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What Wedding Venues Are Suitable For A Tipi? with Dan Lakin from Bar Events UK

What Wedding Venues Are Suitable For A Tipi? Dan Lakin from Bar Events UK walks us through the where, why and how of Tipis for your Wedding Day extravaganza!

Listen to Dan on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Dan Lakin, Bar Events UK


James: [00:00:02] Hi Dan welcome to Wedding Espresso. Lovely to have you. 

Dan: [00:00:05] Hi. Nice to meet you. 

James: [00:00:07] Awesome.

So you run Bar Events UK and you supply wedding bars, wedding catering and wedding tipis. 

Dan: [00:00:15] Yes. I mean we outsource catering, but we can sort out anything for a wedding. We have tipis, bars and event staff in-house, and outsource everything else. But yeah we can look after everything for weddings. 

James: [00:00:27] Fantastic. Then you’re ideally suited to help us out with this question that brides and grooms to be have been asking…

“what makes a wedding venue amazing for a tipi? 

Dan: [00:00:39] Well tipis, all you need is is an open field. If they’ve got a venue there that has power, toilets, etc, that’s amazing. Especially if there’s accommodation as well. It’s quite often nice for the bride and groom to stay on site. Maybe their families as well, and friends if it’s big enough.

Essentially all you need for a good tipi wedding venue is a large piece of land, flat, ideally grass, but we can work on any surface and views.

At the end of the day, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you might as well utilise the views. 

Dan: [00:01:10] We could sort any outside utilities, you know toilets, power, that sort of thing. We can bring water to site, but if the venue has those onsite, that’s even better. It saves you booking things, and saves paying for more things, which is always a bonus.

So generally speaking as long as it’s a large flat piece of grass, we can put the tipis anywhere. Imagine putting a table on the ground, if the table sits well and your food doesn’t roll off the plate, then we’re good to go. 

James: [00:01:38] Brilliant. And so in terms of kind of space requirements then, what are we looking at in terms of what space do we need? 

Dan: [00:01:45] So it really depends on the size of the wedding.

If you had fifty to hundred guests, which is most weddings, then you’re going to be having about two tipis. Two tipis in width is about 20 metres in depth by about 10 metres.

So if that’s a ballpark figure for a two tipi setup, some people have smaller weddings, in which case you only need one. A tipi is about ten metres in diameter. So as long as you’ve got that footprint and a bit of setup space, then we’re good! Obviously if you’ve got an even bigger wedding of say one hundred to two hundred people, you’re looking at three, maybe four tepees, depending on the layout. Depending on the size of the ground needed. 

James: [00:02:26] Cool. Do the venues ever put any restrictions on what can be put up on their premises, or do you find that that’s kind of something that’s really easy to resolve. 

Dan: [00:02:36] Yeah. To be honest if they’ve got outside space, they tend to be happy for anything to go there. The only thing we have to be careful of is utilities that run underneath. Whether there’s any power or water pipes or drainage going under the ground, in which case we can check that, and pitch accordingly. Sometimes venues don’t like bands or DJs or loud noises outside, gone midnight or sometimes even gone 11:00pm. So it’s worth checking with that first. But generally speaking they’re quite accommodating. 

James: [00:03:08] And the question that we’ve just got to ask because when we got married, it absolutely downpoured. And it kind of trashed our outdoor plans. Famous story. So weather wise, what do brides and grooms need to be thinking about if they’re thinking, “we would love the idea of a teepee.” I mean they’re amazing at Christmas aren’t they. Such a magical thing. We filmed many. But…

what do brides and grooms need to be thinking about regards the weather and having a tipi. 

Dan: [00:03:33] Okay. Well first of all everyone worries about rain on their wedding day, and they say “how do the tipis cope in the rain?” The tipis come into their own in bad weather. We put ours up every Christmas in Ilkley. The firepit, you know bring the sides down, light the fire pits, get the heaters on. It’s such a cozy atmosphere. With the sides up again, fire pits and heaters, have the rain pouring and cascading off the sides. It looks absolutely stunning and it’s a massive space indoors to still accommodate however many guests you need. So while the rain isn’t great for walking around outside, it’s great for tipis. It’s just creates an even better, warmer atmosphere. 

James: [00:04:11] Cool. And in terms of kind of transporting guests from a to b, getting into the tipi, are you able to supply mats and things to help? 

Dan: [00:04:20] Yeah absolutely. So depending on where the tipis are etc, and the layout of the ground, we can lay mats to the nearest hard surface. So transport can drive right up to the mats, and then people can have a nice walkway straight into the tipis. 

James: [00:04:37] Cool. And what would you say are the main advantages? Is it an aesthetic? Is it is an environment? A feeling? What’s great about having tipis at a wedding? 

Dan: [00:04:50]

I mean they definitely have their own atmosphere. You can put tipis up and not decorate them at all. They just have this rustic cool, warmth about them.

Not to diss marquees, but most people have been in a marquee. You know, four sides, and can be fairly basic. And if they’re not, then they’ve spent a lot of time and money you know, hanging drapes and that sort of thing inside, and lighting. Whereas the tipis, you just put the poles up, put the canvas up, and away you go. You can decorate if you want. But they’ve certainly got their own really unique look about them, obviously from the outside, and feel about them on the inside. 

James: [00:05:29] Brilliant. Yeah. So just to round things off we’ve just got like a fun quick question for you, and it goes a little bit something like this.

“If I was a bride or groom and I was just starting out with the wedding planning process, where would I start in finding the right tipi company for me?”

And obviously this is an opportunity to talk about your skillset. 

Dan: [00:05:50] Okay great. So first of all I mean if you find us for example, you can ask us any questions you want. A lot of people are absolutely bamboozled by where to start planning a wedding. If you came to us, we can recommend venues where you can pitch tents. If you’ve already got a feel, and you don’t know if you need a tipi yet, a marquee, or what, again, chat to us, we can send your prices, we can recommend marquee companies, yurt companies, whatever it is you need. We don’t just do tipis, we do bars and event staff as well. So at some point during your big day, we can probably help. And that’s the benefit to using a company like ours as well. If you do use us for tipis, and have our bars on the day, then we’ll we’ll help run your whole event. We won’t let you forget anything. We can plan caterers, generators, photographers, everything you need, we can help with. 

James: [00:06:45] Awesome. Well that’s been great. Thanks so much Dan for sharing your knowledge and your wisdom with us today. 

Dan: [00:06:50] Pleasure. 

James: [00:06:51] Awesome and we hope to speak to you again soon. Thanks again. 

Dan: [00:06:54] Thanks a lot. Bye. 

James: [00:06:56] See you later. Bye for now. 

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