Three couples tell Sarah Gillespie why they went for a marquee, and why they were happy with their decision
Charlotte & Angus
Big day details: Charlotte and Angus married on 31st August 2013 in a field next to her parent’s home in Ayrshire. The couple asked Finesse Marquees to create a space for their ceremony and reception.
We chose a marquee because: “We wanted creative freedom over every element of the wedding and we thought a marquee could most easily be tailored to meet our vision,” says Charlotte.
The marquee: The couple worked with Gregor of Finesse to design a space that would clearly communicate the different parts of the day. “As we wanted the marquee to feel intimate, we created a ‘Swiss cross’ shape which allowed us to make five distinct areas for the reception,” explains Charlotte. “We had a memorable afternoon in the field plotting the design with flower pots and using an iPad to draw the shape we wanted.”
Before the event: Finesse Marquees came highly recommended by the couple’s friends and family, and Charlotte was impressed by how much support the company offered after contacting them: “They were great at replying to all our emails and phonecalls. As we are based in London, my parents also had several meetings with Gregor and Katherine, who walked them through the entire process.”
Decor and extras: As the couple had met in the Middle East, they were keen to include a chillout zone that incorporated lots of special items from their travels. “We wanted an intimate, organic and natural feel to our day and a marquee was the perfect blank canvas on which to layer our ideas,” explains Charlotte. Finesse provided wooden flooring and cream internal linings and sourced the tables and cloths, while the couple’s nearest and dearest helped to decorate – suspending giant bird’s nests from the ceiling and low-hanging candle chandeliers.
Love at first sight: “As we walked through the field into the marquee, it hit us that we had been able to pull off our vision exactly as we’d hoped,” Charlotte recalls.
Best advice: Charlotte wants brides to know that putting in extra effort will be worth it: “Marquees are beautiful in their own right, but if you want to make something unique, be prepared to put in the work to ensure it lives up to your vision. Mood boards and images really helped us to communicate the look we were after.”
Finesse Marquees, 01563 830104, www.finessemarquees.co.uk
Images courtesy of www.mirrorboxphotography.com
Jenifer & Kevin
Big day details: Jenifer and Kevin married on 30th June 2012 at Glasgow University Chapel, before moving on to Finlaystone Country Estate, where their Tents and Events marquee was waiting.
We chose a marquee because: “We wanted a space we could make our own, that had enough room for everyone to be comfortable at dinner and was then able to accommodate even more guests in the evening for a ceilidh,” says Jenifer.
Before the event: Jenifer didn’t even consider other companies: “Tents and Events have such a great local reputation that we knew we could trust them.” Even a tricky site didn’t cause a problem: “They do this week in, week out, so they had everything thought-out in advance.”
The marquee: Tents and Events built a clearspan marquee, splitting the space with a drape for the wedding breakfast which was removed when the evening guests arrived.
Decor and extras: The couple loved their “fresh, fun, flowers and bunting” theme, and upgraded their marquee to include luxury toilets inside the marquee space (“Our guests loved them!”) and a stage for the band.
Love at first sight: “We saw the marquee empty the afternoon before – it was amazing to see it fully transformed the next day, decorated beautifully and with the tables set, with all our guests drinking champagne,” smiles Jenifer.
Best advice: “If you want a space that’s really ‘yours’, a marquee is ideal. You can completely bring it to life in a way that isn’t possible in a hotel function room.”
Tents and Events, 01369 706123, www.tentsandevents.co.uk
Images courtesy of www.paddimir.co.uk
Nina & Stuart
Big day details: The happy couple got hitched on 6th April 2013 at Chesters, an estate near Ancrum in the Borders. They enlisted the help of Olympus Marquees.
We chose a marquee because: “We wanted flexibility with the number of guests, the layout, style and seating arrangements. Also, neither of us is particularly religious but we wanted a special setting for our ceremony,” says Stuart.
Before the event: The couple were delighted with the “professional, creative and flexible” service from Olympus Marquees. “They listened to our ideas and gave us good feedback, drawn from their experiences,” recalls Stuart.
The marquee: “We chose a pavilion marquee as we didn’t want any poles cutting up the space, and we wanted to show the scenery off,” explains Stuart. They also opted for cream carpets, chandeliers and double French doors.
Decor and extras: Stuart and Nina loved how easy it was to integrate their shabby-chic theme. “Marquees are a perfect blank canvas,” says Nina.
Love at first sight: “Our marquee was better than we’d imagined,” says Nina. “The weather was fantastic, and the ceremony had a beautiful backdrop thanks to the clear gable end.”
Best advice: The couple were delighted with their choice: “Your personality and style can be reflected by a marquee, and if you find a good provider, as we did, it’ll be a stress-free option.”
Olympus Marquees, 01289 307264, www.olympusmarquees.co.uk
Images courtesy of www.sheilascottphotography.com