Planning a marquee wedding is great but also comes with its own set of challenges. As we have been discussing, you know by now that I’m an advocate for planning a beautiful marquee wedding and have mentioned some great reasons why you should have a marquee wedding here. Following swiftly on from that are the things you need to consider when planning your marquee wedding. It is quite a project you are about to take on so best to be prepared and armed with ample and useful information to help you with your planning.
There are lots of logistics and details to contend with, much more than when you plan your wedding at a ‘regular’ wedding venue but with the right expert help and support i.e.having me, your bespoke wedding planner, on board 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. Look on the bright side though, 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 marquee 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, if you have a classic conservative style, you might want elegant long formal tables on a marquee overlooking a lake or if you’re going for a more relaxed vibe, you might consider lounging areas for your guests dotted through out the marquee. Both styles will require different setups within your marquee so best to decide your style upfront.
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 (spoiler alert: 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 than the regular standard sized marquees. 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. Once you’ve figured out the type of marquee you want for your marquee wedding, you then research marquee companies that are best placed to deliver the structure and style you’re after. This is a key part of what I do for my clients, I often get at least 3 quotes from different marquee companies sometimes more but 3 is a good number as it gives me a good idea of the market (and I’m also trying not to overwhelm you!) I assess them based on a good balance of what my clients want, how close they were able to match my client’s budget and their safety standards. Your marquee company (once you have them on board) will always carry out 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. When I say location, it’s in two folds, the physical site location where you want the marquee structure to be built and the spot location where you want the marquee to be set up. Where do you want to build it? On the grounds of a country estate? Your parent’s back garden? A private land? 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 spaces on-site and how easily can they get from the car parking site to the main marquee? These are all definitely important logistics to consider when planning your marquee wedding as getting them right ensures a smooth flow on your wedding day. As always, do reach out to me if you need help with planning out the logistics.
Wet weather plan
What will you do about wet weather? The UK, as we know it, 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!)
It is much easier if your marquee structure is near a power source (like a main house). However, If your marquee site is a good distance away from a power supply, consider where you will get your power supply from. I have planned marquee weddings where we drew power from the main power supply at the venue annexes and also one where we had standby generators provided by the marquee company 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 important features to your marquee. If your marquee is setup in an open area like a private land or golf course with no close buildings in sight, then it’s better to have a field kitchen attached to your marquee build. A field kitchen is a smaller version of your marquee built close to your main marquee that will be easily accessible and ensures you provide an efficient catering service to your guests.
Sometimes this might not be an issue but it all depends on where your marquee site is. I have worked on marquee sites with access to a kitchen at either the venue annex or main house and didn’t require a field kitchen.
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 your marquee comes with transparent PVC lining, check with your marquee company on how to heat it up without causing any damage. E.g. they may need to install heaters that won’t exceed a certain temperature so that it doesn’t affect the PVC lining of the marquee.
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 (but not too close) to 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 possible.
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! As always, I’m here to help so do get in touch if you need some help with planning your marquee wedding.