Under the Canvas: A Dreamy Tipi Wedding For Ruby + James

A couple in wedding attire clink champagne glasses under a blue sky

Welcome all lovers, to-be’s, potential tipi couples, and everyone in between! Today, we have the pleasure of diving into the day canvas-tinted dreams were made for tipi-loving couple, Ruby and James.

On a radiant summer’s day, nestled by the tranquil banks of the Hawea River, Ruby and James embarked on a journey of commitment, surrounded by their loved ones, native bush and of course a coupla’ those big ol’ Tipis. We were utterly smitten with their vision for their wedding, and we feel incredibly privileged to have played a part in bringing it to life.

Ruby and James reveal their most cherished moments, from sneaking away for intimate sunset photos to feeling the electric energy on the dance floor. They also share their favourite small details that added a touch of magic to the ambiance and recount the hilarious speeches that had everyone in stitches. And as they reflect on their journey, they offer valuable advice for future (we hope) tipi couples.

Buckle up and get ready to be transported into the world of riverside tipi weddings, filled with love, fizz, and the delicious celebration of Ruby and James embarking on their forever journey.

Here at G&G, we are overjoyed to have been a part of their story, and now we can’t wait to share it with you!

A couple in wedding attire stand in front of a Tipi with sunglasses on

Where did your love affair with tipi weddings begin?

It actually began when I was on school camp with Chris and Sarah’s daughter. Chris happened to be ‘parent help’ and we got chatting about ‘Gather & Gold’ after I saw it on the vehicle. From here I always knew that it would be epic to have a party under one of these tipis and it just happened to be that our next big party was our wedding. The year leading up to the wedding I happened to teach Chris and Sarah’s daughter. So the obsession for tipis was real as Sarah and I would often have conversations about it all at School pick up or drop off. 

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?

Ohhh, this is a tricky one. Naturally, Gather and Gold.
LA Social, these guys were such a vibe. They had everyone on the dance floor, including the grandparents. They did not stop, from the moment they started to the moment they stopped. Everyone loved them.
Aspiring Catering, another great vendor. Lucy, Sarah and their team are amazing. The food, service and communication were exceptional. These ladies have thought about everything, they ran the day and had everything under control. We did not have to lift a finger. They were all over it!

Other vendors:
Photographer: Mickey Ross
Make Up: Shannon Phillimore
Hair: Ukiyo
Blooms: The Workroom, Alpine Blooms
Furniture: Gather & Gold, Major and Minor, Truly Yours
Beverages: The Bottle O Wānaka
Celebrant: Clare Scurr
Venue: The River House

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?

Ruby – sneaking off for sunset photos. It was just James, our photographer Mickey and myself. We’d had a few drinks and felt a lot more comfortable being in front of the camera. It was almost a time where we could just breathe and spend some time together, just the two of us. The photos from this time are also some of our fav.
James – the dancefloor! LA Social brought the heat and everyone was getting involved.

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?

The disco ball. We all know that the best kind of party is a tipi party and it’s even better with a disco ball. Unfortunately our photographer had gone by the time it was dark (we have long summer evenings down here in Wānaka) so he missed getting some snaps of us dancing the night away. Thankfully a guest took some photos of us both on someone’s shoulders under the tipi lights and the disco ball. 

A lady with blonde hair and in a wedding dress dances under a disco ball in a Tipi

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?

There were so many funny moments from our special day but we both agree that the speeches came out on top. It was so great to sit back and listen to the stories that our friends and whanau shared with everyone. I wish we got a copy of them all. 

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?

One, start the party early! The day goes so fast and before you know it, everyone is departing on the bus. This is one of the only days that you will have all of your loved ones in one place so you may as well make the most of all the time you have. Two, trust your vendors! They are the professionals and do this everyday. Every instagram, blog and magazine feature, they have seen it. Giving them the creative licence to just ‘go for it’ was the best.  

A wedding party celebrates with Champagne on a beach

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?

Words honestly cannot describe how amazing the team at Gather & Gold are. The time and effort that was put into emails, site visits, phone calls and hand delivering Together Journals did not go unnoticed. These guys really go above and beyond to make magic happen. They brought our dream day to life and we are so thankful to have had them a part of it all.
A tipi party is the best kind of party!

Two Tipis sit on the banks at The River House in Wanaka

Finishing Touches


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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