How to Plan a Marquee Wedding

Marquee set up at wedding.

Marquee set up at Five Acre Farm.
Photo: Sarah Rowlands

When you choose a marquee wedding, you are essentially starting with a completely blank canvas – allowing you to put your own unique stamp on things. It’s the ideal way of turning the family farm, backyard or stunning off-the-beaten-track spot into your perfect wedding venue. Coupled with the impact Covid-19 has had on wedding venues and restrictions over the past 18 months and more couples wanting to create a wedding day that is unlike any other, the demand for marquee weddings is on the rise.

Getting married in that special spot close to your hearts and having the freedom to do as you please are amazing draw cards for a marquee wedding; but however romantic the notion may be, there are a number of complexities and complications to take into careful consideration before you commit to pitching your venue. We have complied our top 5 things to consider when planning your marquee wedding to help you with the process.

Hire a wedding planner

Planning a marquee wedding requires a lot of logistics, preparation and forward thinking. Take a huge weight off your shoulders by employing a trusted and capable wedding planner. They do this for a living after all, and are aware of all the essentials an event like this requires.

A wedding planner can save you huge amounts of time and effort, help you stick to a budget and use their vast experience to make sure none of the crucial details are forgotten. You can also relax on the day knowing that your planner is there on the day offering an extra pair of hands to ensure all your meticulous planning comes together flawlessly on the day.

When and where to have a marquee wedding

Of course the most popular time for weddings is generally in the warmer months, however you are not limited to just spring and summer when booking a marquee. Marquees are still a viable option in the cooler months as long as you factor in heating and adequate lighting. The addition of flooring will help retain heat and reduce the likelihood of the ground being turned into a mud pit when the dance floor opens.

Opt for a marquee with roll-up or removeable sides during the peak of summer, you do not want a hot-house for yourself and your guests. Creating air flow is very important for a comfortable experience. If you are planning to pitch a clear marquee, looking for a company that offers UV protection ceiling panels and a shade cloth to keep the space a little cooler before guests move in to the marquee.

Choosing your site is equally important. Ensure your ground is level and easily accessible and you are as sheltered as possible from the prevailing wind – your marquee company will have suggestions to help here too. Utilise your view (if you have one) and think about how to use the space to your advantage.

Know the Essentials

Marquee weddings generally lack the infrastructure that typical venues provide – notably water and power. Knowing whether there is access to water and electricity at your chosen site (and knowing if it’s sufficient for suppliers to be able to access and use) is one of the most important things you need to establish when first planning a marquee wedding.

Some of the other important essentials to consider include checking if you need to arrange a building consent exemption, designing a lighting plan for the site; knowing where your guests and service staff can park their vehicles; creating a site-map for service staff and guests to view before arriving at your wedding, and the of securing the site in the days leading up to and during the event.

Choosing the right size and style of marquee

There are many highly reputable marquee companies available to us locally and nationwide with varying sizes and styles available. First think about the desired look you are after – traditional silked ceilings, a stretched tepee, light and airy sail-like tents or even a crystal-clear glasshouse-esque conservatory. Whichever style you end up choosing, it is important to get the right size. You will need to ensure there is enough room for your guests to be seated for dinner, dance floor space, allow space for a bar and also have enough room to cater as a wet-weather option for your ceremony. Talking with your selected marquee supplier about these requirements will help you make informed decisions and is a must before agreeing upon a marquee.

Toilets and Service Areas

Hiring adequate toilets and service areas is a necessity. It is important to make sure you have enough to cater for your guests and service staff while thinking carefully about where to put them on your site. They need to be easily accessed and well lit, but of course discrete as not to spoil your carefully composed view.


Book your first consultation

While these five points are high on the planning list for marquee weddings, there are many more important areas to consider while planning your wedding. To chat about these further or if you have any questions about wedding planning and co-ordination for a marquee wedding, click here to contact us today for a consultation and leave with a clear idea of planning your marquee wedding and our full marquee planning checklist to get you underway.

Back to top