Interiors Part 1: Linings

Blank Canvas:

Now, once you’ve decided on your location and the rough size of your marquee, you have a blank canvas (literally!) with which to let your imagination run wild. 

The marquee itself is basically a large tent, albeit a large and sturdy one, but a portable structure all the same. And unfortunately, it looks pretty much the same on the inside as it does on the out – simple and serviceable. It’s not particularly ugly but it’s not exactly pretty either; certainly unworthy of the sumptuous wedding you have in mind! 

But you have options… plenty of them! Your budget will perhaps dictate the level of lavishness but it won’t necessarily spoil all your aspirations of grandeur:- don’t lose heart just yet. 

No Linings

Brides have been known to shudder at the thought of having a clear span wedding marquee without linings. In fact, I spoke to a mother-of-the-bride the other day who told me her daughter had decided she had to have a traditional marquee, though she didn’t particularly like them on the outside, because she didn’t want ‘fussy’ linings. She said an unlined clear span would look too industrial. 

True, the metalwork would be visible without a lining at all, but just a touch of coloured fabric drapes and a few sprigs of ivy (see pic above right), you can create an illusion of linings without A) the cost, B) the fuss.

Flat Linings.

Nope, not a film starring Kiefer Sutherland: option number 2.

Contrary to popular belief, not all marquee linings are pleated with gathers and swags. You may want to steer away from the frills and have a more casual wedding – in which case, Flat Linings are ideal. On a purely practical  front, they hide the metalwork. On a more aesthetic front, they look light and natural. Decorate with bunting and flowers for the perfect country wedding look. (See ‘country wedding’ pic, far right.)

Traditional Linings.

The most popular choice of marquee linings are traditional. You can choose to have roof or wall linings or both. You may even wish to add coloured swags on each wall section to compliment your colour scheme.  And if you have a marquee with windows (See pic left) roof linings and swags look fabulous without the need for wall linings.

Alternative Linings.  – As with everything, more and more options are opening up for couples getting married. It’s certainly much easier now to be original and wow your guests with something they haven’t seen before.

Printed linings are excellent. Not many people even know they exist so when they see them for the first time, they are always impressed. The picture (left) shows feather linings*, complimented by canary cages and bright flowers.

The effect is clean, bright and classy, perfect for the modern wedding.

– Another eye-catching style of lining is Starlight Cloth:- twinkly lights set into black fabric. Many couples choose to have this over the dance floor area, but an entire marquee roof decorated solely with stars is a stunning sight and won’t fail to bring out the romance in everyone.

Starlight Cloth **

– A cheaper alternative to Starlight Cloth, while creating a similar effect, is Blackout Lining. This is a flat style black fabric roof/wall lining which, when decorated with fairy lights, makes for a magical sight. Perfect for a winter wedding.


Then, of course, if you’re on a budget and perhaps know a seamstress, you could opt to create your own decoration. Thick ribbons or drapes (pic 1) can add a splash of colour where needed. Dot around balloons, bunting, leaves and flowers. Hang fairy lights or icicle lights from the roof steels. Decorate an enormous Christmas Tree in one corner and dim the lights.

Don’t be afraid to discuss money saving options with your marquee provider. They may be able to suggest something you hadn’t considered. The important thing is to use your imagination. Surf lots of lining sites. Look through as many marquee picture galleries as you can. As soon as you see something you like, note it down. If it’s out of your price range, ask your marquee provider to suggest an alternative.

 Remember, they want your marquee to look as fantastic as you do!

(*Linings courtesy of

** Linings courtesy of



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