When was Special Event Tipis established? What services does it offer?
Special Event Tipis was established in 2011 after our own tipi wedding. The tipis provided us with the quirky, fun and unique space that we wanted. It truly was the best day of our lives and we have now helped over 1000 couples plan their perfect day 🙂
We are very much client led and can be involved as much or as little as is needed, from simply providing the structures, through to organising a full wedding package including styling, catering and bar services.
Why do tipis make a great option for weddings and events?
The warmth and atmosphere created by the tipis is just so special! They really are versatile structures and make for great parties! Whether you want to bring the outside in during the summer time or cosy up with open fires on a winters evening, our tipis provide a warm neutral space for you to unleash your individuality.
What types of tipis do you offer?
We stock 3 different types of tipi structures – the Giant Hat, the Kung and the Nimbus.
By linking our Giant Hat and Kung structures together, we can create a variety of diverse and interesting spaces! The Nimbus structure is a standalone mini tipi perfect for bars, photobooths, pamper areas – the possibilities are endless!
How many tipis will I need for my Special Event?
As a general rule, we recommend 50-60 seated guests per Giant Hat to allow for an open space for a dance floor or any other extras you may wish to include.
We cater for events of any size, from intimate wedding parties of 25 to large corporate events – the largest event we have done to date was for 2000 guests at a Bank of New York event for the Oxford and Cambridge
The floor plan gallery gives a really good indication of guest capacities, as well as ideas on how best to optimise the space inside the Tipis.
How much ground space do the Tipis use?
The amount of space you need for the Tipis really depends on how many structures you are having. Our Floor Plan Gallery has lots of example layouts including the precise measurements for each formation on the bottom left hand side.
I really want Tipis for my Special Event – what do I do next?!
You can give our team a call on 0800 321 3677 or fill in our online customer contact form, we will then prepare a bespoke quote for you based on your event needs. When all the details have been confirmed a booking form will be sent over to you including details of the 25% deposit needed to secure your Tipis for your date.
We will also create a personalised, flexible floor plan to help you visualise how the space could work with your numbers!
What areas do you cover?
With bases in both Cumbria and Northumberland, we have excellent access to Cumbria, the Lake District, Southern Scotland, Northumbria, North Yorkshire and Lancashire and have the facilities to extend our services further afield.
Can you suggest a venue?
Absolutely, we work with some fabulous venues across Cumbria, Northumberland, Scotland, Lancashire and North Yorkshire. A selection of these can be found on the Friends and Venues page, these are all venues we have worked with before and can really recommend!
We also install on a wide range of private sites and offer free site visits to help you decide if your site will work with our Tipis.
I’ve found my perfect pitch, what do I need to consider?
When thinking about your site there are a few things to keep in mind:
– Does it have good access for large vehicles eg. 4×4 vehicles
– How exposed is the site? Will you need extra security?
– Is the ground level and well drained?
– Does the site have access to water, power and toilets?
– Are there any overhead cables or trees near your perfect pitch?
We offer free site visits and would be more than happy to help you decide if your site will work with our Tipis
What other extras and accessories do you offer?
As trends and styles evolve, so too do our range of interior items. We love finding new and interesting pieces for our tipis and marquees and every year we showcase new bespoke items to accompany our existing array of luxury furnishings.
Our bi-annual viewings are the perfect opportunity to see these finishing touches in the flesh. Those all-
important little touches that really help create the WOW factor for your Special Event.
Our lighting packages are also really special and help to create an amazing atmosphere. Lighting is such an important part of any event and it is definitely worth assessing the options in the flesh to make sure we can create the perfect atmosphere for your individual event.
Our interior stock can also be hired separately to our tipis. We have done some beautiful installations in Barns and Halls, including lighting, furniture, dance floors and heaters.
There are no dark tipis on our watch! We also stock a full range of clear sides and clear chimney tops so you can make the tipis as bright and light as you would like, whatever the time of year!
Do you offer brides and grooms inspiration and advice on how to style the tipi and do you dress the tipi as part of the service?
We love getting involved with the dressing side of things, from simply chatting through ideas to full event styling.
How does the lighting work?
Lighting is such an important part of the structures and is an area that we are continually developing! As standard, we use festoon lighting in a variety of different ways which gives a soft, warm light.
Our LED lighting packages include 3 sets of LED Parcan up-lighters and down-lighters per tipi. There are a choice of colours for the up-lighters and the lighting can be zoned so that you can have different levels and colours of lighting in different areas of the tipis. There is also a dimmer switch, meaning you can set the lighting to the best level for your event. We also offer a range of chandeliers, neon signs and festoon lighting that can be used both inside and outside our structures.
Our lighting helps to create the perfect atmosphere! They are very easy to operate and full instructions on
how to use it will be given during handover.
What do we do about power?
The amount of power needed for your Special Event depends on things such as lighting, caterers and music.
If plugging into a mains electric supply (ideally within 20m of the tipi) we can discuss the power needed to check its suitability (A 3 phase socket would be great; however an external 32amp round pin or a number of standard 13amp sockets should suffice). If your power supply isn’t guaranteed we can organise generators for your event from excellent and reputable companies.
If you would like to organise your own machine, we can help by suggesting what kind of spec you will need for your particular event.
How do we put the sides up & down?
During the handover our crew will show you how to put the sides up and down so you can make the Tipis suit the mood and weather of your event! If you have someone you would like to do this for you, then make sure they are around during the handover and we’ll happily take you all through the simple steps.
We can provide on-site support if you’d prefer someone to be on hand to open and close the sides of the tipis at your wish. Just ask for onsite support to be included in your quote…
What will my caterer need?
All caterers are different and use different equipment depending on your menu and venue, your best bet is to ask them what they will need and pass the information onto us. Caterers supply items such as table linen and napkins, ovens and heating cabinets. We can supply a catering tent (normally 6mx6m but we also stock larger 6mx9m tents), with hard flooring, lighting and 3 trestle tables as standard. Check if your caterer needs extra trestle tables and how many. As a rough guide we normally get asked for 9 in total. We can also supply a trade gazebo for your catering if you’re thinking of having something like a hog roast.
What are the dimensions of your tables and benches?
Our Nordic pine tables are 200cm (2m) by 70cm and the matching benches 200cm (2m) by 30cm. The benches seat 3 adults perfectly but can fit 4 people on if you don’t mind a little less elbow room! As standard we recommend 6 guests per table for formal sit down dining and 8 guests per table for more informal dining such as hog roasts.
We also stock 5ft 6 round tables which seat 8 guests for formal dining and up to 10 guests for more informal dining.
I’m using your Nordic pine tables and would like tablecloths, what size do I need?
Caters usually supply good quality table linen including cloths and napkins. We would recommend 108’ x 72’ for our Nordic pine (2m) tables. Do let us know if you’re using tablecloths for your Special Event as we will need to bring equipment to tape up the gaps in these tables!
For our round 5ft 6 tables we would recommend a 120’ table cloth drop.
How much smoke do your fire pits give off?
Our fire pits run of bio ethanol fuel instead of logs meaning there is no need to manage the fuel or the
chimney flaps! They are basically smoke free, smell free and hassle free! During your handover we will take you through the very simple steps to light and put out the fire pit.
Our Special Event is in the summer...do we need heating?
Our wonderful British climate can make it rather tricky when deciding to heat or not to heat! Although our fire pits look fantastic they don’t give off a lot of heat and we wouldn’t recommend them as the only source of heating if it is a bit nippy! With this in mind, we stock our own specialist heaters and are happy for you to book them at the last minute (latest 5 days before your event) and pay for them on set-up.
Can the tipis be used in the winter?
Absolutely, our tipis were developed in the coldest parts of Northern Scandinavia and are used in Ski resorts across Europe. Our crew are experienced in working in all types of weather and we stock everything needed to make a winter event perfect.
When do we need to finalise everything by?
You will receive an email from Special Event Tipis 5 weeks prior to your event asking you to confirm table numbers, furnishings, extras and all of your details for our crew. Before this point you can change any part of your order apart from the structures themselves. Please be aware though that as the time ticks on we cannot guarantee the availability of our bespoke extras. Once we have received confirmation we will issue you with
a final quote and invoice for any outstanding balance.
When do I have to pay the final balance?
The remaining balance on your account must be paid 28 days prior to the date of the Special Event.
When will you come and set-up the Tipis?
Set-ups are at least 1⁄2 a day before your event meaning there will be plenty of time to decorate & enjoy the space! We do set-ups on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday and we will let you know 5 weeks before your Special Event which day it will be. If you have a preferred day please let us know and we will try to work around you.
Your Tipis will be taken down 1 – 2 days after. Our clients are more than welcome to use the structures the day after their event (we love an after party!) at no extra cost, but this is on a first come first served basis
What insurance should we be looking to get?
We offer a damage waiver fee (3% of the total hire cost) that is automatically included into your quote. If you would prefer to provide your own insurance we can advise you on the amount of cover you will need. As a rough guide, each tipi is worth £25,000 (including some furnishings), a generator £15,000 and a toilet trailer £20,000. We would also stress that you need insurance to cover you from the day of set-up to the day we take down and also recommend that you get ‘public liability’ cover in the unlikely event that an accident occurs involving one of your guests.
If you choose to provide your own insurance we will require a copy of your certificate no later than 14 days prior to your event.
I keep on reading about the handover...what does this involve?
When the set-up is complete the on site crew chief will hand over the tipis to you (signature required) and take you through how to work the lighting, tipi sides, fire pits and heating (if applicable).
Do you provide toilets?
Yes, we work with amazing loo suppliers and can organise a unit for your event at no extra cost.
What is the feedback like from your bride and groom clients? What do they love about Special Event Tipis?
We have received amazing feedback over the years which can be viewed on our testimonials page
What sets you apart from other tipi and marquee suppliers? What makes your tipis special?
Our knowledge and experience of the structures and our customer service. We basically love our jobs!
Working in the wedding industry is a privilege and we never forget that we are playing a vital part in a couples big day! Our interior items are also pretty special.
We have a 100% track record of successfully delivering events and over the years have overcome many challenges from the COVID 19 pandemic to tricky sites, complicated builds, constrictive time restraints and the unpredictable British weather!
What else is there to think about?
Toilets, rubbish disposal and water for your event! It is also a very good idea to let your local taxi firm know approximately what time your event will be finishing so they can be on standby.
You may also need to think about tables for presents, cakes, welcome drinks, outside seating (maybe bales, kid’s picnic tables or extra benches) and racks for jackets! In terms of your actual event, we recommend that you do a breakdown of what is going happen and who is going to help you achieve it. For example, for a wedding, a detailed list of what is going to happen and at approximately what time from the ceremony through to the evening’s entertainment (remember speeches always over run!!). Top Tip – we have always found caterers to be an excellent timings and planning resource,
so make the most of them!
The companies you work with when arranging your Special Event such as caterers, florists, photographers and of course Special Event Tipis are a mine of information when it comes to timings, jobs and the order of things – talk to them and be amazed as the uncertainties of event planning becomes clear!