A Guide to Wedding Marquee Types

Firstly, congratulations on your engagement, and now the fun starts with all the planning for your big day! With a vast array of venues available for your wedding, marquees are a great option offering flexibility and allowing you to dress the venue to suit your wedding style.  However, where do you start – with so many types of marquees available, here is a simple guide.

Clear Span Marquee

These open framed structures have no poles causing obstructions inside. They can fit into tight spaces, as there are no guy ropes, and can be erected on almost any surface.  You can have clear roofs, ends and sides bringing the outside in - great if you have a stunning location. 

They have integrated lighting, aircon and heating - perfect for all year round.  You can section them off into smaller areas to create some private space - may be a bar or a dining and dancing area. 

They are perfect for large weddings, and as a blank canvas, you can go wild with your décor inside! 

Traditional Marquee

These are canvas with wooden poles inside, creating lovely high ceilings.  They are typically erected with guy ropes, pegged to the ground, meaning they will not work on a solid surface.

The sides can be rolled up in good weather but may not be wind and waterproof so possibly not suitable for a winter wedding!

They create a lovely romantic feel to your day and are perfect for a vintage, rustic, country themed wedding.  You could even make a feature of the poles with some stunning floral décor.

Oriental Canopy

These are also called ‘Chinese hats’ and their look is really unique, with curved and pointed roofs.  They are erected with poles at each of the corners so no obstructions inside. 

They can stand alone or be joined together to create a long structure. You can also add sides to create a cosy feeling. 

They are ideal for smaller gatherings, garden parties, chill-out areas or just as an entrance to your main marquee.

Sperry Tent

Also known as sailcloth tents, because the canopies are made from genuine sail cloths.  They have a stunning high-top roof giving lots of light and height to your venue.

The material is unique and gives a gorgeous light, natural look in the daytime and a glow in the evening.

These are perfect for garden parties in the summer and can create some unique shade areas.  They don’t always come with sides, so you would need to consider the weather!


These are cone-shaped tents that have smoke flaps at the top.  They are erected on a tripod structure with lots of exposed beams.

You can have open or closed sides and add doors.  They are made from a hardy material so can withstand the good old British weather!  You can also link several together to make a larger structure.

These suit boho or festival themed weddings and if you add in some firepits you can create a really cosy atmosphere. 

Bedouin or Indian Tent

These are a frame or traditional pole design, which means there are no obstructions inside the tent.  They are well suited for all types of weather.

They provide a warm and cosy ambience in the winter.  Although the inside can be quite dark so they may be more suitable for an evening wedding.

They are gorgeous as some come with colourful fabrics and trimmings, making them suited to an Arabian or Indian themed wedding.


These are traditionally circular in shape and have a hole in the roof for a chimney.  They have wooden latticework walls, making it look unique, and there are no poles making it a flexible space. 

They can be joined together to make a larger structure and will evoke a wow from your guests.  They are completely weatherproof, so perfect all year round. 

Capri Marquee

These are erected with internal poles to lift the roof up, which can be at quirky angles so can add a unique twist to your day.

They have open sides with curved openings so look unique.  They are perfect for hot weather and to provide shelter from the rain.  They are typically better for drinks receptions rather than a sit-down breakfast.

Dome Marquee

These are designed with a geometric structure adding a quirky detail to your day.  They have high ceilings and can be joined together to make a larger structure.  They have no internal poles making it a flexible space.  They can be made with hardy material so are fully weatherproof

Hopefully, this simple guide will help you to decide on the right marquee for your big day. If you need any further inspiration or any help, then please contact us.

Published on: 21 October 2019

Tipi Wedding