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  • Writer's pictureArdour & Bow

A Guide to Planning Marquee Weddings

Are you planning on hosting your wedding in a marquee at home but not sure what type of marquee to choose and things to consider - read on for all the information.

Marquee wedding

Image: Laura Dean

Marquees make such great wedding venues with a wide range of design options for you to choose from. Hosting an event at home means you create lovely memories that you can remember for many years to come and a marquee is a blank canvas from which your wedding design can grow, whether you want to fill the tent with flowers and foliage, create a clean and sophisticated look, or have something super rustic and relaxed.



There are many different styles of marquee that you can choose, based on style and what works best for your location.

Here below are the main types of marquee that you can consider hiring for your wedding and party whether you are looking for something sophisticated, traditional with country garden wedding vibes, or something a little more rustic.

Sperry Tent

Sperry tent marquee

Image: Abi Riley

A Sperry tent is known for its elegant and classic appearance. These tents are made from high-quality sailcloth fabric, which is durable, weather-resistant, and has a unique texture that gives the tent a distinctive look.

Sperry tents are designed to be beautiful both inside and out. The tent fabric is translucent, allowing natural light to filter through during the day, and giving the tent a warm glow at night when lit from the inside. The tents can be further customised with a variety of accessories, such as chandeliers, fabric liners, and flooring, to create a truly unique and elegant event space.I'm a big fan of the Sperry Tent and think they make such elegant tents for events.

Glass Marquee

Glass orangery marquee

Image: PBI Architecture

A glass orangery marquee is a type of marquee that is designed to look and feel like a traditional orangery, but with the added flexibility and versatility of a marquee. A glass orangery marquee typically features a sturdy aluminum frame, which is covered with glass panels on the sides and roof. The glass panels allow natural light to flood into the space, creating a bright and airy atmosphere. The frame is also often decorated with decorative mouldings and details, such as finials and cresting, to give it a classic and elegant look.

The walls can be left open to create an open-air feel, or they can be fitted with curtains or drapes to provide privacy or shade. The flooring can be anything from a natural lawn surface to a hard floor, such as wood or tile. The marquee can also be heated, allowing it to be used all year round.

These are stunning structures and would add the wow factor for any event. Just a note though if used in the height of summer, you would definitely need to factor in air conditioning to ensure you don't overheat.

Indian Marquee

Raj Tent Indian style marquee

Image: Raj Tent Club

If you are looking for something a little more exotic then an Indian inspired marquee design might be ideal. The marquee itself has beautiful design feature along the edge of the tent and when coupled with beautiful themed furniture, these can really elevate the look of your garden. I often think these marquees are particularly romantic!

Tipi Marquee

Tipi Marquee

Image: Coastal Tents

Tipi marquees are a type of event tent that has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly for outdoor weddings and festivals. Tipi marquees are a unique and flexible type of event tent that are inspired by the traditional dwellings of North American indigenous peoples. They are made from natural materials, such as wooden poles and canvas fabric, and can be arranged in a variety of configurations to create a memorable event space and suit your guest numbers. Tipi marquees are ideal for outdoor events and provide a rustic and natural atmosphere that is both cozy and environmentally friendly.

Traditional Pole Marquee

Traditional Pole Marquee

Image: Abbas Marquees

Very similar to Sperry Tents, these marquees feature wooden poles and look very traditional in style, similar to a marquee you might find at a traditional garden fete. The difference between these and Sperry Tents is that these marquees use canvas as opposed to sailcloth material. These marquees are very popular and allow for all the sides to be clear, or out of the way providing lovely vistas across the scenery of your site.

Stretch Tent Marquee

Stretch Tent Marquee

Image: Stretch Tents Southwest

Stretch Tents are by nature marquees on poles that are stretch and held in place by tension. They are quite versatile in where they can be situated and they are particularly great for smaller spaces and for areas which might include hard standing - perhaps you need an area of your drinks reception covered, this could be ideal.

Frame/ Clearspan Marquee

Frame Clearspan Marquee

Image: Laura Dean

Another one of the most popular marquee types is a frame/ clearspan marquee. Clearspan marquees are constructed using a metal framework that supports the tent's roof and walls. Unlike traditional pole marquees, which rely on a series of poles and guy ropes to create tension and support the roof, clearspan marquees are designed to be self-supporting. This means that the interior space of the tent is completely clear of any poles or obstructions, allowing for maximum flexibility in terms of layout and design. One of the main benefits of clearspan marquees is their flexibility. They can be customised to fit a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be erected on a range of surfaces, including grass or hard standing.

These marquees are particularly good if you are tight on space and can't allow for the guy ropes of Sperry Tents or Traditional Tents. You can also choose if you want to have the ceiling covered in draping or opt for a clear roof allowing you views of the sky and allowing more light into the marquee.



Building a marquee is just the start and there are lots of other aspects to be considered.

When you build a marquee, often at home, you are essentially creating your own wedding venue which requires all the facilities that you would take for granted usually - such as toilets, power, water access and much more. Here are a few things to think about - any good marquee company will help guide you through the process ensuring that all these things are considered, or you can hire a wedding planner who can help you locate your marquee in your garden based on the best location for all these additional elements to be considered.

  • CATERING MARQUEE Alongside your marquee you will require a catering marquee where your caterers will work out of and prepare the food. This is often 6m x 3m or larger and usually houses ovens, hot water boilers and areas for food preparations.

  • POWER You will need power on site to provide electricity for the catering marquee, to power any DJ or band that you have hired, as well as lighting in the marquee or outside. You will need a generator and usually your marquee provider will include one of these on your quote.

  • WATER Caterers will need access to water for some of their food preparation, this is often just to wash hands and doesn't always have to be drinking water. Usually a hose can be run from a nearby tap but if you are in a field with no running water, fear not, there are companies that can hire out water bowsers.

  • TOILETS You probably won't want guests using your house toilet facilities so you'll need to look to hire external toilets. You can get event toilets that are easily positioned onto site. If you are looking for something more aesthetically pleasing then consider hiring Shepherd Hut toilets which look great and do offer the option of being plumbed in to any existing septic tanks if you have one.

  • LIGHTING Wherever you are siting your marquee, make sure you consider if you need additional lighting to help illuminate any pathways, steps and access to where guests enter and exit. You'll want to avoid any accidents and trips and make sure that guests can move around the site safely.

  • REFUSE Events create lots of rubbish, whether its the cardboard boxes from all that wine you've ordered, food waste, or empty bottles. To avoid having to arrange any clear up after the event yourself, hire a company to provide recyling and refuse bins that will be collected post event.

  • HEATING AND COOLING Depending on the time of year you are hosting your event, make sure you consider whether you need any heaters to warm up you and your guests in the evening, or likewise, air conditioning to cool down. You'll also need to think about when you place important items such as florals and cakes in your marquee as these structures can warm up very quickly and you don't want wilted petals or melting cakes! Also big tip - don't lay out any of your stationery such as on the day menu's, place cards or table numbers, the night before as these tend to curl with moisture, always place out stationery on the day of the event.

  • PARKING You'll need to think about where your guests and suppliers are going to park. Maybe you are arranging taxi shuttles or minibuses for guests to arrive at your site, but you'll still need an area closeby for suppliers to park. If you have guests parking on site, think about whether you want parking attendants to help guide where the cars should go and if you want to go all out - you could even arrange valet parking.

  • REFRIGERATION It's hopefully going to be a wonderfully sunny hot day for your event and your caterers are going to need an area to keep food and drinks cool. You'll need to ensure you hire a fridge trailer that usually sits next to the catering marquee for easy access.


Hope that was a helpful guide to planning a marquee wedding and provided an insight into a few things to consider when hosting a marquee event. We specialise in hosting marquees for clients and if you would like to find out more about our Marquee Management, or Full Wedding or Event Planning then click the link below.


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