It’s so hard to say! I love the colourful flags, and the line up of gorgeous glamping bell tents for their guests. Of course I love the glorious outdoors and lakeside setting, totally idyllic. But most of all I just love how much fun, personality and thought was put into the whole weekend – from the handmade ceremony tipi to the surprise Indian drummers, their wedding day was so obviously them and because of that, it’s an absolute pleasure to share this gorgeous summery celebration with you today.
Clearly a creative couple they really took the blank canvas space of Spirit Lake and Canvas & Light’s cream canvas tipis and truly made it their own with splashes of colour, bright festival flags, ribbon bunting, tuk tuk photo booth and Indian drummers.
For her bridesmaids’ dresses Lou had chosen simple but elegant sage green silk slip dresses, made by one of her favourite suppliers at Anthropologie, where she is a fashion buyer. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a smaller version of Lou’s bouquet with pink roses and eucalyptus. “One of my bridesmaids drove us in her vintage Mercedes to the venue, which was amazing and really special”.
Lou says. “I had always wanted something relaxed and easy to wear. I went to two bridal shops and picked the dress on the first day from a boutique in Tunbridge Wells. ‘Willowby’ by Watters Hearst Gowns.
Beautiful Bells had provided 17 glamping bell tents set in a sweeping arc along the lakeside, including a 7m fully furnished bridal bell tent for James and Lou, complete with four poster bed.
Guests congregated at the tipis to enjoy a welcome drink and take in the views and the beautifully styled tipis. “The vision was always to have an intimate day, where everyone feels relaxed and then a big party into the night. I have always loved tipi tents, so we knew this was a must and then we had to find a venue where we were allowed to stay after midnight.
James and Lou had legally married the week before but had decided on an outdoor blessing to share the symbolic moment with friends and family. James had built a ceremony tipi as a focal point and had the poles wrapped with hessian and foliage provided by Anne Marie from Rhubarb and Bramley, along with hanging flower garlands. The aisle was laid with Afghan rugs and chairs from the tipis were set either side of the aisle.
As Lou arrived with her dad and bridesmaids, guests made their way over from the tipis to take their seats. Lou was met with a surprise – Indian drummers booked by James’ Mum. The drummers played as Lou, her bridesmaids and her dad made their way down the aisle to where James was waiting.
The ceremony was led by their friend Gilley, “Gilley has been a housemate and close friend of ours for a few years and we had wanted it to be intimate and unique to us as a couple. James’ dad read a reading ‘He is not perfect’ by Bob Marley and one of my best friends wrote a poem which was amazing. Our little sausage doggy, Bernie, was ring bearer (with rings round his collar) and he then lay on my dress through the rest of the ceremony in his custom made suit.”
Guests enjoyed live music from Social Scene while playing the garden games and enjoying a mouth-watering selection of canapés were served by Tempus Catering. After the drinks reception, guests made their way over to the tipis, led by the drummers and Lou and James entered as Mr and Mrs to cheers and applause before tucking into a delicious 3-course wedding breakfast.
After the feast it was time for the speeches and soon evening guests started to arrive. Guests came out of the tipis to enjoy the early evening sun and pay a visit to the photo tuk tuk. Dub Bar opened up the evening bar and James and Lou and their photographer Maureen Du Preez took advantage of the beautiful golden hour light.
As the light faded the indoor fire was lit and the outdoor space looked gorgeous with all the atmospheric lighting the couple had set up. Cuzzi Pizza got their oven fired up, ready to serve evening pizzas and Platinum Fireworks put on a colourful firework display timed to music. “This really was a highlight and a surprise for the guests, and this blew them away, James again came up with a very specific play list, video below.”
Any advice for couples planning an outdoor wedding?
Lights really make the venue and give it that magical feel, also lots of decorations and larger items help fill the space. Get lots of friends and family to help make bits to give the place a really unique, personal feeling!
Any highlights for you Lou?
“The speeches were pretty great, and I loved the fireworks they were spectacular. The next day was also fantastic as we were all hungover together and the sun was shining and we had a campfire with guitars.
Nikki from the venue was on hand throughout the process and happy to help and give advice based on previous experience. I would highly recommend her and everyone within the team – they were a pleasure to work with!”
Photographer Maureen Du Preez
Canvas Tipis Canvas & Light
Flowers Rhubarb and Bramley
Caterer Tempus Catering
Evening Caterer Cuzzi Pizza
Evening Bar Dub Bar
Bell Tents Beautiful Bells
Wedding Coordinator Wildflower Wedding Planning
Photo Booth Hello Tuk Tuk
Hair Stylist Wedding Hair Design
Dress Watters Hearst Gowns
Festival Flags Event Flag Company
Props Locate to Create
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