Marquee weddings have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years, and with so many styling and décor options available, it’s no surprise why. Here, Tijan Biner speaks with Nicole Murtagh from Beaumonde Catering about the logistics behind successfully hosting a marquee wedding.
As more couples choose to celebrate their nuptials in unconventional places, the rise of marquee weddings has been fast, furious and revolutionary in this somewhat old-fashioned industry. “More and more couples are choosing to get married outside of traditional venues and opting more for private properties, yacht clubs, farms and barns,” Murtagh says. “A marquee wedding [lets] couples put their own personal stamp on the wedding, allowing guests to have an unforgettable experience.”
While the idea may sound magical, planning a wedding in a marquee is much more difficult than at a customary wedding venue. “Couples need to be aware that a marquee wedding can cost as much, if not more, than a traditional wedding due to the requirement of hiring everything, from the floor to the ceiling, right through to cutlery and crockery,” Murtagh says. “With this being said, it can still be done… without having to make too many sacrifices.”
THE PERFECT FIT
Marquees are available in all sorts, shapes and sizes, so it’s essential to have a few key details of your wedding locked in before you start looking for a space. The number of guests you intend on inviting, the style of your wedding, and the space available for your marquee will all contribute to the type of tent you choose.
It’s also important to consider what aspects of your wedding will be held in the marquee – will you host the entire evening in there, from pre-dinner drinks to the final dance? Or would you prefer to host canapés outside and invite guests inside the marquee for dinner? Before approaching a hire specialist, be sure to have these details confirmed to ensure you find a marquee that will perfectly suit the theme and concept of your wedding.
In terms of size, calculate your estimated requirements based on a square-metre-per-guest rule. If you’re hosting a sit-down soiree, 1.2m square per guest will provide a comfortable amount of space, while 0.75m square is ideal for a cocktail-style event. You’ll also need to consider any additional space needed for the dance floor, cake table, service bars, staging and lounging areas. Similarly, the size of your marquee will be dependent on your ideal table layout. Whether you prefer long rows of seating or individual tables, roughly map out a floor plan to show your marquee hire specialist. Prior to booking, the hire company will likely offer a site inspection to recommend a certain marquee and ensure it’s safe for installation.
Finally, along with the shape and size of the marquee, you’ll also have a variety of styles to choose from. From clear shelters to silk-lined tents, each marquee can be personalised and customised to suit the theme of your wedding. Jump online to see how certain marquees have been styled or ask your supplier for photos from previous events to see which would best suit your wedding. While clear marquees are a little more expensive, they’ll require less styling as they create a wonderful ambience on their own.
TAKE THE HIRE GROUND
Marquee weddings are considered a more luxury option due to the amount of equipment that must be hired. “Couples do need to factor in flooring – a level compact surface is most ideal,” Murtagh says. “If you don’t have access to toilets, couples will need to hire portable toilets. Power also needs to be available to access lighting in the marquee for the evening events.”
Similarly, ensure you have dining tables and chairs accounted for if you’re opting for a sit-down dinner, or cocktail furniture for a stand-up reception. Tableware, such as plates, cutlery, glassware and napkins, must also be rented, as well as service bars and table décor. Hiring a few air-conditioning units is also a good idea if your nuptials will take place in the thick of summer, or heaters if you’re hosting a mid-winter wedding. “The marquee will [provide] shelter and can have protective screens to keep the warmth in,” Murtagh says. “However, gas heaters can always be hired to keep everyone nice and snug!”
You may also need to organise a cooler room for any food that will be stored or prepared on site. However, to ensure a stress-free day, consider enlisting a professional caterer to take care of meals. Established in 1989, Beaumonde Catering is renowned for its outstanding food and professionalism. The company, with its dedicated event managers and culinary experts, has worked with some of the most prestigious organisations in Australia. “The Beaumonde Catering business takes us all around the state for off-site corporates, private functions and large scale events,” says Murtagh, who has been with the company for five years. “I am passionate about our Beaumonde brand, which – for almost 30 years – has enjoyed a long-standing reputation for delivering a superior standard of cuisine and service to the people of Perth.”
STARRY-EYED AND STYLISH
With so many styling options available, marquee weddings give couples a chance to inject their own personality and flair into the space. “Having a marquee wedding is the perfect blank canvas for the bride and groom to decorate and create their own theme, from start to finish,” Murtagh says. “You can [adorn] your marquee with beautiful hanging floral installations, hanging lights, candles, and gorgeous table settings and accessories.”
Some of Murtagh’s favourite décor combinations include rustic furniture with long banquet tables and dark wooden chairs, and white tables with tiffany chairs, rose-gold cutlery, and white or black crockery. She’s also a huge fan of hanging floral installations, floral centrepieces and candles, which will add warmth and character to any space. “Some popular styling trends have been rustic themes, with wooden tables and chairs, hanging floral installations and lights, and rustic cutlery and crockery to tie in,” she says. “Rose gold is a big favourite!”
From tent sizes to choosing the correct tableware, enlisting industry professionals when planning a marquee wedding is a must. “Couples need to ensure they pick reliable and honest vendors,” Murtagh says. “With a marquee wedding, you’ll probably have a larger number of suppliers to deal with [compared to] a regular venue, so you want to make sure your team is [reliable and efficient].” After all of the planning, construction and styling is over, we can guarantee one thing – as you’re sitting among your nearest and dearest on your wedding night, gazing up at the stars above, with a glass of prosecco in hand, you’ll wonder why you ever thought of anything other than a chic marquee in which to celebrate your love.