How to Plan a Tipi Wedding: Practical Tips & Styling Inspiration from the Gold Coast, Tweed Coast and Byron Bay
Here at HEH, we love a good tipi wedding! Whether you’re planning an epic cocktail party in the hinterland or a sit-down reception by the beach, tipi’s can help to create a warm, relaxed and unique atmosphere for you and your loved ones.
With that being said, there are definitely some practical details to consider as you start planning your tipi wedding, from site selection to tipi configurations and styling details to complete the look. If you’re currently considering a tipi celebration, read on for our words of advice to get you started!
Is a Tipi Wedding Right for You?
First things first, you’ll want to consider your overall “wedding vision” to determine whether a tipi is going to be the right fit. So what kind of celebration is a tipi wedding best suited for?
If you’re aiming for a more bohemian, country or festival-inspired vibe for your day, a tipi wedding will definitely help you achieve this. Tipi’s are the perfect blank canvas for couples wanting to plan a relaxed outdoor wedding with a difference.
We think tipi’s work beautifully for an earthy and organic setting surrounded by nature - although that isn’t to say you can’t achieve a luxurious look with the right styling details. However, if your wedding vision is more sleek, elegant and sophisticated, a clear marquee might be a better fit. Read our top tips on planning a marquee wedding right here!
When it comes to costs, a tipi wedding won’t necessarily work out any cheaper than a traditional venue - just like marquees, you’ll still need to build your wedding from the ground up. But, you do have the added bonus of being able to design your wedding exactly as you want and put your own personal stamp on your styling.
If this description is ticking all of your boxes so far, a tipi wedding might be the perfect fit for you! Keep reading for some practical planning tips to keep in mind for your tipi celebration.
Finding the perfect venue for your Tipi Wedding
If you’re thinking about planning a tipi wedding, you’ll first need to find a venue with a suitable outdoor space. You’ll also need to ensure your tipi site can be easily accessed by trucks and cars when it comes to setting up and packing down. If you’re hosting your wedding on a family property, your tipi provider will generally arrange a site visit prior to booking to ensure the available space is going to be appropriate and accessible.
Some of our favourite blank canvas venues suited for a tipi wedding here on the South East Coast include Riverwood Weddings, Ardeena, Forget Me Not, Elements of Byron Bay and Hillview Homestead just to name a few. See our full list of blank canvas wedding venues on the blog here!
Determine your Tipi requirements
With your venue now sorted, you’ll need to move forward with figuring out your tipi requirements. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to hiring tipi’s for your wedding - you’ll find tipi’s are available in a range of styles and sizes, and can be hired individually or joined together. To help your tipi provider make the right suggestions, we recommend having the following details confirmed before you begin your research:
Your estimated guest numbers
The space available at your venue
The style of your event - sit down or cocktail
The intended use of the tipi’s - eg, do you just need one small tipi for a statement sofa area, or a bigger configuration to accommodate your entire reception?
Your tipi supplier will be able to guide you through the different options to determine the best configuration to suit your needs, including additional requirements like flooring if needed. Something else to consider is the weather - if you’re hosting your wedding over the winter months, chat to your tipi supplier about heating options to ensure your guests are comfortable.
Images via This Day Forward
Consider the Logistics
Just like a marquee wedding, you’ll need to think carefully about the logistics to ensure your set-up and pack-down is carried out smoothly without any hiccups! When it comes to organising your bump-in and bump-out schedule, we recommend the following order of events:
Your tipi suppliers should be the first crew to bump in. This will allow them to access the site, unload all of their gear, and set-up your tipi’s without any obstructions. Depending on your venue and your tipi hire period, this may be able to happen a day or two prior to your wedding.
If you’ve organised any lighting or installations to hang from within the tipi, these suppliers should bump in next while the tipi is empty and the floor space is clear.
From here, your furniture and decor hire suppliers can begin to unload and set-up
Then for pack-down, everything is reversed - you’ll want to get everything out of the tipi first so that it can be pulled down and packed up seamlessly. Side note: we highly recommend working with a wedding planner or coordinator who can handle all of these logistics for you!
Tipi Wedding Styling Inspiration
So now that the practical details have been sorted, you can move forward with styling your Tipi wedding! You’ll find that Tipi’s are a unique statement piece in themselves and actually don’t require too much additional styling. We recommend taking advantage of those stunning high ceilings for lighting and floral installations to set the mood within the tipi. Good lighting is critical, so consider incorporating some statement chandeliers, lanterns or festoon lights strung internally within the tipi frames - along with external festoons around the adjoining lawn to create a nice “flow” between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Depending on the style of your event, you’ll then want to think about creating some “break-out” areas and filling your tipi with comfortable seating. Again, consider that indoor-outdoor “flow” with your furniture and decor to ensure both spaces feel connected. For example, you could scatter some cosy lounge settings, ottomans, low seating and cafe tables within the tipi, with some high bars and stools around the perimeter. For a sit-down reception, we think long rows of dining tables are the best fit to maximise the available space, while also creating a warm and intimate vibe for your guests.
Take a look at some creative tipi styling inspiration from recent events below!
Get in touch with our team for a copy of our latest hire catalogue - we work regularly on tipi weddings and can help you put the perfect furniture plan together for your upcoming event!