Real Weddings – Anna & Phil

We wanted to introduce you to another Special Event Tipis couple, Phil & Anna, who will be celebrating their first wedding anniversary this month!

Let’s hear about Anna and Phil who celebrated their relaxed, rustic and travel inspired Tipi wedding day at Blencowe Hall on the Rowley Estate last June.

To set the stage, it would be fabulous if you could give a little bit of background info about yourselves.

We are both from Chorley, Lancashire and work together at Keoghs Solicitors

We love travelling, seeing new countries and exploring. We also love walking, camping, live music, trying new foods and hosting at home for family and friends.

How did you meet?

We met when we both worked at Go Outdoors in 2009

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged in 2017 on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand. We had previously lived in Queenstown from 2014-2015 so it was really special to go back and get engaged (I had no idea!). It involved us eating Maltesers and Phil pretending to drop one on the floor, resulting in the proposal.

What made you decide on an outdoor wedding?

We love the Lake District and have done many walks and camping trips there. We just love being outdoors in the fresh air and a Tipi Wedding was something we saw and just loved the idea of straight away! We also didn’t want a ‘venue Wedding’ as such, as we wanted more of a DIY wedding. We liked the idea of doing a lot ourselves and sourcing all the suppliers, rather then a venue doing it all for us and potentially being restricted in some ways to what we did or what food we could choose etc.

 Tipi over marquee, how did you choose?

We did look at some marquees, but decided that the Tipis just had that edge that we were looking for and a more rustic feel. We love fairy lights and came to a Tipi Open Day to see everything set up. It was no brainer after that!

How did you find Special Event Tipis?

We found you guys once we decided to look for somewhere for all our family to stay for the weekend of our wedding and finding out that we’d be able to have a Tipi or Marquee on the grounds of the accommodation. I think we just looked online for Tipi and Marquee companies around the Lake District, and enquired with a few. Special Event Tipis were so friendly, approachable and nothing was too much trouble, which really helped when choosing who to go with.

Why did you choose your venue?

The main reason for choosing our venue was that it slept 24 in the main hall and then another 20 in the 3 cottages. We really wanted somewhere that our family and friends could stay from Friday to Monday, with the Wedding in the middle and to make it more of a whole weekend celebration, rather than just a day.

Describe your wedding story…

What season did you choose and why?

We chose June as our month to have the long, bright days, and wanted it to be as close to our Anniversary date as possible. We originally booked 20th June 2020 but then covid hit. We then moved it to March 2021, which we knew probably wouldn’t happen and then again to our final date – 18th June 2022, ending up with our actual Anniversary date (13 years together) – so we think it must have been fate!

How many guests were there?

We had around 80 guests but everyone came all day due to the location being further from our home.

What vibe did you want to create for the day?

Relaxed, rustic and travel themed with plenty fairy lights thrown in!

What were the wedding colours?

The Bridesmaids were a plum purple colour, the Groomsmen were in quite bright blue suits, with brown shoes and plum, purple ties. We didn’t really have a colour theme inside the Tipi as we did all our own table decoration (travel themed) and wanted the flowers from the florist to be a mix of pinks, purples, whites and lemon.

How would you describe your theme and styling?

We decided straight away that we wanted a travel theme, as we’ve done a lot of travelling over the years. I (Anna) love art and craft and wanted to do the table names and centre pieces myself. We chose to have the table names as cities we’ve visited, and we made photo centre pieces from each place, using photos we’d taken. We used logs and made decorative jars for the flowers to go in. We made place names (my Mum wrote all the names) and these were also travel themed.

Our guest book table had photos of our parents’ weddings, a globe, a postbox, and some Disney ‘Up’ themed decorations, as this is one of our favourite films and is also travel related. The organist even played the ‘Up’ theme tune when we were signing the register! Our cake was also travel themed with sign posts, luggage and a plane as decoration.

Did you have a first dance?

Yes – we had What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

What did everyone wear?

Usual Wedding Attire 😊 but I wore my trainers under my Wedding dress after I’d eaten – great idea!

How did you feed and water your guests?

We decided to have canapes and then a 2-course meal, but a bit more relaxed. The canapes were brought around to the guests as they settled in. We were then seated and served steak (or veggie) pie (I’m originally from Wigan, so the pie joke is often made), mash, peas and gravy,  which all came on boards and in bowls to dish out your own. Then we had a little crate of chocolate brownies on each table,  scattered with fresh berries and cream.

Everyone loved the food and we’re almost a year on and they’re still commenting on how good the pies were! In the evening we went with another favourite of ours, Nachos! This was brought round in ready-made bowls to everyone rather than people needing to get up and queue and this really went down well.

I think you worry about the evening food getting eaten but we only had a few spare dishes out of the 80 served! The Wedding cake was Victoria sponge, lemon and chocolate orange and this was cut up towards the end of the night and also taken around to the tables – everyone also loved the cake too.

How did you entertain your guests?  Did anything fun or unusual happen on your wedding day?

We didn’t go overboard with anything too fancy, we just wanted everyone to dance all night and that’s what they did! Our DJ also acted as host for the day and did all our introductions etc which was very helpful.

The only unusual thing was that all my Bridesmaids had dressing gowns gifted from me, with the old Wedding date on the back! The boys had socks with the same date – we kept them and everyone still wore them, as a memory of the delays and a bit of fun!

Do you have words of wisdom for our future brides and grooms?

I think our main advice would be try not to stress. If we can move our wedding three times and it still go exactly as planned, there is no point getting stressed! A Tipi wedding is a lot more DIY than you anticipate so I would say make lists and have things written down to know who to contact and when and make sure you book your suppliers in as early as you can to make sure you get the ones you want. Planning and list making really helped us, especially with the delays. Also, just enjoy it and take it all in, the day goes super-fast – I’d recommend making a weekend of it if you can, as we enjoyed the Friday night and all-day Sunday with family and friends too which was lovely. I didn’t even think or worry about if something was going to plan or going wrong on the day and it went perfectly!

Supplier shout out – who helped to make your day magical?

Brides Dress – Amelias Bridal, Clitheroe

Groom and Groomsmen Suits – Slaters Menswear, Bolton

Tipi – Special Event Tipis

Florist – The Flower Hut, Crosby

Make Up – Kerry Baker MUA

Hair – Looby Doos

Food – Bespoke Catering Cumbria

Cake – Saras Cake Heaven, Preston

DJ and Host – Simon Vogt Wedding Host and DJ

Bar – Bars2U

Car – Cumbrian Classic Wedding Cars

Toilets – Classic Chambers

Photographer – Will Fisher WFPhoto

Videographer – Pete Johnson

Church – St Andrew’s Church, Greystoke