We’ve been talking about marquee weddings and 5 great reasons to have a marquee wedding for a truly bespoke wedding, I figured we also need to look at the top 10 things you’ll need to consider when planning your marquee wedding.
It’s not all roses unfortunately (there are lots of logistics and details to contend with, much more than when you plan your wedding at a ‘regular’ venue) but with the right expert help and support i.e. marquee wedding planner (aka me!) and a good marquee company, you will be able to pull off your dream wedding venue in no time!
Top 10 things to consider when planning your marquee wedding
Style…this elusive thing that we all have but sometimes struggle to articulate! But look on the bright side, at least you know what you like and don’t like and that’s the makings of your style guide. Using your style guide then and the things you like more of, it’s important to determine the style for your marque wedding. This will really help you to set the foundation of your wedding design and where you want your marquee set up to be.
For example, do you have a classic conservative style and want elegant long formal tables on a marquee overlooking a lake? or more of a relaxed vibe with lounging areas for your guests built onto the marquee? If you’re able to decide these upfront, it will help when it comes to choosing the style of marquee you want for your day.
Type of marquee
Once you have a good idea of your style of wedding and where you would like your marquee to be set up, then start your research on the types of marquees out there (there are plenty!) that would suit your style. Compare size and scale and by that I mean the capacity you’re going for and the size dimensions. For example, frame marquees are great for house extensions and can be extended if you want higher ceilings for example than the regular standard size. Do your research to find the one that best fits the vision you have in your mind.
This goes hand in hand with the point above as once you’ve figured out the type of marquee you want, you then research marquee companies that will best deliver the structure and style you’re after. Get quotes from at least 3 companies (3 is a good number to give you a good idea and at the same time not overwhelm you) and assess them based on a good balance of what you want, how close they were able to match your budget and their safety standards. Your marquee company (once you have them on board) will always do a risk assessment of your site and marquee structure for that all important safety sign off.
Now that you know your style, consider the location for your marquee. Where do you want to build it? On the grounds of a country estate? Your parent’s back garden? An open field?, on a farm? Once you decide on your location, take note of what’s around the surrounding areas i.e. are there lots of potholes? Does the area have a flat surface or is the ground uneven? Flat and level surfaces are usually best when it comes to erecting your wedding marquee as it ensures the marquee is on a stable and sturdy structure. Uneven surfaces e.g. sloping ground, can be fixed with extra layering to give it an even finish but that often comes at an additional cost.
As you pick the location for your marquee, consider access to and from it. Can you and your suppliers get to it easily? Can they load and unload things with little fuss? If the location is your parents garden for example, how easily accessible is that site, bearing in mind that you will have suppliers going in and out during set up and build and carting things from their vans to the site. Is there enough space to move around and erect other structures like the field kitchen or mobile restrooms?
Is there ample side entrance for your suppliers to come and go from as opposed to coming through the main entrance. And, for your guests, are there car parking space on site on-site and how easily can they get from the car parking site to the main marquee? These are all definitely important point to consider when planning your marquee wedding.
Wet weather plan
What will you do about wet weather? The UK, as we all know, has it’s moments with rain! (even during the summer months) so definitely consider what to do when it rains. Provide umbrellas for your guests, heel stoppers for the ladies and consider adding a raised wooden walkway from the car park to the main marquee for your guests to walk through (it will stop them getting mud on their gorgeous dresses and all over your carpeted marquee floor!)
If your marquee site is a good distance away from a power supply, consider where you will get your power supply from. It’s much easier if your marquee structure is near a power source like the main house. For one of the marquee weddings I planned at Dulwich Park golf course (near the college), the team and I drew power from the main power supply in one of the venue’s annexes so definitely worth considering.
Make sure you have power plugs and sockets installed close to areas of high power use like the kitchen, the dance floor and for lighting. If the base of your power source is more than 100 meters away from the marquee or you are in an open field or a golf course, then you hire generators for your power supply. Bear in mind though that there are additional costs attached to this so best avoid it if you can help it.
Kitchen and catering
No doubt, you will serve food and drinks at your wedding so kitchen and catering facilities are of major importance to your marquee. Be sure to have a field kitchen attached to your marquee build. Especially if your marquee is in an open area like a field or golf course. Depending on your marquee site though, sometimes it may not be an issue. For the marquee wedding I worked on that was set up on the grounds of a golf course we used the kitchen of the venue annex near the main marquee as the main kitchen where food was served from and didn’t need to get an additional marquee for the kitchen area. On the flip side, if your marquee is a distance away then it is best to have a field kitchen that is close to your main marquee for ease of accessibility and and an efficient catering service.
Coolers and heaters
Need I say more on this one?! 🙂 If you’re having a summer wedding consider having air coolers especially for sweltering temperatures like we had last summer in the UK. Likewise for winter weddings, consider heaters for your guests. If you have a marquee with transparent PVC lining. check with your marquee company on how to navigate that with heaters. E.g. will they need to install heaters that won’t exceed a certain temperature so that it doesn’t affect the PVC lining of the marquee? Check!
Bathroom (toilet) facilities
Will you have the mobile ones or use the one in the main house? Consider whether you like the idea of guests coming in and out of your main house or you much prefer a mobile facility near the main marquee. Weigh up the pros and cons and then decide. For marquees on remote sites, I recommend you get mobile bathroom facilities. Decide where you want it located when you pick your location and discuss with your marque company when you go on your site visit so they will advise on what is feasible.
With all these pointers, this one is definitely an important contender (and I’m not saying that because I’m a planner! it’s really important!) Most certainly consider getting a wedding planner like me on board to help you with all the logistics. As you can see from all these pointers, you have a lot of details to tackle for your marquee wedding before we even get to the fun part of designing and planning out the finer details. So, get someone on board to help you to avoid getting drowned in the detail and overwhelm.
I hope these pointers have helped to focus your excited minds. There are other points to consider too, like noise levels, lighting, weightings and types of furniture to bring on board etc. but start with these first and you will be well on your way to having that bespoke and dream wedding you’ve always wanted!