A fabulous tipi celebration in the height of summer. A gorgeous, relaxed and head-over-heels in love couple. Rustic styling, tons of florals, vibrant colours and a party atmosphere. It really doesn’t get much better than this! Howard and Rowena’s wedding venue was the village field in Iwerne Minster, the village where Rowena’s mother lives. By day the field is a football pitch and on a sunny day in August it was transformed with the addition of tipis into their wedding venue! I hope you love this one as much as I do. Huge thanks to Rowena and Howard, and to our fabulous friend and Dorset wedding photographer Robin Goodlad Photography. Do read the groom’s interview below – the story of their day is fantastic! (click the ‘Continue Reading’ link for the full feature)!
“We wanted a country and rustic theme. We were huge fans of the Bougainvillea flower based in Spain so this played a huge part in our day. We had magenta colours across the wedding party. We wanted a relaxed, unique and different wedding that we hoped people would talk about. It worked! We only told immediate family the plan for the wedding and so it was great to see to see people’s faces when we walked into the field to see our tipis. We had family and friends coming up to us all day saying it was the best wedding/reception that they’d ever been to and it even outshone their own children’s weddings!
Wedding photographer’s website:
I had been a fan of Robin’s work for some time. I have had friends have Robin as their wedding photographer and the pictures he has taken were just spectacular. He captured the day perfectly and in a way that others don’t.
We were absolutely over the moon with our wedding photographer. We met Robin before the big day and walked around the church, the village and the “venue”. We used his knowledge and experience to guide us and offer suggestions that we would never have thought about. On the big day Robin was there from about 10am until pretty much the end at 11pm. In that time we saw him doing his work and and then he blended into the background and caught images that we hadn’t seen on the day. As a photographer he was very casual and was able to command the wedding party very easily and organise people quickly and efficiently to get the standard wedding shots. We wouldn’t think twice in recommending him.
Rowena and I had just come off our honeymoon and were just enjoying the last few days off of our summer holidays when this little package arrived. In it was this fantastic presentation box of a few pictures printed and this beautiful USB key. We spent about 2 hours looking through them, again and again! Despite it only being a couple of weeks since the wedding we were able to see images of nieces and nephews that we hadn’t seen on the day.
Contact & Bookings – Robin Goodlad Photography
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A magical day filled with fun, laughter and memories.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
The tipi company Stunning Tents we found through internet searches. We had met with some other tipi companies and talked through our reception but we never got the right feeling.
Our caterer, Alex from Caiger and Co in Kensington, was on recommendation from Rowena’s mums friend.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Our cake was 3 tiers yet the bottom tier was the only cake! The top two tiers were polystyrene! No one knew except my mum, who made the cake, Rowena and I! We pulled in favours from friends to help grow flowers, decorate the venue over the days leading up to the wedding. We paid £100 for our venue but the village field meant a lot to us both us so it was worth the expense! As a hobby I love woodwork and so made several of the signs that were scattered around the venue, village etc. I made a playlist for the songs in the evening so we had a band for a couple of hours and then had an iPod do the rest for the rest of the evening. A mixture of oldies and classics to the modern day songs. It was brilliant and it kept the dance floor full!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The tipi’s, they were stunning and worth the expense. Originally we weren’t going to have 2 big ones and a little one. yet having seen a layout to the one we wanted we felt it was too small so we paid for a third one. This meant we had a bar area, a chill out area and a dance floor. Also the 2 piece band as they were fantastic and really made the evening a success, we felt a band would be far better than a DJ.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made it all. The table plan was a frame we hung pictures from at home, the table numbers, place names were all hand made. At times they weren’t made with love! especially after 80 odd of them!!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, the dress had everything Rowena wanted. It was truly gorgeous. It was unique and one that Rowena had never seen before, it had the practicality of a country wedding and was comfy to stay in for over 12 hours! It was a classic princess dress.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
The dress was from Truly Gorgeous Designer and Bespoke Bridal in West Sussex.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
The pearls Rowena wore were an heirloom from her deceased father’s side, so this meant that Ralph was with Rowena in some way for her big day. The bracelet was borrowed and the earrings were from Swarovski with Phase8 shoes.
And what did the groom wear?
Howard wore a blue tweed suit with a light grey waistcoat. A style easily found on Instagram and the internet.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Our bridesmaids were our three nieces and our daughter, they all wore a dress from Monsoon incorporating the themed colours.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Rowena’s hair was done by Tracey at Hair Lounge in Goring West Sussex.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The flowers were from The Little Flower Shop in Amesbury. They incorporated wild flowers that were grown by Rowenas mum and friends.
The flowers in and around the venue were arranged by the mothers and friends.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The tipi company basically put the tipi’s up and then the rest was down to us. Both sets of parents, some friends and family were drafted in for 2 days prior to the big day to decorate the tipis to how we wanted them. The field was transformed with hay bales, candlelights, carpets and wooden pallet signs.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Howard’s hobby is wood work and so the welcome signs, the programme of the day and many other signs were handmade out of pallets and other rustic wood. I had to do something towards the wedding somehow! The decorations on the tables were also homemade.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
The cake was from Waitrose but it was transformed by Howard’s mother whose hobby it is to decorate cakes. It was chosen as it came with a 100% discount!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Just after we were engaged we were shopping in Chichester and we saw two guys playing a steel drum and a guitar. The crowd that were around them was astonishing. The music was instantly recognisable. We watched them for several minutes, we headed to lunch and could still hear them. We talked about them over lunch and made a decision there and then that we wanted them at our wedding. We approached them during a break and swapped numbers. After months of discussions we were able to confirm them as our wedding band.
Howard had asked his brother, Andrew to compere the speeches etc. Little did we know that Andrew had written a rap to introduce the speeches and included our niece and nephew to dance! Andrew was now known as McCromie!
We had a speech before each course which helped break up the meal etc. When it came to Howard’s groom speech no one could have expected what would happen next! A very simple speech suddenly turned into song as Howard sang his entire wedding speech! Howard managed to re write songs such as The Proclaimers 500 miles, and others from ABBA, Oasis and Robbie Williams. It certainly caught everyone unaware as no one knew what he was doing! It took approximately 4 months of secrecy to re write the songs and practise them! For months afterwards people were still discussing the groom’s speech!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Share your thoughts with your photographer, talk to them as they have probably seen more weddings than you! Discuss how others have done it and then make it your own. We searched images of weddings on the internet and said we’d like something similar for our day. Your day goes so fast. Rowena and I made a point of visiting each table during the food to talk to everyone as it was the only time to get people sitting down! Even if it was only for a few minutes. The day after we organised a mini sports day at the wedding venue and invited people for a BBQ lunch, with people who we couldn’t invite or they couldn’t make the wedding. it was another chance to talk to people. It meant our wedding lasted for about 36 hours!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Looking at my ring finger every day to see the ring and what it means to us. Being able to introduce Rowena as my Wife as opposed to the girlfriend! Having the lady that I fell in love with at pretty much first glance now being my wife. Coming home after work and just talking to one another spending time as a three with our 3 and a half year old daughter.