6 expert tips for planning your amazing marquee wedding
There is always so much to think about when planning marquee weddings, as you’re creating a wedding venue and everything that comes with it from scratch. Please see below my top marquee wedding tips to ensure nothing is missed.
1. Style and structure
There are many options to choose from when looking at the style of a marquee. You can choose between traditional styles which include pole marquees (where the supporting poles are in the middle), clear span marquees (these are made up of a metal frame), or Indian style marquees, sail cloth tents, tipis and yurts work really well for Boho and festival style weddings. Think about what overall look and feel you want and where it will be. For example, are you looking at your parents’ spacious grand country garden or a farm field? Your location will help narrow down which style of marquee will suit best. Some of these options offer transparent sides too, which are lovely when you have stunning green scenery as a backdrop.
2. Access and space
Once you have an idea of your preferred style and the vibe you want, you need to consider the location (i.e. the ground and land it’ll sit on). For example, open styles will need completely flat land, whereas clear span marquees can work on uneven surfaces by adding some flooring. Always ensure your marquee hire company do a site visit to make sure your preferred tent structure will work in the space.
It’s also important to look at access, not only for your guests and what their first impressions will be, but also for suppliers – if you’re opting for a garden wedding, is there a back gate, so the suppliers don’t have to go through the house?
Unfortunately, we all know that British weather is a bit unpredictable, so you must ensure there’s space for everyone to be inside if it rains, this includes dining and dancing area. Obviously, we’re all hoping that your guests can spread out and enjoy the outdoors too, but it’s a good idea to plan for the worst case.
3. Marquee catering
Caterers do require a lot of space. If you’re thinking of a three-course plated wedding breakfast for 120 – 200 guests, then a small add-on gazebo for your caterer is definitely not going to work. Liaise with your caterers and get them to confirm how much room they need and ensure this is accounted for in your plans and budget.
4. Think about the toilets
Not the most glamorous part of marquee wedding planning but one of the most important! Unless you’re looking at a micro wedding in your own garden, then getting toilets in, is a must. There are the traditional portable loos if you’re going for festival vibes, but a popular type are toilet trailers, which are available in basic to luxury options. The positioning of these would need to be looked at during a site visit and many trailers are towed, so again, the space and access is important to consider. A quick tip; keep in mind what your guests are going to see when they arrive as I’m sure you won’t want the toilet trailers to be the first thing they see at your beautiful wedding.
5. Power and lighting
This is something your marquee company should discuss with you; most companies will suggest using a generator to power the marquee. It isn’t just your festoon, fairy lights and band that need power, the caterers will also need light in the kitchen and power for their equipment.
6. Dressing and decorating
Now you’ve decided on the structure, the area and all the logistics have been thought through, the fun begins…dressing!
My favourite part about marquee weddings is that they’re a fantastic blank canvas. I always like to make the most of this, especially using the ceilings; hanging lights are stunning, but also think décor such as drapes and flowers and foliage too. With furniture you can bring in whatever you want to suit your theme. You may have your perfect centrepieces in mind, but don’t forget other areas such as the entrance and exit, the bar area and soft seating around the dance floor.
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