If you're considering having a marquee or tent wedding then please keep reading to get all the advice from myself and an expert on them before you make your decision. They may seem like a lovely idea but you'll be surprised how much is involved!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Coastal Tents who kindly gave me their top tips when planning a marquee wedding so that you don't make any costly mistakes, as you're basically building a venue from scratch... so let's jump right in!
You're basically building a venue from scratch...
Find the right site.
You need to find the right location for your marquee, whether that's in your back garden, in a beautiful field or by a lake, it's the backdrop for your wedding so it needs to be right!
Think about the sites logistics.
Think about what the location is actually like and whether it could have a marquee in it. A flat site is obviously much more preferable but a sloping site can also work depending on the gradient of the slope. Tipi tents work much better on slopping ground rather than traditional marquees due to the way they are pitched and built. The other way to put a marquee on a sloping site is to build a scaffold base which then creates a flat floor of your marquee but this does become more costly.
Also, consider the orientation of the marquee, what do you want behind it, what do you want to look out onto, for example, you may want to look out over the lake whilst having dinner or have a beautiful stately home behind.
Consider what the site has and what you might need.
As you are basically building a venue from scratch you need to know what the site already has or what else you might need to build or hire in. Mostly likely you'll need to bring in a generator for power, running water for your caterer and toilets, you may be having the marquee in your back garden but you probably don't want guests trampling through your home to go to the loo all day!
Some purpose built marquee sites may already these items onsite but make sure they're included in the site hire price as they may be additional costs!
Consider the weather.
We always need to consider wet weather options when wedding planning and there's no exceptions when it comes to marquee weddings.
Is the site exposed to wind and rain? Is the site likely to flood or the ground become too saturated? If you're having the ceremony outside the marquee what's your wet weather plan, where could this be moved to?
You also need to consider the temperature inside the marquee, the company you use will usually be able to supply heating and/or air-conditioning units to be able to regulate the temperature. You do not want to feel like you're in a greenhouse if you're having a summer wedding and alternatively a fridge if you're having a winter wedding! Some companies can even provide fire pits for Tipi like structures which are pretty cool!
Arrange a site visit.
This is key! This is absolutely essential! Always arrange a site visit with your marquee company, they can then advise firstly whether it's possible to have a marquee in the site. They can then measure up the site to quote for the correct size marquee for the site, look at entrances and exits for the marquee, look at supplier access in and out of the site and whether they'll have any problems and also the ground the marquee will sit on and whether you might need additional matting, light-ways or pathways.
I can't stress how important this tip is!
This kind of relates to tip five, as I mentioned before the company will advise on the correct size marquee you can have within the site as well as the right size for the amount of guests you're having. Too small and there won't be enough room inside, too big and the marquee will feel empty!
Consider a wedding planner.
Now of course I'm going to be extremely bias on this tip, but Coastal Tents highly recommended that couples should consider having a wedding planner for a marquee wedding, that is because there are a lot more things to consider with this type of wedding, as well as a lot more logistics and planning involved before, during and after the wedding day itself.
A good wedding planner will liaise with all the suppliers, help fix any issues that arise, make sure all the decorations and rubbish is cleared, turn off the generator, deal with any unexpected eventualities, the list goes on...
At any venue you would have someone from that venue there on the day should any issues or questions arise so why wouldn't you have one for a marquee wedding, so please consider at least having an on the day coordinator to make your life easier on the biggest day of your life! Find out more about wedding coordinators here!
Or if you need to find out more about what a wedding planner and wedding coordinator does and what the difference between them is, then click here!
So there you have it, 7 top tips to think about when considering a marquee wedding!
Photos by: 1, 2, 3 & 4 Tom & Lizzie Redman Photography 5. Tom Biddle Photography 6. Emma Moore Photography 7. Darima Frampton Photography