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We are back with another cracker of a wedding today, this time courtesy of the truly wonderful Claire Penn Photography. It’s a Tipi wedding that took place at Hill Top Farm in Cheshire, a gorgeous venue with lots of DIY projects put together by the bride and groom. The church service is just beautiful and the tipi reception that follows is not only full of amazing details and decorations but is full of fun, entertainment and of course some stunning photography from Claire.
Sarah and Christopher were married on 12th September 2015. Their Church ceremony was at St Chistopher’s Pott Shrigley and reception at Hill Top Farm in Woodford Cheshire. ‘We always knew we wanted to get married in church as both our families attend church. I have always lived in the country and loved the outdoors so an outdoor reception was always on the cards. I love flowers and wanted lots of them everywhere so a Tipi reception was perfect for creating the space I needed. We had 115 in the day and 150 at night. We planned everything within a year.
How they met
I had a part time job in a bar and Chris was on the darts team. I kept seeing him every shift I worked hehe. We have been together for 4 ½ years
Chris booked our first holiday away with our 6 month old daughter at the time to Nice. I didn’t know where we were going until the morning. We only went for a few days but on the last night we went out for a lovely meal and Chris wanted to walk back on the promenade. Half way down we sat down for a rest and he got down on one knee with my daughter on my knee and proposed. Looking back I can’t believe I didn’t guess he was going to propose but I was really taken back I had no idea!
How did you allocate your budget
We didn’t really have a budget, we booked things that were more important to us first. I was lucky enough to have some help from my dad too.
Where did you splurge and where did you save
We splurged on the Venue, Photographer, flowers and food as they were the most important things to us. Chris and I are quite creative so we made quite a few of the elements ourselves. We wanted to make it personal. Not only for us but also everyone else who attended. We had a few close friends make things too and saved so much money doing it.
How did you choose your photographer
As I work with a lot of photographers myself being a make- up artist I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t want. I had never worked with Claire Penn before but had seen her work and fell in love with her pictures!! I contacted her as soon as we got engaged as I knew she would get booked up and she was free!! I was over the moon! We met with Claire before the day and hit it off straight away, she was so lovely and knew exactly what we wanted. Claire well and truly captured the essence of our day we just completely love her laid back natural approach and so many people have commented on how amazing our pictures were and they were just our highlights that she very kindly sent us the day after! We are going to have such a hard time picking our pictures for an album as we love every single one of them! We also had a videographer to capture the entire runnings of the day. Papertwin weddings did the most amazing job capturing all the very special moments of our day.
I visited a few dress shops before I found ‘the one ’It was from Love Bridal in Altrincham. The dress was called ‘so Amazing’ by Stewart Parvin. I knew I didn’t want anything to big but I still wanted a train. The dress was all lace with a lace jacket too which I took off at night. I also had a cathedral veil by Stewart Parvin which I wore for church only.
The girls at Love Bridal were so friendly and professional, I enjoyed every visit. The whole choosing your wedding dress is amazing with Emma and Clare, they really understand what you want.
Shoes were by Karen Milen I needed a high heel as I am quite short. They were so comfy Yet still quite high and had them on all day
All my accessories were made by the very talented Ann McKavney at Eleventh Heaven. She made my crystal head band, my stunning belt which I wore at night when I took my lace jacket off. My bracelet and all my bridesmaids. After my meeting with Ann she knew exactly what to make me with what I envisioned. I can’t recommend Ann enough for bespoke handmade jewerally, she really is a talented lady.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Chris’s suit and Groomsmens were from Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow. They were all navy, Chris had a grey chequred waistcoat with a navy woven tie and the Groomsmen all had sky blue ties to match the blue in my flowers. All the Bridemaids dresses were from Alison Burgess Couture in Stockport. They were all full length dresses in chiffon with lace at the top. I chose 3 colours for the 6 bridesmaids so had 2 in each colour. Periwinkle, rose and turquoise. The girls in the shop were so helpful and friendly. My daughter was my flower girl and I had her dress made by a designer called Emma Beaumont. She helped me design it as I knew what I had in my mind. I wanted a lace cross over at the back. It was simply beautiful
Theme or Colour Scheme
I didn’t really have a colour scheme. As I had country flowers I picked 3 colours out of them which were same as my bridesmaid dresses. There was a lot of green also as I love wild foliage look.
The flowers were by Fletcher and Foley and were simply breathtaking. They took every idea I had and created exactly what I was looking for. My bridal bouquet was created in a loose wild style with light delicate foliages including pink O’hara roses, pale pink garden roses, blue delphiniums, light pink and blue hydrangeas and craspedia with jasmine and seeded eucalyptus. The bridesmaids were a smaller version of mine. The tables in the tipi had the same flowers out of my bouquet, we had moss and logs and tea light candles also.
The tipis themselves give off the ‘wow factor’ so we didn’t need to decorate too much. The flowers logs candles and moss on the tables alone looked amazing. I had hanging lanterns with lights in in green, cream and lace which looked spectacular! I kept everything rustic had no table cloths or seat covers.
The food was really important to Chris and I and both knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding breakfast. We had canapes to start which included mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef. For the main we went for a posh BQQ which was Filet Steak, Lamb kababs with humas and Garlic King Prawn skewers. We used our wedding cake for dessert. For the evening we had a hog roast. Vanilla in all Seasons were our caterers and still to this day our guests say it was the best wedding they have ever had.
The Wedding Cake was a naked cake made of Victoria sponge and Chocolate layers. It was decorated with fruit and flowers and was served with raspberry coulis and whipped cream for our dessert. Vanilla in all seasons also made our wedding cake.
We also had a Wedding Cake made out of cheese for the dessert for our hog roast in the evening. This was made by the Cheese Hamlet in Didsbury
For the church ceremony and the drink reception we had an acoustic duo called Horizon Fall. They were amazing all day. For the evening we had a band called the undercovers who were fantastic and they kept everyone on the dance floor all night.
I had a very talented lady called Louise from a company called I do designs who did my stationery.
Personal or Handmade Touches
We made our own photobooth and got props and fancy dress wigs for everyone. We made all the signs and aa boards from drift wood and blackboards with a little help from friends. The wheel barrow for our table plan was made by a close friend aswell as our guestbook. We did all our own place settings and wrote them as it gave a more rustic look. I made my card box and dressed it in lace and flowers.
Driving off from church in my dad’s classic Etype as husband and wife in front of everyone, seeing so many family and friends chatting together, laughing and dancing. Everyones faces when the icecream van turned up and the kids faces seeing the bouncy castle and balloon man.
Advice to other couples
If your doing a DIY Wedding make sure you have a great team of friends or family to help out. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without any of them. Take time to enjoy it and the planning too as it goes by so fast! Take 5 or 10 minutes just to spend with each other at various points of the day. Its so hard to do that when your talking to everyone.
My close friend Heather made it to my wedding breakfast and flew back from Miami. Our honeymoon to Venice was booked by Chris’s mum and we flew on the Monday.