I have a very large soft spot for Big Chief Tipis. Hayley approached me back in February and asked me to be a part of their first ever open weekend (click here to hear how it went) … I jumped at the chance. At this point I hadn’t yet moved back to the UK so was flattered that a company would love my work enough to ask me to be a part of something so important. I was really excited too … who doesn’t love a tipi.
Since meeting Hayley she has been a great ambassador and I will be forever grateful. It is now my turn to return the favour, share the love and introduce them to you all. I will now hand it over to Hayley to tell you all about the amazing Big Chief Tipis…
How would you describe Big Chief Tipis to a potential Bride and Groom ?
Big Chief Tipis is a large event tipi hire company, based in the North West (but we cover the whole of the UK) whose aim is to turn dreams into memories! We specialize in providing tipis for any type of weather – not only for when the sun shines, but when it is “British” too! We can cater for any number of guests, from small intimate gatherings, all the way up to a wedding for hundreds as the tipis are interlinkable. Our tipis offer a quirky and original alternative to your standard white-walled marquee and look even more incredible when the sun sets and the firepit is lit inside.
What is Big Chief’s story? When did all begin?
Big Chief Tipis is a family-run business which was born out of our parent company, The Tipi Company, which actually makes the tipis for the tipi hire industry. They are Made In Britain, all within the same industrial park as ourselves, so we know that if there were ever any issues, or we had to call on emergency advice, their expert team of seamstresses, woodworkers and welders have decades of experience between them to rectify them.
We launched Big Chief Tipis last September due to friends, family and people we knew literally begging us to hire our tipis out to them, so we seized the opportunity – after all, who doesn’t love weddings?!
Within the last year we have catapulted into the limelight and our team has grown to 12 people who are all equally as passionate about creating the dream wedding, with the key ‘Chiefs’ being a father, son and daughter team. By the end of our first year, we will have worked on 40 weddings, including Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright’s wedding; 4 big festivals including Glastonbury and Festival No.6 and a further selection of celebrity celebrations including Carl Fogarty’s 50th Birthday and James Martin’s private dining event.
What top tips would you give to Bride/Grooms still looking for a venue/site for a tipi?
If you are still on the hunt for a venue, then please do get in touch with our team of Little Chiefs – we have worked with a variety of sites that suit a number of styles, budgets and sizes so we’d be more than happy to send you in the right direction. The other alternative is to get in touch with family and friends who may have a piece of land available, head to your local pub, cricket or golf club to see if they would let you rent their practice fields or google ‘glamping sites’.
For every bride that confirms with us, we send them a ‘What Next’ pack which includes all of the other things that you need to book for your Outdoor Wedding including caterers, theming, cakes, photographer (Melissa of course!) and so on – so hopefully that helps lighten the load!
What is the best way for me to check for me to check that my date is available?
Get in touch with our team of Little Chiefs and they will respond to you within 24hrs firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01204 544906
Do you have public liability insurance?
Yes we do and we also have a Damage Waiver policy which is added onto your quote and is 3% of the total hire charge. This covers you for any accidental damages that may occur while the tipi is in your hands.
How many people can you accommodate?
The numbers are endless! Most of our wedding bookings are for 80 – 150 people, but we have a variety on either side.
What is included in the rental fee?
We offer a very transparent approach to our quotes, so we give you all the options you could have, talk you through some guidance on the boring bits that everyone tends to forget about (toilets, generators, heaters, catering tent) and then send you a blow-by-blow account of everything that is included. There are no hidden costs and the total amount always includes delivery, installation and dismantling.
Do you have an in-house wedding co-coordinator/Is it included in the rental fee?
Yes and she is called Sarah! Sarah deals with all aspects of your tipi wedding, so whether its arranging what time the toilets arrive, the type of land we are building the tipis on and what floorplan you want, she will take you through the steps one at a time. We don’t tend to get involved with the decoration / catering / cakes etc but we point you in the right direction to trusted suppliers we have worked with over a number of years and know that they do a great job.
Can I hire my own vendors (caterer, coordinator, DJ, etc.), or must I select from a preferred vendor list?
Yes of course you can hire your own vendors. We don’t have any restrictions at all but a lot of our brides tend to ask for our recommendations, hence why we have our ‘Friends’ section on our website.
Do you have an in house caterer?
No but we have worked with Percivals, Cheeky Chilli and Chapman Holmes who are all fantastic and offer something different to one another.
Are there any decoration limitations? Can we use candles?
We light fires inside of our tipis so yes, you are most certainly allowed to light a candle or two! All we ask is that you put them on a mat or in a glass jar etc so that the wax doesn’t drip onto our furniture and so that it is safer for your guests.
Are there any noise restrictions?
Dependent on the venue you book, they will have their own curfew for turning the noise down.
In case of bad weather, is there a backup plan/What are the options?
At Big Chief Tipis we pride ourselves on offering an all-weather solution to your outdoor wedding. Historically, the only way you can enter a tipi is through a diagonal zip (when it rains the water drips inside and onto the carpet), or via a lifted side (if it is cold / windy / rainy guests can get a chill inside). However, we have designed an exclusive Rain Kit which allows us to insert an Entrance Porch or Entrance Tunnel into the side of the tipi, thus creating a much more pleasant entry and exit when the weather is bad!
Do you offer overnight accommodation?
As above, this is down to the facilities of the venue. We do offer a Honeymoon Suite in one of our Baby Tipis that comes complete with king size bed, log burning stove, reindeer skins and more, which is a big hit with our brides & grooms who want to spend their wedding night in something unforgettable. Alternatively we work with Hummingbird Tipis who specialize in glamping tipis for parties.
(Note: The above images provided by Big Chief Tipis and were not taken by myself)
Finally …. What is next for Big Chief?
Rather a scary question when we’re only half way through our crazy wedding season! We want to grow our team even further and expand offices, but more importantly we want to make even more dreams into memories! It has been an incredible season for us and we’re looking forward to taking Big Chief to the next level and organize even more stunning weddings. We get so excited when we receive images from a bride & groom’s Big Day and love to see how they put their own individual spin on the theming and decoration – so we just want to see more!
That is all from Hayley for now, but if you would like to know more about Big Chief Tipis why not make an appointment and pop to see them at their autumn open weekend at the stunning Holford Hall (brand spanking new venue) in Plumley Cheshire on the 3rd & 4th October. Click here for more information.
Guess what …. I will be there too. I look forward to seeing you there.
List of lovely suppliers as seen in the above images:
Photography: Myself unless otherwise stated
Dresses: Jean Jackson Couture
Hair Stylist: Vicky M
Make-up: Maxine Smith
Vintage VW Campers: The Lovebus Wedding Company