You’ve decided to get married and you’ve set a date. Now it’s time to think about where and how you would like the celebrations to take place – one of the most fun parts of wedding planning!
There are many options to suit all budgets and wedding sizes from intimate celebrations to extravaganzas for 300 people. Perhaps you are thinking of an elegant country house wedding with extensive grounds to relax in after the festivities, or perhaps a barn wedding with a rustic theme or a vintage tea party in a village hall. A marquee, if you have or can find the space, can be a fantastic choice, summer or winter.
Marquee weddings have lots of advantages over other venue possibilities. In short, you really can create your own perfect venue.
You can celebrate your marriage from your home
Marquees can be constructed to fit into most garden spaces, however awkward. Sloping gardens can be levelled with constructed wooden flooring. Flower beds and trees can be incorporated into the marquee and treated as features – even lit up for spectacular effects. Marquees can be built over swimming pools or over two levels, or attached to buildings to extend them. Garden features outside the marquee can be lit and emphasised. Services such as loos can usually be arranged so you don’t have to worry about guests going into the house. A good marquee company will be happy to come for a site visit and will talk over all of the options with you, then set them out clearly in a quotation.
Some venues may also allow you to put a marquee up in the grounds, meaning you can have both venue and marquee benefits in one place.
A blank canvas
A marquee is a blank structure that you can really put your own individual stamp on. There are many combinations of different colours and decorations and you can choose everything from the linings and swags to carpet to lighting and furniture depending on your vision for your day. We like to set up our marquees early enough to give you one full clear day to decorate as you wish. We love the hand-made wedding movement, and marquees really are great for showing off your efforts!
Ivory linings and neutral carpets create space and light and make a beautiful background for flowers, coloured linens and props. They also suit classically elegant styles. You can go full-on with a theme such as Great Gatsby or Aprés-Ski or any number of other ideas.
Not being tied in to hotel or venue regulations and access requirements can be really helpful. If you have a marquee you are usually free to choose all your own suppliers such as caterers and musicians – which is a huge advantage over some restrictive venue lists. Most outside caterers don’t have set menus or minimum numbers of guests, so you can make your food as original as your marquee decoration.
You can have access whenever you want once the marquee is set up, if it’s on your land, and you can use it the day after the wedding for relaxed family brunches or lunches. You can leave your decorations and alcohol in the marquee, too, rather than having to arrange someone to collect them on the day itself. There are no bar restrictions (although you may need a Temporary Events Notice) if you are selling alcohol. If your numbers change, your marquee can be made bigger or smaller accordingly.
Types of marquee
Again, there is lots of choice. Clearspan marquees (PVC over a metal frame, freestanding with no guy ropes) are the modern standard, providing both space and safety as there are no poles to get in the way of tables or dance floors and no ropes to create potential trip hazards. They can also be constructed in smaller spaces than the more traditional marquees. To add a modern look to a Clearspan marquee, pagoda roofs or entrances work really well. To go super-modern, you could go with clear PVC roofs or panoramic windows, and flat linings. You can even find marquee exteriors in hot pink or green now! You can dress the inside with a variety of cool linings, colours and props.
Traditional pole marquees can be very pretty, with greenery or ribbons used to decorate the poles. They work well with vintage or fete themes.
You can even go really unusual with tipis, yurts or Arabian tents.
But how does a marquee work? How can my caterer produce high-quality food in a tent?!
Marquee companies can provide everything needed for a kitchen tent and are usually flexible with sizes as per your caterer’s request. A good marquee company can provide a tent attached to your marquee, flooring, lighting, cabling, preparation tables, and power. Your caterer will usually prefer to provide kitchen equipment themselves.
What if it rains?!
You always need a rainy day plan, but never fear: a good marquee company will recommend a marquee size that’s big enough for a reception area for guests to mingle and sip champagne if the weather is poor. If you don’t want guests to see your whole marquee and all your personal, individual decorations before the wedding breakfast, you can have a “reveal” lining that pulls back to create that “Oh wow” moment you are hoping for.
Marquees are fundamentally waterproof and can be erected on a wooden floor depending on ground conditions – so even if it rains your guests will be comfortable. If the weather is on the cool side, indirect thermostatic heating can go a long way to making guests feel snug.
Check out our FAQs for answers to all your marquee questions.
So you’ve decided to have a marquee…
If you’d like to discuss marquee hire for your wedding or party, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01428 725466. We would love to talk over your event and see how we can help you!