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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

How to decorate your marquee using trees

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Marquees are a great way to host weddings, parties, and other special events. One of the main benefits is the incredible scope they give you for decoration ideas. The height, the plain white canvas and natural wood poles give you carte blanche to make the space your own.


One marquee decoration idea that we love is to use trees inside the marquee. Trees enhance the natural feel and elegance of our pole and canvas marquees. They fill the overhead area and help to define the space.


In this article we’ll delve into why trees are a great option for decorating your marquee, choosing the right trees for you and how to get your green fingers on some. We’ll also look at how to style your trees and what to do with them after the event. So, read on to find out how you can spruce up your marquee wedding or event with trees.

Inside a spacious Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee, lush tall trees flank the king poles. Rustic tables and wooden cross back chairs await the guests

Why trees?

If you’re planning a marquee wedding, it's simple, the tree is the perfect symbol for marriage. It’s got roots, it grows, it’s strong, some of them even blossom, you can’t ask for more than that! Even if you’re celebrating something other than a wedding, trees are a fitting choice, they have the power to symbolise, inspire and express our deepest feelings of love, gratitude and happiness.


They also look amazing. Trees can transform a space by adding drama, height, colour, texture and beauty. They blend seamlessly with the rustic canvas, wood, and rope materials of our pole and canvas marquees. Bringing the outdoors in and creating a magical atmosphere that's perfect for any event.


Choosing the right trees

Not only is there a tree for every event and every theme, but there’s a tree for every season too. Here are our suggestions for a seasonal display.


Spring

If you don't post an obligatory blossom appreciation pic on Instagram every spring then you’re in the minority. Most of us go crazy for blossom and brides, grooms, and nearlyweds are no exception. Blossom trees such as cherry, plum, apple and dogwood are breathtakingly fresh and full of symbolism.


Summer

Summer has an abundance of choice when it comes to seasonally appropriate tree selection. Popular tree options for summer include bay trees, orange or lemon trees, and wisteria (technically a vine 🤓). Olive trees are a stylish choice and they symbolise love. Or you can get your marquee French Riviera ready with bougainvillaea. Ficus or fig trees have beautifully distinctive leaves and bear the most fertile fruit (ooh er!), fern, bamboo, palm trees and eucalyptus trees bring tropical vibes.


Autumn

For Autumn it's got to be lots of colourful foliage. The Sweetgum tree is almost a no-brainer with its golden, copper and rust leaves, it's the epitome of the season.


Winter

Christmas trees obvs! But, if you’re worried your marquee-scape will look like a Bob Ross painting, you can always go for a birch, which we fully recommend. They look stunning next to the marquee’s king poles, which are at the highest parts of the canopy. Make sure the tree doesn’t exceed three metres otherwise it will be colliding with the canopy.


If it's a wedding you’re planning and you want to be a bit extra you could go for the beautiful Cornus Variegata aka Wedding Cake Tree! In fact, although you won’t get to show off how clever you’ve been in selecting such an aptly named species, this beautiful tiered tree with its cream flowers and black berries is perfect for any winter wonderland marquee celebration.

Festive fir trees surround a Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee. A coir matting walkway, lit with festoons on giant shepherd crooks, leads to the entrance where guests revel inside.

If you’d rather choose your trees according to symbolism instead of the seasons these are our picks.

  • Olive tree - symbolises love and peace and offer symmetry and a sense of design when placed either side of a portico entrance

  • Ficus trees - symbolises kindness and make a unique centrepiece

  • Wild pear tree - a symbol of happiness, this tree will bring much happiness in years to come to whoever takes this home after the big day. With its pretty white blossom in spring and its ripe fruit in late summer, it’s the gift that keeps on giving

  • Wild apple tree - symbolises good health and could be an appropriate choice for a milestone birthday

  • Silver birch tree - A symbol of new beginnings and protection. This tree makes a stunning statement piece and is fitting for weddings or coming of age celebrations.

  • Bay tree - symbolises strength and courage and has a classic topiary shape that can be embellished with roses or fairy lights

How to get hold of trees for your marquee decor

You can simply buy potted trees and some suppliers sell them in packs or mixes. Whether you do this depends on how many trees you require for your wedding or event, or how much land you have available to plant them afterwards.

Many garden centres and nurseries hire trees for weddings. Often though, the couple will decide to buy one or two of the trees to plant in their own garden to create a special spot to remember their special day.


Many wedding and event hire companies also hire out real trees as well as faux options, where real trees are adorned with silk blossom or autumn leaves. This means you can get the look you want without worrying about leaves and petals dropping off before your big day.


How to incorporate trees into your marquee decor

It’s probably quite difficult to get it wrong when it comes to trees in marquees, they are just such a perfect pairing. But, if you want a bit of guidance, here are our favourite ways to integrate trees into your marquee decor.


  • Flank the entrance - Positioning trees on either side of the marquee entrance frames the doorway and creates a beautiful visual effect. It not only defines a grand entrance for you and your guests but also provides a clear gateway between the outside world and the fun and magic that lies within the marquee. For entrance trees make sure they don't exceed two metres in height and secure them with stakes to keep them away from the canvas and in place all day and night.

A coir matting walkway, lit with festoons on giant shepherd crooks, leads to the inviting glow of a Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee, lush tall trees flank the doorway.

  • Create an aisle - A wedding aisle lined with trees is a beautiful sight. This can work whether your ceremony is inside the marquee or outside. Simply position a tree at the end of every third seating row to create the best walkway you will ever sashay down

  • At the altar - Another idea for weddings is to place trees behind and at either side of the area where the couple will say their vows, exchange rings, get matching tattoos or whatever other ritual they have decided on to make it official. This can also work on a stage for a presentation or price giving event

  • Make a statement - You can create an eye catching installation by positioning tall trees, such as silver birch trees, in the centre of the marquee, on either side of the king poles. Make sure they don’t exceed three metres

Under the majestic canopy of a Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee, lush tall trees flank the king poles. Wooden cross back chairs line long tables beautifully dressed with linen & giant candelabras.
Photo credit - Kate Lowe Photography

  • Stunning centrepiece - Arrange your trees on your tables to work as rustic centrepieces


Inside a Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee, wooden cross back chairs line long wooden tables dressed with potted plants and olive trees, perfect for a rustic celebration.

  • Create your own avenue - Achieve a sense of grandeur as your guests arrive by using trees to line the walkway leading up to the marquee.

An elegant Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee. Sunlight streams through the cloudy sky casting shadows on the coir matting tree lined entrance walkway.

How to decorate trees

If you want to add a bit of extra zhuzh (zhoosh? Jeuje?) to your trees, they can be strung with garlands of flowers, draped in tulle and tied with ribbon. Or, and this is our favourite option, you can leave them unadorned for a fresh, natural look. A happy medium would be to add strings of tiny lights entwined in branches for a magical effect as the sun goes down and the marquee takes on its iconic glow.


What to do with the trees after the big day

The best news when it comes to using trees to decorate your marquee is that it is a completely sustainable option. If you have hired real or faux trees, they will be collected by the supplier and will go on to embellish many a wedding or party to come. When they grow too big for their pots, most suppliers plant them to then be used for larger installations such as outdoor festivals. If you have bought your trees you can plant them in your own garden or gift them to your wedding party as a meaningful and long lasting thank you.


A vibrant tall tree adorned with colourful fabric, contrasts against the white peaks of a Peacock & Bow pole & canvas wedding marquee, and compliments the blue sky, adding beauty to the surroundings

So, there you have it. Decorating your pole and canvas marquee with trees is sure to turn your event into an unforgettable arboretum of joy. Trees are not only visually stunning but they’re an environmentally conscious decor choice too, making your celebration all the more special.


If you have a woodland vision you want to bring to life, get in touch with us today to find out if our pole and canvas marquees could provide the gorgeous glade you’re looking for.


Happy marquee decorating, and may your celebrations be lush 🌳🌲🎉


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