REAL WEDDINGS | A Truly Magical Woodland Tipi Wedding
11th April 2015
Photography: Sarah Lauren Photography
Nick and Kye
I’m in love with natural woodland weddings right now and Nick and Kye’s wedding is just that, as well and being a magical ‘green union’ in every way. The way family and friends mucked in making the day so very personal, the local food and drink, the ‘just picked’ seasonal flowers, the DIY elements, the little touches that were applied to every aspect of the event and the natural way it all came together…
Over to lovely bride, Kye...
We both had a very clear idea what sort of wedding we wanted from very early on, even before we were engaged, and where we wanted it - a World Inspired Tent set in the woodland surrounding my parent’s home near Exeter in Devon.
We wanted to create a beautiful, relaxed, bohemian style wedding which was very personal to us and involving as many friends and local suppliers as possible. The food was to be simple but tasty, fresh and local, with delicious wine and beer. We wanted to ask as many friends as possible and have great music to keep everyone going until the early hours - a big party sprang to mind!
We took on the immense task of creating and decorating the wedding site within woodland usually used for ‘shoots’, and the work involved both our families. My dad spent many hours on a digger shifting heaps of earth to create the level site amongst the trees for the large teepee tent. Everyone worked incredibly hard and it turned out to be absolutely beautiful ... magical was the word we heard a lot on the day.
Our magical wedding site was up a bunting strung farm track leading into the woodland, the tipi tent was made to fit snugly amongst the trees with the peaks jutting through the tree tops - it turned out just as we imagined!
We wanted everyone to join us so ended up with 180 friends and family who came from far and wide, some as far as Germany.
We didn’t have an official budget but wanted to create something very different which was also in a place that was important to us. The woodland is a big part of our lives and became the perfect setting for our wedding. Our inspiration for the whole wedding came from the place and everything else seemed to follow. We believed we could create something very personal, homemade and eco friendly … and we did!
All the flowers came from around us and we picked them ourselves. We are lucky to have amazing friends and neighbours with lots of lovely hydrangeas in their gardens, so we decorated the site with big buckets hydrangeas, wild flowers and long strands of Ivy from the woods. We also used some lush young green trees from our local tree nursery which looked fabulous set up in the church. We later placed them in and around our reception area and planted the trees in the woods after the wedding.
My mum spent most of the night before arranging our lovely bouquets using flowers picked from the garden.
We also scattered old Turkish rugs around the site that my parents had brought back from Turkey in the 60s.
Mostly everything we used to at our wedding we already had, or adapted to suit. We even made the tapas boards from the wood sourced from fallen trees in our woodland.
All the food was locally sourced, we had Emma’s Bread (from the Real Food Store in Exeter) freshly baked that morning, and friends all brought different puddings for dessert.
Friends of ours, Olly and Jess Redfern (of The Turf Locks) kindly agreed to do our starter and main course, and we wouldn’t have wanted anyone else, they created a truly memorable wedding feast and were amazing in every way! The food was not only exceptional but exactly what we wanted. The organisation and the staff (also friends) worked so well together.
More friends, Nancy and Tiny (of The Fat Pig in Exeter) were amazing at creating a buzzing bar serving the drinks including their own brewed Raspberry Gin and Fat Pig Cider.
These people made our wedding day - it wouldn’t have been the same without them!
Starter - Homemade tapas & meats with section of fresh bread
Main Course - Marinated butterflied lamb on the BBQ with salsa verde and roasties with three large bowls of delicious fresh and tasty seasonal salads on each table.
Desserts - A table full of amazing and scrumptious puddings made by family and friends
Refreshments - A large rusty old cast iron bath filled with ice, beer and wine.
Because it was a ‘woodland wedding’ we wanted everything to be rural, rustic, big, bold and fuss free so we had no specific colour scheme but it all seemed to come together so well. All my gorgeous maids and little flower girl wore lovely pink hue colours and the ushers sported in different suits of grey.
I wore a Maggie Sottero gown called ‘Gatsby’ which I bought from a local boutique, Pirouette, in Exeter and my headpiece is from my own collection, Kye Tew Jewellery. I hand make bespoke headpieces by incorporating and upcycling vintage, antique and pre-loved items, like granny’s old brooch, into one-of-a-kind designs.
Can you be Stylish and Green?
Most definitely! … it’s all about location, use what you have around you, local suppliers, talented friends and you can create something wonderful.
Tips for Brides throwing a Green Wedding
Find a gorgeous location, one World Inspired Tent, and a troupe of lovely talented hardworking family and friends!
Stay calm and relax ... try not to squabble with your future husband about the small things, enjoy the whole journey, it’s fun, and at the end of the day you want to enjoy the whole process and remember why it is you’re doing it in the first place. If something doesn’t go to plan don’t worry about it, laugh it off, it’ll all work out on the day!
Suppliers: Sarah Lauren Photography, Mum and Dad, World Inspired Tents, Maggie Sottero, Pirouette (Exeter), Kye Tew Jewellery, The Fat Pig (Exeter), The Turf Locks, Real Food Store (Exeter)
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