Well I just LOVE a marquee wedding, I love the idea of being able to build your own wedding from scratch. Whether it's held at your family home or on castle grounds, there's something magical and personal about a marquee wedding.
I've been lucky enough to work in some some beautiful marquees in 2022 & I have some stunning marquee and tipi weddings coming up in 2023 also. If you're considering a marquee wedding - I would always recommend working with a planner; as the logistics involved are a lot more intricate. See a planner as an investment rather than an additional cost - a wedding planner who has experience in marquee weddings will not only save you time & stress - but having someone to guide you through the process will be valuable when planning a marquee wedding at home.
When a marquee wedding is held at a family home - this creates a way more personal feel to the wedding day. It's important for me as a planner to get to know the space prior to the wedding and to meet the family on a personal level to build that trust from an early stage.
I'm going to outline my top tips on areas to consider when thinking about a marquee wedding:
Factoring Marquee Logistics into your budget
It's really easy to think that putting a tent in your back garden will be a easy breezy process and shouldn't cost too much money. There are many factors to think about when considering a marquee wedding that will slowly start to chip away at your budget.
Power Source; Most marquee wedding set ups will require a generator for power. Most marquee companies can include this within their quote and can install the cabling within the build so the power points are in the right places (For your band, kitchen etc.)
Toilets; Really important to include toilets even in a family home - you wouldn't want 100+ guests all waiting in line for one loo - again marquee companies can normally recommend companies they know and trust. The rule of thumb is typically 1 toilet per 50 guests.
Waste Disposal; Oh my favourite! The not so glamorous side to wedding planning for sure, Always make sure there's a plan in place for disposing waste, whether it be a skip or waste disposal company who can dispose of the rubbish the following day.
Running Water; If you can't feed running water from the house to the marquee site; you may need to consider using a water bowser for your caterers to use on site.
Parking & Transport; Typically large venues come with parking spaces for your guests who are travelling by car, this may not be the case if you're hosting a wedding at home where parking spaces will be limited - this may mean you may have to factor in a coach pick up to transport your guests to and from the venue to avoid parking dramas on the day.
Hiring of Equipment, Crockery, Glassware & Furniture; Remember, when planning a marquee wedding - you have to consider EVERYTHING. from cutlery to glassware, sofas to kitchen equipment. The fun part of this is being able to choose exactly what you want which allows you to dig deeper into the overall design and aesthetic of your wedding.
External Lighting; Festoon lighting is always a winner for me, it makes the evening come alive and is great for keeping the outskirts well lit for those late night moochers going out for cigarettes.
Thinking about the Space & Overall Design
When looking at the space, it's important to factor in the position of the marquee and the flow of the wedding day, by the flow I mean thinking about the different areas where you'll hold certain parts of the wedding day. (Drinks Reception through to Wedding Breakfast etc.) - Do you need to factor in turning around the space? (Perhaps from Ceremony to Wedding Breakfast) If so, where would your guests go during this time?
An initial meeting with a planner & marquee company is always a good idea before making any decisions.
Once the floorplan of the marquee is set, your planner will then start to think about the actual design of the wedding and how this is going to look. If you feel overwhelmed by this process - a good place to start is Pinterest. Pin images of marquee set-ups but most importantly dig deep into colour palettes that catch your eye. A great wedding designer only needs a few images and a colour palette (and to know you guys on a personal level) to help bring to life your ideas surrounding your wedding design.
The Timeline; The Build, The Wedding & The Clean Down
The timeline is super important, for a wedding on a Saturday the ideal would be to have the build on either Tuesday/Wednesday for the design elements to take place on Thursday/Friday with finishing touches on the morning of. Having time on your side is super important incase anything is missing. A great example of this for me is that I was setting up tables 2 days prior to the wedding and I was 15 spoons short - this enabled me to figure this out in good time rather than rushing around.
For the clean down ensure there is a clear plan in place - starting with knowing when the marquee will be coming down. Marquee companies will expect everything clear so the breakdown for them is as smooth as possible. It's quite the task - so make sure there's a clear plan of who will be helping you with the clean down of the wedding.
If you're planning a Marquee/Tipi wedding and could do with my help - I'd LOVE to hear from you!