Country festival wedding vibes courtesy of Pippa and Harry today, who were married on the 10th August 2019. They decided to host their day at Pippa’s family home in the Essex countryside, opting for magical tipis and they even glamped over night following their big party.
Jonny Gouldstone Photography really captured all the joy and fun at their wedding celebrations, from the touching ceremony to the speeches and couple portraits as well as all the very pretty decorations (thanks for sharing with us Jonny). Holding a back garden reception, meant that the plants and meadow looked amazing surrounding the tipi tents. Add in a horsebox bar, hay bale seating, wild meadow flowers and fairy lights and you have all the elements for a really special party.
Pippa and Harry looked stunning in their chosen outfits, there were bridesmaids in forest green jumpsuits and dresses, pressed flower cakes and lots of dancing come evening. Oh so wonderful.
Harry and I had been together 8 years and had recently moved to York. We had just started new jobs as teachers and were beginning to settle into life in York. One Friday evening I was driving home from work when Harry rang to see how my day had been and if I fancied a quiet Friday night or some drinks. Little did I know he was sussing out if I was up for being proposed to! As I approached home I parked up in the street and unlocked the front door. The house was in darkness so I shouted out for Harry and he said he was upstairs. I walked upstairs (handbag still in hand) and opened our bedroom door. Harry was down on one knee at the foot of the bed and he asked me to marry him. I was totally shocked and speechless. I managed to squeak out “is that a ring?” I of course said yes and burst into tears. That evening was a wonderful evening of being in our little bubble, we went into town for some fizz and told our nearest and dearest. This was magical – sharing our exciting news with our family was amazing. The following day Harry had organised a lovely dinner and a SPA day. Total perfection.
Our wedding was something we had chatted about and I knew I wanted to get married at my family home in the countryside. I wanted to have a marquee in the meadow and get married in the local village church. My sister had got married a few years previously and it was totally amazing but I wanted ours to be different and ours. The challenge was working out what we wanted. Our vision was based around our choice of marquee (tipis) as this lent itself to a country festival theme. We have a campervan and love being outdoors so wanted this to be part of our wedding.
The Planning Process
We loved planning our wedding – we did it together with support from my sisters and our parents. We spent many a night drinking champagne and mapping out our perfect day. From nights drinking Gin and planning our playlist to weekend visits back to my parents to walk around the venue. Throughout the months running up to it my parents were hard at work in the garden (my dad is a keen gardener). To my dad’s slight disappointment our choice of date was not the best time of year for his garden so he made it his mission to nurture the plants to flower for our special day and what amazing job he did! A lot of the creative side came from my sister who has her own business in the creative industry, she put together mood boards of each area of the day as this really helped with the planning.
St Mary the Virgin Church followed by Great Becketts, Arkesden.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I went dress shopping at the Tailors Cat in Cambridge as my sister had purchased her dress there and over the years we have purchased a number of leavers ball dresses from there and go to know the staff really well. I loved every second of trying dresses on and went with my sister, mum and mother in law to be (she has 2 boys and I am very close to her so thought she would enjoy a girls day out). It turns out I was spoilt for choice and only when looking back at pictures could I decide. I wanted something that matched my personality, matched the wedding venue and that I felt like me in (and was comfortable!). I loved the lace detail on this dress and The Tailors Cat made it fit like a glove! I settled on a dress by MoriLee called Lorraine. The veil I chose to complement it had small lace detail and I LOVED it. Shoes – I have size ten feet so this was my biggest concern but I found a low pair of heels from Rainbow in ivory.
Harry got his suit from Dobel (he already had a morning suit from his brother’s wedding the previous year).
The Readings & Music
Local church Organist and Jane Lister Professional Harpist
Brides Entrance – Pachelbel’s Cannon
Recessional – Entrance of the queen of Sheba
Readings – The art of marriage By Wilfred Peterson, 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever By Richard Bach
Hymns – Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of the dance, Jerusalem.
Evening music – supersonic band from Cambridge.
My hair was done by a local hairdresser (Rosie) that was recommended from a friend in the village. I went for a half up half down look that was not too formal and matched the vibe of the wedding. After the ceremony I took my veil off and put a flower crown in my hair and so it needed to be an adaptable hairstyle. On the day it was SO windy (there was a weather warning!). This was more of a problem for the veil than the hair as the hair spray kept it all in place. My make-up was by Dani Rose a make-up artist based in Cambridge. I do not usually wear much make up day – day so went for natural English Rose but made sure I still looked like me!
We used a local florist for a few big arrangements at the venue and then the florist did the church, bouquets and buttonholes. My sister did the rest of the flowers. On the Thursday before the wedding my sister and I went to a wholesalers and picked out the flowers. The following days my mum, sister and Harry’s dad arranged all these flowers. The flowers were in a miss mash of jars along the table and in a range of pots and vases we had accumulated. Alongside this my dad had planted up a large number of pots with flowers – these were dotted all around the garden and in the marquee.
The Details & Décor
We had different areas around the tipis, drinks were held in the Orchard with a horsebox bar, seating area and lemonade bar. Around the tipi we had meadow grass growing high so the tipis were nestled in the setting. In front of the tipis we had a chill out circus style marquee with sofas, a photobooth and general chill out section. We also had a food stall for evening food, here our campervan Scotty featured along with a food bar made from hay bales and seating area for people to tuck into their pork pies, cheeses and late night eats! We named this the Kirwan’s Deli.
Our friend is a wedding cake pro! She has her own business so she kindly created 3 tiers which were displayed separately and decorated with flowers from my parents garden. The flavours were: 10 inch chocolate, caramel, pecan and vanilla. 8 inch almond, raspberry and lemon and 6 inch almond, plum and earl grey.
Jonny Gouldstone Photography. Jonny had photographed a friends wedding and I loved the pictures. Harry and I are not keen on having our photos taken so we wanted someone professional yet friendly who we felt comfortable around…Jonny was all of these things and took amazing pictures. We did not want a huge amount of formal pictures but we wanted him to snap the day and he captured the day perfectly.
We spent 4 nights following the wedding in a house in France, here we enjoyed total relaxation and spent the whole time buzzing about the wedding, sharing memories and highlights. We then went to Bali for our honeymoon and booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. We wanted total luxury and got it. We drank champagne, had a number of massages and enjoyed every second of it!
Rewritten bridesmaid dresses. I wanted my girls to feel comfortable – so they all wore forest green but in any style. 2 girls were in jumpsuits, and the others in full length dresses.
Morning suits either owned or rented.
Our wedding day was the best day ever. Everyone danced all night long and it was a real party! We loved it, we didn’t leave the dance floor and had the time of our lives. The most memorable moment for us both was the ceremony and actually becoming husband and wife, it was incredible. The adrenaline and love you feel in that moment is something words cannot describe.
We spent our wedding night in another meadow at my parents in a glamping yurt. Waking up the next day and walking around the tipis and venue just soaking it all in was a perfect way to spend our first morning as Mr and Mrs Kirwan (tea in hand as we reminisced)! We also hosted a brunch the next day which was wonderful, getting to see our nearest and dearest the next day was wonderful.
Advice For Other Couples
When planning your wedding do not get consumed by everyone else’s point of you! Do what you want to do and what is the most ‘you’ as a couple. You can easily over think things that people say or ask and then this makes it become stressful. Make sure you spend the money on the things that will have biggest impact… no point in spending £100’s on a flower arrangement that no one is going to see or that they will see for seconds and won’t get photographed.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Jonny Gouldstone Photography
@krafycreators (Emily Stirk)
@kraftycreators (Emily Stirk) & Roz Saggers (R & R Saggers, Newport Saffron Walden)
Lucy Burton Cakes
The Tailors Cat
How very gorgeous!
Pippa and Harry thanks so much for sharing your beautiful tipi wedding celebrations with us xo Lou