Tags: Norfolk

Marquee magic

21 Jun 2011

Marquee magic

The village green, mum and dad’s back garden, a sports field, the grounds of a stately home; these are just a few places that can be transformed into the venue of your dreams with a marquee wedding.

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Image gallery

The versatility and exclusivity of a marquee wedding has made it an increasingly popular option, with the flexibility to hold your reception where you want it and customise the day to your requirements.

To help you decide if a marquee wedding is for you, the experts at Classic Event Marquees have answered some questions that they are commonly asked by couples.

Why a marquee?

The flexibility to have your reception where you want it is a big attraction, and the size can be easily changed to accommodate the amount of guests. You can even colour coordinate everything with the vast choice of colour options within a marquee.

It also gives you complete control and exclusivity for your wedding reception – there’s no chance of meeting another bridal party at the bar.

What is included in the hire

of a marquee?

Marquee companies work in different ways. Some price each individual piece of equipment and others quote a complete package price.

As a company we offer a package price to include everything from linings, floor covering and lighting, to furniture and dance floor. We also offer a list of optional extras.

The client must check with their marquee supplier to make sure they have everything they need before paying a deposit.

What should you consider when deciding on the venue for a marquee?

Ideally the area needs to be fairly level. If on grass, the shorter the grass the better the finish on the floor covering. If the ground is uneven a solid wood or suspended floor can be laid to ensure a perfectly level surface.

Consider access for vehicles to get to the site and whether there’s ample parking. Don’t forget to allow an area for the generator and toilets, too.

How long does it take to set up and take down?

Time varies depending on the size, but generally it takes a day to complete an installation and about half that time to dismantle and clear everything away.

If you’re having a solid wood or suspended floor, this will take longer.

What are the size options?

There is a marquee to suit every wedding, whether you are having 10 guests or 1,000. Marquees come in various widths to suit the space available – 6m wide for narrow gardens going up to 15m for large areas. These can be as long as is needed.

Are marquee weddings only suitable in the summer?

Even though marquees are nicer in the summer, they can be used all year round with the addition of heaters and solid entrance doors to keep the heat in.

One thing to remember if you’re having a winter wedding is that although the marquee will be warm, it can be very cold outside when your guests need to use the toilets. Ideally these need to be as close to the marquee as possible with a covered walkway. Outdoor heaters can be used around toilets and smoking areas if needed.

Likewise, in the height of summer you might want to consider air-conditioning units. Another option is to open the sides of the marquee to allow the air to circulate and give a nice outdoor feel.

What if it rains?

Rain is not normally a problem.

Top quality marquees do not leak, although problems sometimes occur if there is more than one structure with a gutter inbetween. Generally, gutters work well if installed correctly.

If rain is forecast, consider carefully where to site toilets and, if needed, leave some umbrellas by the door for your guests.

What are the lighting options?

There are a vast number of lighting options. Chandeliers can be used for main lighting, controlled from dimmer switches to allow a more subtle light for the evening.

Other choices include up-lighters which can have a coloured gel to produce a coloured effect up the walls, while LED lights can colour wash a complete wall.

What should be considered when planning the layout of a marquee?

The layout of a marquee is an important part of the planning process. The first consideration is where the entrance will be. On arrival in the marquee there should be somewhere to serve drinks, either a bar area or tables for guests to collect their drinks.

Adequate space should be allowed around tables for guests and catering staff to walk freely around the marquee.

There are many alternatives for creating separate areas, including screening off sections for catering and a reveal curtain to conceal the dance floor and band area during the meal. Screened areas can be used throughout the marquee to create different spaces, such as a crèche, bar and chill out areas with sofas.

Most companies will help with planning the layout. As a company we supply a suggested plan to our potential clients with the quotation.

Can the marquee be customised to fit in with the wedding theme?

Marquees can be customised in any way you want on the inside. Coloured roof overlays, walls, pelmet swags and carpet are available along with coloured lighting effects.

Florists can hang flowers around the marquee or even from the roof on chains. Various chairs are available to enhance the look of your marquee with a vast choice of coloured seat pads.

A nice way to complete the wow factor is to add chair covers with a coloured bow.

Additional advice

When looking for a marquee, ensure that the company meets you at the venue. Do not accept a quote over the telephone as you may not be getting what you want for your special day. We offer a site visit completely free and without obligation.

Ask to see photos, testimonials or if the company can take you to a marquee they have installed.

Double check your quotation to ensure everything is included. If you get more than one quotation, look carefully at each of them.

One quote may appear cheaper at first, but when you evaluate the specification it can differ widely from one company to another – it is probably cheaper for a reason.

Your wedding day is very special and you want your marquee to leave a lasting impression.

A good marquee company will be happy to spend time with you, listening to your requirements and making recommendations to ensure that your day is as special as you imagined.

For more information visit www.classicmarquees.com or call Classic Event Marquees on 01508 498083.

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