Pros and Cons of a Tipi Wedding

What are the Pros and Cons of a Tipi Wedding

This article was originally created by Kelly at Boho Weddings:

Here at BOHO we LOVE Tipi weddings! Any sort of Marquee or Yurt wedding, but especially Tipis. Now it’s it’s getting closer to summer it really is the perfect time to look at planning a Tipi wedding, but did you know that you can hold a Tipi wedding throughout the year, it doesn’t just have to be a summer thing?! If you are in the process of planning a Tipi wedding or considering one, then this two-part blog series from Jacquie at Elite Tents is a must read for you. Jacquie is an absolute expert in her field so she has all the knowledge and advice you need for planning and organising a Tipi wedding.

The Pros and Cons of Planning a Tipi Wedding – Part 1.

Since Elite Tents was set up in 2010, I have been involved in planning almost 700 tipi outdoor weddings. I have seen the pitfalls and the details that can sometimes be overlooked. More importantly, I know those ideas that do work . The ones that will ensure that your wedding day is amazing, memorable and enjoyable for you and your guests. So you won’t be surprised to learn that in my opinion the pros massively outweigh the cons.

I am going to outline for you some of the ways that can help minimise the cons. If you decide to implement them they will make your wedding unique, personal and extra special for you, your family and your friends.

Number 1, Getting the venue right…

The first and most important thing you need to get right – your venue. Searching for the perfect venue is to some a bit of a con of an outdoor wedding. It is hard to know where to start and there are so many choices in terms of the type, the cost and the facilities they offer that it can be overwhelming.

But finding a venue can also be great fun. Often your tent provider will have some ideas if you really don’t know where to start. (Elite Tents work with over 50 venues across the Midlands for example.) But the main thing is to make sure that whichever one you choose suits you.

If you’re looking to have an outdoor wedding there are three main types of sites you can consider.

1) The first and usually most cost-effective option is if you know someone with a huge back garden, a farm, or an area of land they’re prepared to let you use. An area of land like this will need you to source power, toilets and possibly water too.

2) The second option is to find somewhere you can hire. There are more and more places becoming available these days including holiday cottages with land, campsites, farmland, and even some sports clubs or village halls. Many of these will include in the price: a power supply, toilet facilities, and possibly catering space.

3) The third and most expensive option is to host your wedding in the grounds of a hotel or manor house. The main benefit of this is that the views are likely to be exquisite and there is often accommodation available for you and your guests to get ready or to stay over. Some venues will have their own coordinator and you can even hold a civil ceremony at some locations.

Your decision will be dependent on your own personal style and your budget, but a few things to look out for when making your choice are:

  • What’s included – power, loos, water supply, parking facilities and ability to camp if that’s what you want.
  • The land – fairly flat, no divots, well drained, good access for vehicles and a pleasant outlook (such as a lake or a nice view).

Once you’ve found your venue you need to count up all of your guests. The maximum that you’ll invite for the wedding breakfast and the evening ‘do’. And make sure you ask both your sets of parents – they’ll probably give you some you hadn’t even thought of!

Once you have worked out the number of guests we can start to think about the tipi itself – how much space you will need, whether you want a bar, a chill out area and how you might furnish it.

And that leads me onto perceived ‘con’ number 2… The Weather!

First and foremost, we need to dispel the myth. Contrary to popular belief it does not rain all of the time in the UK. In fact, there are more dry days than wet. And even those when it does rain; it is not often all day. For a lot of our couples their worry about the weather is another major ‘con’ in their minds.

If you are a festival goer I imagine rain will not really worry you. Maybe it’s just a chance to put on your diamante wellies. However, if you’re not a great fan of the rain, there are lots of things you can do to ensure that you are prepared for it. That way if and when the sun does actually shine it’s just an added bonus.

So you need to ensure you have enough room for everyone inside, just in case the rain does come. This means allowing some extra space for people to get up and move about in the form of either a bar area or some soft furnishings as a chill out area. It also means not adding and adding guests on. You don’t really want your tent full to capacity! Stick with the number you first decided upon or allow extra space in case you think of extras when you are planning.

Practical solutions:

It’s a good idea to have a brolly bucket close to the entrance/exit which heads to the toilets. That way the ladies can keep their hair dry when they go to powder their nose. Another sensible thing to do, especially for a spring or autumn wedding is to put out a basket of blankets. Then any older family members that maybe won’t be up and dancing can pop one over their knees as the evening draws in. An open firepit (which is a feature unique to the tipis), is also a good option which really comes into its own in the evening. These are very popular as a focal point for people to sit around and toast marshmallows as dusk falls.

If you are having a winter wedding then brollies and blankets are a must. So are the reindeer hides (which add a cosy feel to the tipis) and heating too. Heating is available all year around, but it’s rarely needed between May and September. That’s because even if the weather isn’t fine, tipis retain heat from the sunshine very well. Plus every guest gives out a kilowatt of heat energy so the tipis are actually quite warm.

The raised entrance to the tipis also means that even if the weather isn’t great you still get the views of outdoors. However, if wet weather really worries you, there is also an option if there’s a bit of Wallflex™. This is a Tentipi™ pvc frontage which fills in the raised entrance to the tipis keeping the cold and wet out. At the same time you can still see outdoors and keep the warmth inside the tipi.

Does it spoil the day?

When we have had tipi weddings where it has rained over the years I have specifically asked whether it put a damper on the day. Guess what? Not one person asked has said that it did. And in a particularly wet May in 2014, we actually had a lady who was very nervous about her daughter’s wedding as the worst rain of the year was forecast and these were her words afterwards:

I can honestly say that the rain didn’t spoil it, everyone was comfortable and they were all walking around saying how brilliant it was. The whole place was just perfect, it really has got the WOW factor and when you are inside it was lovely, it really was.

– Lyn Richards May 2014

The third ‘con’ I want to overcome for you is the idea that having a tipi event is hard work to coordinate…

In truth, this can actually be one of the most exciting things about having a tipi wedding. The fact that you can be completely yourself and can include your ow ideas is brilliant! You get the opportunity to add something unique and novel that will make your wedding truly memorable. But if you don’t know where to start, tipis are very popular now and our Pinterest and Facebook pages have lots of ideas to get you started. On top of that coming to an open day helps to show what you like.  Most reputable tipi companies do offer these. Most often they are held in the Spring and Autumn. So you can go and see whether the gorgeous rustic style of the tipis suits you.

The tipis with their natural beige colour and Scandinavian wood are a fabulous blank canvas. The wood also means that in fact you don’t need to spend the earth on decorations. Simple flowers, a bit of bunting or pompoms or just a few fairy lights is often enough!

Dealing with suppliers:

The other ‘con’ that our couples worry about is sorting out things like power and toilets. The good news is that most of the established tipi companies, have built relationships with toilets and generator suppliers. That means you can feel confident they are not going to let your down. Plus, another positive of using recommended suppliers is you really don’t have to think about the boring logistics. Which means more time for planning the fun parts!

Elite Tents have contacts which can help you in all areas of the planning. We have caterers that are used to working in the tipis, festival flag people, hay bales suppliers and camping villages. Check out Trusted Suppliers in the Planning Hub to find them.

So don’t see a DIY tipi wedding as overwhelming and hard-work. With our expertise, help and guidance you can plan a fabulous, unique and novel wedding day.

If you would like some help then I would love to support you further. Debbie and I love talking tipis and helping you to get your ideas together. So if you are interested in having a tipi wedding that no one will forget, give us a call on 0121 663 1133 or drop me a line on: / and we would be delighted to assist you.
Jacquie x

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Authentic Nordic Tipi Association

Elite Tents insist on Tipis made by Tentipi and are proud members of the ANTA. Tentipi have been manufacturing Authentic Nordic Tipis for over 25 years and their quality is second to none. With a Tentipi Tent you DO NOT NEED TO WORRY about having a 'weatherproofing option' as these tents were designed for the weather in Scandanavia and will stand up to wind, rain or whatever the British weather can throw at them!