It strikes me this morning that a PapaKata wedding is always exciting and unique. If you want your wedding day to be beautiful but non-traditional – you’ll be needing one of these!
Siobhan and Chris had a beautiful, individual wedding in Cheshire this year. With my friend and Cheshire wedding photographer Phil Drinkwater to document their wedding day in pictures, this is such an inspiring story to share with you.
Before I leave you to enjoy Siobhan and Chris’s wedding report with all of those beautiful images, I need to mention the dancing. I’ve featured PapaKata weddings on English Wedding Blog before – but today is special. Watch out for the last few pictures, which show PapaKata by night… the sparkling lights and festival atmosphere is enchanting!
Siobhan and Chris’s PapaKata wedding in Cheshire
What did you wear?
Who proposed, and how?
Chris proposed in Paris – we went there on our first holiday together six years earlier so it was a special place for us. I did suspect he may be planning to pop the question but after we had passed all the obvious romantic landmarks I had pretty much given up on the idea.
We then arrived at a small park outside the city and rented a rowing boat where Chris nervously rowed us out to the middle of the lake. He shyly produced a beautiful engagement ring and asked me to marry him and of course I said yes!
A PapaKata wedding venue in Cheshire
The first thing we knew we wanted was the kata teepee style tents you can see at festivals and found a company called PapaKata to supply these. We went to their open day and really liked the uniqueness of the amazing tents and the cosy atmosphere they created.
Finding somewhere to actually put them was the difficult bit!! We trawled round every piece of flat land in the north-west until we had almost given up on the idea. However, the very helpful staff at PapaKata knew we were having trouble and emailed us with a suggestion of a pub with land they had used recently in Knutsford called ‘The Bells of Peover’.
We had actually originally discounted the venue from pictures we saw on the internet but following PapaKata’s recommendation we did go and see it. We were immediately struck by the charm of the 170-year-old pub and were very pleased to see a big flat lawn with a huge willow tree at the bottom where the teepee could go!
A recommended Cheshire wedding photographer
The wedding photographer was the first thing we booked. We stumbled across some of Phil’s pictures while looking at photographs of the teepees online. We were so impressed with the relaxed style of his pictures that we called him almost immediately as it just suited our vision of our big day so perfectly.
When we first met I told Phil I could never see myself having a big fancy wedding picture on my wall which he immediately took as a challenge and produced so many that now I can’t decide which one to put up!
How would you describe your wedding style?
The wedding ceremony:
Religious or civil? Religious. I’m Catholic and Chris is Church of England, so we got married in my Catholic church and Chris’ family friend who is also a C of E vicar officiated the ceremony alongside the priest. It meant a lot to us to have both families’ religions represented in our wedding ceremony.
Which wedding readings did you choose?
We chose readings from the bible that were read by family and friends; we wanted as many people to be involved in the wedding as possible. One of my bridesmaids Sophie sang Amazing Grace as we signed the register, that was definitely an emotional moment!
The wedding reception:
The guests were transported to our venue on a vintage red double decker bus. Our reception got under way with all the guests having champagne and canapés outside on the decking while we were having our pictures taken (luckily the weather was nice!).
They were entertained by guitarist and singer Chris Fletcher who was a last-minute booking but turned out to be one of the best things we did – he was amazing and sang a lot of our favourite songs without us even having to ask!
We then moved inside the teepee for our sit-down meal which was a bbq, accompanied by salads and side dishes on the table so people could share, followed by a delicious trio of desserts. Chris’s Dad provided the wine and Champagne as he is his an expert in this area – we even went to France before the wedding to pick the Champagne up directly from the supplier!
PapaKåta wedding highlights
The evening reception was so much fun and the dance floor was full ALL night! I put a dressing-up box at the side of the dance floor full of hats, novelty sunglasses and inflatable guitars – people headed straight for it, and the resulting photos of everyone in silly hats are absolutely hilarious!
Wedding styling and details
I started collecting vintage china from charity shops early on and in the end all my family and friends were helping with the collection. We had a favour table rather than individual favours, with little baskets filled with Chris’s Mum’s homemade marmalade and miniature bottles of Jägermeister we bought online. I put them on a table with some pictures of our grandparents’ and parents’ wedding days.
I trusted my wonderful florist to design the top table flowers which were all in lovely pretty vintage vases, bottles and jars. The centre pieces were candelabras with pearl and lace garlands hanging on them, it was a cheaper alternative to floral centre pieces but completed the look perfectly.
Our cake was made by my mum and decorated by a family friend. Having watched in awe over the years at Karen’s Christmas cakes I had always had her in mind to make my wedding cake. After much persuasion I managed to convince her (she didn’t want the pressure) and she did a fabulous job – it was stunning and tasted delicious!
Wedding music and entertainment
We had a live band followed by a DJ. I met the band ‘The Bet Lynch Mob’ in the pub through a friend and when I mentioned my wedding they offered to provide the music.
They sent me through a set list of indie/rock songs which were all brilliant (we added a few more favourites) and they were booked. I had never heard them play before so it was a bit of a risk but it paid off, they were/are an actual band rather than a wedding band and the crowd loved it!
Memorable wedding day moments
Saying our vows in front of our families and friends was the most special part of our day.
Arriving in the sunshine, being handed a glass of champagne and seeing our teepee for the first time!
Having an impromptu dance-off with my dad to ‘Pump it up’ by Elvis Costello as it was played by our band is something I won’t forget.
Wedding day advice
Don’t give up on your original thoughts and ideas along the way, they are the ideas that excited you at the beginning, it’s easy to be swayed by other people’s opinions or reactions.
Always try and remember to have a moment to take it all in with your new Husband/Wife. Later on in our evening we stood outside our teepee while the party was in full swing and looked in thinking wow we did it!
Recommended wedding suppliers
Our florist Vicky from ‘Hearts and Flowers’ in Denton, Manchester. Vicky is THE nicest person I came across during the wedding planning process-nothing was too much trouble and she knew exactly what I wanted, a true pro. http://www.heartsandflowers-denton.co.uk/
The White Closet in West Didsbury, Manchester. Beautiful Bridal boutique with gorgeous dresses and accessories and very helpful staff. http://thewhitecloset.co.uk/
PapaKata supplied our teepee tents, a very helpful team that went the extra mile. http://www.papakata.co.uk/
Bridesmaids dresses were altered and customised by Lucy Lockets Attic http://www.facebook.com/LucyLocketsAttic
And of course our fab wedding photographer Phil Drinkwater who as you can see has taken some stunning pictures!! http://www.phildweddingphotography.co.uk/
Our hair and make up was by professionally trained freelance makeup artist Jennifer Perry http://www.jenniferperrymakeupartistry.com/