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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

Marquee weddings vs. beach weddings - Which is right for you?

Updated: Feb 27

Traditional weddings, destination weddings, DIY weddings, vintage weddings, elopement weddings, even surprise weddings are a thing! With so many different types of wedding to choose from it can be hard to decide which is right for you.

Two of the most popular options are marquee weddings and beach weddings. So, in this article we’re going to put them head to head. We'll weigh up the pros and cons of saying ‘I do’ on the sand versus under the canvas.

Video credit - Wills Marquees

Marquee Weddings

Since the pandemic, we’ve all learned to embrace the great outdoors. According to Clockwork Marketing’s Wedding Trends Report 2022-23, 55% of engaged couples now want to tie the knot outdoors with a garden reception. Marquees are a big part of the al fresco wedding. They offer a fantastic option for keeping guests dry in a downpour, while making the most of the natural surroundings.

Perhaps we’re a little biassed when it comes to Marquee weddings, but we know they’re perfect for couples who want a versatile and bespoke wedding venue. Marquees can be set up in a variety of locations, from beautifully landscaped gardens to wildflower meadows. They are a blank canvas on which you can paint your own unique style and adapt to your specific needs and budget. Marquees are also weatherproof. So, you don't have to worry about the unpredictable great British weather dampening your spirits on your wedding day.

Well then, without further I do…sorry, ado, here are some of the pros and cons of marquee weddings.

Pros of a marquee wedding

  • Marquees can be set up in a variety of locations. This makes them a versatile option. Perfect for couples who want to get married in a unique or off-the-beaten-path location

  • You can customise your marquee to fit your specific needs and budget. You can choose the size, shape, and style of your marquee, as well as the flooring, lighting, and decorations. Hint - pole and canvas marquees bring an extra special timeless elegance to your big day

  • Marquees are weatherproof and often have clear and/or detachable walls. So, rain or shine, you and your guests can relax and enjoy the outdoors without getting wet

  • Marquees offer lots of bright airy space to accommodate as many guests as you like. With plenty of room for dancing and other wedding activities

  • Usually marquees are available for a longer rental period than venues. Giving your suppliers plenty of time to work their magic beforehand, and giving you the option to keep the party going

To large Peacock and Bow marquees setup to overlook a lake in Italy.
Photo credit - Wills Marquees

Cons of a marquee wedding

  • Marquee weddings can be more expensive than beach weddings. especially if you choose a large marquee or add on extra features

  • While the customisation options are a pro, they can also become a con. Couples can become overwhelmed by the choices and decisions required to create the desired look and feel

  • Unlike beaches, marquee weddings need a suitable space to set up the structure. This might limit the venue options to places with ample land and accessibility

  • The set up and logistics of a marquee wedding can be complex and time-consuming. Coordinating vendors, ensuring proper electricity supply, and handling last-minute changes can be a lot. We’re more than aware of this at Peacock and Bow and always go the extra mile to make your wedding experience as stress free as possible

Beach Weddings

Beach weddings are a great option for couples who want a unique and romantic wedding. And thanks to the relaxed outdoor wedding ceremony laws, you don't even have to jet off abroad to have one. With about 1500 beaches across the UK, there’s plenty of choice right here.

Beaches offer a stunning natural backdrop for a relaxed laid back wedding. Here are some of the pros and cons of beach weddings.

Pros of beach weddings

  • A beach wedding is a unique and unforgettable experience. The natural beauty of the beach is a fitting location for your ceremony and reception

  • The beach is a romantic setting, making it the perfect place to exchange vows. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore and a stunning sunset can create a magical atmosphere

  • Beach weddings can be flexible when it comes to timing and weather. You can have your ceremony and reception at any time of day. Depending on the location, you can celebrate in the sun at any time of year

  • Instant honeymoon! If you have gone for a beach wedding in your dream destination, you can start relaxing as soon as the reception is over

Cons of beach weddings

  • The weather is always a factor to consider when planning a beach wedding. If it rains or storms, you may have to move your ceremony or reception indoors

  • Beaches can be difficult to access. If you have guests with mobility issues, you will need to consider this

  • Beach weddings can come with a lot of admin. You will need to coordinate with vendors to transport equipment and supplies to the beach, and you may need to rent portable toilets

  • Not all beaches are private. If you choose to have your wedding on a public beach, prepare to share your magic moments with other sun worshippers

A couple getting married on a beach as a woman in a swimsuit looks on.
Photo credit -

Marquee or beach wedding, what's it to be?

The best choice for you will depend on your individual preferences and budget. If you're looking for a laid back, casual theme a beach wedding may be the perfect choice. If you're looking for more flexibility and a unique and unforgettable wedding experience, a marquee wedding may be a better fit.

Here are some more factors to consider when making your decision.

  • Your budget - Some beach weddings can be more expensive than marquee weddings. Especially if you're planning a destination wedding

  • Your guest list - If you’re inviting a lot of guests, you may need to choose a larger marquee or a beach that can accommodate everyone

  • Your wedding date - Beach weddings are more popular during the summer months, so you’ll need to book your venue well in advance

  • Your personal preferences - Consider your personal style and preferences when making your decision. Do you prefer a more natural or a more formal setting? Do you want to be able to dance the night away or do you want a more intimate gathering?

Have your wedding cake and eat it with Peacock and Bow

If you really can't choose, why not have both? A marquee beach wedding is uniquely special and will make your big day a spectacular experience.

With a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee you can make the most of the sea views whatever the weather thanks to the clear panoramic walls. You can decorate your marquee in line with a beach theme. Think bunting, deck chairs, and table plans on surfboards. You can also rest assured that your marquee is secure and guests will remain cosy and dry should the wind and rain pick up.

Light filters through the canopy of a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee, which is decorated with pink and green bunting.

With careful planning, you can have a beautiful and memorable wedding, no matter where you choose to celebrate. If you'd like to chat about hiring one of our pole and canvas marquees for your beach wedding, please do get in touch.


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