It's a pleasure to share Sophie and Rob's gorgeous Scandi inspired tipi wedding with you all this morning because there's a whole host of our List recommended suppliers involved. The tipis come from Big Chief Tipis, flowers are by the incredible Frog (who we finally met in the flesh at A Most Curious Wedding Fair - David is an absolute gem, as well as being really talented), and the stunning images are from Melissa Beattie, who ALWAYS delivers. You'll often hear us recommend spending most of your budget on an amazing photographer and videographer, not only to capture the incredible memories of your day, but also to capture your loved ones. Sophie lost her Dad not long after her wedding day, so these records are even more poignant and special. Melissa has done her proud. This is such a stylish and fun wedding, and Sophie is truly a beautiful person inside and out. I loved reading her wedding report and I just know you will too...
Our WeddingSophie the Bride: Myself and Rob adore the outdoors, with him a keen triathlete, regularly running and cycling around the Cheshire Countryside and myself growing up in the remote Yorkshire village of Scapegoat Hill plus regularly visiting my sister and brother in law who live in Norway, we are always happiest when outdoors, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and fresh air. Our many trips to Scandinavia, mainly Norway and Denmark was definitely the catalyst of inspiration for our wedding. The relaxed, warm but minimalistic stylings were key to creating the atmosphere and look and feel we both wanted for our big day...and I think we pulled it off.
The ProposalRob proposed to me in June 2015 in the gardens of Hotel De Russie, a Rocco forte hotel situated in the centre of Rome, it was the most romantic setting and we dined on Wagyu beef and seafood platters with paired wines ahead of walking up into the gardens and him getting down on one knee and popping the question! I squealed yes and we finished the night drinking champers. I started planning the wedding the following year and after visiting venues all stunning in their own right, the limitations and curfews some imposed meant that I didn’t feel it was ‘us’.
The TipisLuckily for me one of my besties, Hayley had recently set up her company Big Chief Tipis. I first met Hayley working together in Events and Marketing for Caesars entertainment, I trusted Hayley and her expertise in outdoor weddings no end, since also climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with her and cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia with her (both mad) her tipi products are just outstanding and made to the highest quality. I made the call to Hayley and from that instance her and her team treated me and Rob with the best service imaginable, nothing was too much trouble and any question we had was answered with professionalism and flair! We went for 3 big hats in a triangular formation to allow for different areas and a flow for guests. The tipi had the ‘wow’ factor I wanted, and all our guests were blown away once stepping foot inside, it had the Nordic nostalgia I’d hoped for and brought back memories of drinking Jagear in wooded cabins in the Nordic hills! Rob was keen to let more natural light in to the tipi so Hayley accommodated this with a panoramic panel located behind the top table; luckily for us the weather was so good we were able to have this open the whole day. We added further lighting with Edison light bulbs that hung over the long tables and created an entrance with festoon lights from Luminate Events. The lighting gave further warmth and cosiness. Soooo ‘Hygge!’ The tipi in all its glory looked so impressive in the surroundings at Hill Top Farm, Cheshire and I got the best of both worlds getting a farm and a tipi wedding!
The ReceptionWe were also lucky enough to get to try out one of Big Chief Tipis new products, an open sided mini tipi which created the perfect area to serve our reception drinks, my signature G&T’s with rosemary and cucumber served in huge ballon glasses. The reception drinks were accompanied by music from David Julien, (First series of the voice) a friend of mine and an incredible talent! And some mouth-watering delightful canapés served by Vanilla In All Seasons including scallops, King prawns and more!
The LocationWe chose Hill Top Farm Wedding Meadow as the location for our tipi, the wedding meadow is located just ten minutes down the road from our house, so made it really convenient for set up for us, something worth considering when doing a DIY wedding. The meadow is located on a working farm and has breath-taking views across to Kinder Scout and beyond.
Getting ReadyThe day started at Mottram Hall, where the girls and I got ready, I had my makeup and hair done by Kimberly Jones and the girls had theirs by Erica. The girls wore 3 different floral print dresses. They all have such individual styles, so I wanted to be able to express this through their dresses, but still keeping them in the same fabrics and colours. The dresses were from ASOS, teamed with barely there rose gold sandals, everyone commented on them and loved how individual they were. Baby Aubrey wore a white Jasper Conran Baby number and looked adorable and mum was in a sophisticated, cobalt blue number from London Boutique The Fold! Whilst we got ready we cracked open a bottle of prosecco and our fantastic photographer Melissa Beattie snapped away discreetly.
The PhotographyI had first met Melissa Beattie North East Wedding Photographer, at one of The Big Chief Tipis open days and loved the style of her work and how she ‘captured Love’ and although I didn’t book Melissa straight away (must do research I told myself) I just knew I would come back to her, I think for weddings you have to go with your heart and listen to your instincts as they are usually spot on! We were so right with Melissa and love our pics. She captured the outoorsyness that we wanted and didn’t bat an eye lid when we dragged her into the woods for some portrait pics!
The DressI tried on a couple of dresses in a small boutique in Alderley Edge so knew the style and shape I was after, one of my friends from school has recently opened a cute boutique in Holmfirth and after looking on their website Dotty Taylor Bridal I spotted a Pronovias gown that looked exquisite. I tried the dress on and instantly fell in love, it felt so nice knowing I had got my dress from a school friend with my mum and sister by my side. The dress needed a few alterations but Shannon and her team ensured that it was perfect for my day and I couldn’t have felt more comfortable in the shop! On the day when I put my dress on and floor length veil by Nieve Couture and saw my parents and Bridesmaids faces I knew I had made the right choice, and luckily Rob agreed too!
The CeremonyTook place at Norcliffe Chapel, Styal. The chapel is so quaint and set within a National Trust wood. We personalised it with a reading from one of our good friends Beth and also another friend played and sung Bob Dylan’s To make you feel my love on his guitar which left no one with a dry eye in the chapel!
The FlowersI found my florist on Instagram! I saw his account and was wowed by the quirkiness of the floral design and knew it was my style. Frog Flowers are based in The Northern Quarter in MCR. I knew I didn’t want florals I was thinking botanical, and foliage loads of green and not many more colours. David got my brief to a tee and the way they dressed the tipi was stylish and sophisticated, it created impact but was still in keeping with the natural surroundings! I went BIG and WILD with my bouquet and was obsessed with it! DIY TIP!!!! I teamed Frog's artistic arrangements with vivarium’s I had filled myself with baby cacti and succulents.
The TransportMyself, Dad and then Rob travelled in a Rolls Royce Phantom (white) from Cupid Carriage Wedding Car Hire. And the Bridesmaids and my mum travelled in a new white E class Mercedes from SK Executive Car Hire Ltd
The Groom & GroomsmenRob and his ushers got suited and booted by Wilmslow suit hire Whitfield and Ward, they looked like true gentlemen in their air force blue suits and Rob differentiated his look with a tweed waistcoat and stag head tie with pocket watches to finish the look! Very Mr Selfridge!
The FoodHaving known and worked with Adam, Simon and the team at Vanilla In All Seasons for years and seeing many a wedding breakfast, I knew I had a few big expectations on me from friends and family! Everyone was blown away by the food and service, that even surpassed my expectations with the feast that was created from the small catering tent at the back of the tipi, we dined on anti pasti sharing starters of beetroot cured salmon, prosciutto, calamari, hummus and much more, I love the idea of a sharing starter and everyone getting stuck in and talking about the food. The starter were followed by a choice of Cheshire Fillet of Beef - cooked to perfection, with a braised beef Bon Bon or Sea bass with chilli, coriander and butternut squash. There was something for everyone for dessert with a miniature trio! We chose our wines carefully and printed tasting notes for the guests; we loved having the freedom of being able to choose quality wines with no corkage fee! To add to the Nordic theme, my Norwegian brother in law spoke about the Nordic liquor Aquavit as a shot was served post starter that divided opinions with the taste. Don’t be afraid to add a few personal touches which break the mould of the traditional wedding breakfast!
The EntertainmentWe danced into the early hours to the band Twisted Tubes, an alternative brass band that I knew from booking for an event previously, I can’t explain enough about how good they are, our guests all went wild for them especially when they came in to the crowd with their brass instruments. The band even played our first dance song ‘Adorn’ by Migle in their own arrangement! They went back to back with DJ Will, booked through six15 events who played an eclectic mix of popular songs with a Retro Ibiza hour, that had myself and the groom up on the stage!
The Cheese CakeThe icing on our nontraditional cheese wedding cake was my stationery designs, created by my good friend Holly Strickson, I didn’t want traditional wedding stationery so Holly combined geometric shapes with natural woodland and Nordic scenes to create clean eye catching designs that complimented the rest of the decor perfectly.
Other DetailsWe had a lounge area near the big wooden Big Chief Tipi bar complete with reindeer skins and mountain scene cushions and a fun hanging photo booth, SO cosy. The weather was perfect all day and we couldn’t have been luckier, I did have a pimp your prosecco stand and sparklers that I totally forgot about the whole day with so much going on, so if it’s not in your budget do not worry about little extras or ensure you have ‘sparkler’ time planned in ahead of everyone getting too tipsy!
Special Thoughts & MentionsI can’t thank our suppliers enough for everything they did to make our day perfect. Oh, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester for your surprise speech. We created love and memories to last forever. My dad sadly passed away soon after our day, which meant the day meant even more to me than I thought it ever could, it was the best day of our lives and having my dad there to walk me down the aisle is something that I will treasure for ever and ever.
Tipi: Big Chief Tipis | Edison Bulb Lighting: Luminate Events | Venue: Hill Top Farm | Catering: Vanilla In All Seasons | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Bride: Pronovias | Boutique: Dotty Taylor Bridal | Veil: Nieve Couture | Transport: Cupid Carriages | Florists: Frog | Groom & Groomsmen: Whitfield and Ward | Entertainment: Twisted Tubes | Cake: Church Mouse Cheeses | Stationery Design: Holly Strickson