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    • Inspiration

    Warwickshire Tipi Wedding

    Today we have a lovely wedding fro the heart of the Cotswolds. Lots of quirky details, a very intimate nd personal venue in a beautiful setting. The wedding is brought to us by Derbyshire Wedding Photographer Miki Photography. A very individual wedding, full of personality and captured beautifully. This is Rosie and Nick’ wedding story…

    A Warwickshire Tipi Wedding

    How did you meet? And how long have you been together?

    We met 3 years ago, in a field, in Medan (Northern Sumatra). We were taking place in an adventure rally, racing tuk-tuks 3500km through Indonesia, ending in Bali – and Nick was the first person I met! We were in different teams but ended up convoying at various points along the way & then spent a week together at the end before Nick and I headed home to opposite sides of the world. It was at that point we both knew that we had something pretty special and worth pursuing. Less than 8 months later, and after countless hours on Skype, I’d moved my life from London to New Zealand to be with him!

    warwickshire tipi wedding bride groom country venue

    Nick proposed on my 30th birthday while we were back home in the UK. We were about to head out to meet my friends for drinks, when a tuk-tuk turned up on the driveway and I just thought it was a cool birthday surprise. We were driven around my home town and out into the countryside, then we pulled up at a church in a tiny village – it was the church that my parents were married at. We went for a walk around and Nick got down on one knee. I didn’t even looked at the ring(!) I just said “yes” and we hugged for what seemed like hours. Then we got back in the tuk-tuk, he put on a song that he played to me on guitar when we first met, and we drove back to the bar where my friends and family were waiting for us. It was definitely the best birthday to date!

    warwickshire tipi wedding kiss first dance

    “We planned the wedding over 15 months. Knowing we’d be organising most things from the other side of the world (we now live in New Zealand) we wanted to plan in advance & also give our international guests a decent length of time to sort their travel. After a flurry of research and spreadsheets, I’d got the vast majority of the ‘big things’ booked a good year in advance – the tipis, catering, toilets, celebrant, band and flowers! The finer planning & details came a lot later – in the 3 months running up to the wedding date, which allowed us to relax in between!”

    Rosie and Nick married in August 2015 in the garden of Rosie’s grandparents house, Old Red Lion House in Warwickshire. Rosie says “We knew we wanted a relaxed, country wedding. We didn’t want a venue as such, we wanted somewhere beautiful and homely that we could turn into a ‘wonderland’… My grandparents have lived at Red Lion House for 30 years and I’ve secretly (OK, maybe not so secretly) always dreamed of getting married in the garden where I spent so much of my time growing up. So when they took Nick and I for lunch and actually suggested that we might like to use their garden, we were over the moon! We couldn’t have imagined a more special, beautiful, relaxed and happy place to get married.”

    warwickshire tipi wedding country house

    How did you spend / allocate your budget?

    Our budget was definitely forced to grow as we started to get quotes! We knew that the tipis were going to be our main feature so the biggest chunk of our budget went on those. The next most important to us were the photographer and the band. Originally we had all kinds of ideas but every little thing really starts to add up, so we stripped a lot out and made sure whatever we spent money on was going to genuinely add a personal touch.

    warwickshire tipi wedding tipis

    Luckily the garden is so beautiful it didn’t need us to spend much decorating! But we saved by doing a lot ourselves & with the help of friends & family –we decorated with herbs rather than flowers. We used an old canoe of my brother’s as the “beer canoe” and an old door from the house as our ceremony backdrop. A good friend made our cake, my hairdresser was a friend & guest, as was my make-up artist!


    Ashley Davenport was our photographer. I’d spent a bit of time researching photographers but the few who’s style I liked were either unavailable, miles away, or crazily expensive, so I started asking around. Ash is a friend of a friend and we couldn’t have been happier that she recommended him! WOW! As soon as we spoke on Skype, it was clear that his style really suited us and our more informal approach. We didn’t want stuffy, over-posed photos, rather natural ‘in the moment’ photos – something he captured beautifully.

    warwickshire tipi wedding bridal preparation

    I loved Ash’s photography style – he captures all of the moments that you might not have otherwise seen. He truly documented the fun and love on the day. We totally forgot he was there (in the nicest way possible) – the sign of a great photographer! He also ran a photobooth for us, with loads of great props (people got very carried away in there!) A great little extra that added to the day.

    warwickshire tipi wedding guests outdoor wedding

    All in all, he is incredibly talented with a great eye for detail and he certainly knows how to capture stunning images. He’s also a lovely guy & the most dapper photographer I’ve met – one of few men who can pull off a bow tie and braces!

    Who was your dress by? And your accessories and shoes?

    My dress was Amanda Wyatt, Skylark. I bought some beaded tulle and had some pretty cap sleeves made to create the final look I wanted. My shoes were (gosh, I shouldn’t admit this) £5 from New Look in the sale! They were strappy, sparkly gold & with a chunky heel so I didn’t sink into the grass. I knew I’d be barefoot within a couple of hours so I didn’t want to buy a really expensive pair, but I’ve worn them several times since as I actually really love them! My necklace was my mum’s – a gold diamond heart she got for her 18th birthday (my something borrowed) – as was my veil.

    warwickshire tipi wedding gown in window

    warwickshire tipi wedding dress

    warwickshire tipi wedding bride

    And the suit? And bridesmaids?

    Nick had never actually worn a proper suit! He’s a typical Kiwi – more of a shorts and t-shirt kind of guy. We went to a local tailors in Auckland and picked a navy 3 piece suit that was then tailored to fit. He looked so handsome!

    warwickshire tipi wedding bride groom confetti

    My bridesmaids all wore twist-wrap dresses from Dessy. Two of my girls had just had babies, and each had a different body shape, so we wanted to find dresses that everyone felt comfortable in. The twist wrap dresses were flattering and can be worn in so many different ways, so each of my bridesmaids could choose how to wear it to suit them.

    warwickshire tipi wedding bridesmaids

    We asked the groomsmen to wear ‘blue suits’ and I wasn’t worried about them matching. However, it was typical that my brother took this as an excuse to get his suit tailor made at Saville Row – and when I said blue, he chose electric blue!

    warwickshire tipi wedding groomsmen drinking in sun

    warwickshire tipi wedding relaxed groomsmen

    Did you have a theme or colour scheme you were working towards?

    We didn’t have a theme as such, but we definitely had quite a clear view of the kind of ‘feel’ we wanted to achieve. We wanted a country feel, quite casual and relaxed (just like us), with lots of individual details that were personal to us. I wasn’t too worried about everything matching, but I love soft, neutral colours. Greys, greens and a hint of pink. We wanted everything to look natural and compliment the beautiful garden.

    What sort of flowers did you have?

    My bouquet was pretty rustic. A mix of ruscus, eucalyptus, lisianthus and roses. A friend, Kate Maxwell, provided our flowers. She is super talented and owns a little florist called ‘In Bloom’ in Birmingham. She also made the garland for our ceremony backdrop and cute herb buttonholes for the boys.

    warwickshire tipi wedding buttonholes

     What sort of decoration did you have?

    Instead of flowers for decorations, we mainly used herbs – herbs everywhere! Lavender, mint, basil & rosemary for the tables, and all around the garden. We bought most of these from garden centres in the days leading up to the wedding and wrapped the pots in burlap & ribbon. My granny put together a stunning arrangement in a big churn jug that took pride of place outside the tipis. All of the other decorations were made from flowers and apples/blossom from the trees in the garden.

      warwickshire tipi wedding food

    What did you eat?

    We used caterers, Kemp & Kemp as we loved their home-cooked, family style food. They were incredible! We decided on a big feast menu, with big sharing boards of slow cooked porchetta pork and whole flattened chicken, alternated down the tables, with big bowls of delicious salads and vegetables. My amazing friend, Laura (the same friend who recommended our photographer) made our cake! She isn’t a professional cake maker, but she definitely should be! We had 3 tiers – blueberry & sour cream, raspberry & rose, and carrot cake on top. All iced roughly and decorated with rosemary and lavender. It was hands down the BEST cake I’ve ever eaten. All of our guests were raving about it!

    warwickshire tipi wedding herb decor

    What did you have as entertainment?

    We both love live music, and so it was a no brainer to book a live band. It was surprisingly difficult to find a good live band though, and it’s hard to gauge how good a band will be from watching a 2 minute clip on YouTube!

    warwickshire tipi wedding first dance

    I had all but given up and resigned myself to having a play-list. So I ended up just looking for a singer to sing during the reception. I came across Nick Keen and loved his voice and repertoire, so I booked him. It turned out he’s in a band and they happened to have a cancellation for our wedding date – it was meant to be! I booked them without even hearing them, and we weren’t disappointed. I don’t think the dance floor ever emptied – testament to how good they were!

    warwickshire tipi wedding guests dancing

    We also had garden games – giant Jenga, table football & table tennis. All things we happened to own already.

    warwickshire tipi wedding games

    Who supplied the stationery?

    I designed all of the stationery myself, on Adobe Illustrator. I hand drew and then vectorised the images, and added the text and colours. To keep it simple (and minimise the amount of work) I stuck to the same design for our save the dates, invites, seating chart & table menus. I then had them printed at a local print shop onto nice heavy paper & card.

    Did you have any personal touches? Or things that you did yourself?

    We did loads ourselves – I made the stationery and bunting, We used lots of random items we had lying around & upcycled them – the beer canoe & the ceremony door to name just a couple. We were unbelievably lucky as a friend of ours (who we also met on the Indonesian adventure rally) somehow found our very two tuk tuks and he shipped them over from Bali for us – they were pretty much as we left them (in a state of disrepair) but it brought back so many memories, so we used them as a bar! We also turned the apple tree in the centre of the garden into our “family tree” and pegged up lots of photos of our families and Nick & I growing up. We placed an old rug & bench underneath so guests could sit and take everything in.

    w\arwickshire tipi wedding boy reaching into beer canoe

    What were your special moments or highlights of the day?

    Walking up the aisle with my Grandad & then seeing Nick looking so handsome yet nervous was something I’ll always remember! Our ceremony really stood out for me; before the ceremony our guests were asked to think of a word that best represented Nick & my relationship. Then half way through they were asked to pick up the pen and paper under their seats and draw that word. We were crying with laughter – some hilarious & fun pictures that we’ll keep forever!

    warwickshire tipi wedding vows ceremony

    warwickshire tipi wedding outdoor vows

    The speeches were hilarious & a rather tipsy friend starting a booming rendition of Happy Birthday to my dad (it would have been his 60th birthday on our wedding day) during my speech, was brilliant. But finally, I remember towards the end of the night Nick and I took ourselves off to sit on the bench under the apple tree and we just cuddled and watched everyone partying the night away. We were so happy in that moment & we both felt incredibly blessed to have all of the people we love, all together and celebrating – I wish I could bottle that feeling!

    warwickshire tipi wedding speeches

    How would you describe your wedding day in 2 sentences?

    Other than being the happiest day of our lives so far?! Our wedding day was informal, relaxed and personal. Everything was so ‘us’ which made it extra special and as a result was full of happiness, fun and laughter.

      warwickshire tipi wedding silhouette bride groom

    What advice would you give any other couples about planning your big day, or any tips for the day itself?

    My top tip would be don’t sweat the small stuff! By that, I mean don’t over-think the details. Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse for brides to be! A few personal details are great, but you don’t need to go overboard – if I’d have done every idea I had, I’d never have finished setting up (and we’d be broke)! Don’t try and organise someone else’s wedding. Ultimately, it should be about you as a couple and what you want that matters!

    People say that the day will fly by… But seriously, IT FLYS BY! Enjoy every moment and try and take a step back every now and again, even if just for 2 minutes, to just take everything in.

    What was your biggest surprise of the day?

    I was surprised by just how care-free I felt! I have to admit, I was a little bit of a control freak in the run up to the wedding day, making sure everything was organised. I honestly expected to be more concerned about certain details and how things were going, but for the entire day we were just in the moment and I’ve never felt so pretty or relaxed. It was fantastic!! I was also surprised there was some wine left over! 😉 

    Photographer – Ashley Davenport (associate of Miki Photography) – http://www.mikiphotography.info/derbyshire-wedding-photographer

    email: info@mikiphotography.co.uk

    Tipis – World Inspired Tents – http://www.worldinspiredtents.co.uk/ email: mailto:info@world-inspired.co.uk?subject=Website%20Enquiry

    Catering – Kemp & Kemp – http://kempandkempcatering.co.uk/ email: info@kempandkempcatering.co.uk

    Singer/Band – Nick Keen (singer) & his band, The One Step – http://www.theonestepband.com/ email: cherubrecords@hotmail.com

    “Posh” Toilets – Sweetpee – http://www.sweetpee.co.uk/ email: enquiries@sweetpee.co.uk

    Humanist Celebrant – Jenna Catley-Richardson –https://jennacatleyrichardson.wordpress.com/about/ email: jennacatleyrichardson@gmail.com

    Hairdresser – Martin Crean at MODE – he’s just won British hairdresser of the year for the second year running! http://www.modehair.co.uk/ email: mail@modehair.co.uk

    Makeup – Claire Johnston (nee Harmer) – http://www.claireharmerbeauty.co.uk/ email: info@claireharmerbeauty.co.uk

    Flowers – Kate Maxwell at In Bloom – http://www.inbloomflowers.co.uk/ email: info@inbloomflowers.co.uk

    Light up letters – Vowed & Amazed – http://www.vowedandamazed.co.uk/

    Bridesmaid Dresses – Dessy – http://world.dessy.com/

    Wedding Dress – Amanda Wyatt from Bea’s Bridal Boutique – http://www.beasbridal.co.uk/ email: Hannah@beasbridal.co.uk – actual dress: http://www.amandawyatt.com/products/hall-of-fame/3/skylark/115/

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