As I said in my first blog, selecting the right venue is not such an easy task.
There are so many things to take into account, not least your budget.
What do you want? What does your fiance want? What do your families recommend? What horror stories have your heard about other peoples’ weddings? There are bound to be a few!
Then of course, you need to think about the weather because, while we all dream of brilliant sunshine and a light breeze dashing across the grass, we know the British climate well enough not to count our chickens. There’s every chance your April wedding pics will be snapped in 6 inches of snow. And it’s just your luck that while your guests sit down to their fillet of beef, hubby and the chaffeur are busy digging an exit for the Rolls.
Marquee Wedding: Tip 1
So there we are, Tip 1, select a venue within easy distance from where you exchange your vows. Civil weddings make the whole thing much easier and in many cases keep everything under one roof. Unfortunately, in this country currently you cannot exchange vows in a marquee but that doesn’t mean you can’t get married at an estate chapel then hold your reception right outside.
Marquee Wedding: Tip 2.
Stately homes are very beautiful but, in the most part, very expensive. Some are also limited by Health and Safety laws, Estate guardians and owners, Trusts etc as to the numbers they can accommodate, others may not hold receptions internally at all. Therefore many offer a space in their grounds on which to site a marquee. (Picture above-right.)
This arrangement is perfect. Not only do you have the opportunity to celebrate your wedding in such fabulous surroundings, you’re not confined by traditional interiors. Your marquee can be as retro or as modern as you please.
Marquee Wedding: Tip 3
If you’re planning a marquee wedding, you have to think about the site carefully.
First of all, is it flat? Tarmac and short grass are ideal for siting a marquee. Flooring will lie flat and you won’t have to pay additional costs for companies to level out the ground. This also throws up the possibility of not having to spend out on flooring at all – why not be au naturale and just have grass? It’s great for a real country theme.
Marquee Wedding: Tip 4
Organise a site visit with your marquee company. It’s all very well for you to book a 15m x 20m marquee for 200 guests with dance floor and tables only to discover the site is only 9m x 12m. Most marquee companies offer free site visits but do always check – they may charge if you are out of their local area.
Marquee Wedding: Tip 5
Make sure access is good. A large marquee wedding with furniture, linings, the works, will require a lorry – probably a big one! If your field is sited up a 6ft wide dirt track, don’t be surprised if you have to pay through the nose for delivery. Equipment is heavy and the easier the access, the cheaper it will be for you.
Marquee Wedding Tip 6.
Think about safety. Are there power cables overhead? Siting a marquee under a pylon probably isn’t the best plan you’ll ever have. Nor is it wise to site over gas/water pipes or electrical cables. If you’re not sure, you should ask the relevant people to check it out beforehand. If you don’t and something goes wrong, you’ll most likely end up footing the bill.
And what about if it rains? Is a 10 ton marquee lorry going to find itself sinking into a peaty bog? Is the marquee itself going to get swept away in a flood?
Marquee Wedding Tip 7.
Ask questions. Find out a little about types of marquee. Is it Clear Span or Traditional? How is it held up? How deep is it staked into the ground? What is it made of?
There are marquees you can buy, flimsy multi-purpose tent-style structures that some companies hire out for weddings. Be warned! They don’t like bad weather. They don’t like much actually and you could end up disappointed. If in doubt, ask to see the sort of structure you’re hiring before the date.
If you’re not sure about a site, ask advice. Many venues are used to accomodating marquee receptions, find out what and where they recommend. If you’re looking at a piece of land in the middle of nowhere, research it properly and consider things logically- if you can’t reach the site easily, there’s no way your marquee company will.
For further information or to book a marquee in the West Country visit www.gdhire.com