Happy Friday everyone – it’s time for another of our monthly inspiration features, designed specifically with Love My Dress® readers in mind. Here at Pocketful of Dreams, we’ve had a summer of marquee weddings – from beautiful and traditional canvas-pole tents through to rustic stretch tents and contemporary clear frame marquees, we’ve worked with them all in 2014.
A marquee wedding is a great option if you’ve got a larger wedding party or you’re looking for something that offers you a little more creative control…you don’t need to worry about swirly event carpet or decorative elements that clash with your own design vision. However, the blank canvas they provide can be both a blessing and a curse, as ultimately you’re investing in a big white box and need to consider every little aspect of the space in your styling. A marquee is also not a “cheap” option as you not only have to build your design from the ground up, you also need to bring in a multitude of other services: generators, lighting, flooring, portaloos and kitchen equipment all need to be hired in. But that’s a post for another day.
What marquees or tents do provide you with is huge creative potential, and at Pocketful of Dreams, those words are music to our ears. So today we thought we would bring you our top tips on how to decorate a marquee like a wedding pro:
A GRAND ENTRANCE
Your marquee is your domain for the day so approach the styling as you would when designing your home. Every aspect of the space needs to be considered, starting from the entrance. Do you want to add a warm welcome? Then maybe provide a rug or different matting to provide a clear entrance point.
Large floral displays or styled set ups flanking the entrance add drama and clearly signpost the way for your guests plus they can double up as a card collection point, because trust us the first things guests want to do is deposit their cards and gifts, then they want a drink.
You could also consider investing in a proper doorway, such as a closing wooden door which not only looks the part but also has the practical advantage of keeping the warmth in, useful if you’re getting married earlier or later in the year.
START AT THE BOTTOM
You really do have to bring everything in for a tent wedding, and that starts with the flooring. Coir matting is great for festival or relaxed weddings as they provide a rustic look and have the advantage of covering up a multitude of sins (ideal when you’ve got lots of guest marching through the tent).
If however you want a more refined look then consider carpeting laid down over wooden flooring for a level space and a more elegant aesthetic. There is a price premium associated with this though, expect to pay about 2.5 times the price for wooden flooring and carpet compared to coir matting. For a 40×80 foot tent for example, this could be in the region of £2,000.
As a more cost effective alternative, look at event flooring. This won’t give you a totally rigid flat surface as it follows the contours of the ground, but it does help to level out bumpy grass and provide a more solid footing. Also, consider the colour of your carpet; ivory is likely to get very dirty, very quickly! Other colour options can really change and enhance the ambience within the space – green offers a rustic and almost grass-like feeling whilst black will make it look very contemporary.
Marquees and tents give you lots of height to play with and although you may need to take into consideration sloping roof lines, these high ceilings (up to 21 feet in a traditional pole tent) provide lots of potential for hanging.
Ceiling installations can add instant drama and create that real wow-factor. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either, we’ve strung rows of handmade hessian bunting with neon-dipped ends into a marquee space, which helped to break up the vast whiteness of the marquee linings. We’re also huge fans of hanging florals and foliage in the ceiling spaces as these offer a really whimsical aesthetic. It’s essential to work with florists who not only understand the vision you have for this but also the capabilities to make it happen. We love Euphoric Flowers and can vouch that Simon loves nothing more than climbing up tall ladders, Wildabout are also experts when it comes to installations and we worked with them to create a vast paper lantern installation with strings of hanging orchids for an urban London wedding last year.
The Pulley systems used for lighting and power can make the hanging process much simpler, just make sure you speak to your marquee company in advance so they can advise you on hanging points and weight restrictions and get your florist to co-ordinate plans with them.