The Ultimate Wedding Marquee Planning Guide

If you are thinking of hosting your wedding reception at home, a wedding marquee is the obvious solution.  Having said that, whether or not you have sufficient space at home to create a unique celebration under canvas no longer needs to be the primary deciding factor.

Thanks to the popularity of outdoor weddings and in direct response to the fact that couples quite rightly demand a great deal more freedom and flexibility when it comes to designing their perfect day, many venues now offer space available to hire providing the perfect setting for a marquee wedding celebration.




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Wedding Marquee - Venue Choice

Whether you are fortunate enough to be able to host your marquee wedding at home or choose to do so within the grounds of a country house, or just a field hired for your exclusive use, you have the opportunity to create your dream day, your way.     

Ultimately, your choice of venue is important in determining the overall style and mood of your wedding and what makes a wedding day particularly memorable is the extent to which you personalise it.

A marquee gives you the opportunity to do just that. It is quite literally a blank canvas, beneath which you are able to design a truly bespoke experience for you and your wedding party, with very few restrictions.

Tipi Wedding Interior

Wedding Marquee - Organisational Commitments

However exciting the idea might seem, planning a marquee wedding requires considerably more organisational commitment and effort than a wedding in a conventional venue.  Alongside all the considerations you will need to make when selecting the ideal location for your marquee, you will need to decide upon the style of structure that is best for you.  

What will complement the style of wedding you are planning?  Do you want one BIG space or would you like to reveal the dancefloor after dinner? Have you got your hearts set on long or circular dining tables? Do you prefer carpet or coir matting?

Modern marquees come in various shapes and sizes. Simple or sophisticated, trendy or traditional.  There are so many options available, so please invest some time and do your research before requesting quotations.

Wedding Marquee - Essential Research

Do your groundwork.  Depending on the guest numbers you intend to invite to your wedding, you will need to ascertain that the site you are considering is large enough to accommodate the style of structure you have in mind.

Beside the actual marquee, which must have the capacity to provide adequate shelter for all of your guests throughout the entire day come rain or shine, you will undoubtedly need to factor in additional floor space for a catering tent or mobile kitchen and toilets.

Unless you are providing transport such as a coach or vintage bus to transfer guests from the ceremony to your marquee reception, vehicular access to the site and sufficient parking for everyone also need to be prioritised, as well as the provision of power, water and on-site security.

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Wedding Marquee - Your Options

Choosing the best marquee option for you – whatever the occasion – is extremely important. Your choice needs to be the right one. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the different marquee options available;   

Clear Span, Aluminium Frame Marquees

Aluminium marquees are modular, which means they can be constructed to your own specification. Irrespective of the lay of the land and whether they need to be attached to a building, you may be amazed at what a reputable marquee company can do for you with your marquee hire.

With the options of window walls, transparent ceilings, twinkly roof linings, perfectly level flooring, a choice of linings, coloured lighting, decorative drapes and chandeliers, you have the ability to custom build a truly unique event space. Speaking of which, because a clear span marquee does not require central poles for support, you get to optimise every inch of floor space, with or without reveals exposing different areas at key points during your perfect day.

Traditional Wooden Pole And Canvas Marquees

Think of a quintessentially English afternoon tea party.  Traditional wooden pole marquees are typically handcrafted using natural materials such as canvas and wood, offering a beautiful space for a special celebration.

Requiring wooden poles for support, a traditional marquee has a cute, vintage feel. If you are dreaming of an English garden party style wedding where simplicity is the order of the day then a traditional wooden pole marquee is the perfect solution. With sides open or closed, you are able to choose your own layout based on the number of guests and your individual requirements.

Traditional Marquee


Do you dream of an outdoorsy wedding with a cool festival vibe? If so, a Yurt could be perfect for you. Originating from Central Asia, these cosy circular tents covered in natural canvas often come complete with charming features such as wood-burning stoves. Originally inhabited by nomads in Mongolia, the structure comprises an angled assembly of latticework constructed in pieces of steam-bent wood or ‘ribs’.

Yurt Wedding Reception


Beautifully rustic, a Tipi is a cone-shaped tent, traditionally made from animal skins attached to wooden poles.  However, modern Tipis usually have a canvass covering. Surprisingly durable and built to withstand the harshest weather, Tipis provide warmth in the Winter, often incorporating real fires to create a delightfully cosy atmosphere and are super cool during the Summer with their sides raised.  

Multiple tipis can be connected to allow you to create an incredibly versatile space, no matter what the size of your celebration. If you really want to wow your guests, whatever the weather, then a Tipi has to be the obvious choice.             

Choosing a marquee company isn’t a decision that should be entered into lightly.  At the end of the day, when all is said and done, you are entrusting a third party to BUILD your very own bespoke wedding venue;

  • Seek an experienced, professional company whose quality of service is backed up by recent reviews.     
  • Expect to be able to inspect the finished product at an open event or a wedding showcase.
  • Establish precisely what you can expect in terms of the provision of additional resources such as power installation, lighting, heating, furniture, a dance floor, bar and toilets.   
  • Beware of any suppliers who do not insist on carrying out a site survey before supplying a quotation.
  • Ensure you review the contract!

Tipi Wedding Exterior

Wedding Marquee - Invest In A Wedding Planner For Peace Of Mind


Ultimately, a marquee wedding gives you the opportunity to host a truly bespoke celebration which is reflective of who you are as a couple. Get it right and you are guaranteed to have the most memorable experience, the memory of which will undoubtedly be cherished by you and your guests for years to come.  

With so much to consider you would be wise to engage the support of an experienced, professional Wedding Planner to guide you through the process and anticipate the many pitfalls you might otherwise encounter.

Full Service Wedding Planning includes the venue search, enabling you to pin-point the perfect location, with confidence. It also ensures you engage the very best quality suppliers and furthermore, on the day I guarantee that your wedding will run perfectly, enabling you to relax and enjoy every moment in the knowledge that EVERYTHING is being taken care of.          

Your peace of mind is priceless.

WHD Testimonials_Steve And Caroline

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About The Author

Helen Davies

Helen Davies plans weddings. That’s it. Nothing else. No distractions. Nothing to steal her focus. No kidding herself she can be good at EVERYTHING. She simply does her best to create the most unforgettable experience for you and your guests. But she doesn’t just plan weddings. She creates memories that will last a lifetime. Helen’s story is inspiring. Her enthusiasm is infectious. Her experience is unquestionable. Helen's mission is simply this; to help you to create your perfect day. Remarkably well. Connect with Helen on Social or schedule a call through the links on this page.

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