Emma & Sam’s Dreamy Tipi Wedding at Lake Hawea

Wedding ceremony overlooking a lake at Lake Hawea Station

It’s mid-winter in Aotearoa, and boy, haven’t we all been daydreaming about a little something to stop us from turning into icicles? Well, fear not! We’ve concocted the ideal antidote for your frozen souls.

Join us as we indulge in the love tale of Emma and Sam. We chat all things tipis, enthusiastic vendors, and a teeny-weeny generator hiccup that’s guaranteed to give you a giggle. It’s as heartwarming as chugging hot cocoa during a snowstorm.

For E+S, autumnal dreams turned to reality with an early March wedding at Lake Hawea Station—a hidden gem surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains, with a side of tranquil lake views. It’s the stuff Disney probably wants to steal for their next princess tale. Now add in some tipis – y’know, that’s kinda our jam – and you’ve got the recipe for a wedding that’s straight out of a Pinterest dream board.

Now, you might be scratching your head thinking, “Tipi weddings? Is that like camping with a dress code?” Well, we’re here to tell you, hell no! For Emma and Sam, fairy tales didn’t remain confined to bedtime stories; they lived it. Not only did they rock their rustic romance vision, but they did it all with a flair that would make even the Kardashians take notes.

So, snuggle up in your fluffiest blanket, light up that overpriced scented candle you’ve been hoarding, and let’s get chatting to bride Emma. It’ll be sure to sprinkle a little sunshine into your chilly day.

Where did your love affair with tipi weddings begin?

The vision for our wedding was a naturally breathtaking venue that we could add complementary materials & colours to, to create an elevated, rustic, romantic vibe. Our ideal venue was a secluded piece of land, surrounded by mountains, looking over the lake, so we needed to find the right structure to host the formalities & help create the aesthetic we had in mind. The moment we came across the Gather & Gold Tipis, I fell into a Pinterest wonderland & a tipi wedding became a must do! 

Your wedding day is one of the most special moments of your life, and having the right vendors can make all the difference. Can you share with us who your must-have vendors were and why these folk were so important to you?

They certainly are! We had a mixed experience, but these are the superstar vendors we rate 10/10:

Gather & Gold: Incredible team, incredible tipis! The tipis are so well made & are unlike anything else on the market. From our first engagement with G&G & right through the lead up, Sarah, hubby & team were extremely organised, prompt & always friendly. Sarah was so thoughtful with any recommendations she sent through, making sure it always fit the vision we had shared with her. Fav vendors! These are the people you want in your corner when organising your wedding. 

Major & Minor: Just look at their website! Super aesthetic furniture, serveware etc & really great to work with. 

Dried Meadow: Our initial florist went completely silent & wouldn’t answer calls or emails. We were 2 months out from the wedding when I found Dried Meadow who offer delivery countrywide. I was nervous ordering from a supplier not local to the venue however Storm worked with me to nail the brief & type of florals we would move forward with. She then perfected the look! We couldn’t have been happier with the result. 

Married by Friends: When I was looking for a celebrant, I wanted someone who had personality & would engage our guests & at the same time, connect with us more than a vendor/ stranger. We also wanted to customise the ceremony so the whole day & all the little touches were personalised. I began looking through Google reviews & Soph’s were amazing. Once I got to her website & photos & realised we went through Uni in Auckland together approx 10 years earlier & she ticked all the boxes! That was a no brainer, after a quick chat, we booked her in immediately. Soph is so knowledgeable, responsive & personable. Highly recommend! 

Heart & Colour: Phil captured the day & evening to perfection. He went above & beyond running to capture moments, providing batteries for the rented polaroid camera when they had it, driving across a paddock to get me as close to the spot he wanted to photograph me in as possible, saving my veil from the long grass, providing guidance to my brother who was capturing video for us & being an overall amazing person to have with us all afternoon. Phil is a top notch person & very talented photographer. He even flew from Queensland for the job! 

Bridal Studio: I spent so many hours & days looking for my wedding dress online & in person in New Plymouth & Auckland. Little did I know, the cutest, most beautiful wedding dresses were tucked away in the Bridal Studio in Palmerston North, 2 hours from my home in Taranaki. 

Alena Hume: Alena is the most talented person you would want looking after your tailoring needs. She is such a genuine, lovely soul who makes you feel like a queen when you are doing your dress fittings. 

From the breathtaking decor to the emotional moments, we’re sure your wedding was filled with countless unforgettable memories made under the canvas. But tell us, what was your favourite moment of the day, and why did it leave such a lasting impression on you?

Saying “I do” in front of our closest friends & family. It’s the most beautiful commitment you can make to your forever person. My second most favourite moment was seeing how everyone enjoyed themselves. We kept the venue a secret, gave guidance on dress & asked guests to meet the bus. The word that got used the most was “magical”, it doesn’t get any better than that! 

We know that it’s the little things that make a wedding truly magical. So spill, what was your favourite small detail at your tipi wedding, and how did it add to the overall vibe of the day?

When the sun went down, the lighting came on & the tipi shone – WOW!!! It added a super special ambiance to the day.  

Tipi Marquee at Lake Hawea Station

They say laughter is the best medicine, and we live for the giggles here at G&G! What was your most hilarious moment on your wedding day?

When our generator turned off & all the power & lights shut off. Hubby ran to the rescue adding more fuel!

We know planning a wedding can be stressful, but with your tipi wedding behind you, you’re an expert now! Looking back, what advice would you give to future tipi couples?

Try your best to find people you vibe & connect with to work with you. If you are planning your own wedding, you will have a lot to do with your vendors & it will influence your overall experience. One more, if you aren’t happy with something, don’t settle. Speak with who you need to, to get the best result for one of the most important events of your life.

Finally, we would be delighted if you could share your experience working with us here at Gather & Gold. Did we meet your expectations, and would you recommend our tipis to other brides and grooms?

You exceeded our expectations! We absolutely recommend the G&G tipis 100% 

Bride and Groom at Lake Hawea Station


Let’s get this party started

Whether you’re on the hunt for venue inspiration, hoping for an idea of dosh or are ready to plan your very own tipi event, we’ve created an easy-peasy system for selecting your size, exploring our sparkly additions and handing over the glorious details. 

Click on ‘create my event’, cut to the chase via any of the icons below or contact us to talk to a human anytime. We love to chat tipis, tipi tent rental, tipi party hire, tipi wedding venue, tipi birthday party, anything to do with tipis really.

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