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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

How much planning and organisation goes into a marquee wedding, really?

Updated: Apr 17

Marquee weddings are special and unique because they allow you to create your own wedding space exactly as you want it, reflecting your style, personality and love story.

These days there are lots of stylish options available when it comes to wedding marquees. You can choose from traditional pole and canvas marquees, clear span marquees, tipis and yurts. We'd be lying if we said there aren't lots of considerations and planning involved, but if you love a good project, organising a marquee wedding is definitely for you.

Traditional pole and canvas marquees are not only our bread and butter, they were also our choice for our own wedding and we couldn't have wished for a more elegant and quintessentially English country garden wedding. But, heres a truth bomb; There is more work involved when you choose a marquee wedding over a traditional venue and it isn't always the cheaper option. If you're not a natural organiser don't be put off. In this article we're going to go through everything that's involved in planning a marquee wedding so you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

Find the site for your marquee wedding

Some venues allow you to have a marquee in their grounds and use the main house or onsite chapel for your ceremony. Others hire their grounds only, with the building providing a stunning backdrop. In these cases, ceremony tents can be added to your marquee hire package for a blessing or the marriage itself if the venue is an approved premises (but that's a whole other blog post).

Some venues have their own onsite structures, saving you the job of finding your own marquee supplier, but also narrowing your choice of the type of marquee you would like.

Perhaps you're considering a marquee wedding because you want to hold your celebrations at the family home or other private land. This is a wonderful idea and can make your marquee wedding that much more personal and memorable. Do remember however, the disruption won't be confined to one day, there will be activity for at least a week before and maybe a couple of days after, so any residents must be thoroughly prepped and placated.

A bride walks alongside a Peacock and Bow wedding marquee set up in the garden of a family home.

Think about the practicalities of holding a marquee wedding

This is especially important if you're having a marquee wedding at home. Unless you're Beyoncé and Jay Z you won't have a venue's setup and facilities to accommodate big events. You will need to think about;

  • Access for guests and suppliers

  • Parking

  • Bathrooms

  • Power supply

  • Nearby accommodation

  • Water supply

  • Waste disposal

Luckily, our weekly blog, Under the Canopy, deals with most of these issues in depth and we're always on the end of the phone to advise.

Design your marquee space

There's a marquee design for every style of wedding. If you're having an elegant timeless theme you can choose luxurious carpet in a colour of your choice and seat your guests at round tables. If a boujee festival style wedding is more your thing, you can opt for coir matting marquee flooring and impactful trestle tables for those communal vibes.

As well as seating and flooring, you can design your lighting and decor including eye catching aerial floral displays. Here at Peacock and Bow we provide flower rings for your florist to dress with stunning blooms of your choice, plus any other hanging equipment that's needed for you to fill the canopy space with your dream decor.

You will also need to plan a marquee layout that would include the stage, dance floor, bars, entrances, walkways, chill out areas and spill out areas. Consider whether the layout will be dynamic, as in certain areas may change function throughout the day and evening.

Florists install a huge spherical floral display inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee.

Think about the details that make your marquee wedding come to life

It's the little details that add personality to a wedding and make it really memorable so make sure you give yourself the headspace to be creative. Think about how you can put your own twist on things like wedding favours, games, photo booths, signage and stationary. Paying attention to these seemingly smaller aspects can really elevate your wedding and make it unique.

Hire a marquee for your wedding

When searching for a marquee hire company, do your research, look at google reviews, ask friends and family for recommendations, look at the companies' social media to see if they can provide the look and feel you're hoping to achieve.

A site visit is essential, if a marquee hire company doesn't offer this consider it a red flag. Some hire companies charge for a site visit, we don't. We insist on carrying out a site visit before we commit to a job, it's our one non-negotiable.

When you receive your quote ensure you understand exactly where your money is going. Here at Peacock and Bow we prefer to be as transparent as possible about why we charge what we do and we're always happy to clarify anything that may seem unclear.

Get your marquee wedding suppliers to work together

Make sure your florist, caterer, marquee hire company, entertainment and venue (if applicable) are all able and willing to work together, eliminating the need for you to be the go between. Experienced and well reputed suppliers should be used to working alongside other suppliers, communicating clearly and knowing how to make it all happen as seamlessly as possible. Peacock and Bow are well known and highly regarded in the wedding industry. We have worked with some of the best in the business, we can put you in touch with professionals who share ours and your values and who will go the extra mile to make your dream day a reality.

A wedding planner checks the table settings inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee.

Get your marquee wedding planning dream team assembled

A wedding planner can seriously take the pressure off when it comes to planning and organising a marquee wedding. They've got the experience and the knowledge to ask the right questions and handle any hiccups. However, planners aren't right for everybody, so if you're more comfortable running the show yourself then we applaud you. Just make sure you have a robust schedule that all the main players have access to. Plan for someone other than you to be the go to person on the day, appoint your lead supplier, the venue manager or a reliable friend to handle any questions and oversee things on the day making sure everything is moving along at the right pace and freeing you up to relax, enjoy yourself and your new partner and the wonderful celebration you've worked so hard to put together.

A bride wearing heart shaped sunglasses gives peace signs while standing outside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee.

Hopefully this blog has made you feel a little more confident about planning and organising your marquee wedding. If it's had the opposite effect and you're feeling totally overwhelmed, just remember that with the right planning anything is possible. And you don't have to do it all yourself, you can and must ask for or hire help.

If you choose Peacock and Bow, we're always available to answer any questions you might have about planning your marquee wedding and we do everything we can throughout the process to make the experience as stress free and enjoyable as possible. We also offer on the day support for anything marquee related. If you're considering a pole and canvas marquee wedding, get in touch today and find out why we're the right choice for your beautifully orchestrated celebration.

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