All the pretty things - Vintage Vineyard photo shoot

Whoops - did you notice that I haven't been posting to our blog? No? Well, me neither. Time to remedy that though!

We've had a brilliant start to this year, and had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people in some of the most beautiful places the Midlands has to offer. Last week, I was in the strange position of being service provider, part-organizer, gofer and client when we got involved in our first styled photo shoot. Have you seen these pics doing the rounds of social media yet?

Gorgeous, aren't they?

The way this happened is probably not the way that these things usually do. My very good friend and I have odd moments of almost-telepathy. So, when Kelly got in touch to say she wanted to put together a styled shoot with some of her photographer friends, I wasn't surprised. I'd been waiting for a quiet moment to suggest the same thing to her.

We originally discussed the idea of using our farm as the setting, but the reality of staging a "wedding" here weighed heavily on us. In a panicked moment, I reached out to Jane at Abingdon Wine Estate to see if she'd loan us her space for a day. She agreed without hesitation. Casey of PhotoCase Photography brought Stacey of The Love Bucket and Wes of The Shank Tank to the table, Eileen of BrightGirl Photography added the Glee Projects girls, Kelly Daniels brought Taryn of Smith's Bakeshop. My school friend Kym, of Kym & me, added her hair and make-up skills. And then we needed models.

Che of indieBerries is a blogger I adore, and when she mentioned a planned visit to South Africa that coincided with our shoot dates, I realised she might be an answer to that problem. She jumped right in and co-opted her friend and fellow blogger, Keri of MidlandsMusings. These two wonderful women even managed to get their husbands to join us for the day, and in their wedding finery nogal! (Many beers may have been drunk in the process, but we're not talking about that...)

And so, in under a week, all the "ingredients" for this photo shoot were gathered and waiting for a perfect March day. And it was just that. PERFECT.


There are tons of pics (and even a video!) of this shoot that I haven't included here, so go ahead and check out the links above to see the rest. We had a heap of fun, drank a few bottles of Abingdon's finest and promised each other that we'd do it again some time.

I can't wait.



Why choose a marquee for your event?

I like to imagine that at some point in arranging any function, at least one person will suggest moving out of a traditional bricks and mortar structure and into a marquee. The reasons for this are many and varied.

From a practical perspective, perhaps your guest list has ballooned and your chosen venue can no longer accommodate your party. Maybe you're discovering that most run-of-the-mill function rooms have the same decor, layout and lack of personality, and you're wanting something more unique. Or, as I discovered when hunting for my own wedding venue, sometimes you simply stumble upon a place of extreme natural beauty and realise that sitting indoors a hundred metres away would never be good enough.

Tumble Downs WeddingWedding at Tumble Downs

In my experience, when discussing the move to a tented event, the same three issues are always raised:

First: The weather.

Let's be honest, no one wants a rainy wedding day, no matter what type of roof you're under. It wrecks your photos, spoils your views and sometimes it means a rather damp party. What helps is to remember that in bad weather any roof could spring a leak. Our canopies are made of a high quality, 3-ply laminated fabric, with a waterproof layer sandwiched in the middle. While we cannot guarantee that the odd drip won't occur in bad weather, we're pretty confident that you're not going to be rained out. And we'll be watching the weather forecasts in the days running up to your event so we can ensure that we give you maximum shelter from any pesky winds too.

Next: The hassle.

You know how Aunt Millie likes to tell you you're making extra work for yourself by going outdoors? Well, tell her we like to set our tents up a couple of days before your event and take it down a few days after. This gives you and your planners plenty of time to set up tables, chairs, dance floors and serving areas, and to dress them up just how you want them. Pretty much the same process as in a fixed venue. Where's the hassle in that?

Last: The cost.

A traditional venue has fixed costs per guest. You're generally expected to hire out the entire venue including any accommodation they have even if you're not making use of every element. Don't need a chill lounge or a second bar area? Too bad, you've got to pay for them anyway. A marquee means you only hire the space you need. If you're using the grounds of a restaurant or hotel, you might be expected to pay a venue charge, but often this fee is waived if you agree to use their catering and bar facilities. Sounds like a win-win situation to us.

Botha House WeddingWedding at Botha House


Welcome to the new home of Midlands Stretch Tents

Bedouin Tent WeddingA Bedouin Tent Wedding

Hello and welcome to the new home of Midlands Stretch Tents!

If you've been here before, you'll notice we've had some little elves at work, primping and polishing and making our website easier to get around and a whole lot prettier to look at. Aren't they clever?

If you've found your way here because you're wondering about the merits of using a marquee for your event, please, read on. We're fairly new to the events industry but we're discovering that the same themes keep cropping up. Keen to understand our potential clients, we've decided to do a bit of research and share our findings here.

If you'd like to present us with your insights, please drop us an email or leave a comment on the post that interests you.


Shane & Tammy.