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Having a marquee wedding at home is so incredibly personal and always beautiful, but it does involve a lot more planning and work as you’re building a venue from scratch. Before you set off designing your bespoke wedding, here are a few pointers to set you on the right path.

Marquee…. Consider the following when booking your marquee

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  1. Is the location suitable? If you like the idea of having a marquee on the grounds of a hotel or stately home be sure to ask before presuming they will allow it. Wherever you have in mind, get it checked out by a marquee company who will be able to let you know if the area is suitable
  2. Is there reasonable access for your guests? If you’re having a marquee, it’s crucial to consider how your guests will get to it. Often marquees are tagged on to buildings but if not, will there be a special walkway or will guests have to walk through a building, perhaps a house, to get to the entrance? Unless you’re marrying in the height of summer, it could be worth considering a covered walkway.
  3. Will you need heating and proper flooring? Again, unless you’re tying the knot in the summer and are prepared to take a risk, you need to consider how the marquee will be heated, and whether you’ll need a substantial floor. It’s always advisable to have a decent dance floor.


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Your caterers will need somewhere good to cook and plate up, and typically a kitchen marquee is built onto the back of the main one. Consult your caterer as to how much space they need; don’t just go with what the marquee company suggests, as it could be too small for the realities of your menu.

For information on kitchen planning and kitchen equipment talk to one of our team by calling us Freephone on 1800 579 579 or email is at

 Storage and Back of House

You’ll need space for a storing stock, sound & lighting equipment and perhaps a small area to be used for band changing facilities and suppliers to eat.


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Think very carefully about styles here. Even if you are opting for hard wooden flooring you are unlikely to have a totally flat surface, so tall flower arrangements could be liable to topple; think about sturdiness! Also, too much white in a marquee can get lost.


Good lighting is so important in marquees. You have a blank canvas which needs character, and coloured up-lighting is so very effective, to add warmth and later on a party atmosphere.


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Look carefully at the different options out there for toilets; you might be very disappointed if you end up with festival style toilets from your marquee company if you had posh toilets in mind. There are lots of companies who provide some stunning temporary toilet blocks now which can be built within the marquee structure if needed.

Pathways and parking

Think about the guests’ journeys from their cars to the different areas of the marquee. Even in dry weather some matting might be useful to mark out pathways (and you can dress with lanterns for a beautiful effect). Certainly, in rain you need to think very carefully about covering grassy areas with matting or, if budget permits, using track-way on very high use parking areas.


Book a generator for your power requirements. Power will be required kitchen, lighting and sound, or the band and DJ. Check power requirements from all the relevant suppliers and make sure the generator ordered is large enough, with a back-up option.

Furnishings – Furniture and Table Settings

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Look closely at all the furniture requirements you need for a marquee wedding. You’re bound to remember your dining tables, but don’t forget you’ll need tables for a buffet, gifts, guest book, your cake, the DJ to use, and possibly a whole range of other uses, depending on your choices. Unlike in a venue where there will often be some spare furniture around, you need to ensure it’s all there and ordered, with appropriate linen too. It’s a good idea to work with you catering in creating a list of what cutlery, crockery, glassware, kitchen equipment, Linen, chairs, tables and furniture are required. Check out our traditional and vintage crockery table settings here.


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Once you decide what kind of food you’d like you’ll have to pick your caterer and make sure you have all the necessary space and equipment. You will need a large kitchen, or catering tent with hobs/ovens, fridges for your caterer to use. Your caterer will provide you with the full list of requirements – what they have already and what will need to be rented from your marquee company or a specialist hire company.

You’ll also need furniture and tableware:  At a basic level you’ll need: a bar including fridges, your catering station, seating, tables, table linen and a dancefloor. This can sometimes be provided by your marquee company or hired from a separate hire company.

Don’t forget tableware and serving equipment: Crockery, glassware, cutlery and serving equipment. Your caterer will provide you with a standard list of requirements, these are sourced from a cater hire company through your caterer, directly by you or via your marquee company.

If you wish to create any unique design elements in the space (a special cake display table, a lounge area, outdoor tables and deckchairs etc.), you will need to design the space and prepare your own order for hire.

Lastly, your caterer will sometimes offer a on the day co-ordination service, to control the logistics of the wedding day (basically take on the roll of a regular venues wedding coordinator for the day.) Alternatively most planners and some stylists can provide this service.


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Your caterer will often provide the staff for the event, usually this is billed as a separate item and should be broken down into hours and tasks (waiters, cooks, bar staff, kitchen porters etc). If you’re having a second day, our advice is to book bar staff for clean-up time early in the day before guests return as well as to man the bar later on.

The Bar

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If you intend serving alcohol you will need a bar. When it comes to bar service there are three options:

Run it yourself – You will need all of your own equipment (gas, bar taps, bar itself, ice, fridges, glassware, dishwasher etc.) and alcohol (bottles/kegs), plus staff to man it on the day and tidy up / wash glasses. If you’re charging for alcohol be aware that you need a license / late license.

Ask a local publican to do run it for you – they will often run the bar free of cost, and simply charge your guests for drinks like they would in their own pub. They will need to transfer their license to your premises for the day.

Ask you caterer to do the honours, which should be then added into your staffing costs. Again, check licensing requirements with your caterer if you are charging for alcohol.

The cost of your drinks bill will depend on what option you go for, and how much your guests drink so the sky is the limit for drinks to be honest. Make sure you factor in wine during the meal as well.


If you’re getting married on your own land you may already be covered by your current insurance, but it is worth double checking. You should check with your marquee company or wedding planner if you will require public liability insurance.


If you’re thinking of having a lot of décor, hire a stylist! The cost of a stylist will be worth it when they focus on buying and hiring the right things that will really make an impact and make the whole thing come together.

For more information on hiring crockery, cutlery, glass hire, bar equipment, kitchen equipment, tables, chairs and furniture call #TeamNEH on 1800 579 579

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