We are happy to admit that we love a marquee wedding. We've got such amazing memories of marquee weddings we have created and also attended. We know that they’re not always for everyone and we’d hate to think you’re put off because of the logistics involved. Marquee weddings give you so much control about your wedding space. You literally build it so it can be exactly to your plan rather than you trying to fit into a fixed venue. We think that’s so exciting. For a lot of people a marquee wedding can feel daunting. Following years of experience in this area we thought we’d share our top 10 things you must consider when planning a marquee wedding.
Top 10 things you must consider when planning a marquee wedding
You’re building a venue so it’s important it looks as you would want it to. There are so many styles of marquees – clear span, sail tents, stretch tents, raj tents, tepees, glass roofed, open sided. The list goes on. Don’t assume you have to have a big white tent, there are so many options nowadays.
Image credit @ The Stunning Tents Company
We always say that it’s worth considering your surroundings. Presumably you’re building a marquee because you like the area you’re building in. Considering how the style of your marquee fits the surroundings is really important. For example a relaxed, informal tepee would suit a cool, rustic festival wedding in a forest. On the other hand a clear span open sided or glass roof marquee would work well at a country manor with beautiful views. It’s even worth thinking about whether you can incorporate elements of the garden or grounds. Marquees which work around water features, statues or flowerbeds have such a great, integrated feel to them. Don’t worry about a garden feature getting in the way, simply build it into your design.
Image credit @ Raj Tent Club
3. Build time
When planning your schedule ensure you leave enough time for the build. Your suppliers will be able to advise on this. Some styles of tents can be built in a day, however the majority of structures can need 5 - 7 days to build. We also recommend leaving more time than you think you’ll need. Your caterers will love you for that extra half day. Also let’s not forget our unpredictable English weather as bad weather can add time to your build schedule.
One of the best things about a marquee wedding is that you can choose all your suppliers. That means you can use the best in the industry. Picking the suppliers that fit perfectly with your style is such a head start in creating your perfect day.
Image credit @ Berry Marquees
When planning your marquee, make sure you allocate enough space for your kitchens. You caterers can advise on how much space they’ll need, for example for a 100 guest wedding we'd advise allowing a minimum of 9m x 9m catering tent. This however can change based on your guest numbers, menu style and choices and what facilities you may already have on site.Also consider the access from the catering tent into the dining area of the main marquee, ideally you should have easy flow between the two for smooth service. Definitely something to consider at the beginning of the process.
Quite simply - is there enough? Often you’ll be needing to power everything from the kitchen to the DJ to the lighting. Working out your power requirements and bringing in generators is really important. Whilst dining under the stars is a romantic concept you’d probably like your food to be warm!
Where does it come from? Your caterers will need water and they need to know in advance how this will work.
Getting everything perfect with the logistics can seem to take all the time but we always ensure we dedicate time to thinking about how the interior will look. Marquees tend to be pretty big so making an impact is important. This can be stringing festoon lighting or fairy lights or perhaps hanging flowers from the ceiling. We have even built trees inside marquees before. Anything is possible! Lighting is also key when it comes to dressing a marquee, consider whether lighting the grounds and parking leading up to the marquee is required too.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can be as simple as thinking about colour and how this links with your table settings and glassware.
It sounds simple however considering what’s underfoot is really important. Marquees ideally need a flat, level base and not many gardens have this. There are a number of ways to ensure that your marquee ends up level. It’s also worth thinking about whether you want a hard floor with carpet or if you’re looking for a more relaxed option such as hessian. When choosing your marquee supplier ensure you have a site visit together to assess the land before finalising their quote. The marquee provider will need to ensure access to the site, the ground and surroundings are all suitable for what you are looking to achieve.
This is one of the areas where we encourage you to look at the bigger picture. Building a marquee can be more expensive that hiring a venue. You need to bring everything in from the kitchen to the flooring. However that allows you such flexibility. You can use any supplier you want. BBQ the next day, no problem. Have last minute extra guests – you can potentially make the marquee bigger which you definitely can’t do in a regular venue. We find that the flexibility, the personal feel and the ability to chose your location makes the cost worthwhile.
Still feeling daunted? We can definitely help, we love nothing more than planning. Call us now for a free consultation.