Jennie & Andy: Many, Many, Many Marquees…

jennie&andy

Our wedding venue itself was an easy decision for us. We wanted low key, friendly and relaxed. We wanted somewhere that means something to us; somewhere we’ll look back on sentimentally for years to come. My Mum has a big garden attached to the house I grew up in. Easy decision.

What’s now proving just a little bit harder is deciding what exactly we’re going to put in it. There are many, many beautiful Pinterest images of tables set out on lawns underneath nothing but the stars and strings of fairy lights. This, however, is England, and we must be a little more realistic than that. England likes to rain. England especially likes to rain on the one day of your entire life you’d really rather it didn’t. A marquee it is then.

But what kind of marquee?

A quick browse of the Internet reveals dozens of different choices of marquees, tents and structures, all ready to become mobile wedding venues. Tipi-style tents look like good fun, and I adore the sweeping billowing curves of a Sperry sailcloth tent. Or how about a yurt? We camped in a Mongolian Yurt while we were travelling so it’d be a great reminder of our adventures. An ex military tent is a tempting option, they have lots of character and vintage charm. I temporarily fell in love with Indian style Raj tents. They seem to bring a touch of classic elegance and romance, but is that really the feel we’re going for? We’ve looked at very modern stretch tents, and some that fit together like little space age pods. Considered everything from glamorous fully furnished rented luxury marquees to second hand tents we could buy off eBay.

Once you’ve decided upon a style, the decisions still aren’t over. Do we need a catering tent? What sort of floor do we want? Solid floor, coconut matting, or nothing at all? Do we want to hire lighting with the marquee, or are we going to sort that ourselves? Yes, we’re having our first encounter with the weight of decisions that come with a do-it-yourself wedding!

Faced with so much choice, just how on earth do you go about picking one? It’s not like visiting a hotel or a country house. You can’t walk in and look around. We’re working off measurements, floor plans, photos and imagination, and it’s not easy. I want someone to erect all these tents in my garden and let me walk in and have a wander around, let me imagine how the cake table will look, where exactly Andy can put up the bar, what it will look like at the end when the dance floor is full and my shoes are kicked off in a corner.

Vintage canvas tents from LPM Bohemia

Vintage canvas tents from LPM Bohemia

I think though, without finalising any details at all, we’ve found the style we want. I love the idea of a vintage tent. In my head everything looks a little bit like a 1940s village fete, all bunting and flags. They fit exactly with the idea in my head when we first starting planning a garden reception. These traditional tents from LPM Bohemia are speaking to me. I love the canvas walls, the guy ropes and the scalloping. I adore how pretty the flags look fluttering on top. I can just see bunting, or fairy lights, or something else pretty hanging inside. The measurements would fit into our space, the floor plans say they’ll seat about the number of people we think we’re going to invite. They’re the perfect shape for long trestle tables, we should be able to fit in the dance floor and, we think, even a stage. Guy ropes are a little bit of a risk (no one wants Granny taking a head first tumble over an unseen rope…) but they have so much more charm than the framed tent. I really, really don’t want the marquee to look like a pop up two-man tent we picked it up at the local camping shop. Yes, I think my heart is set on a traditional vintage tent.

I guess now we just need to commit to actually booking one!

Have you ever hired a marquee? Any ideas of what we should be looking for??

Jennie x

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5 thoughts on “Jennie & Andy: Many, Many, Many Marquees…

  1. Hello Jennie,

    I am getting married in August and after looking at the many different styles of Marquees last year we decided on holding our reception in a Big Top from LPM Bohemia, using half the space for tables and the other for dance floor, bar and stage.

    LPM have lots of different Marquees to choose from so we visited a Grand Pavillion when they had one erected for a function but it was much too big! We then journeyed to Bath (from Kent, although good excuse for a weekend away!) to see the Big Top with our very own eyes rather than the pictures and solely our imagination! I suggest if you are able to, you visit the marquee you are interested in, it might help you make that final decision. It really helped to visit the Big Top and walk around the space as you get a much better idea on how you might lay things out with decor etc, it is a big part of the budget so you want to be sure it is the right one for you!

    We then had the daunting prospect of what type of floorings and linings to go for, we have gone for hard flooring with carpet but we will also have coir matting in areas too and keeping it natural with cream wall linings.

    We have got a catering tent it is a 20’x20′ frame tent and we are catering for 100 people.

    I was keen to have a big reveal moment when guests walk into the Big Top so wanted to have a garden party feel outside before we open the big top to go through for food. Because of the British weather we have a wet weather contingency plan. We have 20’x30′ canvas pole tent just big enough to get everyone in standing to be shade if is is sunny (we can hope!) as the sides can be taken off or shelter if it is raining with the sides kept on!

    We are hiring our festoon lighting and uplighters from LPM. I looked into other companies but they charge for delivery and collection so it was just easier and as cost effective to stick with LPM.

    We have been planning with them for well over a year now and plans have changed many a time so just make sure you are happy each time you get a quote or floor plan, I have noticed things often get missed. It’s your wedding and you want to be sure you are getting exactly what you are after.

    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions on LPM or anything else for that matter.

    Best of luck with your planning!
    Louisa x

    P.S, Sorry this is so long!

    • Louisa this is fantastic! Don’t apologise at all for the length, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a helpful comment 🙂 Its great to hear from someone else who is hiring through LPM, and hearing how its all going further down the process.

      I had no idea it was possible to visit the marquees, so i’ll defiantly be looking into that! Its interesting to hear how you’ve gone with the lighting decisions. We’re swaying towards getting lighting, dance floor etc through them for ease too.

      The back up tent for before you eat is a great idea too. Like you, we’re hoping for a garden party style drinks reception, then heading into the tent when its time to eat. We’ve sourced umbrellas for shade, but it would be nice to have a rainy weather back up too.

      Good luck with your last few months of wedding planning 🙂

      Jennie x

      • Hello Jennie,

        Glad to be of help. Just ask LPM if there are any bookings they have where you could visit the marquee. Often it can be quite last minute because it has to fit with whatever event is being held. We had one of the lovely technicians to help talk us through everything which was great. I don’t think they really advertise the fact you can visit but I just asked and it was very helpful! If you don’t ask, you don’t get! Hehe!

        Louisa x

    • Yep, wedding on Saturday 8th August. Having been engaged for nearly 2 years its all getting very real now, it comes around very quickly! We are pretty much sorted with everything but I have decided to make a lot of decorations, favours and stationary so am stitching and making like mad! When is your wedding? x

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