Claire & Nathan’s relaxed tipi wedding
Claire and Nathan celebrated their marriage with a relaxed tipi wedding at our Hidden Valley field venue in Surrey. It was a relaxed day with a church service in the local church, a walk back to the field accompanied by a funky brass band, BBQ meal and an awesome party in their beautifully styled off white canvas tipis.
“We first met online, got engaged in September 2017 whilst on holiday in Greece, and were engaged for 21 months before getting married. We both wanted our wedding to be relaxed, informal and fun! After visiting the field through Fiesta Fields we couldn’t imagine anywhere else being quite as perfect! We wanted to get married in a church, and there was a gorgeous church within walking distance. The next big decision was what kind of marquee/tent we wanted. We decided on a tipi and we’re so glad we did!”
TIPIS AND STYLING
Claire and Nathan opted for three giant hats and one smaller cirrus for their 120 guests. They wanted plenty of space inside, just in case of rain. Luckily, that’s something they didn’t need to worry about, as the weather on the day was gorgeous. The tipis looked fab all in a row, with the far left two tipis dedicated to dining. Everyone sat banquet style with the head table running at 180 degrees from the rows. The third giant hat was for dancing and the cirrus served as the bar space.
“In terms of styling, we wanted a rustic look, and most of the decor was handmade by Nathan’s sister Hope. I really liked the idea of mismatched vintage crockery, so I asked friends and family to donate old sets. We were so happy with the result”.
Inside the tipis, Claire & Nathan kept the vibes clean and fresh with white paper lanterns and hoops suspended in the tipis of foliage lace and ribbon. White and hessian bunting made by Hope was strung across the tipi fronts and festoon lights from the tipi peaks.
Hope had also been busy making a cork table plan, welcome signage and place cards. The tables were decorated with vases of garden roses and garlands of eucalyptus.
Favours were shot glasses from Ikea. Claire is Polish and a traditional vodka toast was planned during the speeches, so Claire and Nathan thought it would be nice for their guests to be able to take their shot glasses home.
Claire and her bridesmaids got ready in a nearby Air B&B. The bridesmaids wore long wrap dresses in a pretty shade of peach from Mango, together with sandals from ASOS and rings from Tai.
“I bought them each a ring as a thank you gift, with their birthstone in an ombre design. The bouquets were just stunning and made for them by a family friend Barbara (or Boopie). Old English garden roses in peach hues, along with scabiosa foliage, hand tied with lace ribbon.
I found a few images on Pinterest of the type of flowers and colours that I liked, and Boopie just brought them to life! The colours helped me choose the bridesmaids’ dresses, rather than the other way round.”
“I’m a huge fan of lace, but found that fully lace dresses didn’t suit me as much as other fabrics did, so the fact that this dress was mostly crepe with a bit of lace was perfect. After trying on a few dresses with a leg split, I fell in love with the idea of having my legs out, so that helped narrow down the search! I could talk for hours about my dress, but in a nutshell, I loved how it combined a modern and classic look.
My dress came from Halo & Wren in Hemel Hempstead, There are only two boutiques in the UK that stock Marquise dresses, one in Hemel and one in Hull. It was a bit of a trek getting to appointments from South East London, but totally 100% worth it! Jemma (the owner) and Sarah (the seamstress) were so helpful and friendly. They both went above and beyond to make sure I was happy with my dress, and gave excellent expert advice on alterations and customisation. I would highly recommend both them and the boutique.”
Claire wore white heeled sandals and a tulle veil, which she borrowed. “I wore a sapphire ring given to me by my grandmother. It was my something old and something blue.”
Nathan wore a navy suit from Next, with a grey waistcoat from ASOS and bespoke cufflinks with Claire’s initials on from Not on the High Street.
The ceremony took place at pretty St Nicholas Church, a short walk from Hidden Valley. Claire made her entrance with her Dad to ‘You’re So Cool’ the theme songfrom the film True Romance.
“After the ceremony, The New York Brass Band led a procession for us and our guests from the church, through the village of Peper Harow, and through the field to our tipis. This was such a highlight of our wedding, and something that our guests loved. It was so much fun having them. A table had been set up near the entrance to the field, so our guests could pick up a glass of bubbles for the walk”
Upon arrival at the Hidden Valley, guests enjoyed fizz and cold beers and Polish appetisers. Guests mingled outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and NY Brass Band continued to play. They finished their set with a fun conga which everyone got involved with, the dancing continued to ‘Walking on Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves and for the last song, guests formed a circle around Claire and Nathan as they danced to Aha ‘Take on Me’. These guys were fab and I’ve never seen the dancing start so early at a wedding. They really set the tone.
In keeping with the relaxed vibes of the day, a barbecue feast was cooked and served by The Gourmet Hog Roast Company.
After the speeches and vodka shots, it was time to cut the cake, which was served as dessert.
“Our cake was the best cake I have ever seen. Nathan’s sister made it. We wanted a rustic looking cake and loved the idea of having three different flavours, both for visual effect, and so that people could choose their favourite.”
After the meal, guests headed back outside to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. Claire and Nathan disappeared with their photography Jamie Dunn for their simply gorgeous couple shots.
“Jamie was absolutely fantastic! Not only are his photos stunning and exactly what we were hoping for (and more), but he was willing to stay until the end of the night. We’re so glad he stayed to capture the late evening party shots!”
Claire and Nathan took to the dancefloor for their first dance to ‘There Must Be An Angel’, by the Eurythmics. Casually they pulled off a gorgeous spin, which is such a great shot.
Everyone immediately took to the dancefloor to party the night away, only stopping for a quick refuel at the crepe van.
Such a stunning day, I will leave you with a little bit of advice from Claire, which I couldn’t agree more with.
“No matter how much time you have to plan your wedding, there will always be more that you could have done, more that you could have planned, etc. At some point you just have to stop and enjoy the planning process, and definitely enjoy the day, because you won’t care if you’ve forgotten something; you probably won’t even notice.”
“We would not have been able to pull off our wedding without the help from Nikki of Fiesta Fields! From finding the gorgeous Hidden Valley to advising on decor and local suppliers, Nikki was hands on throughout. Her vast knowledge and experience in the industry was so valuable – she definitely opened our eyes to a few areas we hadn’t thought of to make our day run smoothly.
Not only was she full of brilliant ideas, like having a table of drinks for our guests to enjoy at the start of the walk, but her help and support on the day was priceless. Having Nikki welcome our suppliers and manage the logistics on the day meant that we could sit back and make the most of the day without having to worry about a thing.
Nikki was also on hand in the lead up for phone calls and emails and was always so generous with her time! We could not have done it without her and would recommend both Nikki and Fiesta Fields without hesitation to anyone planning an outdoor wedding!”
Photography / Jamie Dunn Photography
Cream canvas Tipis / Available from Canvas & Light
Catering / The Gourmet Hog Roast Company
Bar / Ipanema
Brides Dress / Marquise Bridal from Halo & Wren
Grooms suit / Next
Flowers / Family friend
Cake and styling / Hope Fellows
Band / New York Brass Band
Bridesmaid dresses / Mango
Venue and on the day coordination / Fiesta Fields
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