What’s the ultimate marquee wedding? It’s a tough question and we don’t believe there is a blueprint to follow. Nevertheless, we love a challenge and we’ve put our heads together to come up with our take on the perfect day.
Fortunately for us, although there are a huge number of possible variations, many if not all the elements to a fabulous marquee wedding remain timeless and constant, so we’ve decided to focus on them and for ease we’ve pulled together these threads under the following headings.
No two marquee weddings are ever the same .. each is a reflection not just of time and place but also the choices made by the couple and it is these choices which combine to make it unique to them.
Having full control of every aspect of the day with the ability to adjust and adapt as you go along makes a marquee wedding the most flexible venue possible.
Tip – choose suppliers with a flexible approach to your booking, everything from the quantity of tables and chairs to the marquee size if your guest list gets bigger (or smaller).
It’s got to be Spring or Summer (April – October) .. whether it’s at home in the garden, in a field on the farm or in the grounds of a stately home, the connection to the outdoors is one of the things that makes a marquee wedding so special. Not just so you can mingle outdoors but also so that the views looking out are at their best.
Tip – if it’s a hot day rolling up the walls is ideal but clear walls make it possible to enjoy the view in any weather.
There’s so much more to where to put your marquee than just the venue itself. The first glimpse of the fully dressed marquee for you and your guests should be a magical moment. So how you site the marquee is very important and it’s the reason why a site visit is so important.
Tip – we always recommend that guests arrive at a diagonal to the marquee front, with room to spill-out into the fresh air and a south or south westerly aspect.
Your guest numbers will always depend on how big your family and your circle of friends is, so for us it’s less about the overall number of people and more about making sure the marquee is the right size for them and that no one ends up at the edge of the party whether that is during the wedding breakfast, on the dance floor or chatting at the bar.
There are a variety of different tables and chairs, dance floors and bars to choose from which are designed to furnish three separate areas, one for dining one for dancing and one for a bar area or to mingle on foot. They need to be accommodated in such a way that they are connected whilst at the same time remaining distinct.
We have found that a central bar to serve arrival drinks to your guests and for use later as a place for standing and chatting works particularly well positioned between the dining and the dancing. For bigger weddings or if there are evening guests, a round bar enables the non dancers to be near the action and acts as a focal point for those coming later.
A variation to this format which works particularly well for a large number of evening guests, is to have two marquees. One for dining and one for dancing. This way the space waiting to be used by the evening guests doesn’t make the dining marquee feel too big and the dedicated party tent is a welcoming environment free of dining tables and chairs for the new arrivals.
Another great trick is to be able to use both the inside and outside spaces to best effect and for the transition between the two to be seamless. To achieve this there should either be multiple entrances or ideally a whole open side to make spilling out a natural step. Outdoor seating provides a place to congregate and intimacy can be created by surrounding the space with lighting suspended from giant crooks, which also looks great.
Tip – we think it’s important to have a quiet area, to take a moment, usually outside but it could just as easily be inside the marquee at the opposite end to the dancing or even a separate covered area, something like a pavilion, with seating.
Bottom line .. for the ultimate wedding marquee we’d always choose a pole tent of course!
The best parties live on for many years both in your memory and in the memories of your guests, and your decor choices play a big part in contributing to the overall experience.
The canopy of a pole tent is a translucent space, light, bright and airy with no need for over elaboration but the two things that never fail to deliver a big impact are flowers and lighting.
In daylight, there’s nothing better to enhance the canvas backdrop than the natural beauty of flowers. We are constantly amazed by the passion and creativity of the florists we work with and as we get excited with new ideas and combinations we’re sure you will too.
As twilight falls the lighting comes into its own, we ensure that all our lighting is a soft, warm white, never too bright and above all designed to look pretty. Flying lights above the marquee canopy always look special. When it’s time for things to start hotting up and for the dancing to begin, we regularly work with some really talented lighting specialists who can design an interior scheme to blow your socks off! They can also create spectacular effects to light up the surrounding area.
Tip – not all pole tents are created equal – check out our blog post ‘What is a pole tent’.
We’ve just talked about impact and how it can be achieved but much of the overall effect is made of little touches, which individually might go unnoticed but which combine to create a harmonious whole.
There are a multitude of different things that can influence the look, feel and the flow of the day and not all of them are terribly exciting .. making sure the walls are up (or down) at the right moments, arrival drinks and canapes ready on time, the temperature of the Champagne, smooth service during the wedding breakfast, keeping an eye on the loos .. I could go on.
The thing is, you don’t want to be focusing on any of them, they just need to be right and this is where we think a wedding planner comes into the picture. An experienced planner is not just invaluable in the run up, they’re also a great asset providing coordination on site on the day. See our little black book for some great wedding planners in our area.
We hope you’ve found our planning the ultimate marquee wedding post helpful, we know we haven’t been able to cover everything and that you might have questions, but we’re always on hand to help, so please feel free to get in touch anytime.