Image Credit: Kevin McGinn Photographer




With so many styling and décor options available, it’s no wonder marquee weddings have surged in popularity. Here, Tijan Biner speaks with Marcus Prentice from Feel Good Events about how to successfully host a wedding beneath the stars.

Image Credit: Euro Photography

As more couples choose to celebrate their nuptials in unconventional places, such as on a rural property, along the beach, or even in their own backyard, marquee weddings have become extremely popular. Prentice says he would even opt for a marquee over a traditional function venue if he were to wed again. “It creates a more relaxed atmosphere and can be decorated how you like,” he says. “To me, marquee weddings create a better connection between guests and are very important in creating a great event experience.”

While the idea may sound magical, planning a wedding in a marquee is much more difficult than at a customary wedding venue. “One of the possible downfalls to using a marquee for your wedding is that you have to think of absolutely everything,” Prentice says. “However, working with an experienced hire company can ensure the entire process is stress-free.”

The Perfect Fit

Marquees are available in all sorts, shapes and sizes, so it’s essential to have a few key details of your wedding locked in before you start shopping. The number of guests you intend on inviting, the style of your wedding, and the space available for your marquee will all contribute to the type of tent you choose.

It’s also important to consider what aspects of your wedding will be held in the marquee – will you host the entire evening in there, from pre-dinner drinks to the final dance? Or would you prefer to host canapés outside and invite guests inside the marquee for dinner? Before approaching a hire specialist, be sure to have these details confirmed to ensure you find a marquee that will complement the theme and concept of your wedding.

In terms of size, calculate your estimated requirements based on a square-metre-per-guest rule. If you’re hosting a sit-down soiree, Prentice says 1.2 square metres per guest will provide a

comfortable amount of space, while 0.75 square metres is ideal for a cocktail-style event. You must also consider any additional space needed for the dance floor, cake table, service bars, staging and lounging areas. Similarly, the size of your marquee will depend on your ideal table layout. Whether you prefer long rows of seating or individual tables, roughly map out a floor plan to show your marquee hire specialist. Prior to booking, the company will likely offer a site inspection to recommend a certain marquee and ensure it’s safe for installation.

Finally, along with the shape and size of the marquee, you’ll also have a variety of styles to choose from. From clear shelters to silk-lined
tents, each marquee can be personalised and customised to suit the theme of your wedding. Jump online to see how certain marquees have been styled or ask your supplier for photos from previous events to see which would best suit your wedding. While clear marquees are a little more expensive, they’ll require less styling as they create a wonderful ambience on their own.

Take The Hire Ground

Ensure you have dining tables and chairs accounted for if you’re opting for a sit-down dinner, or cocktail furniture for a stand-up reception. Tableware, such as plates, cutlery, glassware and napkins, must also be rented, as well as service bars and table décor. To ensure a seamless, stress-free planning process, Prentice recommends finding a supplier that can accommodate all your needs and requirements. Considered a one-stop shop for engaged couples, Feel Good Events offers a vast range of hireable goods. “[Everything from] table settings and cocktail furniture, to décor, draping, lighting and flowers can be organised, depending on your budget and wedding style,” he says. “We offer the whole service, so you only have to deal with one supplier and one invoice.”

Prentice also suggests hiring a few air-conditioning units if your nuptials will take place in the thick of

summer, or heaters if you’re hosting a mid-winter wedding. “Marquee weddings can still run smoothly if the weather is bad, just as long as the couple has planned for this,” he says. “If the key elements, such as heating, cooling, and being able to close the marquee, are considered, then you should have no problems. No matter how pretty your marquee looks, if you don’t cover these basic elements, then your wedding may not go how you want it to.”

Starry-Eyed And Stylish

With so many styling options available, marquee weddings give couples a chance to inject their own personality and flair into the space. “As marquees are a blank canvas, you can personalise the space in any way you want,” Prentice says. “Rustic-style weddings are still very popular and work well with marquees. Include festoon lights, wine barrels, and maybe some hay bales as a seating area out the front.”

Prentice also stresses the importance of proper lighting. “Lighting is a big aspect to consider, and it can work really well because most marquees are white,” he says. “Using correct mood lighting will ensure your marquee looks great inside and outside.”

Lastly, he advises couples to “do their homework” on the logistics behind planning a marquee wedding before making any decisions. “Look at every nitty-gritty aspect, as you may miss key things that could affect the outcome of your wedding,” he says.

From tent sizes to choosing the correct tableware, enlisting industry professionals when planning a marquee wedding is a must. After all of the planning, construction and styling is over, we can guarantee one thing – as you’re sitting among your nearest and dearest on your wedding night, gazing up at the stars above, with a glass of prosecco in hand, you’ll wonder why you considered anything other than a chic marquee in which to celebrate your love.