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Your Festival Wedding

Goodie bags, heel-guards and the power of bacon: 10 essential tips from the Muddy award-winning, Beautiful Bells.

Wedding planning is tough. There are lists. Endless lists. Lists about lists. Things you MUST remember, and some things that after the day you wish you’d thought about.  So ta muchly to Queen of the Bell Tents, Katrina Willis, owner of the Muddy award winning Beautiful Bells, for giving us her top ten tips to pull off your wedding in a field.

The lady spends each and every summer racing around the country putting up, then taking down, her bell tents at events, weddings, festivals… you name it. So when it comes to been there, done that advice, she’s your gal.

1/ Those glam loos for the big day and the evening are essential, but don’t forget the campers who need a toilet stop at 2am. Nobody wants to spend their night checking the generator. Book yourself a simple drop toilet for overnight – and get some shut eye.

2/Whilst the moon is great for casting light when it’s clear, our temperamental British weather means we rarely have that luxury. Do light paths from the marquee, tipis and venue to your designated glamping area. We all know a good wedding means guests will be a bit tipsy so save on unnecessary trips or falls by lighting pathways. Light the route to your drop toilet too – and make sure there is some lighting inside. If you’ve ever tried weeing in the pitch black at 3am you’ll know why…

3/ A good campfire is a gathering point, from a safety aspect you then only have one fire to worry about rather than lots of individual ones. They’re an ideal focal point at the end of the night, a gathering place, and somewhere to warm your bum before bed! Do practice fire safety – keep fires a safe distance from tents or other structures and do ensure that you have some water or sand on standby just in case. And DO check with your venue that campfires are allowed. Sunshine, good times, summer dresses and wine can lead to cold guests getting into bed. The campfire is a sure fire way to help with this but a communal pile of blankets is a god send. Pile them up in a big basket next to the fire.

4/Glamping goodie bags. We love them, but there is often a lot of waste. If you have showers on site then some small bottles of shampoo are always a hit. We collect hundreds of unused earplugs and eye-masks over the summer, however the most used items are headache tablets and bottles of water.

5/ The restorative powers of bacon. Are you supplying breakfast the next day? If it’s not something you have arranged with your caterers, think about hiring a huge gas-fired hotplate and DIY. Dads are particularly adept a this the next morning! For us, breakfast is just as important as the end of night campfire. Enjoy your morning together, laugh over the bad dancing, share stories and take time to chat over bacon butties and mugs of tea.

6/ When a muddy stiletto isn’t a good thing. We attended one festival wedding a couple of years back where the bride had cleverly provided a box of heel guards in the toilets so the ladies in stilettos could stop their heels sinking into the ground. My heel guards have been rolled out several times since and have stopped some gorgeous shoes from being ruined.

7/ It is worth thinking about the glampsite lay-out in advance. Whilst lots of tents set up in a semi-circle looks fab, it can be a bit impersonal and the guests on either end of the semi circle might feel isolated. Rows facing each other, or set into a cul-de-sac, make for a much more sociable camp.

8/ I’ve suffered some horrendous horse-fly bites during our summers working in fields, they are enough to ruin a weekend. If you are in an area where horse flies are prevalent do take preventative measures, the same applies if your venue has any sort of standing water (lake or pond) as you will find mosquitos come out at dusk. Use citronella candles in abundance and do have insect repellent for guests.

9/ Lost property. We’ve collected up all sorts from car keys, watches, money, pillows, blankets, shirts, knickers and an odd shoe along the way. Set yourself up a communal lost property box. The person who misplaced their phone whilst staggering between the toilets and fire at 3am will thank you.

10/Rain, rain go away. Ahh if only it was that easy. I often see baskets of flipflops for dancing, but they are also brilliant for traipsing across wet fields as feet dry faster than shoes! Do have umbrellas at the ready so guests can walk between toilets, tents, cars etc. whilst under some sort of cover. If in doubt hire a chill-out bell tent for your glampsite area, and funnily enough we know a fair bit about those too.

Happy glamping!



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