Lighting up your Marquee Wedding

Pendant lights over a styled table.

With guest blogger, Steve Jarvis from Insight Audio Visual. 

Having a wedding reception in a marquee, in a stunning location, is a popular idea and can be extra special if the location is on a family property or a site with a special meaning to you both. The other great thing about marquee weddings is that they are a blank canvas where you get to choose every element.  Whether that be having the dance floor inside or outside the marquee or choosing the type of furniture you want – your choices truly are endless.

But one important, and often overlooked, factor for marquee weddings is lighting and how you use lighting to your advantage – from both the practical and styled perspectives.

Here are Steve’s 3 top tips for lighting a marquee for your upcoming wedding.


Light the space so you’re not in the dark

The first and most important use for lighting is to be able to see, so everyone can catch the most important moments of your special day. The best way to do this is with string lights, or fairy lights which are very popular too. These are super versatile and stringing them through the ceiling of the marquee can make it look like you are under the stars later in the evening – how romantic! It is also important to be able to dim fairy lights so you can create the perfect ambiance as the sun goes down. If you are looking to improve lighting in or outside your marquee, another popular option is festoon lighting. Using these is a great way to create an outside space, expanding your marquee and offering a nice relaxing break away spot for your guests to mingle and chat or escape the band to catch their breath.

Tie lighting in with your styling

When planning your styling, remember to tie in your lighting design to create focal points or areas that guest’s eyes are immediately drawn too. A great way to do this is with pendant lights. These are a little more styled than fairy lights or festoons and can be combined with florals to create a centre point for your space. These work best over bars and the head table to create the beautiful and stylish look you desire. Another good way to create focal points is by using up lights, these are lights that can be pointed up at an object or wall from beneath creating a nice effect. They can also be used to light feature walls and come in all colours to create beautiful walls of light that tie in with your wedding day colour palette.

Create an amazing atmosphere that will be remembered

Finally, remember you are creating an atmosphere, the ‘thing’ that people will remember for years to come. Modern ways to do this include creating a fairy light tunnel or canopy – these are gorgeous and will make a real impact at your wedding. Fairy light canopies can be created for whole marquees or just for part of them. Combining fairy lights and icicle lights together will make you feel like you are in a magical place – how fitting for your wedding day. Or you could design something as simple a lovely lit path through trees or gardens leading to the marquee. This is not only practical for guiding your guests to where they need to go but also creates an atmosphere before they arrive to the marquee or as they depart later in the evening. Fairy lights dangling from trees with festoons guiding the way to car parks or toilets makes for a fun adventure for your guests too. Or, if you are wanting to create an atmosphere that is truly spectacular within your marquee space, consider hanging styled light bulbs over tables and combine them with your chosen florals or foliage to create a stunning hanging light effect.


By combining all three of these tips from practical to styled and atmosphere building, lighting can really take a marquee blank canvas from something functional to something to be remembered for a long time to come.

If you would like to discuss ideas or love some of the ideas here, get in touch with Steve at Insight Audio Visual so he can have at chat about designing the marquee lighting package of your dreams!

027 564 0974


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