Dreaming of a tipi wedding? We don't blame you, there is little more atmospheric, striking or magical than a tipi wedding. And whatever the weather, tipis create an amazing temporary structure meaning that you can bring your wedding reception to you! But, there are lots of logistics to consider. This is why we'd always recommend working with an experienced tipi company. We caught up with Jo from the award-winning World Inspired Tents (one of our long-time Recommended Suppliers) and asked her everything you need to know if you're planning a tipi wedding.
When deciding on a site, you need to bear in mind a number of different criteria, firstly, the space required. Each Giant Hat tipi is 10.3 meters in diameter with the sides down and 13m with all the sides raised and can seat about 70 people. The amount of ground space required is dependent on how many tipis you need and your chosen configuration. The beauty of the tipis is that they can be linked together in many different configurations to create the perfect sized venue for each event. We also have smaller Cirrus 40 tipis which work beautifully when attached to the Giant Hat tipis to create a cosy chill-out space, bar area or dance floor. Once you know that there is enough space for the tipis, you need to consider if there is good vehicular access to your site. Gates need to be at least 3m wide to accommodate our trucks and trailers. You also need to consider the following:
- How exposed is the site?
- Is there a backup site available?
- Is the ground well drained?
- Is the ground level?
- What services does the site have such as lavatories, water and power?
- Is the site free from overhead obstructions?
We offer free site visits if there is any doubt at all about the suitability of a preferred location. We have experienced build crews who deliver and erect our tipis. The time required for each build is dependent on how many tipis are needed for the event. Most wedding builds are completed well within one day, but for very big events the build may run into a second day.
We can supply a wide range of furnishings. Our round tables and chairs provide a more formal setting whilst our rustic rectangular banqueting tables and benches have a more casual, festival feel. We also hire low-level chill-out furnishing, staging, bars, dance floors, open fires, cake tables, easels, coat rails, and various lighting options. Our large network of supplier friends can help provide any additional furniture that you may need. The tipis provide a beautiful warm atmosphere that supports almost any styling ideas, from formal country garden parties to laid-back bohemian rustic themes. Some customers go all out with super glamorous styling, while others keep things simple, natural styling with wildflowers and homemade touches. Anything goes at a tipi wedding! If you require more help we can recommend some fantastic stylists who are experienced in styling tipi weddings.
We’ve pitched tipis on top of cliffs, in wildflower meadows, woodland clearings and beside beautiful beaches. We have also recently developed a technical solution to place a tipi on a hard surface without drilling.
Do you have any insider tips or pieces of advice when it comes to planning a tipi wedding?
Is there anything people often don’t consider or overlook?
Like any temporary structure, you need to decide on the right location for your event with easy access for suppliers and guests, the provision of services such as lavatories and generators. Power requirement is usually an aspect that is overlooked and left to the last minute. It is important to know what the power requirement is for each of your suppliers so that you can decide on the best solution. However, we work closely with couples well in advance so that everything is in place to ensure the event runs smoothly.
The natural colour of the canvas combined with the untreated wooden tipi structure takes you far away from a more traditional white marquee. The linking of the tipis creates more intimate spaces than a single rectangular tent structure. The various lighting options such as fairy lights, lanterns or candles combined with the furniture and open fire places enhance the natural look of the tipis, creating an energy and in turn an atmosphere that is unforgettable.
There are so many fantastic ways to light the tipis that it is difficult to say which is the best. Each Giant Hat tipi is equipped with internal directional lighting which can be adjusted to create the right lighting atmosphere throughout the day. We also have a variety of fairy light options from climbing sets that are wrapped around all vertical and cross poles to drapes that hang from the centre of the tipi to create a magical atmosphere. Our staggered light centrepiece provides a modern twist, a great centre point to the tipi. Coloured up-lighters can also create different moods within each tipi. To get that real wow factor, you can also light the outside of the tipi with festoons that can be hung peak to peak or on shepherds’ crooks to form a pretty walkway into the tipi.
With open log fires and powerful space heaters, a super cosy space can be created even in the middle of winter. In the summer, our crew leaders will have assessed the site and weather forecast and, in agreement with you, decide how many sides of the tipi should be raised to take in a glorious view or capture a cooling breeze.
Because the tipis are so versatile and can be dressed in both a formal or informal way, as far as food is concerned, there are no limits. From self-serve street-style food vans, dessert stations, and wood-fired pizza ovens to a 5-course waiter service menu, they all work. Even with more casual comfort food, it’s all about the presentation. Our banqueting tables provide the perfect setting for sharing platter feasts too.
A smaller Cirrus 40 tipi, attached to the giant tipis, can create a wonderful play space for children. It provides a separate more intimate space where little ones can still be under the watchful eye of adults. Our chillout furniture, perfect for this area, is a mix of low tables, great for colouring or other creative activities, and scatter cushions for relaxing and even sleeping as parents enjoy the evening reception. There are plenty of exterior games that couples can hire to entertain guests, both adults and children alike, from croquet to coconut shy. Outdoor games work as a perfect complement to the tipis.
The peaks of the tipis can be used to make large floral displays, often mounted on wagon wheels, which we can supply. The horizontal and diagonal tipi poles can be wrapped in foliage and flowers, with bigger displays at the entrance. Many of our clients make use of their immediate local environment to collect wildflowers and foliage from friendly neighbours and local farmers. We see greenery used in abundance to dress centerpieces, to create leafy runners on our more informal banqueting tables, and to add pretty touches to chairs, bars, and our low-level informal furnishings. Our gallery and Pinterest boards are packed full of floral styling ideas. We recommend that customers take time to look at these and put their own Pinterest boards together to help them achieve a cohesive look and feel.
World Inspired Tents are a multi award-winning tipi hire business and have been organising tipi weddings and events since 2007. Their beautiful and versatile giant Nordic tipis provide a striking and contemporary alternative to traditional marquee hire, for year-round celebrations and we absolutely love them for weddings. With bases in North Devon and Bristol, World Inspired Tents provide tipis for weddings throughout Southern England, the Midlands, Wales and beyond. For more information please visit the World Inspired Tents website and you can also find World Inspired Tents profile on our Recommended Suppliers.