Whether it’s a rustic shindig, a festival of celebrations or something a little more vintage, it all comes down to the same thing – budget and logistics!
To help you on your merry way we have the team from Sami Tipi giving us their top 10 tips for planning a tipi wedding!
Get that notepad out…
As with anything when planning a wedding, the first consideration always needs to be budget, let’s get that out there as no one likes to talk about money. Your Tipi structure and feeding your guests will be the two larger items on your list, so allocate your budget and stick to it.
Write your guest list as this will ultimately dictate how many tipis you will need to host your guests. The tipis interconnect to create one event space, and each configuration has its own capacities.
Once you have your guest list also consider what else you will want in the event space. Write yourself a wish list, for example do you want a dance floor, room for a band, space for a bar, cake display area, guest book, photo booth etc.
Being armed with your guest list and wish list, get yourself a bespoke tipi quotation asking to include all of the additional items you think you may want. It is better to have a quotation that you can scale down rather than one you need to scale up. For example walkway matting, fairy lights, the biggest dance floor suitable for your tipi space – ask your supplier what options they have available.
Now you have a good idea about your tipis, the next step is to locate a suitable site. All tipi/marquee companies will be able to recommend to you locations that they have worked with previously, but if this still does not hit the spot, ask family and friends if they know of any local fields, holiday cottages, sports grounds that may be of interest. Speak to your local council they may have land that they are also willing to hire out. You can also check out the tipi and marquee venues here on the Venue Finder!
The tent provider will be looking for good access into the field, if there are any overhead or underground services (the land owner should be able to advise on this), a large enough area for the tipis to sit plus space to pull the canvas over. The land does need to be relatively flat, but a slight slope or undulations are ok.
Once you have found the perfect field, the thing to consider now is how to make it function for you. If you do not have power or toilets that’s not a problem as a generator and luxury toilet block can be hired in for you. Get an estimate from your tipi company on the toilet and generator hire and put this into your budget. These do not need to be booked at this stage, but having the budget allocation helps in the long run. Your tip supplier may book these in for you or alternatively ask them for recommendations of companies they have worked with.
Now you have your tipis and site, next you need to feed your guests! The great thing with a tipi wedding is there are no rules, there is no one telling you to have menu A or menu B so consider what food you both enjoy and speak to a few local caterers and see what menus they can come up with for you. When booking a caterer you need to consider where will they be cooking? Will they need a catering tent hiring in from your tipi supplier (if so get this added on to your tipi quotation), some caterers may have their own tent or van to cook from.
Other things to consider is will the site be dark at night? How will your guests see their way to the toilets and back to the car? Garden solar lights or battery operated tea lights in jam jars work really well to do this and can be used again at home.
When you tell family you are getting married in a field and in a tipi they may think that you are crazy, take advantage of attending the tipi open events and bring them along, once they see it all come together they will understand your awesome decision.
If the idea of getting married in a field with no event management scares you a little, help is always at hand. You can employ the help of a Wedding Planner that can offer on the day management. Although it is called on the day, realistically you will want them there one or two days before the day, this way they can be the ones to communicate with suppliers, be there to accept deliveries etc. Most on-the-day coordinators will take over a few weeks prior to your big day.
Most of all enjoy planning your outdoor wedding, enjoy the preparations, the days before and most of all ENJOY YOUR DAY!
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