Firefly Tipis

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions 

Location, Delivery and more

Where are we based?

We are based on the outskirts of Norwich, Norfolk

What areas do you cover?

We provide tipis for events across the Norfolk and Suffolk.

We are more than happy to travel further afield but a delivery charge will be applied. The price will be calculated at cost price, based on the distance between your venue and our location.

How many Tipis will I need for my event?

The number of tipis required will depend on how many guests you are inviting and how you plan to use the tipis. As a general rule, we recommend 50-60 seated guests per Giant Hat Tipi.

If you wish to create different areas in your tipi such as dancefloor, firepit, bar or chill out zone, this can be achieved by linking a number of structures together. We can create much larger spaces for bigger events!

How much ground space do our Giant Hat Tipis use?

The amount of space you need for the Tipis really depends on how many structures you are having. But as a rough guide one Giant Hat tipi is 10.3 metres in diameter with the sides down, and 13 metres with all of the sides up.

Can the tipis be set up on uneven/sloping ground?

Our tipis can be set up on a slight slope, but if the level of the ground is too disjointed the poles and canvases will be out of alignment and will not join together correctly. It would also be uncomfortable for your guests as the furnishings may be wobbly inside the tipis. If you have any doubts we will happily come and visit your site.

Can the tipis be set up on hard standing?

Yes, we have an effective and versatile solution for erecting tipis on sites where conventional pegging is either not possible or allowed.

Do you provide furnishings and event styling?

We can supply a wide range of furnishings including tables, seating, bars, dance floors, lighting and vintage props. Contact us more information. If you require more help we can recommend some fantastic stylists we have worked with.

Can you help me with the layout of furniture inside the tipis?

Yes, we will work with you to create a floor plan detailing your furnishings and helping to maximise the space within the tipis.

Can I decorate the tipis myself?

Yes you can. We love to see DIY décor inside our tipis, but we ask that comply with our terms & conditions on what is safe to use inside and out of our tipis and that you use tipi-friendly hanging methods. Please do not use any tacks, pins and staples on the canvas or poles.

What is the flooring like inside the tipis?

We use corn coloured fibre matting, called Dandy Dura. This is laid and tensioned in sections throughout the tipis if needed. The matting is also high heel friendly, even against the sharpest stilettos!

I’ve found my perfect pitch, what do I need to consider?

When thinking about your site there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Does it have good access for 4×4 vehicles or large vehicles and 20 ft trailer?
  • How exposed is the site? Will you need extra security? Is there a back-up site available?
  • Is the ground level?
  • Is the ground well-drained?
  • Are there any overhead cables or trees near your perfect pitch?
  • Does the site have access to water, power and toilets? (If not, we can help with that)

If you are at all unsure about your site, please get in touch. We would be more than happy to carry out a free site visit if there are any concerns.

Can you suggest a venue?

Yes, we work with some fabulous venues across Norfolk & Suffolk. A selection of these can be found on the ‘locals we love’ page of our website and come highly recommended! Please check out our Forest Lodge Weddings page too – this is our stunning home venue set in beautiful woodlands of Thetford Forest.

If you know someone that has wide-open fields, manicured gardens, greens or lawns, you could hold your event there – our tipis are perfect!

Do we need licensing for our event?

This is dependent on your venue. If you are hosting your event at a hotel or hall they should have an events licence, but if you are hosting the event in a private fields, gardens or sports ground you may need to think about a temporary events licence (TEN). We can of course help you with this.

Should we have security?

You will need security, particularly on an exposed site. We often recommend that a family member or friend stays in the tipi overnight. This will be particularly important the day before your event when everything is ready to go! If in a public space we recommend that you look into hiring security for the evening of your event and let your local police station know event details such as how many people will be attending, approximately what time the event will finish and set-up and take down dates. We are happy to discuss any concerns with you.

Weather

Are the tipis waterproof?

Yes, they are made from a hybrid canvas/synthetic weave that make them completely waterproof.

What happens if the weather is really bad?

If high winds are forecast, we will discuss with you the best time to pitch the tipis. It might be that we decide to change the build day.

Can the tipis be used in the winter?

Yes, our Tipis are all-season structures designed to stand up to the unpredictable British weather! Our structures are inspired by the efficiency of Sámi people’s Tipis in the coldest parts of Northern Scandinavia.

They combine traditional materials with state-of-the-art technology so whether you want to bring the outside in, enjoying the long, hot days of summer with open sides and a glass of Pimms, or cosy up with warm mulled cider around an open fire on a winter evening you can do it comfortable in our tipis.

We do offer seasonal discounts on winter events.

Are the tipis suitable for winter events?

If you’re planning a winter event and concerned it will be a little chilly, we can supply powerful heaters. Alternatively, our beautiful open log fire pit creates a lovely cosy space even in the middle of winter, perfect for a toasted marshmallow or two!

Can we open and close the entrance of the tipi depending on the weather?

Unfortunately, not. Our Crew will assess the site and weather forecast and, in agreement with you, decided which sides of the tipi should be raised. We do have solid oak doors available to hire which are particularly useful for winter events.

Utilities

Do you provide power for the tipis?

Not directly, but we often take electricity from nearby buildings. If this isn’t possible, we can help organise a generator for you. If you would like to organise your own power, we will advise you of our power requirements.

What do we do about power? Did we need to hire a generator?

The amount of power needed for your event depends on things such as lighting, music and caterers. If plugging into a mains electric supply (ideally within 20m of the tipi) we can discuss the power needed to check its suitability (a 3 phase socket would be great; however an external 32amp round pin or a number of standard 13amp sockets should suffice).

If your power supply isn’t guaranteed, we can supply generators for your event. We prefer to use our generators as we know what cabling we need, what plugs you might need and where to get emergency generators if necessary! However, if you want to get your own, we recommend getting a silenced 30kva generator (as a minimum), 12hrs fuel (as a minimum), cabling, distribution panel, 12 plug sockets and hire for the duration of your event from set-up date to take down date. It is always best to have the generator there on-site during set-up so we can test the lighting for you!

How does the lighting work?

We offer different lighting packages from fairy lights and festoon lighting to LED uplighters. Our lighting is very easy to operate and full instruction on how to use it will be given during handover. Our lighting operates off one 13amp supply and is not only cheap to run but it’s also environmentally friendly.

Do you provide heating for the tipis?

Yes, we have open log fire pits or powerful space heaters available for hire. During the summer months we often find that a fire pit is enough to keep everyone cosy and creates a wonderful atmosphere.

Do I need a member of staff to maintain the fire pits?

No, looking after the fire is very easy to do yourself. Once we have set up your tipis our Crew will show you how to build and maintain the fire and how to open the smoke caps.

Do you provide facilities for caterers?

No. However, we do have catering tents available to hire for your caterers, although most caterers provide their own. We can also hire a trade gazebo if you’re thinking of having something like a hog roast.

Do you provide lavatories?

Not directly, but we work with a number of very reliable and professional posh loo hire companies and are happy to arrange them for our customers. Or we can recommend suppliers if you would rather arrange this yourself.

Do you provide camping tipis?

We don’t offer luxury Bell Tents yet…watch this space. But we have some glamping contacts that we are happy to recommend.

Insurance

What insurance should we be looking to get?

You will need to purchase wedding insurance, otherwise you will be liable for any damage caused by yourself or your guests to the tipis or props. It must state in the policy that you are using a giant hat tipi, not marquee, otherwise the insurance would be void and you would still be liable for costs if damage is caused.

As a rough guide, each tipi is worth £25,000 (including some furnishings) and a generator is worth £15,000. Please ensure that you have enough cover!

We would also stress that you need insurance to cover you from the day of set-up to the day we take down. We do recommend that you get ‘public liability’ cover in the unlikely event that an accident occurs involving one of your guests. If you choose to provide your own insurance, we will require a copy of your certificate no later than 14 days prior to your event.

Bookings before and after

Where can I view the tipis?
We have an open weekend every year at our home venue, Forest Lodge Weddings. You will also be able to find us at several wedding shows throughout the year. These will give you a chance to see our tipis set up and talk to a member of our team about your ideas. Please contact us for details of where we are exhibiting, we would love to see you.
How long is the hire period for?
The usual hire period is 48 hours. We like to set up the tipis a day or two before your event and take them down a day or two after. We are happy to extend the hire period, if required. Set up and take down dates are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, and this will be discussed with you when a booking is made.
How do I book the tipis for my event?
If you are happy with your quote and would like to go ahead and book, all we require is a non-refundable £500 deposit which secures our services for your date.
Can I adjust the seating numbers once I have booked?
Yes, seating numbers and tables can always be amended after you have booked. The numbers will have to be finalised approximately one month before your event.
What’s the best payment method?
We prefer customers to pay via BACS as it is most cost effective and doesn’t incur any transaction fees. You are also more than welcome to pay by cheque.

We offer the option of paying in instalments to make things as easy for you as possible. Talk to us if you would like any more information.

When do I pay the final balance?
The final balance is due one month before the event.
What happens if you want to postpone your booking

Let us know as soon as possible and we will check that the new date is available.

  • If you postpone your event 6 months before the date of your event, you will lose your non-refundable deposit.
  • If you postpone your event within 6 months of your event, you will incur a 10% charge of the total booking.
  • If you’re changing the date to a different year. There may be a slight increase in yearly costs of tipis and accessories, but of course we would let you know subject to your approval.
Do you work alongside with any independent event or wedding planners?

Yes, we can work alongside anyone that is involved in your event. If you would like us to coordinate things or help set up on the day of you event we can, subject to availability and at an additional cost.

When do we need to finalise everything by?

You will receive an email from us 5 weeks prior to your event asking you to confirm numbers, furnishings, extras and all of your details and timings for our crew. Before this point you can change any part of your order apart from the number of Tipis on order. Please be aware though that as the time ticks on we cannot guarantee that extras such as firepits and festoon lights will be available.

Once we have received confirmation, we will issue you with a final quote and invoice for any outstanding balance. We know things can change at the last minute so if you need us to bring extra chairs or tables we would need 48hrs notice. If the change is substantial it may require extra delivery vehicles. We would also ask that the extra items are paid for at point of confirmation.

We hope all of the questions have been helpful. If you still have a question that we haven’t answered above, you are welcome to give us a call. We’d be happy to help with any of your unanswered questions.

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