When your guests daren’t go to the toilet in case they miss out on something, then you know that you’ve created the most entertaining wedding day.
Sammy and Jake celebrated their wedding at Cuttle Brook, Swarkestone in Three Giant Hat Tipis. Keeping their guests entertained and having fun was almost top of their wish list. Above all, was that the two of them didn’t want to forget or take away from the fact that they “wanted to get married”. Getting married was what they kept at the forefront of everything they did and the entertainment side closely followed.
Their Cuttle Brook, Tipi Wedding, gave them the freedom to create the day exactly how they wanted to.
What made you decide on a Tipi Wedding?
I’ve always loved the outdoors and nature and love gardening and plants so being outdoors was really important. It means you get to physically enjoy the weather when you have the sunshine out! It did rain a little on the way to the church, but we had a backup plan of having umbrellas to hand for us and the guests. Luckily just as we arrived at the Tipis, the sun came out.
We were initially worried about the weather and whether it would be too hot in the Tipi’s. The Sami Tipi team was really flexible at the build stage on how much of the Tipi to open or not, to ensure it was right for our day. We were also shown how to open the smoke caps and zip doors. Having had a band extension, we fully opened this in the day, which really helped to keep the Tipi ventilated. My mum actually thought we might need heating! But we didn’t.
What did you both wear?
My dress was Gia by Wendy Makin C, purchased from Yes Bridal at Cromford Mills. Libby who runs and owns it created the most amazing experience; I’d really recommend her. I always knew what I didn’t want from a dress, so it was important I got the right one, that didn’t feel too “girly”.
Jake hired his and the Groomsmen’s suits from Brigdens in Derby and his shoes were from Dune.
For the Bridesmaids, we had dresses from Ever Pretty. The most important thing for me was that I just wanted them to be comfortable. I gave them the colour and they ordered the dresses they wanted. My sister also happened to be pregnant but they also offer a maternity range which really helped.
Tell us about your ceremony
We both always wanted to get married in church for the traditional aspect and so we got married at Repton Church. We’d been to a few weddings here before and decided this was where we’d love to have our ceremony. The big stained glass windows and old timely feel is amazing, and it comes with a great congregation. Everyone there was really warm and friendly. We even went every month for a year, to show we wanted to become a part of their community.
We had a rehearsal for an hour the night before which really helped calm our nerves and meant we could drop things off like the Order of Service.
On the morning we provided breakfast for our suppliers who were at the house. My Dad drove me to church on the morning. We had a proper Father and Daughter moment, which was a real highlight for me and something I’ll always remember.
Our ceremony started at 11.30am, so it was an early ceremony and lasted for about an hour. For us, on the day we were quite relaxed. It was important we remembered why we were doing it. Your wedding day is about marrying the person you love and sometimes that can get lost if you don’t keep that at the forefront of your mind.
How did you feed your guests?
Greedy Pig provided our catering during the day, with a picnic theme which involved a picnic basket being placed in the middle of each table. We had sausage rolls, pork pies, hummus and breads. It also meant people weren’t waiting for food.
At night we wanted to ensure the guests got something warm with them only having had a picnic during the day, so we had our friend, Toastie the Difference, who provided Cheese and Ham toasties along with a Hog Roast.
Jake and I were always scanning the supermarkets for any booze on offer, so we could provide our guests with a free bar during the day. We had Ice Buckets off Facebook Marketplace and a booze bath which was filled with drinks. Prosecco was also offered for our toast. For the bar service at night, we used Mambo’s Mobile Bar. We used a large cool box to keep the drinks cool and Mambo’s filled the ice buckets in the morning for us.
How would you describe your styling?
I wanted to style everything myself, so using Pinterest for inspiration, my work began. Seeing a Rag Bunting at a Cuttle Brook site visit confirmed it was something we wanted. I made 85 meters of it in total. I love it so much I’ve kept it for any future parties.
We hired the floral hoop from you Sami Tipi and my Mum and Sister used Ivy and Eucalyptus to cover it.
Jake’s Mum made us a hexagon with pampas grass and sunflowers, using natural resources was important and we used it as a posing station which a lot of our guests used too. Some of my favourite photos are in front of that!
We also had flares and I sent our photographer example photos of what I wanted. The flares were mega! We did overdo the flares a bit and came out a bit blue, which was hilarious!
How did you entertain your guests?
When we arrived at the Tipis we surprised our guests with a Mariachi Band, who started off the conga and macarena. We then provided the guests with shots of tequila. They were for us the best thing of the day, and Jake’s Mum brought them as a gift for Jake which he said was the best gift he’s ever received.
We both love the American version of The Office, and we recreated the wedding scene from that, which involved Chris Brown’s song Forever. Two Groomsmen walked down the festoon walkway first giving our guests cans of cocktails, and then Jake and I danced down the walkway. We watched it during lockdown just the two of us, which was my favourite time, just the two of us, so it was important to get it into our day.
We had music playing from a playlist while we were eating and a band in the evening called The Jacks. They also DJ’d and played three different sets. They were incredible. It was Jake’s Mum who recommended them after being to a wedding where they played. We found them online with Warble Entertainment, which is where the Mariachi Band also came to our attention.
We also had bio-degradable confetti canons, which the groomsmen set off at our first dance.
Over the years, we’ve accumulated lots of our own fancy dress outfits, so we put the fancy dress box out. This was so much fun, with everyone getting changed in to the different costumes throughout the night.
What are your Top Tips for planning a Tipi wedding?
It seems a simple thing to say but organisation and list writing are vital. We also sat together with the groomsmen and our parents, and outlined what we needed from them, so everyone knew what they were doing.
With the entertainment I’d just say don’t go cheap because that’s what made our day and it’s what your guests will come away remembering! They aren’t going to necessarily remember your floral hoop, but they will remember how they came away from your wedding feeling!
For us, the entertainment was a major part of our day so we wanted to ensure we enjoyed it as much as our guests. We also didn’t want to be away from our guests for long, so we had our photos done straight away when we got to the Tipis and for only 45 minutes maximum which they stuck to.
I’d also say to take a step back, and take it in, just the two of you.
And if you’re feeling stressed, remind yourself why you’re doing it. Getting married to the person you love. Always remember that! Don’t stress about things you can’t control.
Also, don’t forget your bins! My Dad had to tidy up at one point, so maybe have someone in charge of that?
Suppliers You Loved and Would Recommend
Photographer | H&B Wedding Photography
Structure | Sami Tipi
Venue | Cuttle Brook at Swarkestone
Band | The Jacks
Grooms Wear | Brigdens
Bar | Mambo Mobile Bar
Bridal Dress | Yes Bridal at Cromford Mills
Florist | Jules Flowers
Roaming Band | Mariachi Band
Daytime Food | Greedy Pig
Evening Foody | Toastie The Difference