With a marquee, tepee, yurt, stretch, Sperry or unique Pearl Tent, you can create your own wedding venue wherever you like. Some couples choose their family garden or a special location and others opt for a marquee in the grounds of a stately home or country estate. Wherever you choose, there are some things about marquee weddings that you really need to know and a lot that you need to consider. So, with this in mind, here are my top tips for planning a marquee wedding.
Firstly, think about the style of wedding that you want. A traditional marquee in a country setting always looks fantastic but if you’re planning a boho or festival-style event, giant tipis or yurts really set the scene. Once you’ve decided on the style of marquee you want (and I’m using the word ‘marquee’ to cover all styles of temporary venue), it’s time to start planning.
Before you book your marquee supplier, you’ll need to know how much your structure is going to cost you. Speak to your shortlisted suppliers and, if possible, arrange a site visit with them too. This will help them prepare an accurate quote – they’ll be aware of any access issues for example and they’ll be able to cost for a marquee that fits the space and your requirements.
Ask for a fully itemised quote and initially, include absolutely everything you know you want or think you might like. Think about lighting, flooring, furniture and practical items too. You’ll need toilets, an area for your caterers and possibly generators (including a back-up) too. Speak to your marquee company and ask for their advice here, they’ll know what you need as a bare minimum. After that, list out those ‘nice to have’ items. You could opt for a fantastic dancefloor, a cool chill out area, upgraded carpeting or an amazing circular bar. There are so many options, but this is the joy of marquee weddings – you can create something that’s truly yours.
Once you’ve received quotations and ideally floorplans, it’s time to start editing them so that they work for your wedding and for your budget. When you’re happy, book and then confirm those all-important details – when will the marquee suppliers arrive to set up and when will they break down after the wedding? Will they remove any rubbish post-event or will you have to do this? Read all the terms and conditions carefully so you know exactly what’s being provided and what isn’t.
You might also need to talk to other suppliers to find out what they need to make sure that your marquee is fully equipped. Caterers will definitely have their own requirements but other suppliers such as florists and bands will also need to be liaised with. If there are any technical questions, don’t be afraid to put your suppliers in touch with each other so that they can discuss the details without having to go through you.
As your wedding day approaches, you might need to make some last-minute decisions. For example, if the weather is either too warm or too cold, you might need to bring in coolers or heaters. If there’s been too much rain, paths from the car park to the marquee might become muddy so you’ll need to talk to your marquee company about an alternative access plan.
During the build of the marquee, and breakdown afterwards, someone will need to be on-site to oversee everything. This is where an on the day wedding coordinator can be invaluable. Not only will your coordinator be there to liaise with the marquee company on your behalf, they’ll also be on hand during the wedding itself to manage any on-the-day suppliers and setup. After all your planning, handing the responsibility over to a professional can be a great idea. This is your wedding, you absolutely should relax and enjoy it!
Marquee weddings are fabulous because you’re able to create your very own wedding venue from scratch. However, with this joy comes extra responsibility so it’s incredibly important that you’re able to rely on your suppliers and your family. Work with suppliers who are used to the intricacies of marquee weddings and allow your family to help and support you as much as possible. With your dream team by your side, your marquee wedding will be as wonderful and unique as you’ve imagined.