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  • Writer's pictureTRIBECA TIPIS


Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Lily & Dean - A stunning rural tipi festival wedding in the heart of East Sussex featuring a gorgeous rustic woodland ceremony, colourful smoke bombs + four seasons in one day! This really is a FESTIVAL STYLE wedding.

We first met Lily and Dean at our open day tipi launch back in 2020 and again when we went to look at their wedding venue for the first time. Lily also visited our second open day to help with her wedding planning, so it was great to get to know them both a little more each time.

The venue, located on a private farm in Hellingly has a large enclosed field surrounded by beautiful woodland, which Lily and Dean transformed into a beautiful rustic ceremony area, completed with a hand made wedding arch foraged from the woods!

3 giant tipis were pitched in the field close to the woods with a glamping village which included the couple's honeymoon suite + tents for guests.

As you will read from Lily & Dean's personal wedding story, this is honest, humorous and heartfelt, with friends & family playing important creative roles in the lead up and to and on the day of their wedding, from magnificent arch building skills, to stunning floral displays and even an (unofficial) family celebrant!

They also talk about coping with weather conditions such as wind, rain (and some sun), plus a very dramatic thunderstorm that night!

Lily's organisation skills and laid back approach were seamless, which made it so easy and uncomplicated for everyone involved and we have to say, we were also incredibly impressed that Lily managed to kept her blue wellies on throughout the entire proceedings - a true festival bride!

A fun filled, joyous family festival style tipi wedding - congratulations Lily & Dean x

3 x giant hat tipis + glamping village

No of guests: 86

Suppliers :

Tipis, furniture and glamping - Tribeca Tipis & Brighton Bell Tents


Photographer - D&J Wedding Photography

Generator, chiller & toilets - Outdoor event and equipment hire

Hog Roast - Harold's Hog

Pizza Van - Rob from Community Oven

Catering staff - Sussex Events Staff

Wedding planning - Wild Wedding Company

Bridal bouquets and buttonholes - The Leigh on Sea Florist

Rings/Jewels - CJ Vinten (famly jewellers), Goldsmiths in Leigh on Sea


"Choosing a wedding destination during a pandemic was tough, especially as we had always thought we'd elope. So we had to turn to UK weddings; the usual church, country manors and barn weddings just isn't us at all, and then we discovered an image of a tipi wedding on google. Right then, both our faces lit up and we knew that was what we wanted. The very next day Lily got cracking with researching fairly local to Essex Tipi style weddings, this is when Tribeca popped up and with their open day just round the corner, we stopped researching and chose to wait until we'd seen the gorgeous set ups in real life. Well, when we visited, we were smitten!

Our families (friends not so much) love camping and being out in nature, so telling them that this was our choice and we can all stay in adorable bell tents, they couldn't wait - every person said 'that is very you'.

Lily and Dean's tipi wedding and glamping village

Tribeca's very useful website made sourcing suppliers a piece of cake, I think we picked most suppliers from their list. We found our coordinator, Clair (Wild Wedding Company), through the Hitched website. She helped with suppliers in the months leading up to the wedding and was on hand on the day to assist with the running of things.

Planning a tipi style wedding - we found trying to use suppliers who had worked with each other before easier, a wedding coordinator is an absolute must, so many things can go wrong and they are on hand to deal with everything so you can enjoy your day. Our day was just perfect, our suppliers were great, our guests were great, even the storm was great fun.

On the wedding day, we were up early starting to get things ready until Clair arrived to take over and Lily and her bride squad were whisked off to get ready. The day started out overcast and muggy, turning very hot, so Dean and other guests had to get ready outside of their tents, luckily the field was very private!

Wedding ready

However, by the time Lily arrived the weather had started to turn, and the wind picking up. Fortunately, as the ceremony was in the woodlands it was very sheltered so the wind didn't interrupt anything and the (home grown, home dried) rose petal confetti didn't get blown away.

As our families are very creative, when we told them that we wanted an arch built from foraged branches in the woods, they jumped at the chance to help. Any excuse for men to bring all their tools. Friday when we arrived, on the hottest day in June, the men were hiding from the blistering heat in the woods and would periodically appear for another beer. Eventually as it started to get dark they fetched Lily to 'take a look in the woods', they had cleared the aisle completely, scattered dried rose petals and had made this incredible arch. It was made completely from loose branches , held together with a few nails and some string! There was certainly a little bit of blood and a lot of sweat and happy tears went into that arch.

The stunning wedding arch, foraged from the woodland, created the day before the wedding by Lily and Dean's family.

Whilst the men were transforming the woodland, us ladies were decorating the tipi; Lily had previously painstakingly stripped labels off brown beer bottles to be used as vases, along with vintage clay bottles her dad had collected over the years, these were then displayed with dried flowers she had either dried herself or purchased.

Stylish diy beer bottle table decor

Mother of the bride did all of the floral displays, again using dried flowers she had foraged/dried or purchased herself, her inspiration was the amazing displays used on the tipi open day.

Beautiful boho floral entrance created by Lily's mum.

Inside the bell tents we made hampers for each guest, including personalised thermos water bottles which were a massive hit, especially as the Father of the Bride discovered it keeps your prosecco cooler for longer

Keeping it cool

Our favourite memory will always be having Lily's cousin 'marry' us. Due to the field not having a wedding license, and the thought of an over rehearsed celebrant service just didn't work for us, so that is when we turned to family - it made our day even more special to us, just a real family affair!

Boho wedding ceremony in the woods - keeping it in the family!

We also chose 'ring warming' as our wedding ritual, this involved our rings being passed around each guest for them to hold and say a little prayer/blessing. The guests loved this and how we involved them all in the service.

Blessing the rings

As the day went on, it got windier and wetter; during the photo shoots a huge gust of wind swept across the field, ripped Lily's veil out and straight into her sister's face!

What can we say, it's a classic by D and J Wedding Photography. Talk about capturing the moment!

This also meant our games that we spent months making weren't used and got soaked, our bar gazebo took off which involved a lot of guests to help get it down, the hog roast gazebo also took off, Mother of the Bride and Best Man were on hand to assist with that and the 11pm thunderstorm put a stop to the cute candles placed around the field. Despite all of this, the smiles were never wiped from our faces, and we actually found it all to be hilarious.

Behind the scenes: People think rain is the enemy... it's actually the wind. That's why we love tipis, they are stylish, yet robust!

We knew that picking a field wedding in the UK meant that it could be very wet and muddy, so for her 'something blue', Lily chose turquoise blue wellies. She had planned on changing into sandals later, especially as the day before had been such glorious weather, but instead, she wore them all day, even putting a yellow rain mac on during the storm!

If we were told the day before that the weather would destroy the bride's hair, gazebos and decorations, we would have been livid, but ultimately on the day, none of it really matters, it truly is the best day of your life!

Here we go..

Setting the scene

Emotional family moments.

Speeches & vows surround by friends and family in the beautiful woods

The happy couple

Confetti aisle - woodland style

The perfect woodland setting for moments like these.

Here comes the bride!

Painting colour - smoke grenade at your service!

Some guests really got into the spirit of things!

The three giants awaiting the guests

From woodland to tipi - wedding guests can be so helpful.

Stunning floral entrance displays, created by Lily's mum.

Boho rustic tipi interiors with tables and benches and lots of pampas flowers.

Grazing tables, florals and fresh bubbly for guests.

Hook a duck and glamp too!

Festival bride! Loving those blue wellies.

Wellies stayed up...bride didn't!

The boys, looking sharp and celebrating in true rustic wedding style.

Family & Friends - what a creative bunch!

Glamping kisses

Veil fail - but it's a good one.

Possibly not for Lily's sister!

Sisters' and a well behaved veil.

Chill out time

Beautiful tipi styling and florals

Thinking of the guests...and the dance floor!

Savoury and sweet treats - Hog roast, cakes and the cutest glamping biscuits.

Gorgeous wedding umbrellas.

First dance

Congratulations Lily and Dean 2022 x


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