A Marquee wedding or party can be beautiful and unique, but they also require a lot of planning and logistics. It is often a common misconception that this is a cheaper option for your party, but I’m afraid that’s just not true!! If you are after a venue that is a blank canvas, are prepared to put your logistical skills to good use and want to really get your creative on then this maybe the right option for you. Imagine a venue that shows exactly who you are and really represents you as a couple or if using as a party venue a real WOW factor showcasing your unique personality.
I am going to talk you through the various considerations for your marquee wedding or event, starting with……
· Location – will you go for a venue that offers a space for a marquee, as many of them offer this either as a separate option or to optimize the space. This option will more than likely take away your choice of style but will also eliminate a lot of the logistical challenges. Will you source a field, or do you know someone that has one? Or even your own garden or a friend? With these options you will need to see if the ground is suitable, is there access for the suppliers, is there parking for guests close to your marquee? When considering parking think about the terrain and how you will manage this if it rains.
· Style – there are so many to choose from, think about your overall style of the wedding and if you are keeping a classic look, a modern twist or something altogether different! Here is a quick few ideas on what’s out there.
o Clear Span – Also known as a frame marquee, these have no internal poles so you can have any floor or lining you choose. They come in a variety of sizes so are suitable for small to very large weddings.
o Chinese hats – These are suitable for smaller gatherings, although they can link together. You often see them attached to a larger structured marquee as the entrance or for cover at a garden party.
o Stretch marquee – These are great for a modern look but note that they do not have ‘walls’
o Traditional pole marquee – these are the ones that have the poles visible and do not usually need a lining. Perfect for adding lots of twinkling fairy lights!
o Tipi – A popular choice for festival style weddings, you can even have a roaring fire! If you choose this option, do think about the sloping roof and where you position your guests.
o Clear roof marquee – These have rapidly grown in popularity and one of my favourites as I am a huge fan of bringing the outside in. Imagine the twinkling stars at night! Note of caution though, if its very hot do be careful of where you place guests for eating as like a greenhouse, it will trap the heat! Its usual to have only a portion of the marquee with a clear roof and take some time to think about the colour of the carpet or dancefloor as dark colours will attract the heat in.
o Unique Pearl Tents – For a superior luxury feel to your occasion, do nip on over to the fabulous Pearl Tent Company. Beautiful architecture and elegant crisp white canvas. Seriously stunning!
· Logistics– So I am more of a creative, but we must delve into this as you want your marquee event to run smoothly. Is there a power supply or will you need a generator? Speak with the generator hire company to understand all the necessary requirements as this will differ for each event depending on lighting/bands etc.
Where will the bathrooms go? Is there running water for the caterer? Is there a suitable place for the caterer to prepare the food? Will the caterer need to bring along a refrigerator trailer?
Your marquee company will also come and do a site visit and there will be a deposit for this which is usually deducted from the booking price, so ensure you do your due diligence prior to committing. You may think of skipping this step, but I strongly urge you not too, the marquee company needs to ensure that they can meet your requirements.
· Decoration – This is where you can really go to town but do remember this takes time and a good team of people – do not underestimate this and keep in mind space you need to fill – there is nothing less appealing than a vacant looking marquee! Start off with a clear design board for your overall style and then break the elements down. Have a think about the lighting, will you have beautiful chandeliers, up lighters in a romantic colour, masses of twinkly fairy lights – I just adore that look! You could have trees inside, hundreds of beautiful flowers, a fountain, anything is possible! Will you have a chill out area? These spaces are very popular and great for a relaxed vibe.
Also consider the linens, the glassware and the crockery, you want all this aligned to your vision as these elements will bring it all together.
· The other bits -Do you need a licence? Always check the latest legal requirements with the hire company/local authority – you may also need to submit a TEN (temporary event notice) Check for any noise constraints and the time you will need to cease the music.
Security, you will need to consider this especially if its in a field on its own, could a family member or friend stay over night in it? Or will you hire someone/
· PLAN B – yes you will most definitely want one of these! I KNOW you don’t want to think it may rain – but it might, and I highly recommend a plan B to ensure that it’s as good as Plan A! think about rubber matting to avoid car/suppliers getting stuck, if they do get stuck who can help? Umbrellas to hand, footwear for the ladies (advise in the invite to bring fun wellies!)
There are a few things to think about as you can see!! Finally, do think about hiring a professional, I truly believe the value in this to ensure your marquee wedding goes smoothly, they can be onsite prior to the day, help to decorate, on the day to brief and coordinate the suppliers and troubleshoot for you. Do get in touch to chat more!
All images Courtesy of The Pearl Tent Company