Our pair had lots of guests including a large contingent coming across from Ireland, so they needed a big space. After nowhere local took their fancy, they settled on a tipi, which is a super stylish and fun way to accommodate more guests. Hannah did a wonderful job of decorating the space with the help of one of her bridesmaids, she was super organised and did all the set up two days before so she could relax the day before the big day, very sensible!
Might I say that I am loving their work. The dessert table looks just amazing and I’m sure all the guests found the gin bar very appealing! With greenery everywhere, the outside really does feel like it’s coming in to the tipis, this wedding is a real beauty.
Hannah and Tony made a fab choice of photographer with WWW fave Stevie Jay Photography. Aren’t the photographs simply beautiful?
Tony is a professional gundog trainer and between us we have 13 dogs! They are a huge part in both of our lives and we train them together regularly, therefore they were obviously involved in the proposal!
We went out training early one morning before I went to work, nothing seemed out of the ordinary at all. At about 7.30am on a drizzly November morning, I sent my dog for its last retrieve of the morning and he came back with the canvas dummy, however I could tell as he made his way back there was something attached to it.
When my yellow Labrador ‘Flash’ got back to me, I saw there was a ring box taped to the dummy and with us both wearing our dog training clothes and very un-glamorous waterproofs, Tony made his way over to me and then got down on one knee! Needless to say there was lots of happy tears, it is a moment I will never forget and it made it more perfect being outdoors with the dogs where we most enjoy to be.
I would have loved an Autumn wedding, however this is Tony’s busiest time of the year and I knew it wouldn’t be possible. With us both being the wrong side of 30, we knew we didn’t want to wait and have a long proposal, so we decided on late July and began looking at venues.
With us both having large families and Tony also being from Ireland, we knew the majority of guests would be all day and the initial guest list started at 220 people. We began searching for local venues which could hold this many people and there was nothing suitable or that we loved. This is when we decided to look into tipis.
The Planning Process
When we had decided on a tipi wedding, showing our love of the outdoors & countryside, my Dad told me that his friend had recently opened a glamping site with stunning views over the Ribble Valley, which would be perfect for a tipi wedding.
We went to visit the site on a rather cold November day but despite the weather, we could both see the stunning potential of the site, lined with trees and over looking the countryside – we booked instantly. The only slight worry was the great British weather, but we put this to the back of our minds!
Tony is Catholic so we went to see Father Tim at the beautiful St Peter’s RC Church, a mile down the road from Hobbit Hill at Stonyhurst College. Not only were we blown away by the stunning chapel, we really connected with Father Tim, who is a very lovely and relaxed Priest. We instantly knew we would like to be married by him.
We are a very laid back couple and the focus of the wedding was always us and our love for each other. We didn’t want to get carried away with anything, or let ourselves forget the true meaning of marriage. We wanted a relaxed reception with our closest family and friends around us.
We also wanted the wedding reception to be fun for the children, of which there were around 25 invited. So I spent time focusing on things for them to do to keep them entertained!
Service – St Peters RC Church, Stonyhurst, Hurst Green, Near Clitheroe
Reception – Hobbit Hill, Whalley Road, Hurst Green, Near Clitheroe
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride – Less than two weeks after the engagement I had chosen my dress. My mum & I went to just one shop, Lulu Browns in Whalley, where I tried on around eight dresses. Nothing was feeling 100% right until the lady in the shop brought another dress out to me and suggested I tried it. I knew it was the one and after a second visit to try it on with my best friend, I ordered it.
I wanted a slim fitting dress which was beautiful but not over the top and which would be fitting with the outdoor theme. The dress was called ‘Olva’ by Modeca and I had some removable lace added over the shoulders to make it more suitable for the church. My shoes were diamante strappy Kurt Geiger block heels to suit the matting floor of the tipi. My full length veil had beautiful lace trim to match my dress and it really was stunning. I also accessorised with dainty pearl dropper earrings and a matching necklace and had green foliage in my hair.
Groom – When Tony is competing his gundogs, he wears tweed breeks. We knew we wanted to show our love for the countryside and its pursuits in our wedding and began looking for a tweed suit for him.
I found a lovely tan tweed three piece suit and bow tie online at Marc Darcy and also purchased matching waistcoats & bowties for the groomsmen. Tony wore tan brogues from ASOS and also a vintage pocket watch. His shirt is from a shop in his hometown in Ireland called McCartan Brothers, Newry.
I asked my two oldest and closest friends, Gemma & Amy, to be maid of honour and bridesmaid, along with my cousins’ two daughters, Alice & Eve, who would be junior bridesmaids.
I wanted to keep the wedding party very neutral in line with the outdoors and countryside theme and began looking for green bridesmaid dresses. I struggled to find the right shade of green, I didn’t want mint green, just a subtle pale green.
I found the adult bridesmaids dresses online at JD Williams. They are beautiful embellished, pale green blouson dresses with floaty sleeves by Joanna Hope. I bought the two adults silver Kade Spade bracelets to accessorise with.
The junior bridesmaids wore part embellished dresses with tulle skirts from Asos, which matched well in colour to the adults. I was happy to have mis-matched dresses as I felt it suited the theme and age range of the group.
The seven groomsmen, who included Tony’s four brothers Donal (best man), Gareth, Stephen & Darren, his brother in law Ruairi and our fathers, Gabriel & Roger, wore navy slim suits and tan brogues from ASOS with a tweed waistcoat from Marc Darcy.
I decided on an up-do for the wedding to show off the dress and because I normally wear my hair down and wanted a change for the wedding day. A friend of a friend came round to do my hair, along with my bridesmaids. She is called Alice Rose. The adult bridesmaids had lovely plaits running into a bun at the back.
Our make up was done by the lovely Dianna from Blush. She is based at Buckshaw Village and came to my house on the morning of the wedding. She also did my Mum’s make up, which was so lovely as she has never had her make up done before.
I went for a simple look, as I don’t wear heavy make up and my beautiful bridesmaids went a bit more glam! The juniors had their hair half up and half down with flowers and a touch of lip gloss!
I chose ivory and blush flowers with lots of greenery, keeping to our rustic, outdoor theme. The florist, Voila in Clitheroe, were absolutely amazing and could see my vision, executing it beautifully.
They filled around 50 jars and 20 vintage vases with flowers for the tables, along with our bouquets and buttonholes from the groom and groomsmen.
The Dessert Table & Cake
I decided that after the sit-down meal, we would do our own dessert table. This included:
My Mum’s homemade trifles
Fresh fruit salads
A tray of macarons and meringue kisses made by Lou Lous Meringues
Our wedding cake was a stunning 3 tier, semi naked cake by a local supplier, decorated with macarons – Lou Lous Meringues. The flavours were Chocolate Orange, Carrot Cake and Lemon Poppyseed. Not a crumb was left!
I am a huge cheese lover and we also had a cheese wedding cake. This included Stilton, Brie, Vintage Cheddar and local favourite, Lancashire Crumbly. This was served with crackers, fruit and homemade chutneys. Local Supplier – Brie Mine UK
Stevie Jay Photography
The Details & Décor
We wanted a relaxed meal for the reception, but something filling and delicious. We also wanted it to be served to the table like a proper wedding breakfast, despite being in a tipi! A variety of canapés during the drinks reception served as starters and for the main we decided on a hog roast, brought to the table on wooden platters with crispy crackling, served with fresh artisan breads, hot buttered potatoes and a variety of salads and homemade coleslaw. The caterers, local company ‘The Striped Pig’ were amazing from start to finish and the food was exquisite.
I designed my own invites, place cards, menus and order of service and had them printed locally by Haslam Printers.
My good friend Jade & I spent the whole of Thursday (10am to 10pm) before the wedding decorating the tipi as I wanted to be able to relax on the day before.
My friend Diane & her fiancé provided the wooden centrepieces for the tables and I had purchased vintage bottles and jars to hold flowers. I also decorated the tables with wooden & rustic table confetti.
I ordered hundreds of tissue pom poms and paper lanterns in ivory and sage green which we hung from the frame of each tipi. We also added vintage sage green & floral bunting and wrapped ivy garlands and fairy lights around every interior pole which looked magical.
We created the dessert table using pallets from my work and I then intertwined garlands of ivy, ivory roses and LED tea lights around the pallets to create a lovely focus point. I also added rustic trays and wooden slices to place desserts and cakes on. We also created a gin garnish station using pallets and decorated this in the same way.
We had a childrens’ table outside, full of activity books, pick n mix sweets and soft drinks in kilner jars.
My mum planted a wheelbarrow with stunning flowers which was the base for the table plan. I then added bamboo stakes into the barrow with the seating plans glued on. She also grew a special Lily, called ‘The Wedding Lily’ which we sat behind the wheelbarrow.
All the décor was done by myself and I thoroughly enjoyed the process and felt it made the day much more personal and unique.
For the evening buffet, we had The Wildfire Pizza Co, who came with their rustic trailer with a pizza oven inside, they cooked fresh pizzas for guests to enjoy – these included BBQ Pheasant, Parma Ham, Margherita and Funghi.
We spent a week in the Dominican Republic at the Excellence Punta Cana resort. We can’t be away from the dogs any longer!!
The whole day was perfect and just what we wanted. The band were absolutely incredible and kept the dance floor full all night long. We also had a DJ in between the bands sets. Once they were finished the adults retreated to the chill out tipi and sat round the fire singing Irish songs and drinking the bar dry!
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t forget why you are getting married and get carried away with the wedding, rather than focusing on the marriage. Enjoy every second because it does fly by!
We didn’t get a videographer but this is the only thing we slightly regret. Luckily our friends filmed the speeches and important moments, but this would have been nice to have professionally done.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Striped Pig
The Funtime Frankies
Lou Lous Meringues
Brie Mine UK
Hannah and Tony, your wedding was fabulous and it looks like everyone had a riot. Thank you so much for sharing! Rachel x