A Glorious Country Wedding with a Festival Twist

Claire and Paul's wedding had 'Save the Date' written all over it; not only was it cool and stylish with a tipi setting and a festival vibe, it was home spun, made with love and featured the most delicious images courtesy of Lee Garland Photography. What's not to love!? Here's the beautiful bride Claire to tell us more;

"I have always wanted to get married in the local village church in Kibworth where I grew up, close to my parents’ house and we both wanted a relaxed, more informal venue for the reception, rather than a big posh country house. So when we came across Bridge House Barn, which is also in the village where I grew up, it was a no brainer really. We saw the pictures of the tipi on Bridge House Barn's website and instantly fell in love, as we love a good festival so it all seemed meant to be. We arranged a meeting with Emma from Bridge House Barn who was absolutely brilliant and really knew her stuff, so that was that! Emma recommended a couple of tipi companies and we decided to go with Peak Tipi's who have also been fantastic throughout the whole experience.


The Need to Know
Bridge House Barn
Suzanne Neville
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Lee Garland Photography

"All our guests were absolutely blown away with the whole setting in the beautiful English countryside"

We wanted our wedding to be relaxed and informal with everyone at ease, so Bridge House Barn, the Tipi and the style of our wedding menu all contributed to this atmosphere. Even the red London bus to transport our guests was a great talking point for everyone and a great start to the day.  We both love the natural, rustic style which was perfect at Bridge House Barn. Lots of hay bales, a beautiful waterfront decking area with lots of flowers and plants, the canal with barges floating by and the converted horse box bar all contributed to this country, rustic atmosphere, not to mention the horses and sheep in the next field! We were also lucky enough to have a glorious day of sunshine from start to finish, which for an outdoor style wedding was just the icing on the cake. All our guests were absolutely blown away with the whole setting in the beautiful English countryside so we couldn’t have asked for anything more!


"I tried the dress on and fell in love immediately"

I had a pretty good idea of the type of dress that I’d like from the start really – something simple and floaty and although people often don’t end up with their original idea, that is what I chose in the end. At the first boutique I visited, I tried on a Suzanne Neville dress, so I did some further research into her dresses online. I saw a picture of ‘Cherish’ on her website which caught my eye, so when my Mum heard of the Suzanne Neville Trunk Show at Serendipity Brides in Weedon, I jumped at the chance to make an appointment (and they were offering afternoon tea)! My Mum called in advance to see if Suzanne would be bringing ‘Cherish’ along, but unfortunately she was only bringing a selection of other dresses – never the less we were still excited about going.

When I arrived for my appointment, I was directed towards Suzanne’s rail of dresses and I instantly spotted it straight away – ‘Cherish’ was hanging there on the rail. I tried the dress on and fell in love immediately  – it was so simple, with a beautiful silk chiffon skirt and pleated silk chiffon bodice with only a very small amount of beading detail at the waist, which I thought I wouldn’t be keen on, but actually set the whole dress off beautifully as the rest was so simple. The small lace capped sleeve and keyhole lace back was perfect for my frame too and it also had buttons down the back which I’ve always loved. I had already been to 3-4 other shops prior to this and tried on a fair few dresses, so it was easy to make up my mind – Mum was in tears too which is always a good sign! It was such a lovely experience at Serendipity with Lisa who owns the boutique and to have Suzanne Neville there too was just so special. Suzanne made a drawing of ‘Cherish’ while I was wearing it and signed it which is a lovely memento of the occasion. The fittings that followed all went perfectly too – the staff and seamstress at Serendipity are absolutely brilliant and I’m so glad I got my dress from such a lovely shop.


The Dream Team ...

We had so many wonderful suppliers who played a huge part in making our day so special.

Emma at Bridge House Barn was an absolute pleasure to work with – she was so helpful throughout the planning stages and provided us with such an amazing service on the day.

Peaktipi’s won an award at the Wedding Industry Awards and I can completely see why – Dani was quick to answer all our queries and offered advice when we needed it. The tipi’s are so spectacular and all our guests were astounded by them, including us!

For the food, we chose Thomas the Caterer…well what can I say about Thomas – that man has an amazing talent with food and has such a unique offering. Thomas and his team are an incredible bunch of people who are clearly passionate about what they do. Their food creations are so delicious and really were a talking point at our wedding – especially the braised beef which our guests are still talking about!  They offered us such a great, personal, second to none service and we’re so pleased him and his team were part of our day.

Lee Garland, our photographer was absolutely incredible. We met Lee at a Save the Date wedding fair at Nottingham Trent University {The Wedding Event with a Difference} where we a great chat with him and looked at his work. We both loved his style of natural shots rather than the formal posed pictures and the lighting on his images is really clever and atmospheric. Lee is such a lovely, relaxed bloke too so it was great to have him around when we were getting ready on the morning. The pictures he’s taken have completely blown us away and have certainly brought back so many happy memories from our special day. We can’t get over how Lee has captured the little moments and emotion throughout the day. He truly has an amazing talent and we can’t thank him enough for letting us re-live our day.

Our flowers were provided by Ann at Flora Button who is local to the Kibworth area. Ann has a very rustic, natural style which fitted in perfectly with what we liked. My Bridesmaids and I had beautiful spring bloom bouquets and Ann also supplied the pedestals in the Church and milk churn arrangements outside the tipi. I have always wanted to wear a fresh flower crown in my hair on my wedding day since watching Forest Gump, which I knew Paul loved too, so Ann made a stunning crown from simple gypsophelia, white wax flowers and greenery which I absolutely loved. Ann’s creations were exactly what I had in my head and were everything I had wished for and more. My bridesmaid is a pretty dab hand at arranging flowers so she was kind enough to arrange the jam jar table flowers in the tipi for me which Ann supplied. So Ann was more than happy to work around our requirements – she was definitely one of the stars of our wedding!

Our wedding stationery was supplied by Mirlah at Best Day Ever who is local to where we live in Derby. Mirlah was very flexible and offers a bespoke design service so it was possible to tweak one of her existing designs with our own ideas. We had matching save the dates, invites, table name cards, menu’s and order of service booklets so everything looked great on the day and the quality was just exceptional. Mirlah is incredibly creative and really helped bring our ideas to life.

We both wanted live music at the reception and Paul is really into his rock n roll music so this was a task he wanted to take the lead on. Paul came across a band called Arizona Sky through an agency called Alive Network and loved the sound of them. Alex  from the band was always quick to respond to our queries before the wedding and on the day they were absolutely brilliant. They were really flexible and played such a variety of music appealing to the different generations, so the dance floor was absolutely packed for the whole night! Lots of our guests are really into their music too and so many people commented on what a great band they were. Tipi’s are renowned for having good acoustics so their sound was amazing and they absolutely rocked!

We had a couple of transport suppliers for our guests and us on the day – a red double decker London Bus from Blackmore commercials in Nottingham and also a cool little Morris Minor from ‘Campervan Weddinghire’ in the next village to our wedding venue. The London bus was a real hit with our guests as it was absolutely pristine, but still authentic. The photos we have of the bus in front of the tipi are brilliant!  ‘Mabel’ the Morris Minor had also been restored to her original glory and was immaculate. It was so special to enjoy her as newlyweds for a nice private, peaceful ride to the reception.

Words of advice from the bride ...

I’m an Event Manager at work so I’m very used to planning events, but as Paul said in his speech, I spreadsheet our entire existence, so producing a project plan really does help you keep your planning tasks on track and helps manage the budget.

We styled our wedding reception and tipi ourselves, which is quite a big job with a tipi as a blank canvas, so all the little DIY details do take quite some time. Although we had a year and a half to plan our wedding, I was doing a lot of the DIY decorative pieces during the last month or so before the wedding. Quite a few of these jobs could have been done beforehand, so I would say to do these things well in advance to save time in the weeks before the wedding.

I think it’s important to try and enjoy the last few weeks of planning in what can be a hectic time. Everything can be a bit of a whirlwind so it is worth taking some time out – maybe a date night out or weekend away with your Fiancée, just so you can take stock and savour the special time. We found it was also good to take a step back on the day itself and have 5 minutes as a couple, just watching all our guests enjoying themselves – such a great moment!”



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