Tipi for two: festival-style fun in Cheshire
A festival of love
<p>Although they didn't know it at the time, Kate and Jonathan's first meeting would come to shape their sunny summer wedding. "We met at a mini-festival on a tipi campsite in Wales," says Kate. "I was attracted to Jonathan's innovative use of straw bales as furniture; he liked the way I danced around the site to the records he was playing." Two years and two months later, Jonathan proposed and they set about planning a festival-inspired wedding for July 2011.</p> <p><em>Photography by Nicola Thompson (<a href="http://nicolathompsonphotography.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>nicolathompsonphotography.co.uk</strong></a>) </em></p>
On top of the world
Kate's dream dress was a silk-satin <a href="http://www.davidfielden.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>David Fielden</strong></a> number. "I loved the way the fabric went swoosh!" Jonathan wore a bespoke blue suit from <a href="http://www.charlieallen.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Charlie Allen</strong></a> to match Kate's sapphire engagement ring, and a silk tie.
Something old, something new
Kate teamed her Twenties-style gown with <a href="http://rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Rachel Simpson</strong></a> peep-toes, a pair of <a href="http://www.jennypackham.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Jenny Packham</strong></a> marcasite earrings and a bracelet made from watch chains that her grandmother had crafted after the war.
Get me to the church on time
Kate's dress inspired the choice of vintage transport. She made her way to the ceremony in style in a 1935 Mulliner Rolls Royce from <a href="http://www.bmlcars.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>BML Cars</strong></a>. "It worked perfectly with my engagement ring, dress and Art Deco earrings," Kate explains.
Songs of praise
"The church is minutes from where I grew up and sang in the choir as a kid," says Kate. "We were lucky enough to have the choir serenade us on the day."
Showered in love
As they left the church the couple were showered in rose petals, which had been lovingly dried weeks in advance by their mothers.
Over the rainbow
The bright colour scheme centred on sapphire blue (to match Kate's engagement ring), with red, yellow and orange accents. "We ordered the table flowers from a local market," says Kate, who filled glass bottles and jars with sunflowers, cornflowers, and dahlias in primary colours to match the gerberas, delphiniums and roses in her bouquet. She also added flame-orange montbretia from her parents' garden to the top-table arrangements.
All things bright and beautiful
The brighter-the-better colour palette continued to Kate's bridesmaids. "I was very relaxed about bridesmaids and had a number of really good friends who were given flowers of their choice and asked to pick their own outfits, as long as they were bright and colourful," she says.
A field day
The reception location was a nearby field, which was perfect for recreating a festival feel with <a href="http://www.papakata.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>PapaKåta</strong></a> tents, bunting, deckchairs and hay bales covered in cushions made by Kate's mum. The stationery, designed by the couple, also referenced the theme with a hand-drawn tent motif.
"Jonathan was DJ-ing when we met, so we decided to name the tables after records that mean something to us," says Kate. "And instead of a guestbook, we had a giant poster by an artist called Moose Allain: we have a print of his at home (<a href="http://www.worldofmoose.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>worldofmoose.com</strong></a> ). It has line-drawings of off-beat characters and placards for the guests to colour in and write messages on."
Guests took fun photos with moustaches, beards and masks on sticks from <a href="http://www.etsy.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>etsy.com</strong></a>, and danced to a funk/soul band, while sipping from bottles of local ale, printed with the couple's names and wedding date. "The labels were a surprise ordered by my dad," says Kate. "The only downside was that underneath our names was printed 'Best before Dec 2011'!"
Kate and Jonathan made sure all their loved ones were present at their wedding by placing framed photos of their grandparents' weddings on a table with the cakes and gifts.
Just the two of us
In an inspired take on a sweetheart table the couple shared some post-ceremony time together on the al fresco seating they had dotted around the field. "We scrounged several deckchairs from friends and family as well as lots of straw bales to remind us of the straw furniture we first met on!" says Kate.
Light my fire
Guests were kept cosy when the sun went down with a stunning raised fire in the middle of the tipi.
The couple opted for a relaxed buffet wedding breakfast provided by <a href="http://www.thetravellinggourmet.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>The Travelling Gourmet</strong></a>. In keeping with the exotic feel of the tents, guests were treated to a mix of dishes from around the world including paella, tagine and curries.
If music be the food of love...
Local artisan cake maker - and friend of Kate's mum - Vivienne Ayres made the record player cake, complete with Liquorice Allsorts dials, a chocolate record and an icing needle resting on Jaffa Cakes.
Icing on the cake
Alongside the musical masterpiece wedding cake, Kate and Jonathan also had a tempting treats table. "Several friends and members of my family made delicious cakes and nibbles," says Kate. "My friend Ruth also carefully couriered a few boxes of my favourite mini macaroons from <a href="http://www.paul-uk.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Paul Bakery</strong></a> in London."
Trip the light fantastic
The musical couple chose their own tunes, which were played on a hired PA system from <a href="http://nodj.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>NoDJ.co.uk</strong></a>. "Jonathan insisted on hiring a laser as well, which worked really well with the mirror ball that came with the tipi," says Kate. Guests danced into the small hours under the atmospheric lights created by the laser.