We are in Hertfordshire for the beautiful tipi wedding of Claire and George today… hooray! They decided to tie the knot on the 22nd June 2019 following the cutest Christmas day proposal and Brook Farm turned out to be perfect for their festival meets bohemian wedding day vision. There really isn’t much not to love about their wedding celebrations, from the outdoor woodland ceremony framed by a beautiful backdrop of greenery, to the tipi reception chock full of DIY decorations. Most of all though the food sounded amazing, guests were treated to a grazing table laden with treats, as well as a cool horse box bar for tipples and ice cream! Not to mention a gorgeous drip cake in lemon, chocolate and vanilla flavours. Yum.
Claire looked so beautiful in her lacy bardot dress called Dracane by Pronovias while George was suited and booted in Marks and Spencer teamed with a polka dot tie, so dapper! I was also over the moon to see that WWW Supplier Love directory members Tipis4Hire provided the beautiful tipi tents which looked ever so magical, especially once lit come evening.
George proposed on Christmas day morning in 2017, we had just welcomed our first child our beautiful boy Leo into the world on 14th October 2017 so it came as a total surprise to me. We had talked about getting married loads but once Leo was born I thought it would be a good few years before we got engaged as Leo would have kept us really busy being our main focus.
We went downstairs early in the morning as usual to open our presents and as we had just had Leo agreed we were only going to get small gifts for each other, once these were open George took Leo upstairs to get him dressed and then called me up as he wanted me to look at something on Leo’s hand or so he said. I did not suspect a thing at this point and wondered into Leo’s room to find him laying on his changing mat wearing a vest that said ‘mummy will you marry daddy’ I instantly turned around to find George on one knee holding the most perfect ring.
It was so special to have Leo involved in the proposal and as it was Christmas day meant we would be seeing most of our family later on as well so could carry on the celebrations with them throughout the day.
We both agreed that we wanted to have quite an informal and relaxed yet fairly unique outdoor wedding with plenty of food, drink and music. George is Greek so it was also important to him for us to try and incorporate some of this culture into the day. We knew we wanted to work with a boho/festival look so decided to keep the colour scheme simple and natural so we went for green and white and wanted to do the décor ourselves as we wanted it to have our own personal touch. We did not really stick to any traditions so it was more a party although some did creep in at the request of others.
The Planning Process
Planning and organisation comes pretty naturally to me so I absolutely loved planning our wedding and would do it again in a shot, we secured a date with Brook Farm and we then focused on getting the main things booked and within a couple of weeks had sorted our tipi, our caterers (all 5 of them), our prop hire and our DJ. I knew once these were in place we could relax a little before picking things up again later in the year. My friends had got me a wedding planner book when we got engaged which was extremely useful as I used this to focus on other jobs that should be done by certain time lines and was able to tick these off as I went along.
During the Christmas period I had some time to google and research ‘outdoor tipi wedding venues’ and immediately Brook Farm caught my eye so I made an appointment for us to view it the first week of January. We arrived and was met by the lovely Laura and although it was a bleak, grey and wet day we fell in love with the venue instantly and knew it was exactly what we wanted, we did not even bother looking at any other venues as Brook Farm ticked every box for us and straight away I could picture us standing next to the beautiful lake with all our friends and family. The venue is a complete blank canvas so this tied in perfectly with our vision of doing all the decorating ourselves.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was the Dracane by Pronovias which I got from a little boutique called Honey B Boutique in St Ives. My mum and I went into the shop on the off chance in the February after I got engaged I wasn’t planning on falling in love with a dress then as it was still 16 months until the wedding but I tried it on and knew instantly this was ‘the one’ and it fitted the theme of the wedding so perfectly. It was then another 12 months before my first dress fitting and I was so worried I was going to hate it but I didn’t I loved it even more.
I was not sure about wearing a veil at first but then Lisa one of my bridesmaids suggested that I tried hers which would also turn out to be my something borrowed. Even up until the day I was still not sold on the veil but once my hair and makeup were done and I put my outfit on the veil just finished it off and I am so happy I decided to wear it.
George’s suit was from Marks and Spencer, he wanted to be matching with the groomsman and as we had a variety of ages, shapes and sizes we found Marks and Spencer were the best place to comfortably fit all. We would have liked to have got ties that matched the bridesmaid dresses but we just couldn’t find the right colour so the next choice was burgundy polka dot which George wore with a white pocket square again these both came from Marks and Spencer. Shoes were important to George and he spent most of his time looking for the perfect pair after months of looking George decided on a pair of brown brogues from Russell and Bromley.
The Readings & Music
I walked down the aisle to ‘what a wonderful world’ by Louis Armstrong not your typical choice but this song is very sentimental to myself and my family as it reminds us of my grandparents who unfortunately are no longer with us so for me that felt like my way of having them there with us. Our DJ has been used at previous friends weddings and he is brilliant, we would call him occasionally to run through things and in his laid back manner he was always so reassuring that he had it all completely under control which he totally did. He played for us from 2.00pm-12.00am picking the perfect music to fit in with the day mixing up the genres to keep all the guests happy.
For my hair I used the same hairdresser who had done my hair at other close friends weddings (we worked out she had done 4 out of 5) so there was no doubt that Caroline would be doing it for my own wedding. I went for one trial with her literally showed her two pictures, both of which were very different to one another and within an hour we had tried both styles and I had made my mind up, she is amazing.
My makeup artist was recommended to me by one of my bridesmaids work friends and I am so glad she was, from the moment I met Katie at my trial I knew I wanted her. We talked through my skin type and the sort of look I was going for and the whole time I felt like Katie was on the same wave length and knew just what to do to compliment me the best she could. I asked for a natural look and she did this perfectly George even said to me at one point that I looked ‘naturally beautiful’, she honestly made me feel like a million dollars and I just wish I could apply make up the way she does.
The cake was a three tiered drip cake. It was made in lemon, chocolate and vanilla sponge covered in buttercream and finished with a white chocolate drip and fresh flowers which matched our tables and bouquets. I have used my cake maker Claire on many occasions so knew straight away I wanted her for my wedding cake, so many guests commented on it being the best cake they had ever had it was exactly what I pictured.
The Details & Décor
Our wedding was being held on a Saturday and we had access to the venue from the Thursday which was brilliant, the décor was very important to me so this allowed us to get in and crack on with the decorating. As well as some helping hands we pretty much did everything ourselves along with some inspiration from pinterest and instagram. I think our favourite part was our wedding favours which were miniature cork bottles filled with a shot of ouzo for each of our guests and on every bottle we had the following printed 01/10/14 FIRST DAY 25/10/17 YES DAY 22/06/19 BEST DAY.
My amazing friend Lizzie offered to do all our flowers and from beginning to end she had the whole thing organised to the finest detail. We worked through images together and she created mood boards to suit and compliment our theme, we mainly wanted white and lots of foliage. We sourced all the flowers ourselves and Lizzie spent the day before the wedding along with my bridesmaids creating the most beautiful arrangements, I left the venue the day before the wedding earlier than they did so going back on the wedding day and seeing what they had done completely blew me away.
Michelle came recommended to us by another wedding photographer who was not actually available on the day of our wedding which I am now very happy about as our photos are amazing and even better than we could have hoped for. From our first meeting with Michelle we loved her work and knew that she got exactly what we had asked for it just all seemed to click. The morning of the wedding was pretty hectic (as expected) and some of our timings fell out of line but Michelle took it all in her stride and was not fazed by it at all, so many of my guests commented on how good she was as they didn’t even notice her taking the pictures yet she managed to capture so many moments perfectly.
My bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS and they all looked amazing. I wanted something that tied in with the colour scheme and boho theme but also wanted them all to feel comfortable, confident and happy in what they were wearing. We all got together one Saturday afternoon so they could try them on and luckily they loved them. I can’t thank them enough for all of their help and for organising the best hen party I could have ever wished for.
Alba my little niece was my flower girl and she was so excited to be a princess for the day. Her dress was from Monsoon and her shoes were from John Lewis, I gave her a few options for the shoes and let her pick them herself and she went for the gold sparkly ballet pumps.
Originally we were not planning on going away until October however we decided to go away straight after the wedding instead and I think this was the best decision we made. We went to Mexico for 10 nights and took Leo with us. We had been so caught up with the wedding the few weeks beforehand we felt like we had hardly spent any time together as a family so it was lovely getting away just the three of us.
Walking down the aisle to see George standing there with our little boy was something I will never forget, also our first dance was a very special moment as it felt like although we were surrounded by all our friends and family it was just us for that couple of minutes.
Advice For Other Couples
Do as much yourself as you can I found this very enjoyable and felt it made it more personal. Don’t ever think it is too early to start planning if you have the spare time just do it, this is the approach I took which meant it was so stress free.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Michelle Cordner Photography
Garlic & Olive
Grape and Fig
Swig and Filly
Claire and George, thank you so very much for sharing your very special wedding story xo Lou