TIPI WEDDING: Emma and James' stunning tipi garden wedding oasis
Updated: May 17
Emma and James hosted their stunning tipi wedding in the grounds of James's family home in Surrey. This stunning garden is a botanical dream, with collections of pine trees, bamboo, maple and Japonica, serving as an incredible backdrop to James and Emma's beautiful June wedding. This was also a LEGENDARY wedding, with very special appearances from the king himself, Reverend 'Elvis' and pop icon 'Cher.' With a couple of very cute little four legged (and well behaved) ring bearers, this wedding really did have it all, even sunny, warm weather throughout the day. James recounts details from the wedding day below, with both the bride and groom's experiences leading up to the wedding. Thank you for sharing your journey with us x
Tipi wedding : 3 giant tipis & a chill out kung tipi
Guests : 120
Photography - Hayley Jennifer Photography
Videography - Chris Bennett Films
Generator/Chiller - Grizzly Bear Events
Catering - Centre Catering
Drinks- Flair production group
Toilets - Sweet Pea Toilets
Celebrant and performers - Darren Alboni (Cher) and Tania (Cher) - Ultimate Tribute
DJ / Music equipment - Sussex DJ Equipment Hire
Florist - Flower Terrace
Make up - r.m.mua
Hair -Becky Cooper Hair
Bridal gown - Lily Jacobs
Shout outs: 'Julie', Emma's lovely mum - a HUGE thank you!
Gown and bridesmaid assistance : Elaine Gornall
A gorgeous backdrop for the outdoor ceremony.
Our multi functional tipi benches and chairs
We have garden envy!
What made you go for a tipi wedding?
"I'd seen a Tipi setup for a wedding at Littleton Manor on top of a hill and thought it looked amazing. In a country setting it just suits so much better than a bright white, square marquee which can feel pretty soulless. We wanted the wow factor."
Pink and natural pampas, roses and eucalyptus, bring splashes of colour and a touch of boho styling to the ceremony arch.
Wedding planning - how was the experience for you both?
"We planned the wedding ourselves. Wedsites was a really handy tool for collating all the invites, guests RSVPs, food requirements, keeping people updated and organising the seating plan (I never want to see another seating plan as long as I live!). It was a huge challenge and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have time on your side. With everything you plan, you realise there are about 5 more variables and extras to think about (and pay for). It snowballs quite quickly. We had a LOT of help from some good friends too that wouldn't have been possible without them! Oh and the one main thing I forgot!! Cleaners, people to tidy up after! What a mission that was, especially with the mother of all hangovers and Covid (which I didn't know I had until days later)."
The cutest ring bearers - 'Ralph' and 'Suzi' enjoying a well earned rest, after their successful aisle duties.
Did your lovely ring bearers have any pre-wedding aisle training?
"No we didn't train them at all. Ralph our Frenchie, who we almost lost late last year bless him is so well-behaved, I knew he'd come running and Suzi the sausage is so petrified of everyone, I knew she'd run after Ralph. The trick was not to see the dogs in the morning, so they acted like they were pleased to see us when they finally did."
Possibly the best 'unofficial' celebrant ever!
Where did you find 'Reverend' Elvis?
I knew my mate Darren Alboni did Elvis (a professional impersonator) and one night drunk we thought it would be funny... When I first told Emma she had a face like thunder and didn't think it would be funny, but she then asked her mum if it would be OK as a tribute to Jeff, her Dad who unfortunately passed away the year before with dementia, whilst he was not too sure of what was going on around him, he never stopped shouting "You aint nothing but a hound dog" every time he met someone new, so it was a tribute to him more than anything. Turned out to be hilarious in the end.
Rock n Roll vows : "I promise to love you tender and never treat you with a suspicious mind!"
"I promise to never leave you at heartbreak hotel, to love you tender, love you true".
Here come the girls.
And the boys!
Sweet trolleys - keeping the kids...and adults happy!
Dancefloor decor - Balloons and neon displays with boho dried florals.
Rustic tipi table settings with bouquets of Gypsophila and roses.
Tell us about your wedding suppliers?
Some I had used in the past, some I had approached directly but Jim was good in making strong recommendations for other good suppliers.The caterers were really good, Dave Blunt - I know him from years ago when he was the head chef at a very renowned gastro pub https://centre-catering.com/ Dave actually sorted out the bar suppliers for us too who were really helpful, Harry Thompson, email@example.com
The Fridge, Generator, outside lighting were all supplied by Ben from Grizzly Bear events. Think Jim Tribeca Tipis recommended him, he was absolutely bloody mustard and got us out a couple of last-minute problems with extra equipment etc. The suits were sourced by myself and the best men by traipsing round Brighton across 2 afternoons, it would have been 1 but we kept getting drawn into pubs! The Stationary and signage was a mixture of bits from Amazon, Hobby Craft and last minute a friend got some printing done for us. Toilets were from http://www.sweetpeatoilets.co.uk/ again used them before they're always decent.
A 3 giant hat tipi and chill out kungtipi garden take over!
Best bits of the day?
"Best bits would have to be, hiding in the freezer truck with the best man and a bottle of prosecco when guests started to arrive and I couldn't cool down (it was hot, I'd had about 3 hours sleep and anxious). Elvis walking out the boat house and surprising everyone. Seeing Emma for the first time and also doing my speech. I had a great laugh with it... to be honest the rest of it is a bit of a blur... I did DJ later apparently? Think the wedding was bank holiday Friday, the last guest left Tuesday!!!"
Bouquet catching - starting them young. There was only going to be one clear winner though!
A wedding guest favourite. Who doesn't love a boho peacock chair?
This definitely was the ultimate festival wedding - glorious sunshine in the day and evening showers!
I Got You Babe - Another musical superstar in the house.
Surely no-one could top Elvis, except maybe Cher?
Tania, Elvis's wife has won awards and did the 90's club classics set later in the day. http://www.theultimatetribute.co.uk/
Ministry of Emma
Music set up?
DJ's were myself, Emma and all my friends who have been doing it for years, we didn't hire a DJ as I had an Anti-Cheese music policy lol. The equipment hire is cracking value though, 2 x CDJ 2000, Mixer, Radio Mics, Deck Stand, lazers, nodding heads, lights, smoke machine, 2 x monitors AND a 5kw Funktion 1 Sound system all for about £500, used them before... https://www.sussexdjequipmenthire.co.uk/
What advice would you give when planning an outdoor tipi wedding?
"Yes... Get help, start by brainstorming, draw a map of where you want everything to go inside and out, think about power points, water points, drainage etc, stay very organised, run spreadsheets, use Wedsites, write lots of lists. I think I had a to do list everyday for the last 3 days leading up to it and it still got longer every other day, even when I'd scribbled everything off.
Don't be afraid to ask your friends and family for help, and don't be afraid to say NO, it's your day, you've only got to please two people essentially, and it's very easy to feel you should pander to everyone else."
Thanks guys for making our day so special!!! Everyone said it was one of the best weddings they'd been to... mind you, they're supposed to say that to your face I think lol
Videography by Chris Bennett Films
Emma and James (and Suzi and Ralph) - June 2022