• Black Cherry Events

Planning a Marquee Wedding?

Luxury wedding marquee interior
Black Cherry Events marquee (image courtesy Phil Greenwood Photography)

So you have already decided that holding your wedding reception in a marquee is for you (great decision by the way). You know that this will give you a great blank canvas; unrestricted by decor, food choices, entertainment and timings of the day to name but a few. And you might have been busy on Instagram or building a Pinterest board, all great for gathering beautiful ideas. But where to start on the practical side of planning a marquee? We know this can seem overwhelming. By breaking this down into key areas it becomes a lot less daunting. So with that in mind lets begin!

1. The site. A key starting point is where the marquee can be sited. You or your family may have a garden that can accommodate this, maybe you are considering a venue that offers cottages for weddings and has land suitable for structures, or perhaps you have access to a nearby field or sports ground. Consider how your guests will arrive; where can they park, is there a clear route to the marquee? In terms of the build the site will need access for large vehicles and be fairly flat for set up of the marquee as well as being large enough not only for the structure but for other services you may require such as toilets and generator. Even if you don't have a site or venue sorted just yet you can still start looking at the marquee structure whilst you continue to finalise the exact location.

2. Services. Not to be overlooked are the additional services you may require for your marquee site. For weddings with full catering and entertainment you will need access to an appropriate power supply. Usually this will come from a silenced generator. Sites that regularly host structures may already have adequate power on site available to use. Or if you having a smaller wedding or perhaps using catering services such as hog roasts, buffets, food vans for example a nearby power supply may be adequate for your needs. You will probably require toilets as well. These are sized according to guest numbers and range from portable units to luxury trailers. If your wedding date is between September and May you will usually require a heater too. Marquees can be used all year round and made really cosy with a set of doors and heating.

3. Guests. How many guests are on your list? Are you inviting extra evening guests? You don't need exact figures at this stage but your best estimate will enable the right size marquee to be planned out. Unlike permanent venues you have freedom here on your numbers as marquees come in a variety of widths and are modular meaning they can be built to the size that best fits your event. And take a moment to think how you may like to seat your guests. If you are having a full wedding breakfast do you prefer the traditional top table arrangement with banqueting tables? Or are you looking to provide partial seating as your reception is informal with no seated meal? It's ok to be unsure at this stage as you can consider a few options as your plans come together.

4. Food & Drink. You may have already chosen your caterer and bar service or you might just be at the initial stages of looking around for inspiration and suppliers. Either way you may need to consider the requirement of a catering tent. These can be an extension of your main marquee or attached depending on the site configuration. If your dining is more informal or perhaps you are looking at a hog roast, buffet, food vans for example they probably won't require a catering tent but you may want some room in the marquee for buffet tables. The bar area is often a key area within the marquee and whether your caterer or bar company is taking care of the service adequate space will be required.

5. Entertainment. You may want a big band or a DJ or both! Whichever route you take consideration needs to be taken in terms of space within the marquee. For example a band may require a stage (although not always necessary). Dance floor sizes will be based on your number of guests. You may also have daytime entertainment within the marquee for your drinks reception.

In addition to these main areas you may want to think about outside space for seating, or an additional marquee/pagoda for your drinks reception. Perhaps you are thinking about other items you may like inside; photo booth, sweetie table, cosy seating area to name just a few. Whilst it is good to be aware of all these considerations we are here to guide at every step of the way. We can suggest sites and venues, recommend the best layout for your event with scale plans of the marquee, provide itemised quotes, conduct free site visits, propose interior schemes and supply power, toilets and heating. Spending time getting your marquee plan just right for you and your event is key. And it gives you much more time to think about the furniture, lighting and decor. But that's a whole other subject!

We do hope this has given you the start you were looking for in planning your marquee wedding. And if you need anything else just get in touch.

Happy planning!