Tips to Planning a Tipi Wedding
Parting with you advice for outdoor wedding planning from those that have. Some of our gorgeous Brides and Grooms have taken the time to reflect back on their Sami Tipi Wedding and have put together some amazing tips and advice to help you plan your outdoor wedding.I often describe planning a tipi wedding as putting together a jigsaw. It allows you the freedom to choose all the pieces that fit with your own style and beliefs. It can involve more work than booking a traditional hotel venue, but the end result is undoubtedly worth it, promising to provide you and your guests a lasting memory.
1) When planning your tipi wedding get as many friends and family involved and enjoy it.
2) The tipis are stunning on their own so don’t panic about filling the space.
3) Be true to yourselves as its so easy to get carried away with things that you lose the joy of doing it your own way.
4) Have fun sourcing the ‘little things’ but leave the ‘big things’ to the professionals, its not worth the stress!
5) Fill your wedding with good food, drink, music and the people that you love – you can’t go wrong!
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
Do not stress about the weather! The tipis are so adaptable, and Jodie and Craig really do know their stuff! The day the tipis were erected it was about 30 degrees and it was honestly one of my favourite memories of the whole wedding. My parents, maid of honour, Nick and I spent the evening testing out the sound system and dancing around in the empty tipi. It was so hot but Craig had made sure there were extra gaps left in the tipi so it wasn’t unbearable.
Let Your Suppliers Help! Jodie and Craig are an absolute dream to work with. I found the supplier booklet really helpful and we used a lot of recommended suppliers. Also, don’t forget that you can lean on your suppliers to guide you through the process of wedding planning, they literally live and breathe weddings so they know what they’re talking about!
You don’t have to buy everything. Wedding budgets sometimes feel like you’re dealing with Monopoly money as it’s so easy to lose sight of how much you’re spending on the day. We borrowed Nick’s stepdad’s car as our wedding car rather than spending loads of money on hiring something for the weekend. If you know someone with items you could use as props for the day, just ask them! And Facebook marketplace is a great way to find some bargains to get creative with.
Check Your Suppliers Needs. If you are having a tipi in your field or garden check what supplies you will need for the day. We very nearly got caught without water for the wedding day which could have been rather stressful so just be super organised and check all your suppliers requirements well in advance.
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
‘SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS.’ Don’t give yourself a week to do everything – give yourself some time to make your vision come together. It isn’t easy pulling all of the suppliers and ideas together but when you do – OMG it’s worth it!
‘GET CREATIVE!’ You can achieve so much with a tipi wedding and with it being a blank canvas you are able to literally create whatever feel you want to your day. When we first saw the tipis we knew this was the wedding for us, it allowed us to put our personality both into and outside of the tipis. Inside we created kids corners and decorative features and outside was like a fun fair with inflatable helter skelters, shooting ranges and I even made a hook a duck with prizes to be won (I’d say for the kids but the adults played too!)
‘HAVE FUN WHILE YOU DO IT!’ If it isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right. (That might sound somewhat sarcastic but it really isn’t!!) The whole point of a tipi/outdoor wedding is to get involved and get down and dirty. If you aren’t enjoying what you have set out, and always remember it is easy to go back to the drawing board and start again if something doesn’t feel right!!
‘BOUNCE IDEAS WITH YOUR SUPPLIERS!’ With these sorts of weddings, you aren’t just a number – the suppliers become heavily invested in helping you achieve your day. If there is something you want to suggest or request, ask them for their advise. They may know a supplier who can help, or may have even been lucky enough to see someone previously create something similar. The suppliers become part of your family during the planning process, and it’s so great to get their opinions and suggestions to work alongside yours!
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
If you decide to plan everything yourself, consider all the finer details and be super organised! So many people commented that a tipi wedding must be so much easier than a ‘traditional venue’ as it’s all in your control. A tipi wedding is incredibly special, unique and amazing, but it’s certainly not easy. The last thing you want as a bride is to get stressed, and with a Tipi wedding you really have to consider every little detail, including, how will your guests go to the bathroom? If you’re providing your own food and drink, how will you keep it cold? Where will your caterers prepare their meal? Where will electricity come from? What will you do if the weather isn’t great? What if it gets too cold in the evening? And many more. The bonus of working with Sami Tipi is that the team are amazing at helping you to make these decisions and support you so much, so you don’t have to think about everything yourself. I also made a huge list of jobs to complete, and who was going to complete them, in an excel spreadsheet for the days leading up to the wedding. This made it really easy to remember what needed to be done and I didn’t have to tell anyone what to do, they just looked at the list!
Remember, it’s your day! Try to enjoy every part of the planning process, it’s a lot of fun, enjoy it! Go to lots of open days for inspiration, ask the team loads of questions, do lots of research, and make your dream a reality. It’s really easy to put pressure on yourself to get all the small details perfect for the day and get stressed about it, but on the day, you won’t even notice if dinner is served at 4pm or 4:15pm, so none of that really matters. It’s about enjoying the planning, preparations and having the best time of your lives!
Make time for yourselves throughout the day. The day FLIES by, try to allocate time for yourselves as the newly wed couple to take in the day and appreciate what you’ve achieved. We decided to have top table with just the two of us, which was great, it gave us some time alone to take in the day and watch our guests have a great time. Our photographer Maree was amazing at allowing us to have some quality time together too, we had a real laugh whilst she was taking our photos and made us feel so relaxed, she is incredible at what she does and an all-round great person too! The day goes by so quickly so remember to take lots of moments together to just take it all in and make time with those that really matter to you.
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
Less is more. The tipi will look stunning on its own so only a few bits and pieces will be needed to add your own touch.
Savour the evening. Once the sun goes down the tipis really do come into their own at night, they are truly magical.
Enjoy every moment of being in the tipi and make sure you are the last to leave, we found it so hard to walk away and for our tipi wedding to be over!
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
Buy a wedding planner. A friend bought one for me when we got engaged and it was like my wedding bible! A tipi wedding can involve a lot more planning and people. It’s therefore really good to have everyone’s details in one place with a rough timeline of what needs doing. Once you get in touch with Sami Tipi of course, they will help with a lot of the organising!
Go to wedding open days.To get ideas in the early stages, they’re a good place to start with finding contacts and inspiration!
Be creative. Having a tipi wedding gives you a blank canvas to create exactly what you want so go for it! We did a lot ourselves in terms of making table runners, bunting to hang, decorating candle jars, we made a blackboard for our table plan, did our own table place cards etc which I personally loved doing (Dave played along…). There are so many companies out there though to help with all the extras if you need them, and they will have lots you can hire for the day.
Don’t spend your time worrying. This might sound silly but I was quite conscious of what style dress I bought. I ended up falling for one with a bigger train than I’d planned and a full length veil and was worried about working my way around the tipi but in the end had nothing to worry about at all, they are way more spacious than you think so anything works.
Rally Round Friends and Family Get friends and family to help you decorate and un-decorate, it was great to spend the day before our wedding getting everything ready just how we wanted it, and we couldn’t have done it without a few extra hands.
Nominate an Organiser On the day, nominate a friend/usher/bridesmaid and give them a rough itinerary for the day and list of contacts so you don’t have to worry about anything on the day itself and can enjoy it! It’s a good idea to also give your caterers, photographer, band, florist etc their name and number just in case they need it.
Go for it! You have nothing to lose and married life to gain. Planning years in advance has its advantages but also why sit worrying about something so far in advance. If you know what you want your better off just going for it!
Keep calm! You can’t do anything until the weeks running up to your wedding apart from get the main things booked. Try not to overthink things and it will all fall into place.
Be creative and use Pinterest! Things don’t have to cost a fortune! There are fantastic creative ideas to be pinched and used on the www! Use those old pudding jars for decoration and spruce them up with some ribbon and glitter!
Take it all in and enjoy every moment! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and should be an exciting time as a couple to plan and look forward to your special day!
Don’t forget why! Don’t let the wedding industry consume you. At the end of the day you are getting married because you love each other, not because you want the most expensive extravagant wedding.
Get Crafty The tipis are perfect to add lots of your own touches, so if you like to get a bit crafty make the most of this.
Be Prepared Everything that you can do in advance do! You cannot possibly be ‘too prepared’ for a wedding day, there will always be lots to do just before the big day. Being self-employed and knowing my salon would be closed for two weeks, I decided to work for a few hours on the day before. I had everything boxed up and very organised, so thought I’d have more than enough time for me and my mom to set everything up and get it just how I visualised.
Give Your Self Time & Ask For Help If you are doing a lot yourself give yourself time to set it up and get everything in place and ask for help! However, I did not realise how much time I actually needed and although everything ended up getting done, it ended with a lot of rushing to give myself the evening to relax.
See their full wedding >> HERE <<
Blank Canvas The Tipis are like a blank canvas so use this to your advantage and be as creative as you want to be, think of what you love and include it!
Get people involved Especially friends and family who want to feel like they’re playing a part. We did, from friends who sang us down the aisle, playing the guitar and readings during the service to family members who made things like bunting, table runners and outdoor games. They all played a part and it made it feel all that more personal. Get people along for the set up as well, it makes the build up to the big day all the more enjoyable.
PINTEREST I couldn’t have done without it and it gave us so much inspiration.,.I CAN’T RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH!!!!! Sami Tipi Have loads of ideas on their boards too.
On The Day Manager Get yourself a wedding planner, even if just for the day….we used Val from Benassamy and she was invaluable at co-ordinating the whole day…as well as being simply lovely!
Use Your Surroundings If the weather allows use as much of your surroundings as possible…take the inside outside where you can and remember the decoration and styling doesn’t just have to stay inside the tipi. Fairy lights and candles outside are definitely a must for creating the perfect ambience.
Get Creative Even If You’re NOT! From someone who isn’t that creative myself, I’d certainly say give it a try and have a go. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed making things and coming up with ideas for quirky little add ons. It makes it feel all the more that it’s your wedding.
Have a Plan B If you intend on getting married outside, the Great British weather, that we have come to love, can surprise you when you least want it to. Our plan B was the dance floor area of the tipis. As much as positive thinking is important, be realistic.
Take a Minute The day will fly by, take a minute to take in the atmosphere. My best friend on the day took me to one side at night and walked me to the end of the field and said “take a look, take it in and remember this moment”…and I do!!! As much as the alcohol had started to kick in, I remember that moment as though it happened an hour ago.
See their full wedding >>HERE<<
Do what you want! Whether it is having your favourite food, unusual music, a bouncy castle, asking for honeymoon contributions rather than traditional gifts or sitting your best friends at the top table. It is your day, other people have had theirs. Think about what will make you happy!
DIY not necessary Don’t feel under pressure to DIY, it is lots easier and sometimes cheaper to buy or hire.
Budget Saving Catering We used M&S and Waitrose food delivery for afternoon tea and paid a bar company to serve drinks, set up the food and clear away. It was easy to arrange and we fed 120 people a delicious afternoon tea for about £1500. Fish and chips or street-food goes down well too!
Hire a Ceilidh Band This is a great way to get people dancing, mingling and having fun. Plus it is great during light, summer evenings.
Time Together Make sure you have some couple time with your new husband/wife to take a breather and enjoy the day together.
Invest in Your Photographer & Videographer A quality photographer and, if possible, videographer are key as you will love looking at the photos/video again and again!
Don’t Worry About The Weather It rained on our wedding day and our venue was a farmers field but it didn’t matter. Everyone is there to have a great time and celebrate, just make sure people are prepared.
Glamp Organising ‘glamping’ accommodation on-site this means the party can go on as long as you want!
Research your suppliers carefully and then trust them to do a great job.
Enjoy the Journey Enjoy the planning process as much as possible because you only do it once and you will miss it when its over!
View a tipi Do this as soon as you can, it made it so much easier to imagine the size and scale of the decorations we would need.
Keep it simple. It’s easy to get carried away with all the gorgeous decorations and ideas out there but we were happiest when we went back to our original ideas and kept it simple. The tipis are so gorgeous that they speak for themselves!
Book the big stuff early. Once we sorted the basic facilities such as food, drink, loos and electricity, the singer and the photographer we could relax and enjoy the rest of the planning. We planned our wedding in just 6 months so finding the perfect singer and photographer was tricky. We were very picky with our choices as we didn’t want to settle for second best just because of the short time scale we set ourselves and after many hours trawling the internet and attending wedding fayres we found them! It was probably the most stressful part so we were very pleased to have them booked, paid for and forgotten about early!
Don’t skimp on your photographer. Although you will be inundated with photos from your guests after the big day, having a good photographer is priceless. Even now we can look back and remember every second of our wonderful day thanks to our lovely wedding photographs.
Use Sami Tipi They are a fountain of knowledge. Whenever we thought we had hit a brick wall they would open the door with ideas, suggestions, companies and contacts. We were very grateful.
Get a good team of people Mostly for the clean up the next day! We were very grateful to our family and friends for their help. Clearing up was the last thing we wanted to do and they did it all for us! By the time we turned up at the site everything was packed away and the tipis we halfway down, we were able to sit back and enjoy our first day as husband and wife.
Delegate Don’t do anything on the day, just sit back and enjoy it. This is one thing I wish we had done more of! Having a tipi wedding for us meant we planned and controlled everything but this also meant that each contractor needed organising, meeting and setting up on the day. Have someone to do this for you, the last thing you want to be doing is standing on the phone giving directions when you should be enjoying your day! Let someone else do this.
And finally.. Take 5 minutes out with your new husband/wife and watch your day from afar. Before you know it it will be all over and you’ll wonder what happened. Take a few minutes to appreciate the day and enjoy it.
See more of their wedding >>HERE<<