Every wedding reception venue is different but decorating a marquee can be particularly challenging. Marquees can look a bit empty and flat until the tables are laid, the flowers and the props are in position and your wedding guests are present in their finery. So we asked Lindsey Hunter from wedding planners Get Knotted to share her styling tips so you can make the most of your marquee…
Create extra height
Marquees can be quite high, so think about creating height and drama with your table decorations to give the illusion of a lower ceiling. Combine high and low arrangements to add interest and keep the taller displays thin so guests can still talk across the table. Also think about hanging decorations from the ceiling, which will help to draw the eye upwards. We love the floral idea, above – perfect for a summer celebration.
Some marquees come with a floor, some don’t. Depending on the time of year, a grass floor can help to add texture. In cooler months, carpet can add a pop of colour and make your reception space feel warmer and more luxurious. Black and white floors also work well for a dramatic look.
Lighting flares outside the entrance to your marquee will create a special warmth when your guests depart. Lanterns are great for creating pathways from your marquee to other parts of your venue or the car parks. If you want to add some softer lighting outside for your guests to enjoy some fresh air, place tea lights in jam jars and hang them from tree branches.
DIY bar areas
Personalise the bar area in your marquee by making it yourself. Customise it with your wedding colours and stamp your names and wedding date on the bar to really make it your own. You could even serve your own signature cocktails to complete the personalised look!
Pretty up the ceiling with ceiling circles made of driftwood and willow. These can be made up of large colourful flowers such as hydrangeas and finished off with greenery and lots of small fairylights. For something more unique, create unusual, rustic candelabra, which can be suspended from a marquee ceiling at different heights.
Lighting is really important in a marquee. Most come with uplighters but to create the atmosphere you desire, adding your own lighting is key. We love fairylights placed over the dance floor or added to the whole ceiling, creating a delicate twinkling effect – very romantic.
If you’re having a band, consider different types of backdrop. Fairylights running vertically down the walls behind them is a popular choice. However, with the trend for rustic weddings on the up, a quirky backdrop made from driftwood and other up-cycled items interwoven with fairylights would look just as stunning.
Add a chill-out area to your marquee where your guests can relax. This is really where you can put your own stamp on the styling. Contemporary sofas and chairs illuminated with tiny lights will look spectacular. For a vintage look, select some mismatched furniture from local auctions. These can be sold after the wedding, too, recouping some of your costs.
Cute chair backs
If chair covers aren’t your thing, hire some plain white chairs and customise them yourself with ribbons, handmade cushions or bunting to match your wedding theme. You could also hang your DIY wedding favours or wedding signs on the back for a quirky twist.