Loved-up Tipi dreams for Dom and Sam

A couple in a suit and wedding dress stand in front of three tipis at Dublin Bay

A gorgeous tipi wedding in the heart of Wānaka, Dom and Sam’s special day was one made of dreams and beauty and enough tipi magic that we’re STILL talking about it, three years later. Sam and Dom were a total dream to work with – as all our clients are. They had such a clear vision of what they wanted for their big day. Having attended a fair few Wānaka weddings in the past, these two knew they needed to ramp up the wow-factor and really give their guests something different to talk about. Fair to say, they ticked that box outta the park.

We don’t dish this out lightly, but we’re going to say it. Dom and Sam officially pulled together the perfect Wānaka wedding – with all of our favourite local vendors at one of our all time favourite spots, Dublin Bay. And the best part? These two have officially relocated and signed up for the ‘Wānaka locals’ name tag, so we get to bump into them at the supermarket every second Wednesday with their little Elliot in tow. Bonjour, mes amie!

Below, we chat with the happy couple for more goss on their big day.

Where did your wedding planning journey begin? 

A week after we first got engaged, we went to the Dublin Bay Wedding Venue to check it out. I was following them on Instagram, and had recently seen pictures of a tipi wedding that took place there. I immediately knew that was what we wanted for our special day. Instagram was my go-to for inspiration – I also have five siblings who’ve all had weddings in Wānaka, so I knew a thing or two about planning a Wānaka wedding already.

Did you have any must have vendors? If so who and why?

Can I say all of the ones we used? We couldn’t fault any of them. Gather & Gold were so amazing to work with, so organised and so helpful with all the small details. Pembroke Wine & Spirits, Fully Pitted Catering, The Workroom Flowers, Dublin Bay, White Rabbit Cakes – using mostly Wānaka vendors meant everyone knew each other and we didn’t constantly have to play the middle man in the organising. 

Did you have clear vision of what you wanted or were you guided by your vendors?

We mostly knew what we wanted, except I left the flowers up to the creative geniuses at The Workroom Flowers in Wānaka, and they did a stunning job. I’ve since had them turn my dried wedding flowers into a wreath.

What’s one thing you’re glad you did?

Had sliders brought out a little later in the night. Everyone devoured them, with the added bonus of having them lessen the morning-after hangover.

Favourite moment of the day?

Walking up the aisle towards Sam. We’d had a first look, and I was a bit anxious that it might take away from the moment – but with my sister singing and our loved ones watching, it didn’t matter that we’d seen one another already. All the emotions were still there.

What’s your favourite small detail of the day?

My niece, Juno, was due to be born on our wedding day. Luckily, she came two weeks early, allowing my sister and brother-in-law to sing and play the guitar for the ceremony – all while Juno was curled up in a wrap on my sister’s front.

Your biggest laugh out loud moment?

I had a call from my older brother the morning of the wedding wanting to know what Sam was wearing for the big day. Of course, it turned out my brother had bought the exact same distinct blazer to wear for the wedding. Luckily, Dad is a similar size to my brother and had brought an extra blazer with him.

Any advice to future tipi couples that you wished you’d known?

We wouldn’t have changed a thing. Oh, actually – make sure to order enough Pinot Noir, even when it’s hot and you think it’ll be less popular!

Any tips for couples that have just got engaged and are planning a tipi wedding?

Book it, don’t hesitate, you will not regret it! Book the tables, chairs and extras through G+G too – the less vendors to deal with the easier things will be. Let the tipi dazzle – you don’t need to go over the top with decorations inside if you’re trying to stick to a budget, the tipis on their own are enough!

What was the best thing about your tipi wedding?

We got married a week and a half before the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. We feel so incredibly lucky to have gotten to see all our loved ones and have an epic tipi party with them right before things turned upside down. 

Any final words?

The Gather & Gold team were incredible to work with from day dot. They were quick to respond to our queries, and I never doubted that our special day was in safe hands with them. The tipis themselves are spectacular and just look incredible in any landscape. We could not have wished for a more perfect day. Friday 13th might be considered unlucky by some, but for us, it’s had us counting our lucky stars every day since.

Finishing Touches


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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. 

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