A lot has changed since the ‘good old days’ when the whole town turned out to see you get married in the local parish church, then a handful of family members walked back to your house for cucumber sandwiches and tea. Your honeymoon was a caravan in the country, your wedding car was Dad’s Morris Minor.
Weddings nowadays are an expression – a chance to show off, if you like. Expense is acknowledged with a flippant sniff while you’re out trying to do bigger and better than the next bride.
We trawl the country for the prettiest hotels and largest stately homes but I wonder, if we’re completely honest, how many of us would actually love to have enough land of our own on which to hold our bash. Posh and Becks did it at home – okay, they weren’t exactly frugal – but it saved them the expense of a venue at least.
The point is, joking aside, you can save money in the unlikeliest of places. For instance, is your local village hall/social club large enough to house your reception but a bit too grotty to consider? Do you or a family member have a barn that’s just crying out for a makeover? This is where a marquee company can help.
Take the picture (above right) for instance. This marquee looks fabulous, doesn’t it? Ivory pleated wall and roof linings; shiny wooden floor. Suitably lavish to house even the most particular of brides.
Well actually, it isn’t a marquee at all…. it’s a barn. This barn (pic below left), to be precise.
The good news is, most barns can be lined. Sheds without sides, however, will most probably require a marquee structure inside, as linings alone are no match for the elements. You don’t want side winds blowing your nice ivory walls into your mother-in-law’s tomato soup!
If this is an option you wish to pursue, contact a few marquee companies, ask for a site visit, compare the prices and listen to the advice they give. If the company representative sounds like he’s cutting corners, ditch him and go with someone else. Saving a few pounds is less important than avoiding a disaster on the day.
Fixtures and Fittings
While it’s unlikely that the owner of a barn is particularly bothered about a fixing here and there, if you’re hiring a hall/social club, remember to seek permission to have linings before you set your heart on it. Fixings will need putting in place: they will be drilled/screwed in, they may need to be attached to the wall or ceiling (see pic right). Before you get lumbered with a large bill from the venue, find out how the marquee company intend to attach the linings then discuss it with the venue provider. More often than not, they are happy to oblige but you never know.
Decorate at will.
When it comes to decorating your barn/hall, your options are almost endless. Read Interiors Part 1 on this blog for more ideas, or research marquee linings online.
Most importantly, use your imagination. Even if you are trying to cut down on cost, you don’t have to stick to the basics to be cheap. Somewhere near you, there’s probably a barn just screaming for a makeover!
Next Week: Interiors Part 2: furnishings.
by C.Bright www.gdhire.com