Heather & Michael’s lovely canalside tipi wedding, with Helen King Photography
Canals have a romance all of their very own, don’t you think? If you’ve ever strolled along a canal before sunset you’ll know how wonderfully tranquil those towpaths can be. The adventure of drifting through England’s hidden waterways is one I dream of experiencing, one day. So Heather and Michael’s day has my heart: their photos by the locks are beautiful; their tipi reception is full of character and quaint old English charm – it’s perfect.
“The ceremony was held in a very low key structure next to a canal in Leicestershire with the reception in the tipi next to it. The venue is fairly new and quite quirky with narrow boats passing by and a bar that looks like a moored up boat.
Heather made all the decor herself and it was lovely. Heather and Michael are expecting a baby so the day was full of lots of lovely emotional moments, which wedding photographer Helen King captures beautifully in the images.
“Tipis are an amazing venue to use as they are basically one massive decoration. Ours came with lights and flooring and a few barrels. I made 55 candles which were placed onto wood slices my father had dried out previously. We then had some loose cut flowers and grasses from the florist which were in milk bottles on the tables along with some hessian and organza table runners which were cut to size the day before the wedding. The “thrown together” look worked very well for our venue!”
Wedding photographer’s website:
Helen had been the photographer on my friends’ wedding and seeing their photos made us want no one but her! We’re 100% happy with our wedding photos and I have passed her details onto several of my friends. Both in the run up to the big day and the engagement shoot she was never far away, she was reliable with responses, helpful with her suggestions and advice and generally a big support. I planned and arranged all my own wedding with very little support and it was comforting to trust her to know what to do, who to speak to and when to give us a little space. All my friends, family and the entire wedding party said how lovely she was – it was like she was part of the party.
The photos themselves are amazing, I was 5 months pregnant at the time and although this wasn’t an issue and I wasn’t trying to hide my bump, there are several photos where I look “thin” (ish). There are also a few which really exaggerate bump, which is also lovely. The variety of photos we have is a blessing, the candid ones make us laugh and the formal ones look amazing on our wedding wall and have made great presents.
We literally could not be happier!
We were actually in hospital when Helen sent our wedding photos, so we opened the box in the ward. It was a very good idea other than the sawdust which got everywhere and a few reproachful tuts from midwifes and nurses, but provided light comic entertainment.
We both cried – for different reasons. The ones of my father seeing me for the first time still strike a chord! Helen captured moments which could have been easily missed. The photos of us from the ceremony capture the mood perfectly, as do the ones from the evening. Our favourite photo though is of our first dance, where we were surrounded by our loved ones on the dance floor but clearly can’t see anyone but each other.
Bridge House Barn, Kibworth, Leicester
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Spring Tipi Wedding
Your wedding style or theme:
“Spring”/”chilled” we were very easy going/ We had a hog roast and a waffle van, live band and wildflowers.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Recommendations and the internet. Helen was our first booking, then we used the internet for research and reached out to people. We picked suppliers based on price but also feeling – if we thought they were nice we generally met them!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t use a big fancy baker for your cake – there are so many talented people who do these from home for 1/3 of the price!
also – flowers. don’t pay for the fancy website. go into florists local to your venue, have a chat about what you do and don’t want and get lots of prices! We used pots of ivy from Ikea to add some greenery to our top table instead of paying for fancy centre pieces we had no need for.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photographer, live band and venue.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
3D Invites were a labour of love, took a long time to produce but went down a treat! our guests loved them and put them on the RSVP Facebook group we used to keep people informed.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, then I got pregnant and had it altered and loved it more! At the end of the day you have to be comfortable. I was, because my dress was made for me quite literally, however i’d be just as married if i’d had a different dress on.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I used Wed2Be in Hinkley
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My husband to be surprised me on the morning of the wedding with some opal earrings which matches the opal in my engagement ring. other than that i wore nothing!
And what did the groom wear?
Blue?! a 3 piece suit!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Multi way dresses, as there were 5 of them, 4 beautifully slender teenagers and then my sister who’s closer to hobbit size! The dresses meant that there was a huge variety of ways the girls could wear them and meant they were all comfortable with how they looked and what they could wear underneath. I didn’t ask them to wear any particular footwear so we had 3 in trainers, 1 in flats and 1 in high heels. I was fine with this because at the end of the day, happy, comfortable bridesmaids are easy bridesmaids.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hairdresser came to do my sister, mother and my hair on the morning of the wedding as I don’t trust anyone else!
I did my own make up.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Holywell Petals – Ashby
Kate, our florist, was lovely. We had “spring” flowers, so anything in season which meant we had a lot of purples and yellows. the flowers were one of my favourite parts of the wedding as they were just so beautiful. They also endured for a good 10 days post wedding and didn’t cost the earth because we used seasonal blooms. Kate and her team were amazing.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
55 Candles – Heather and Lavender scented (i made these)
60-70 silver birch wood slices (made my my dad)
24 x Milk bottles – decorated with ribbon (i made these)
Table runners – (i made these)
Finerprint tree (I drew this)
96 party favours – wildflower seed bombs. (I made these with help from mum!)
I also did:
table seating plan
Running order sings
framed signs for around the tipi
“toilet refreshments” for the ladies
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Semi Naked 2 tier cake with fresh fruit!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a live band called “Captain Atlantic” who were amazing and perfect for our wedding. There were very little sound restrictions to the place meaning the party could go on for hours. By the end it was your usual mix of drunk Aunties and the groom on the dance floor, but this was ace as they were the best people anyway. We also had the grooms grandma, who is 86, there until the very end quite happily singing along in her chair and eating all the cake!
We also had a videographer arranged as a wedding present by some friends. Tis was a brilliant addition to the day and has enabled us to look back again and again at our best bits.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Don’t sweat the small stuff – at the end of the day people will have a good time as long as you get the basics right. There are always moaners at any event, don;t try to please them, only please yourself.
What’s the best thing about being married?
We’re under the same name, which is perfect for when our daughter arrives 🙂
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
http://helenkingphotography.co.uk – Helen King
http://www.bridgehousebarn.co.uk/ – venue
http://myperfectceremony.co.uk/ – celebrant
http://www.holywellpetals.co.uk/ – Florist
http://www.roarmotion.com/ – Video chaps
https://www.theroastingpig.co.uk/ – hog roast
http://www.thebournvillewafflecompany.co.uk/ – waffle van