Oh wonderful tipis, tepees, teepees (however you fancy spelling it!), aren’t they the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? Whoever decided to think outside the box, dive straight into alternative style and have a tipi wedding, well my hat goes off to them, they’ve started a growing trend in the wedding (and event) industry. As finding a venue for your wedding or party goes, tipis are at the top of the list for many alternative brides / grooms / party goers simply because they create such a unique, relaxed environment without compromising beauty. Their giant hats and rustic beams are a truly stunning, characterful feature and definitely create the wow factor for your wedding or party.
That’s why, today, I’m super excited to be talking about how to style these beauties (which might, to some of you, feel like a bit of a daunting prospect?!) An event venue which actually has to be ‘built’ is always going to be a little more tricky to style – I think this is mostly because they are blank canvases which you can decorate in whatever colours and style, using whatever decorations you like – there are no limits to styling a tipi. Now, although this is wonderful, it might, for some, prove tp be difficult and a bit overwhelming. Fear not! I am here to help narrow down your options for decorating your tipi wedding or party and provide you with wonderfully creative, beautiful ideas so that your tipi looks amazing both inside and out!
Whether you want to keep it minimalist and simple or go elaborate and wild, both styles can be effective. The most important thing is make your tipi entrance look pretty as this is the first thing your guests are going to see when they arrive on site. Their eyes will be drawn to the gorgeous giant tipis, so you want to ensure the entrance is presentable. In some ways, it might be nice to keep the entrance simple if you’re having lots of décor inside, and vice versa. Here are some of my favourite tipi entrance styling ideas…
Love festival style? Bring festival vibes to your wedding with colour flags dotted in front of your tipi and line the tipi entrance with bunting. Use matting to create a pathway, intriguing guests inside your unique wedding reception venue!
I love this wooden structure created for the tipi entrance – you could create a canopy above the structure using lots of things from hanging flower heads and origami birds to goose feather garlands and fabric bunting.
For minimalist, but effective, tipi entrance decoration use clusters of giant balloons in your wedding colours and dot them either side of your tipi entrance. I’m not a fan of balloons at weddings usually but absolutely adore the giant ones! You can create beautiful tails using tissue tassels, pom poms, paper hearts, foliage and more! Why not incorporate them into your wedding invites so guests get a hint of your wedding décor before they even get there?!
Signage to welcome your guests to your wedding is always good for your tipi entrance décor. Whether it’s chalkboard, wooden or glass, style your signage with mismatched, flower-filled props for a gorgeous overall style.
This is a gorgeous shot of the bride and groom outside their tipi, which they’ve adorned with shepherd’s hooks and flag bunting – a nice touch to create a walkway into the teepee.
Again, this tipi entrance has been styled using shepherd’s hooks, foliage and festoon lighting – a simple, but gorgeous result. Often, less is more when it comes to styling!
Another idea is to open up the sides of your tipi (weather permitting, of course!) to create a really welcoming, friendly entrance. Adorn the tipi entrance by hanging decorations and fairy lights along the front.
Love this eclectic mix of props to decorate the teepee entrance – using apple crates, vintage books, flower pots, step ladders, jugs and plenty of flowers! Add some signage or moss letters using your initials for a personal touch.
There’s so much you can do in terms of styling the inside of your tipi – from decorating the beams and poles to hanging decorations from the tipi apex, the options and ideas are endless. Most people like to hang some sort of decorations or create a canopy of decorations, for example using colourful paper lanterns, pom poms, bunting, tassels, flower garlands and more. For the tables, I often say (in tipis) less is always more, especially if you’re having hanging décor and lighting. However, if you aren’t having much in terms of hanging decorations, go a little wilder with the tables. Below, I’ve included an array of different styles and ideas for decorating the inside of your teepee – enjoy!
Here, the inside has been styled using neutral bunting and fairy lights around the poles, keeping the styling fairly simple. It all comes together nicely with the height of the centrepieces and table decorations, which although not colourful, create a gorgeously organic, raw feel with mostly green foliage and rustic elements, like the hessian table runners.
Placing giant balloons on your tables is a great way to add some fun to your inside teepee decoration. Flowers in assorted glass bottles on the tables and you’re good to go! Oh, and don’t forget the fairy lights of course (this creates a truly magical feel in the evening).
A chill out area within one of your teepee hats is a great idea, particularly for the evening when guests might just want to relax, listen to the music and enjoy the party from their floor cushions! Whether you opt for sofa seating or floor seating, that’s up to you. I particularly like this Moroccan style chill out area, complete with a giant Persian rug, poufs, large floor cushions, low tables and lanterns. The potted plants look gorgeous within this styling.
One lovely idea for hanging decorations inside your tipi is origami! Be it birds, hearts, stars, diamonds – whatever floats your boat – just ensure you have lots of them to get the dramatic look. You could either make these yourself and use fishing wire to attach them to one another (I’d get a friend or 10 to help you – this is time consuming!) or a wedding stylist could make these for you.
You’ll know, if you’ve read my blog before, that I love personality and character within wedding and party styling so the above idea is totally up my street! I love photo walls – get guests to take photos of themselves on polaroids and hang them up on the day of your event or, alternatively, you could create a backdrop of photos of you and your partner/your family and friends.
Lights, lights, lights. The lighting you have at your wedding or event is so important in creating a particular atmosphere. In tipis, festoon or fairy lights look particularly beautiful when wrapped around poles or strung from beam to beam (like in the photo below).
Isn’t this some cosy styling for a chill out area within your teepee? It’s all about the layers here – layers of mismatched rugs, cushions, different heights (from the low level tables to the tall signage, floor cushions to sofa seating – the different heights create a great texture). I also love the hanging decorations here!
Wow! For a more dense, dramatic look, use dark or coloured seating (you could have wooden tables with coloured chairs) and plenty of foliage above to create a strong canopy.
If you’re not so keen on such heavy use of greenery, why not tone it down a little and wrap foliage around the tipi poles, with a central feature hanging from the tipi apex? For a cool, boho style, ensure the foliage/flowers have a wild and free appearance, rather than structured and compact – ask your florist which foliage and flowers work best to create this look.
Hanging paper lanterns are a popular and super pretty idea for adding pops of colour to your tipi decoration. Hang them down the centre of your tipi in a long line, like above, or cluster them at different points in your tipi. Always make sure the lanterns are hung at different heights (but symmetrical on either side from the middle) for more texture and a nicer overall look – it then looks as if they have been hung randomly.
Now this is one my favourites – a giant hoop of foliage or wild flowers around the diameter of the tipi! It just looks so beautiful and has such a gorgeously natural effect on the overall style inside.
Inside you’re tipi, you might have a bar or a cake table – style these areas so they tie into your overall décor by creating a pretty backdrop for your cake or styling your bar with colourful glasses. I love this tropical, colourful drinks station with painted pineapples and rustic crates – just gorgeous!
A hanging bike?! Why not, it looks cool.
The Dance Floor
The dance floor is, hopefully, going to be occupied all evening and guests will be spending lots of time in there, so make it look amazing! Think outside the box – yes disco balls are great, but you can do so much more to create a stunning canopy for your excited guests to dance underneath. Check out the ideas below.
A canopy of white or coloured lanterns makes a beautiful display for above your tipi dance floor and looks even more magical with fairy lights attached to the beams of the tipi (and a disco ball at the apex!)
A show-stopped of an installation using ribbons – get a wedding stylist or prop hire company to create this for you, what a beautiful canopy to dance underneath all evening!
A DIY job for all you creatives out there – hanging geometric paper garlands. Using coloured paper, create 3D diamonds and attach them vertically to fishing wire (you’ll need lots to create a canopy for your dance floor so ask some friends to help). Super easy and so effective!
If budget is not an issue, then hanging fresh flower heads would make a stunning canopy for your dance floor, especially with those twinkly fairy lights sparkling through the flowers – wow!
Here’s another idea for a ribbon installation that you could create in advance of your wedding or party and this one is much easier to install. Cut strips of fabric or ribbon and tie each strip onto fishing wire to create lots of ribbon garlands – you can then hang these horizontally across your tipi beams to create a colourful dance floor canopy.
I hope these ideas have inspired you all in terms of decorating your tipis, whether it’s for your wedding or party. If you need any help with planning or styling your event, please do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07507664099 and we can meet over a coffee/tea/mojito (whatever you fancy!) to discuss your plans and ideas :).
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