With so many years of experience in the tipi hire industry, our team certainly knows a thing or two about what to think about when hiring a tipi for your wedding, celebration or event. We’ve put our heads together to create our top 10 most important things to think about when hiring a tipi – we hope this list is useful and helps you explore areas you might not have thought about before!
#1 – Think about timing
Well, to set us off, let’s look at timing. Tipis can be used all year around – ours are Scandinavian and people live in them in Sweden, so they are warm, safe and dry. Here at The Natural Tent Company, we put up tipis from April to October. A tipi event inevitably involves some outdoor activities, even if it’s only walking across to use the facilities, so in the UK it doesn’t make for the best day to book outside of those dates. Also, we struggle to put the tipis up in the cold, wet and wind. If your heart is set on the cosy picture perfect tipi event (and why wouldn’t it be?) then start planning in winter for your summer wedding or event.
Longer days make for more outdoor fun too, so May, June and July work well. We do have to add though that the tipis look incredible in the dark with the fairy lights and your own choice of décor so the slightly shorter days in August and September lend themselves well to enable you to take advantage of this. And who doesn’t love a disco in the dark with all the colourful lights! If you hire with us, we can also supply both indoor and outdoor fire pits to add warmth, focus and light to your special event.
#2 – Adding your own personal touch
When hiring a tipi for your event, we think it’s important to choose a company that gives you the time you need to add your own touches. You will want access to your tipi set up at least the day before your big event so you can tweak the style or add your own personal bits and bobs. You will need to coordinate this with your friends and family, caterer, bar provider, disco, florist and anyone else who is supporting your day. The key is to avoid feeling rushed or pressured just before your big day so ensure you have the access you need to make sure everything is just perfect!
You will also need to liaise with your chosen venue to check when the tipis can be put up and taken down and that there are no conflicting events on your required dates. It can take a whole day to put up a large tipi set up so work closely with both the venue and the tipi hire company to keep everything on time and running smoothly.
#3 – See the tipis before you hire
We think this point is very important! If you can, go and see a tipi or tipi set up before you hire a tipi for your event. At The Natural Tent Company we hold two open days a year, in spring and autumn, at a private location in Hertfordshire – find out more about these events. Seeing the tipis ‘live’ will really help you to visualise your day and crystallise your thoughts on numbers and themes.
During the open day events our experienced team will be on hand to answer all your questions and walk you through the tent set-ups we can create. Feel free to bring along all your friends and family (the tipis are eight metres high, so no, your tall uncle won’t have any problems fitting in too!).
#4 – Make the most of tipi venue partnerships
See if you can take advantage of arrangements the tipi hire company might have with tipi-friendly venues. Using a venue the tipi hire company regularly works with will help things to run to plan and in some cases help to reduce your costs! Also, local suppliers will know the venue and find it easier to set up their equipment for your event. Ask us for details of our partnership deals or check our partner tipi venues here on our website.
Did you know, we are the preferred tipi hire company for events at Beaumont Hall?
#5 – Read the details of each tipi package
Look carefully at the packages available and what is included. Many tipi companies provide only the shell and everything else is an add-on. We have even heard of one company who has a ‘naked tipi’ package which is just the poles, which is surely not much use to anyone!
With The Natural Tent Company, even our most basic package includes everything you need for a great day – you can view our tipi hire packages here. You can then add on extras as you want to.
#6 – Insurance insurance insurance
Now for the legal bit – insurance. It’s really important that your chosen tipi hire company and suppliers have the insurance they need to cover you if anything goes wrong. They can’t provide cover for inebriated guests knocking over the floral displays or granny falling asleep in the wedding cake – but should the worst happen then you will have peace of mind knowing that the right cover is in place to protect you and what is probably a considerable investment for you.
Read each supplier’s policies carefully (including the tipi hire company) and check they cover what you think they should. Also consider getting your own full event insurance too.
#7 – Talk about the weather
Tipis can withstand all weathers but do check with your supplier that they know where you can hire heaters in case the weather turns chilly, can put the sides down if it’s windy and open the vents if you find yourselves getting a little warm – you just can’t take the weather forecast for granted on your big day.
The tipis supplied by The Natural Tent Company can hold a fire pit as they are large and have smoke flaps, the sides come down to enclose the event in the case of cooler weather and can be ventilated if you are overly warm.
#8 – How many tipis do you need?
Consider carefully how many tipis you want linked together for your event. The answer to this will lie in the numbers of guests and the type of event you are holding – we’ve created a quick guide that highlights the number of guests vs number of tents needed. If you have a disco you may find some extra space for the disco set up is good, or the same for a band. Some caterers may also bring their own tents/gazebos for equipment and supplies.
At The Natural Tent Company we can provide additional space for the caterers in the form of a ‘pagoda’ which links onto the side of the tipi set-up seamlessly. The pagodas have also been successfully used as chill out zones, children’s corners, quiet spaces and even a whisky den!
#9 – Don’t neglect outside the tipi
What will people be doing and how do you want the whole site laid out? This will be partly driven by the physical layout of the site you use but you can also make your mark by deciding where to put the fire pits, games, fairy lit walkway, flags and other finishing touches you choose. Not forgetting the bathroom block, of course!
You might choose to have outdoor caterers – wood burning ovens for pizzas; hog roasts and ice cream vans are always popular options. This set up can make your event seem more like a festival and be more relaxed and varied. It’s also worth considering carefully if any of your guests need additional support or access to the event.
At The Natural Tent Company we can provide special as required and discuss with you any adjustments we might need to make to the layout or the access to ensure it is suitable for your guests.
#10 – Make it a day to remember!
Lastly – the most important tip – make it YOUR day, the day you want.
A Tipi event is relaxed, personal, fun and flexible, so make the most of all the options available to you to make it the best day.
Happy tipi hiring! Thanks for reading from all of us at The Natural Tent Company.
Looking for a tipi hire company?
The Natural Tent Company is an award-winning and trusted tipi hire company based in Hertfordshire. We work on a ‘price you see is the price you pay’ basis with tipi packages starting from just £1,600. As standard, all of our packages come with flooring, lighting and furniture to help you create your unforgettable event. We make tipi event hire easy with our £500 ‘save-the-date’ deposit. Get in touch with us for more information and expert advice.