Marquee weddings are increasingly popular, and we are doing more and more of them here at our special marquee venues: The Lakeside at Carlton Towers, Bolton Abbey, The Walled Garden at Dalton Hall, Ripley Castle Marquee and East Wing and Belvoir Castle where we can handle the entire process (if you want us to) from booking the tent or tipi (available in anything from sailcloth tents and pergolas to grand pavilions and vintage army tent) to supplying all the electricals, sanitation and dancefloor!

However, did you know that we can also help with offsite marquee locations: for example, at a family member’s home or a location that’s personal to you? Having a marquee venue at your own location requires a little more planning, which is why we’re here to offer our advice on:

The pros of marquee weddings

Adjustable size

Whether you’re having your marquee at one of our marquee venues or at home, the beauty of marquees is that they can cater for all sizes of weddings, from 20 to 2,000 guests! Of course, you will need an outside space big enough for the event, but the marquee itself can be completely scalable. There's no need to worry that your guests will be cramped or lost in space! Perfect if you love a venue’s grounds and location but it doesn’t have a room to suit the size of your guest list!

Unusual styles

When is a marquee not a marquee? When it’s a tent or a tipi! Marquees now come in so many stylistic variations from pastoral white to exotic colours, in any number of shapes and sizes from India Raj style to cupola with no sides, window walls or fully enclosed, so it’s really easy to personalise them according to your own tastes.

You can have it where you want

Well, within reason, and as long as you have permission! Marquees are the ideal portable venue, meaning you can hold your wedding celebrations at a place that is especially dear to you: whether that’s at home, a local farm or a family member’s property.

The cons of marquee weddings

Logistics

There’s a few different things to consider here regarding logistics. Firstly, there is the fundamental issue of space: if you want a marquee wedding at your own location, you must have enough room to hold your guests without them being cramped. And that brings us nicely on to the location: you could have it in a wide open space like a field, where space is plentiful but it may be remote for transport links, or in the grounds of a family members house, which may be smaller and limited for guests car parking, but more convenient transport at the end of the night. Decisions, decisions! Luckily, we know a lot about these kinds of logistical issues when it comes to wedding planning in marquees, so just ask us for our expert advice!

Weather

Yes, sorry about that. If you live in the UK, and more likely, around Yorkshire like many of our clients, the British weather will be a factor in your wedding day. Of course, a marquee is completely waterproof and will keep you and your guests dry, but there’s the mud to consider if it rains, and heating if it’s especially chilly. It’s the trips to the toilets, the entrances and exits and the car parking, not to mention suppliers getting on and offsite (or stuck somewhere in between), that you’ll need to consider. However, there are always solutions for challenges such as these and the team at Dine have more than 18 years’ of invaluable experience in finding them!

More planning

There are more things to consider for a marquee wedding: from ground conditions to the time it takes to set up, to lighting up the car parking area. Of course, we think it’s absolutely worth it for a beautiful event!

Cost

Depending on the size of course, marquees can often be a little more expensive than a ready-made venue, because of the additional planning that goes into them. However, this depends very much on where and how you perceive value: while it may cost more, it provides excellent value for money in the flexibility and effect it offers.

Things you might not have considered

Wedding planners can really, really help

When you’re having a marquee wedding at one of our marquee venues, we’re there on hand to help from start to finish and beyond. However, having your wedding at home and DIYing the entirety of it means that you’re the person who has to sort out any issues. That’s why expert wedding planners (like us) can be invaluable when it comes to managing the project and reducing stress levels, before and on the day.

 

Location

As we mentioned before, there is a pay off between having vast space in a remote location with no neighbours to disturb, and the convenience of having a smaller space nearer to modern conveniences (like a house with nice toilets, and a gravelled drive). If you have a marquee in the middle of nowhere, seriously thinking about laying on some communal transport (like mini-busses) for your guests to their local accommodation at the end of the night.

Power

You’ll likely be doing the usual things at your wedding such as eating, playing music and talking to friends and family. These activities all require power, usually in the form of a generator. Think about how you will power your event – or, better still, ask us to handle the whole thing for you!

Sanitation

Toilets are a fact of life in the western world, so you’ll be needing some at your wedding. An average is 1 toilet for every 40-50 guests, but consider hiring more if you don’t want people to miss too much of the party by queuing. This means if you don’t have access to the requisite number of toilets in a nearby house, you’ll need the space for additional toilet blocks, as well as curating the trip from the main marquee to the toilets with both lighting and a solid walkway.

What can you DIY for a marquee wedding?

Well, we can handle the whole affair for you of course, but we know that some of our brides and grooms like to take a very practical hand in wedding planning, both to stretch their budgets and to gain a sense of personal satisfaction by physically making some parts of your wedding day. So, if you want to, here are some really interesting ways you could tick all of those boxes with a marquee wedding:

Decorations

Go to town on your decorations: marquees look especially stunning when decorated and styled to the nines. From mood lighting and lanterns to a sea of balloons or an entire canopy of stars, a marquee can accommodate the homespun to the outré. (We also work with the excellent AV Matrix regularly to supply our weddings with stellar visual lighting effects!)

Let neighbours and police know

This is also another aspect that is really easy to do yourself – and it will actually help keep your relationships sweet! Letting your neighbours know that there is a loud party in the vicinity does much to smooth over and anticipate their reactions, and you can also invite them to the party. Similarly, while you don’t want to be accused of police bribery, just letting the local force know that your wedding party is happening in a random field will cut down the chances of it being investigated as an illegal rave! It also helps if they know in advance what time it will finish, so they can field any complaints and avoid knocking on your door.

Questions to ask your marquee wedding planner/suppliers

If you’re handling some of your marquee wedding yourself (remember, we can easily manage the whole process for you, from onsite estimates to catering), then there are some questions you may want to ask of your marquee providers:

  • Will they do an onsite estimate?
  • What size do they recommend for the number of guests, and what other areas are incorporated into this calculation?
  • Will power be provided?
  • Can they provide enough extra power for additional entertainment like bands?
  • Will hard surfaces, such as dancefloors, stages and walkways, be provided?
  • Do they provide lighting for the interior and exterior?
  • When will the marquee be set up and dismantled?
  • What kind of access (and swing area) will their delivery lorries need?
  • What are the payment, booking and cancellation terms?

Got a wedding planner (like Dine’s event experts)? Then here are some questions to ask them to ensure they can bring your vision to life:

  • What colour is the marquee/tent/tipi/yurt?
  • Are there other styles and colours available?
  • Can they show you some examples of marquee weddings in a similar style?
  • What is the process for developing ideas and inspiration collaboratively?
  • How can help you manage your budget effectively?
  • Can they book other suppliers for you?
  • What exactly will they do/help with before, during and after the wedding?

If you need advice on organising a marquee wedding either at home or at one of our specialist marquee venues, why not utilise the expertise of our Dine event management team? We’re happy to advise and plan as much or as little as you want, so give us a call on 0345 450 4545 or contact us and see how we can help you.

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