How to Organise a Marquee Wedding

So, you’ve decided you want a marquee wedding, but you have no idea where to even begin planning one!

Well don’t worry, here are some top tips to help you get started.

Theme & Marquee type

You need to have a theme for your day, once you know this you can select which marquee will fit and enhance the theme.  There are lots of different marquee types to choose from, if you are going for a country theme, then a traditional marquee is probably best, but if you want something more contemporary, then why not go with a tipi or even a yurt. Shop around to see what exists and speak to the suppliers, they’ll be able to advise you on what works best.

Now you’ve got your theme and marquee, what’s next?


Think about your location, how is your marquee going to be erected? Is it with guy ropes and tent pegs? If so, you will need plenty of space and the ground needs to be suitable.  If you’ve got amazing scenery, then think about clear sides, or roll up sides on your marquee to make the most of the view.


Do you need power and water for your marquee and your suppliers? Some suppliers will provide their own generators but may need water.  Some locations will provide power and water, if not then you may need to hire a generator and water supply. Don’t forget to check with your suppliers about what they need and what they will provide.


You don’t want your guests or suppliers to walk miles, from the parking to your marquee, and you don’t want them having to walk through loads of mud in all their finery!  Think about setting up walkways with matting or see if you can have a drop off area close to the marquee.


Have a plan B for bad weather!  Think about the layout in your marquee, if it’s raining is there enough space for all your guests to stand in the marquee for drinks before sitting down? Or do you need to have some additional space added on to your marquee?


Think about the flooring in and around your marquee.  You want to make sure your guests don’t get stuck in the mud! Or the inside of the marquee becoming soggy if it rains. Consider putting down hard flooring or matting inside and in major walkways. Your marquee supplier will provide this for you.


Not just the lighting inside your marquee but all your walkways, you don’t want your guests falling over because they can’t see! You could go with festoon lighting or shepherd’s hooks with lanterns.


You will need to hire toilets for your guests. Some portable units come with a couple of steps, so if you have any guests who are less mobile you will need to consider this.  Think about how your guests will get to the toilets, will they be connected to your marquee or will they need to go outside, so what walkways, if any, will you need? 


You will need somewhere for your guests to sit and eat; some marquee companies will also hire you all the furniture.  Ensure you have enough seats for everyone to be able to sit down. You could also think about having some seating outside (if the weather is nice!!)


When you hire a marquee, it is a blank canvas for you to decorate exactly how you want. What décor are you going to have, is it all floral or are you going to have some props, are you going to do it yourself or hire it in?


There are many catering choices for a marquee wedding. As well as a traditional sit-down dinner, you could consider alternatives such as BBQ, hog roast, street food carts to name a few.  How will your guests be served, will they help themselves or will they be served at their tables, will you require a covered walkway from the caterers to your guests? 

Bar Facilities

Your guests will probably need a drink! You could have drinks carts or a traditional bar structure, there are so many options. If a traditional bar, will this be separate or inside the main marquee?


When planning a marquee wedding you need to think about everything, as you are starting from scratch with a blank canvas - nothing is included like a traditional wedding venue!

It might be a good idea to hire a wedding planner to help you with all the important arrangements or perhaps just on-the-day of your wedding, to ensure that all your suppliers turn up on time and everything is set up before you arrive. This enables you and your guests to relax and enjoy the day you’ve dreamed of.

For on-the-day support, your planner will typically start working with you up to 6 weeks before your big day so will know how you want your day planned. 

Here at Onyx, we provide a range of services, so please get in touch at to see how we can help you.

Published on: 05 June 2019