The reception was held back at the farm in one of the fields. We had an area set up for parking and camping and then mowed a walk way across the field to the tipi.
We had one large tipi, one small tipi and a catering tent off the back. We put a smoking area and had a portable toilet cabin round the back of the tipi to keep them out of sight. We also had a spare marquee set up just encase the heavens opened and we needed some extra shelter.
When guests arrived we gathered outside the tipi for welcome drinks and instead of canapes has a table of scones that you could help yourself to. Scones is one of my favorite foods so we had plain, fruit and cheese, served with clotted cream, jam and butter. It’s fair to say they went down a storm and the scone table was raided!
It wasn’t long before we got everyone to find their seats and we started the reception with speeches. It’s not traditional to start with the speeches but all of the bridal party where nervous and we felt by getting them out the way everyone could relax. It was a great way to approach it- and I would recommend it! We started with my Dads speech welcoming everybody to the day, followed by the groom and finished with a light-hearted and humorous speech from the best man. Once it was finished the food was immediately served and the atmosphere in the tipi was wonderful. The Bridal party could all relax, have a drink and enjoy the rest of the day without the thought of the speeches looming over them.
For the food we had a sharing style meal. We served;
- Warm breads with olives and oil
- Warm caramelised onion tartlet slices
- Sticky glazed sausages
- Warm marinated chicken skewers
- Honey roast ham
- Accompanied by coleslaw, mixed leaf salad and warm minted new potatoes
All the food came out at the same time and was served on wooden platters. It was a dig in and help yourself vibe to crate a really relaxed atmosphere. The food was prepared and served by a company local to us called Fine Food Matters- they were brilliant! They had the catering tent to prepare and serve from and my god the food was good. We were stuffed- if anybody local is reading this I would highly recommend them.
Once everyone had eaten enough the tables were cleared and pudding was served. For pudding we had a more formal- one plate per person option. Each plate had 3 mini desserts- Eton mess cheesecake served in a mini kilner jar, warm mini brownie and a slice of lemon tart. We wanted to continue the relaxed theme but felt it could cause a fight if everyone on the table wanted a brownie so this allowed us to ensure all our guests stayed friends!
To add a bit of background music during the meal we just created a spotify playlist that we played via the speaker system. Following dinner we served tea and coffee and had around an hour of spare time before the evening guests arrived. At 18:30 we had two singers arrive and set up, they started playing from 19:00 and our evening guests were due to arrive from 19:30. The timings worked well as the singers could create a bit of atmosphere before the evening guests arrived and the time allowed our guests to mingle and re-fresh whilst the ushers and waitresses tidied up the tables and moved some out of the way.
We had loads of candles and lights surrounding the tipi and as it got darker we lit two fire pits in big metal barrels. Not only did these add light, but being September it was cold outside so they provided a great source of heat that our guests could huddle round. The door to the catering tent was zipped off and what was the catering tent in the day now became the bar and pig roast- it just gave us some extra space inside encase it rained.
At 19:00 our evening guests began arriving and all that was left to do was cut the cake and have our first dance. We did the dance straight after the cake cutting so that we could relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Out first dance was to The Lumineers, Hey Ho and it was sung by one of the singers. From then on it was party time… the singers eventually packed up, the DJ kicked in and as the morning drew in guests disappeared off home or back to their tents for the night.
The next morning anyone who had stayed over gathered back in the tipi where my dad had cooked everyone sausage and bacon baps- the perfect way to start the day after the night before!