Case Study – The Wilson / Collins Wedding

In reality, this was the event that launched a whole idea. Terrapin Tents started in 2012 and I had the idea a couple of years after that for BigTopWeddings.

For too long (in my opinion) weddings looked like weddings and festivals looked like festivals. How do you keep everyone happy whilst still doing something different? People clearly like festivals and who doesn’t love a wedding? The answer…put those hands together! Get yourself a coloured tent and some more traditional styling. As a very erudite and trusted colleague of mine often says, ‘Good plus good = Good!’

I know there are a lot of people doing festival weddings. There didn’t used to be as many as there are now and there definitely weren’t when I started Terrapin. That’s the way things go and I’m definitely into a bit more variety in the industry. But why are we different? 2 main reasons…

  • Firstly, we don’t ignore the more traditional accessorising. Want white drapes? You got them. Want traditional table arrangements and centrepieces in a brightly coloured structure? No problem. You don’t HAVE to have them of course, but it’s at least on the table. Heh.
  • Secondly, we’re not a festival wedding company. We’re a bigtop company doing weddings. The difference is subtle but important. It leans things slightly back towards it feeling like a high-end and once in a lifetime celebration that your mum (or mum-in-law) can get on board with and less like a company trotting out the same model with different chair covers. Also, we have the infrastructure side of things nailed. Which is important.

The Wilson Wedding was us bringing in lots of suppliers, tying them together and creating something truly collaborative with the bride and groom. Dave even had a suit made to match the tent. Legend. The ideal clients really, we were given the creative input and trust to deliver what we thought would suit their vision the most. After a few skype meetings, we knew what to deliver.

When you have lots of different people doing lots of different things you need someone to tie it all together this comes well under the remit of an event producer / organiser which is why we’ve started offering those planning services across the group. On this occasion, Big Top Weddings was responsible for the structures, site layout, procuring and tying together lighting, bar structure, furniture, sound and power and on-the-day management of the event site. We worked closely with T&M Technical Services from Cardiff and Planet Gold Decor from Frome to light, sound and decorate the tent. Trusted people doing what they do best. Great.

All of this was handled spectacularly by all suppliers. The main thing however, was those drapes. Those gorgeous gorgeous drapes. I had this idea years ago and finally the client who believed me had appeared. The vision was to make the big top look like something else from the inside. Stripes and colours are pretty, but nothing’s ever finished REALLY, is it?

They look pretty sweet in the day. Remember the traditional / modern styling mix?




At night though, they really came alive. The right lighting (a bit of UV and some coloured spots) made them pop like I’d never dreamed. Kudos to Tom from T&M for that and once again to Pat at Planet Gold for getting them in there fast and neat. I really wish we’d taken some video because with a certain scroll setting in the lights the tent looked like it was breathing. Magical.


All kinds of brilliant stuff went on that day. Dave and Louise are both connected to actors and performers from all over so we had circus, music, drinking, a Tympath band (like a Welsh Ceilidh) and a Kate Bush cover sung by a bearded man.

Amazing day and an amazing couple. Thanks go to them for having us and we’re proud to have been part of this special event.

Some more pictures below. Until next time,




Leave a Comment