Top tips for planning a marquee wedding

Wedding Planning Advice

If you’re thinking of planning a marquee wedding, today’s blog post will be perfect for you!

As you may have noticed, our team of wedding planners ADORE planning beautiful marquee weddings and honestly, every time an enquiry comes through from a couple planning this style of wedding, we do a little happy dance!

So, why do we love marquee weddings so much? Well, firstly, you have complete control over how your wedding looks and feels, and importantly, because your wedding is built from scratch, it can be tailored to precisely suit your aspirations. Hooray!

How much work is involved when planning a marquee wedding?

If you’re thinking of planning a marquee wedding, it’s important to say from the get-go that there’s so much more work involved and plenty of logistical challenges to overcome! Of course, hiring a wedding planner with the expertise to help you through the process, should be considered, but if you’re brave and fancy planning your marquee wedding on a DIY basis, here are a few tips from our team of marquee wedding planners.

Where can I host my marquee wedding?

Firstly, you need to consider where you will host your marquee wedding – we’re so spoilt across London & the East of England, where so many beautiful venues will hire their grounds for a marquee wedding.

At One Curious Dream, lots of our clients host their marquee wedding at their own homes or on the land of family of friends. This is such a fantastic option as it means you’ll have more time to set up and complete flexibility about how and where your marquee is located.

There are some other much simpler considerations too. Firstly, (and yes, we know it sounds obvious!) – level ground is essential for erecting your marquee, nobody wants tables and chairs on the wonk because of extremely bumpy ground.

You’ll need to make sure there are useable access routes for supplier deliveries and collections and ensuring a fresh water supply is available for your caterer (a good old-fashioned hose works just fine!) should be high on your priority list.

It’s also important to consider where the marquee will be located in relation to other essential elements, such as the loos. Having guests walk a long distance to an external toilet isn’t fun and won’t add anything positive to their experience, especially in bad weather. Having the loos located close by is essential (and they may need power from a generator), and if there is a bit of a walk, flooring or matting should also be considered.

Who needs to be involved in my marquee wedding planning?

You must be able to manage expectations with any landowners though, after all, a marquee wedding has the potential to seriously disrupt life in the build-up to your wedding.

If you are hosting your wedding on private land, do make sure you have open and honest discussions with the landowner as even the most enthusiastic of folk can become downbeat when they are descended on by your marquee company and an influx of suppliers!

Agreeing access times and access points is helpful, and keeping the landowner fully abreast of the plans should help.

What type of marquee is right for my wedding?

Boy oh boy, there are SO many different marquee styles available these days – from traditional tents, yurts, clearspan, stretch tents, etc – the list is almost endless!

Firstly, do consider the style of wedding you’re looking to create – if you’re hoping for something rustic and relaxed, a traditional, unlined marquee could work nicely. If you’re hoping for a touch of glamour, an option that allows for draping and lining would be better suited.

What size marquee should I hire for my wedding?

As well as the marquee style, you also need to make sure you hire the right sized marquee for your wedding. At the very least, always ensure that you have enough space to not only accommodate guests for the wedding breakfast but give plenty of room in case the weather doesn’t quite play ball and welcome or post-ceremony drinks receptions need to take place inside the marquee. Nobody wants to feel squashed, so having enough space and going bigger is always going to be better!

It’s also a good idea to include a seating area internally so that guests can gather informally, and again, keep out of the rain if the weather isn’t kind. Sadly, getting married in the UK, even in the height of summer, doesn’t guarantee sunshine, so it’s always best to be prepared.

What equipment do I hire for my marquee wedding?

You will likely need to hire a generator to ensure all of the equipment you’ll require can be powered. From ovens and fryers in your kitchen through to lighting and bar fridges in the marquee, you’ll need to compile a list of power requirements and ensure you have sufficient coverage with the generator you hire. Speak to all of your suppliers and compile a list of their power requirements so that you can ensure the generator you are hiring is adequate for the job.

As well as ensuring the catering tent is joined to your marquee where possible, the caterer will also need access to fresh water and power. Generators will quite often cover the power element, but water can be a little trickier!

How about access for my marquee wedding suppliers?

Access for suppliers is critical. Your marquee provider will likely need access for a large lorry, and they’ll need to be as close to where the marquee is being erected as possible. Having a supplier parking area is useful, and when scheduling supplier deliveries, do ensure that they are staggered so that suppliers aren’t tripping over one another.

Also, consider the order in which deliveries are made – you’ll need a generator on-site at an early stage (so that lighting can be tested, for example) but also need to ensure you have enough fuel to supply both the setup phase and the actual wedding. Depending on the amount of power being used, you may wish to hire a backup generator just in case.

Lighting for my marquee wedding?

One of the joys of a marquee wedding is that it usually takes place in a large open space – this, however, will almost certainly need lighting. Don’t forget that guests may need to find their way to toilet facilities, car park or glamping areas late at night so lighting the way is essential. Lighting can play a really important part in setting the tone and ambience at night, so chat with your wedding planner about the way to do this most effectively.

Do I need security for my marquee wedding?

Marquee weddings usually have an extended build phase – your marquee company will likely complete their installation at least a couple of days before your wedding. From that point onwards, you’ll have a wide variety of suppliers visiting the site, many of whom will be leaving expensive equipment in the marquee. Therefore, it’s worth considering a security provision for the evenings to ensure all of the equipment and belongings are safe.

Should I get wedding insurance for my marquee wedding?

Finally, marquee weddings come with more logistical challenges than you might think! We would always recommend you purchase wedding insurance to guard against any adverse circumstances that might arise – chances are you’ll never need it, but boy, you’ll be glad you have it should you need it!

Should I hire a marquee wedding planner?

If you’re planning a marquee wedding throughout London or the East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge or Essex)and fancy chatting with our team of award-winning, expert marquee wedding planners, why not get in touch? You can reach us on 0800 772 0765 or [email protected] or book a complimentary wedding consultation here.

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