With many couples choosing to have an intimate wedding at home, rather than hiring a large venue, a wedding marquee in the garden could be the perfect answer. There are many advantages when you choose to hire a wedding marquee:

  • You have a totally blank canvas so you can have any decorative theme or colour scheme you like.
  • Your wedding marquee can be altered to suit the weather, with the sides open on a hot day, or heaters and flooring added to keep out the cold.
  • You can hold your wedding reception in a beautiful outdoor space without worrying that you and your guests might get cold and wet.
  • You can hire a wedding marquee to suit your guest list, rather than tailoring your guest list to fit your venue’s capacity.

When you choose to hire a wedding marquee, you will want to be sure that it lives up to your expectations, and you get exactly what you want on your big day. With that in mind there are a few questions you should ask potential wedding marquee suppliers.

Ten questions to ask when you hire wedding marquee

  1. What sizes and styles of wedding marquee do they provide?
  2. Can they supply a lining and valence in a colour that will complement your wedding scheme?
  3. Can they supply tables, chairs, a dance floor and anything else you need?
  4. Do you get a discount for hiring furniture along with your wedding marquee?
  5. Can they give contact details of a couple who have hired a wedding marquee in the last year as a reference?
  6. Is it possible to see the actual marquee you will be hiring set up for a wedding or other function?
  7. How long in advance do you need to book the wedding marquee?
  8. When would the marquee need to be set up and taken down again?
  9. Will there be somebody on hand during the wedding to solve any problems with the marquee such as a power failure?
  10. How often are the marquees cleaned and overhauled?

Lighting your wedding marquee

If you are hiring a wedding marquee, you will also want to talk to your supplier about lighting, especially if you are having an evening event. Ask what sort of lighting they provide as standard and give them an idea of the kind of effect you are looking for. If you are looking for a cosy romantic feel, don’t assume that you can use candles as some marquee suppliers won’t allow this for safety reasons. You can achieve a similar effect by positioning cordless lamps in the centres of your tables or using fairy lights.

Wedding marquee ceilings can look a little bare, so why not make your lighting part of your wedding theme? Spherical paper lanterns in various colours and sizes can create a fun modern effect for a contemporary wedding. Large sparkling chandeliers suspended from the roof of the wedding marquee are perfect for a vintage themed wedding. If you’re having a funky eighties themed wedding, a simple disco ball can transport your marquee back through the years.

A modern twist on wedding marquee lighting is to have patterns projected onto the inside of your marquee as light wallpaper. You can change the pattern and colour during the day to reflect the different phases of the wedding day. You can also use the walls and ceiling of the marquee to project photographs from the ceremony, pictures of your honeymoon destination, or anything else that suits your wedding theme.

The layout of your wedding marquee

The way you choose to arrange your wedding marquee will depend very much on the season. Perhaps you are having a summer wedding and plan to be outside as much as possible, simply using your marquee for dinner and as a back up in case of rain. In this case all you need to decide is where to place your top table, how to arrange the rest of the tables, and where to put your wedding cake. You can set up an outdoor bar area and dance floor next to the marquee.

If you are having a winter wedding, or an evening event, you will need to spend more time inside and you may need to put more thought into the layout of your wedding marquee. You could consider having screens erected inside the marquee to create a separate section for welcome drinks, which can be used again as a quiet area once the dancing is in full swing.

You will need to decide whether you want your tables and chairs to be cleared away for the dancing or whether your marquee needs to be able to accommodate a dance floor and a separate eating area. If you are having a band or a DJ, make sure your wedding marquee supplier can provide a stage and that there is space to set up all the equipment.