It's a white space. A blank canvas.
It seems like the easiest styling brief in the world. no chintzy carpet to contend with, no dark mahogany wooden panels to fight your feminine floral dream. Easy! Isn't it?
For us as Studio Sorores, marquee weddings and events make up a huge part of our workload each year, and for good reason. They are complex, difficult and require a huge amount of skill and experience to execute to a high standard.
There are so many different types of tent available now, and each has it's pros and cons. From the traditional pole tent, to the high ceiling sperry tent, the festival vibe teepee's and the clearspan (frame) tent too.
Despite the huge variation in tent/marquee style - there is still a huge amount of vision required to transform them. With over 8 years of experience of marquee weddings under her belt, we know exactly what it takes to create an impactful, practical, cohesive and timeless design plan for a tent reception.
The key is to start as you mean to go on... ensure the location and structure are both suitable and fit for purpose. There is little point planning a traditional pole tent on undulating sloping ground with poor drainage! Whilst people often shy away from booking a clearspan frame marquee, they do offer the security of levelled casette flooring, fully rain proof ceilings, wide open spaces and flexibility on linings, fixtures and fittings.
That said, the perfect flat green lawn in a quintessentially English garden is far more suited to a less intrusive structure that blends a little more carefully with it's surroundings.
When considering the styling and interior design of a marquee, it is important never to do this in isolation. Read our notes on how to design and style a wedding first and foremost. Remember that the flow if the day will typically lead from ceremony location, to reception, to marquee - and in doing so, that it must be cohesive and tell a visual story that links from one space to the next.
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TOP TIP: BE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER
Layer the space slowly.
What is the flooring going to be like? Fresh grass? Soft carpet? Consider the surface and your guests comfort.
What lighting will you have? String lights, chandeliers or moroccan lanterns?
How will you break up the space? Most people prefer to have open sides to a tent. So instead of considering art on the walls as you would in a room, make the ceiling your gallery. Hanging floral installations are popular but require a higher budget.
How will you furnish the room? Rather than seeing it as one big space, consider breaking it up into sections with multiple smaller tents or using furniture to corner off areas. We often have the dance floor, lounge area and bar in the same physical space as the dining area - but we try to be creative in layout and introduce an element of surprise when we can.
Add yet more layers.... linen, florals, candles, cushions, throws, rugs, small lamps. Do not underestimate the importance of these seemingly "small" touches. They make a huge impact.