Well, it is a grey greyyy Wednesday here at FBrides HQ, and I, for one, can think of nothing nicer that sipping on an elegant cocktail, wearing a little boho number, all cosy in a BEAUTIFUL tipi right about now… Who’s with me?!
So we’re gonna be diving into the wonderland that is the world of Totally Tipi this afternoon, with their next Open Day fast approaching on April 16th and 17th, we thought it high time that we showcased this fantastic company to you guys a little further!
Let’s kick things off with their incredible new open day film (which, if you’ve never been to a tipi wedding before, will give you a great feel for just how magical they are!) and then we’ll get into our interview with them…
Stay tuned for some awesome advice from some of the best in the industry!
Ok guys, first things first! If you had a chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be?
For the past two years, we’ve provided teepees for the VIP area at the Underneath the Stars Festival at Cawthorne, near Barnsley. We enjoyed going back this year as a family and making a weekend of it.
It has a lovely family vibe with a great mix of music and food. We’re a bit past the raucousness of Download and hustle and bustle of Glastonbury!
What made you decide to start the company?
Working as a designer for 15 years was a labour of love and took me around the world but I was ready for something fresh.
All it took was a wedding and some lovely giant teepees to set me thinking; the great outdoors, working with people at such an exciting time of their life and my passion for detail – get me some teepees to share!
Jay was also looking for a career change and loved the idea too, so our business partnership was born.
Tell us a little bit more about Totally Tipi…
Totally Tipi really does have a passion for high quality at it’s core.
We’re proud to have some of the most experienced crew in the country, and this really shows in the look and performance of all of our setups. But it’s also the behind-the-scenes stuff that we focus on too. We balance business with service and presentation so never take a booking if we think that it – or another setup – will be compromised.
We understand that our customers often aren’t ‘au fait’ with teepees or event planning, so we don’t just take a deposit and go quiet until it’s time to come to site; clients have taken comfort in having us by their side throughout the planning journey.
What are some of your favourite memories + experiences from previous weddings you’ve worked with?
A couple’s Totally Tipi journey can often begin when they visit one of our open days. We love meeting up in person and putting faces to email addresses and voices at the end of a phone line.
We have even become good friends with some couples and kept in touch post-event! It may sound a bit daft, but we still get a warm glow whenever we’re on site for a tipi event. There’s something rather satisfying about the sound of people having a nice time inside the teepees!
If our readers were to work with you for their wedding, what can they expect?
Honesty is always the best policy, so we have a friendly “say it like it is” policy here at Totally Tipi which, we are often told, is appreciated by our customers. We try to maintain consistency throughout so you build a rapport with us and feel at ease that the tipi side of things won’t cause you any headaches!
Reputation is everything in an environment where you can’t rely on repeat business and returning customers. You are only as good as your last event and who knows what might come out of it.
Referrals are very important to us. For instance, bride-to-be, Verity, booked us having been to her friend Gemma’s wedding which we provided a tipi for, in Gemma’s words:
“The fact our booking experience was so easy definitely encouraged Verity to use you as well. Seeing our experience over our wedding weekend has made her very confident that her wedding will go just as smoothly.”
How do you know if a supplier is right for your wedding?
Have you ever gotten a ‘feeling’ that something’s just right – or indeed quite the opposite…?
That’s a really good starting point. Do you think that you’ll have a battle to get what you want? Or do they sound quite amenable?
It’s your big day so don’t be dictated to; you call the shots!
What’s your best piece of advice for couples who’re trying to choose their supplier?
When gathering supplier quotes, compare them on a like-for-like basis as best you can. Get the lists of items side-by-side and really scrutinise what’s been included or not. In our experience, a comparative quote isn’t at all and you may have hidden costs down the line or end up with a mirror ball the size of a Christmas bauble – and nobody wants that!
Don’t just take a list of items on a page and a bottom line figure. Look a bit beyond if you can: how is their equipment maintained? Will it be old and dated or new and clean? How do they see their product / service working with your event?
MUTA is the UK’s only trade association dedicated to marquees, tents and structures. Its guidelines summarise it perfectly:
“Compare prices, of course, but understand that good hirers with contingency tents, contingency staff and contingency vehicles have additional costs compared with the companies that have just enough. You can expect to pay a bit more to know that there are measures in place to ensure your event is not left high and dry. So the message is to look for good overall value and not simply the lowest price.”
Finally, what’s your life quote/motto?
Price is only an issue in the absence of value!
There’s just such a sense of experience and sincerity with them that’s so reassuring to couples – head over to our directory for their contact deets!
Peace + Love