Because it’s Friday, because we’re launching a brand new RMW next week and because we love you all – we’ve got another wedding for you today!!
It’s a really good one too. Joanna and Ashley held their reception at Ashley’s parents house in Papakata tipis. I’m a sucker for a tipi wedding – they just look so magical filled with twinkling lights and the fire pit??? So cosy.
The combination of Joanna, Ashley and their photographer Mister Phill was clearly meant to be…Mister Phill captured a truly epic image of the pair dancing together at a friends wedding. Once they’d seen it, they knew no other photographer would do! Make sure you look out for it…
Joanna The Bride: My best friend owns a Tipi company, Papakata, and I think it was always something I had in mind for our reception. Having been to so many amazing weddings for our friends we wanted to have something that was memorable and stood out for our day, and the Tipis certainly do that as they are so unique and provide such a magical atmosphere. The Papakata team were incredible – the service, furnishings, set up and take down was all perfectly executed and they are the best people in the business.
Luckily Ash’s parents said we could use their garden for the Tipis, so that meant it made sense to be married in the village Church. It is very old and historical (and tiny) and proved a nice contrast by being so traditional, with the not so traditional Tipi reception.
I found my dress, Kyra by Maggie Sottero, at Miss Bush Bridal and was assisted by the infamous Emma on all of my appointments – she even sat me down to do an impromptu hair styling session! I wanted a dress that wasn’t too dramatic but also had a wow factor, and for me the Kyra was just the right amount of sexy vs romantic vs comfy, and on the day I felt wonderful wearing it.
I chose a simple single tier chapel length veil (also from Miss Bush Bridal) and bought Rachel Simpson shoes that were lace with a kitten heel so I could walk in the Tipi and grass without tripping over. I borrowed a beautiful vintage amethyst (my birth stone) and diamond tennis bracelet from my mother in law, which served as my something old and borrowed.
My cousin’s girlfriend did my hair and make up. My hair was a simple half up do, with some small fresh white roses pinned at the back. For my make up I wanted something that was a little more dramatic than the natural look some other brides go for, as I don’t really wear much make up normally I wanted to look like a bit more “done” on the day and in my wedding pictures.
Ash had a bespoke navy 3 piece suit made by October House in London. He’d always wanted a tailored suit but didn’t want to pay the inflated Saville Row prices. October House provided the perfect blend of service, quality and affordability.We also asked the ushers to wear navy suits and gave them matching pale pink ties and socks. My six beautiful bridesmaids were also in pale pink.
We had two bands on the day, a bit extravagant but they were both totally worth it. The Gold Diggers (who I found on RMW) played us from the church through the village to the reception in the garden and that was a real highlight for everyone. They really started the party atmosphere and we were lucky that we had a break in the rain showers right at that time we walked through the village with everyone cheering us. For the evening we used Vintage Vandals (the lead singer is a friend of the family), and they played an amazing set of old and new classics that had everyone up dancing and singing all night.
Truly Scrumptious Catering provided beautiful canapés for the champagne reception in afternoon and then a delicious wedding breakfast and evening nibbles too. We decided not to have a wedding cake as neither of us were fussed about that particular tradition so just got some cup cakes and brownies made for our guests to enjoy later in evening. A friends owns Itchen Valley Brewery and so we had 3 barrels of ale, which proved very popular and were all drunk! Champagne was provided by Chateau Bone, and our wine by Vagabonds of Fulham.
Where possible we tried to do a few things ourselves, like the place settings for the tables ourselves, with Ash writing out every guests name on a label and then me threading it onto the ribbon or twine. One of Ash’s ushers had the fun job of cutting 100 sprigs of rosemary from the garden the morning of the wedding to place in each napkin! Our friend Mike created our unique table plan using a large piece of wood Ash bought from B&Q and painted black, and the table names were based on funny romantic lines from movies that we like watching. We sourced mini black boards for the tables from Amazon and another talented friend, Dave, helped us create all the stationery.
A local florist Hot Flowers and Art created the most beautiful bouquet for me and also the bridesmaids bouquets, and reception flowers. To save some money we bought a whole load of flowers from a local supplier a few days before the wedding and along with my mum and Ash’s mum we made the pew ends and large flower display for the church, as well as filling lots of jam jars (which I collected and wrapped ribbon around) with white and pale pink flowers.
Deciding on a photographer was one of the earliest and easiest decisions we made. We had seen Mister Phill at our friend’s wedding, which we attended a few weeks after we got engaged, and loved his style and approach in terms of capturing atmosphere and small key moments. He also happened to take an incredible action shot of us dancing, so it seemed like a “sign” that he should shoot our wedding too. On the day he was brilliant, just blending into the background but seeming to capture all the pictures we could ever want. We could not recommend Mister Phill highly enough – he is a lovely man who will make it his goal to take the most beautiful pictures for you.
Like all brides I worried about things (like the weather, which annoyingly was not great but it didn’t matter because of the Tipis) but I think if you can try and enjoy all the planning much as possible, and make the most of the quality time you get to spend with people in the run up, it can be some of the funniest times and memories you will look back on in addition to the day itself. We were so lucky to have the support of our friends and family who all helped create something that felt so perfect for us on the day.
The day flies by as everyone says it will, and we tried to make sure we had some time together but mostly we just soaked up the feeling of being surrounded by everyone who loves us and wanted to share our happiness. We just felt so loved and in love – it was truly the best day ever.