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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Mahoney

Tipi Style Wedding Shoot

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

The beginning of March saw me meeting up with friends and colleagues as we shared our goods at our first wedding open day of the year. We don't do many these, you won't find us at most, simply because I feel they can be quite impersonal, especially the larger ones. This may be a bad thing for me business wise but I want to be able to speak to people and get to know you if you like my work, rather than feeling rushed, cramped, pushed and shoved at a big wedding fair! Instead we do a couple a year with Betty's Tipis and a couple over at GreenAcres Rainford and that's enough for us!

March saw Betty's open their beautiful tented doors at a brand new venue, Ceurden Valley Park and it's walled Orchard and oh my goodness what a venue it is! I was blown away by it and it slightly made me wish that me and David weren't already married because this is honestly my dream venue. Tucked away in a gorgeous walled Orchard stand three tipis, around a small raised pond (less worries of little ones toppling in), feeling safe and secluded. I could imagine the orchard filled with people, laughing, drinking, eating those gorgeous little canapés that Betty's do, the sax player in the background, children playing and adults relaxing.... having easy, laid back fun, just what a wedding should be to me. Bliss... and the photos... well we couldn't resist a little collaboration to make the most of this gorgeous place before it gets booked up!

Emma from The Bridal Barn Boutique (Lathom) was there and accompanied by her Mum (Barbs) and her Mum in law as Emma was heavily pregnant. They had brought along some of their irresistible Lou Lou Bridal dresses and the photo perfect April Gallagher to model some of them as we had a wander around the Orchard site. Hannah Louise Foster gave April a natural, dewy, make up look whist Victoria created a intertwined hair up do that just looked perfect with each dress, complimenting Aprils soft features.

As I scouted for our first location Natalie from Victoria & Natalie Flowers whipped up a hand tied bouquet whilst the lovely ladies from Willow and Fig made sure their hexagon pyro etch backdrop was all ready in the ceremony tent.

Then whilst the very talented Paddy Higginson Music played along on the sax whilst Danny Finn mixed it up on the decks we set to work - and I use the word 'work' in the very loosest of terms!

The Details...

The photography:

Needless to say we did the photography, well, me, Michelle, whilst David was on Dad duties. As a photographer I like to capture moments as they happen, it's only over the past couple of years I've become more comfortable in directing people - strange really for an ex dancer/choreographer - but I loved working with April, she's a natural, and a dancer as well so she got my little expressions. Unfortunately April was Groomless for this shoot, but we're not trying to make it look like it wasn't a shoot, it was, but this gives a good idea of my photographic style but also how everything looks all together. I was able to try out some ideas I've wanted to do for a while, some more editorial style shots alongside my usual natural shots - or as natural as you can on a shoot anyway! All in all we worked for a couple of hours in a very relaxed way, took breaks when we wanted/needed and hid from the rain a few times as well.

I shoot on a Canon 6D, I love this camera body as it's quite light and as full frame camera still gives top notch quality images and full manual control. I have a couple of hand/wrist issues and so there are 'better' cameras out there but they are so much heavier I prefer to work with my lovely 6D and some lovely glass on them. For this I used my main wedding lens a 24-104mm and then I got in a 15mm wide angle lens, knowing that we wanted to get some shots of the full tipi set up and this wouldn't possible without the wide angle. This lens also helped me get some of the shots I had in mind and get a bit creative.

The Dresses:

The dresses that Emma choose just suited April perfectly but also suited the tipis and the walled orchard. All three dresses used were by the vintage style glamour designer, Lou Lou Bridal, their attention to detail, colours and finishing is exquisite and once again I find myself wanted to get married al over again so I can wear one of these dresses. April wore some beautiful shoes by Charlotte Mills, I've been trying to persuade Mr Mahoney that I really do need a pair of these (my absolute favs are a pair with a gold glitter block heel) but he's not catching it yet. The fact that Emma choose these absolutely perfect dresses is not by chance, no, Emma absolutely knows her stuff. Emma looks at not only a ladies body shape but she gets to know them, making sure the dress not only suits and fits the body but that it really does show the best of that woman, capturing her personally in the dress so she's just beeming and feeling absolutely full of confidence in herself. The experience of buying from Emma is the stuff bridal dreams are made of. I had the pleasure of going with our joint friend whilst she tried to find the dress of her dreams and what an experience it was, for all the right reasons. It was among cry from some of the experiences I had when searching for my wedding dress and was instead everything I wished it was, personal, luxurious without being pretentious, friendly, welcoming, spacious and absolutely special.

The Venue:

The venue is equally as amazing. Jack and Alice own and run Betty's Tipis, they have over 20 years experience in catering and events and a few years took that incredible leap of setting up Betty's Tipis. When I first met Jack and Alice they were just starting up and what a journey it's been. I can honestly say I was blown away initially by their attention to detail, the fact the Tipis have a beautiful solid wood floor, a handmade bar and not forgetting reels upon reels of fairy lights. Since then they have grown and grown, the fact they only offer a fully inclusive service is unique, no having to find someone to brin your toilets, someone to bring your chairs, someone to do your food, the list is endless....and they sort it all for you! They are so conscientious in what they do, nothing is too much trouble and the fact they have now secured this venue just means you can

have your day here, in a gorgeous location knowing your'e being wholly and completed looked after by the Betty's Tipis team.

The Hair and Make-Up:

Hannah Foster (Hannah Louise Beauty) created a beautiful, soft, dewy make up for April, this would be a perfect look for a bride, or bridesmaids, who want a more natural look that is light and airy, bringing out their natural features. Victoria Danson (Victoria Louise Hair) worked quickly to give April this flowing up do, intertwined and soft waves to frame the face, another lovely lady who I am pleased to have worked with for a couple of events now.

The Flowers:

Victoria and Natalie (Victoria & Natalie Flowers) created the gorgeous hand tied bouquet and they literally whipped it up there and then from what they had - flower magicians! They also created some of the table centre pieces seen on the open day and the top floral arrangement that could be seen when you entered the main Tipis. The feel of the flowers and the amount was just right and these two ladies were a real giggle on the open day. It was my first time meeting them but I hope it's not the last!

Willow and Fig also provided such a great wow factor, their topiary LOVE letters as you entered the tipis garden was breath taking, I've been to lots and lots of weddings and never seen these before, fabulous. They also provided the hexagonal arch in the ceremony tent with greenery provided by Joe Eaton Floral Design, I loved this, April looked fabulous with this as the backdrop and I could certainly see it being the best talking point when your guests arrive, let alone making you feel like a superstar during the ceremony! It was lovely to meet the ladies, a husband, a baby and a dog, it's clear they have a great working relationship and friendship.

The Music:

Danny Finn kept the tunes banging all day, from the moment we was setting up and I was too busy dancing and singing along to basement Jaxx's Romeo to set my table up, to the moment we left Danny kept us going. Not only he is a great DJ but he's also a host and a singer as well! Multi-talented or what? Emma (Bridal Barn) and I didn't realise he was singer as well and was chatting away when we heard he jazzy tones. Then along came his mate, Paddy. Paddy the sax player (Paddy Higginson Music) just brought Ibiza vibes to our Orchard Garden tipi day. I found myself forgetting I was meant to be working and just enjoying the music, the vibes, the feels. Feeling like I was 18 again living my best life... rather than a 35 year working Mum, also living her best life, but with added paunch and eye bags.

The Extras:

Also at the open day were Natalie, from 2019 Little White Books winner for Best Individual Business 'Designed by Natalie'. Natalie makes totally unique and bespoke wedding stationary, I love them because you can make your invites look like you and have everything coordinated! I love the coordination aspect,Save to Dates to the invites to name cards to seating plans - and bunting invites - oh my gosh - I LOVE bunting!

Finally There was cake. Mouth watering, sloberring all day over it gorgeous goeyness of chocolate brownies and super soft carrot cake from Vicki at 'The Little Craft Bakery'. Based on a farm near Preston Vicki proudly (and quite rightly) explains how the carrots in the carrot cake are all grown on their farm, I love this, being able to make cake from the reduce you grow, I'm envious as I can do neither! Vicki only has Facebook so make sure you give her a follow, her macaron towers make a fabulous and different wedding cake!


Make sure you follow us on our Social media; Facebook/Twitter @mahoneypics and Instagram @mahoneyweddings or email us at

Betty's Tipis

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @bettystipis

Weddings and events all catered for, wedding packages range from £15,000 to £20,000 for 80-120 day guests.

Contact Jack at and follow on social media

The Bridal Barn Boutique.

Facebook/Instagram @thebridalbarnboutique

Twitter @BridalBarnLtd

Stockists of LouLou Bride, Louise Bentley, Lois Wild, Charlotte Balbier, Ivory & Co and Lusan Mandogus, dresses range from £900-£2500.

Contact Emma at and follow on social media

Model April Gallagher, for bookings please contact her via instagram @aprilgallagher_

Hannah Louise Beauty

Facebook @HannahLouiseBeauty,

Instagram @hlbeauty123

Victoria Louise Hair

Facebook/Instagram @victorialouisehair

Victoria & Natalie Flowers

Facebook @Victoria & Natalie Flowers

Instagram @victorianatalieflowers

Contact them on and follow on social media

Willow & Fig

Facebook @Willow & Fig - Wedding and Event Styling

Instagram @willow_and_fig_events

Danny Finn

Facebook @Danny Finn - Host, DJ and Singer.

Instagram @djfinn87

Contact and follow on social media

Paddy Higginson

Facebook @Paddy Higginson Music

Instagram @padamatraz

The Little Craft Bakery

Facebook @thelittlecraftbakery

#weddingplanning #tipiwedding #2019brides #2020brides #2021brides #bohoweddingvibes #ukweddings #engaged #awardwinningweddingphotographer #shortweddingdress #countrywedding

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