlier.
THE HONEYMOON | We had a mini-moon to the Lake District straight after. It was great to be somewhere so beautiful and chill for a few days after.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Marvin (our cockapoo) weeing up the lamppost at the end of the aisle. Was the perfect ice breaker at quite a tense moment!
The first dance was also amazing, it was a sigh of relief there were no more timings to live by and we could just dance and enjoy!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make as much as you can, you can probably end up buying it in a shop brand new slightly cheaper but it’s often great fun to make, you can make it your own and you get the memories after too. Trawl the charity shops, there’s some beautiful stuff in there, net curtains used as table cloths look amazing!
Use friends and family to help, it’s really tempting (especially for those control freaks like me) to want to do everything and keep it a secret but involving friends and family was part of the fun and even telling them some details doesn’t mean they get the whole picture of the day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Ben Wetherall Photography
Videographer | True Capture Media
Hair | Victory Rolls Hair Parlour
Make up | Ruth Elizabeth
Dress | Amanda Wyatt, Promise in Ivory
Dress Shop | The Wedding Room
Caterers | Thomas the Caterer
Venue | Bridge House Barn
Celebrant | My Perfect Ceremony
Venue Styling & Ice Cream Cart | Honeybee’s Vintage Teas
Band | The Black Hat Band
Crochet Bunting | Crumbs and Sparkles
Head piece | Bee Crockett Designs
Dog Sitting | Paws for Walking
Oh my! How very wonderful.
Sophie and Sonny, we cannot thank you both enough for sharing your celebrations with us xo Lou