No matter what style of venue you choose for your wedding, there will always be a plethora of things you need to consider, and a tipi wedding is no different. From weather considerations to ceremony requirements, there’s a lot to think about. To make things easier, we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest considerations for planning your tipi wedding. Here are some of our top tips to make your tipi wedding dreams a reality:
1. Make sure you have a wet weather contingency plan
One of the most common questions we get asked by couples’ is, “what happens if it rains?” Everyone knows just how unpredictable the wonderful English weather can be, even in the peak of summer, so planning for both rain and shine is always important.
Luckily our stunning tipi set-up means there’s plenty of space indoors to capture some fantastic photos and enjoy your big day with guests. But if you’re keen to make the most of the beautiful outdoor space, there are loads of creative ways to capture incredible wedding photos. Check out our blog on our favourite wet weather wedding photo ideas for inspiration.
Try to choose décor and entertainment that will work great both indoors and outdoors, so that the weather can’t dampen your plans, but also create a backup list for anything that is strictly outdoors. For example, an outdoor ice cream cart could be swapped for a sweet stand inside, or a basket of flip-flops for achy dancing feet could be complemented with a basket of umbrellas for anyone needing to go outside.
Hopefully, your wet weather contingency plan won’t be needed but its better to have peace of mind, allowing you to relax and enjoy the lead up to your wedding.
2. Consider your ceremony options
Here in the UK, legal outdoor ceremonies aren’t permitted, and can only be conducted under a fixed roof. The legislation around outdoor weddings is still being deliberated, but for now, its important to consider where the legal part of your ceremony will take place and how your ceremony will be conducted on the day.
We love celebrant led ceremonies here at Sheepy Meadows. A celebrant has no restrictions in terms of the content, format or style of a wedding, allowing you to create a completely bespoke ceremony, tailored to you and your interests. They can include lots of beautiful, personal details about the couple and often have an element of guest involvement too. These relaxed ceremonies create lasting memories for both you and your guests. Signing the legal paperwork will need to be done separately and can be done at a local registry office.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, church ceremonies can be conducted at a church personal to you or at one of the beautiful churches local to Sheepy Meadows. Having a traditional ceremony in a church before travelling to Sheepy Meadows for a quirky tipi reception can be a great way to combine both classic and unconventional wedding features.
3. Plan out your décor in advance
The way you decorate your wedding venue is what brings everything together. Your colour scheme, theming, favours, stationery and more. Take plenty of time to plan out your décor in advance, researching what props, florals, centrepieces etc work with your vision. Pinterest is fantastic for gathering all of your ideas in one place and for discovering lots of new ones. We could spend hours looking at wedding ideas!
Once you know the style of your décor, it’s time to plan how you will decorate. If you’re going to style the tipi yourself, you’ll need to consider storage for any pieces you accumulate in preparation, who is going to help you set up and anything you need to work around with the venue, such as hanging decorations from high up. Take lots of photos on a showround and look at photos from previous weddings, so you have a reference point when planning what will go where.
If you’re looking to hire a venue stylist, make sure you have a clear idea of your vision and lots of inspiration photos so they can work with you to create your dream day. A venue stylist will help you to create the look you want whilst working with the venue to ensure everything is achievable. Hiring a venue stylist is a great idea if you want to spend the morning of your wedding relaxing, knowing everything will be set up ready for you.
4. Make sure your guests know what to expect
It’s always good to be mindful that tipis are not your typical wedding venue and some guests might not be prepared for the outdoorsy vibe. Our tipis come with all the creature comforts of a more traditional venue, such as heating, hard flooring and comfortable furniture to lounge on, but it’s still worth letting your guests know the style of venue. Our wooden floor throughout the tipis and the decking outside, means guests wont be sinking into the ground, but if guests do want to venture into the surrounding area, its good for them to know about the countryside location. If you’re planning any outside activities in the evening, advise guests to bring something warm to wrap up in, so everyone can enjoy your outdoor entertainment without feeling the cold. It’s also a good idea to provide guests with a list of local accommodation, so anyone travelling from further afield can book somewhere to stay in advance
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff
No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to plan for every eventuality, and there’s no way to ensure everything goes perfectly on the day. Our biggest piece of advice for planning your tipi wedding is to just relax and enjoy yourselves. Wedding planning can feel like a lot of pressure, especially when trying to predict who will get on with who, what the weather will be like and what wedding favours everyone will appreciate! Try not to worry about the smaller things. Your day will be amazing no matter what and it’s key to enjoy it and take in everything you’ve worked so hard to plan. Prioritise the most important parts of your day, whether it’s the wedding photography, your first dance or choosing your favourite foods, and then you’ll feel more relaxed knowing the key details are secured. The best part of your wedding day will be committing to the love of your life, surrounded by your closest friends and family – and when it comes down to it, that will be all that matters.