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Planning Advice

10 Things To Consider If You’re Having A Marquee Wedding

I love a marquee wedding! There are so many benefits to having one. They offer complete flexibility. You can tailor them to your specific requirements and numbers and they create the most beautiful setting for a summer garden wedding. However, there is a lot to consider if you’re thinking of opting for one for your wedding. So, that’s why I thought I’d share 10 things to consider if you’re having a marquee wedding.

1. Location

It’s important that you consider the land your marquee will be placed on. Your marquee company will want to conduct a site visit to make sure the ground is suitable and there is sufficient space for your numbers and requirements. The ground will need to be level and if possible, well-draining. The grass will need to be cut a couple of days prior to your marquee being erected to make sure the ground underneath isn’t spongy or uneven.

It is also important to consider how your suppliers will gain access to the site. Your marquee company, toilet provider, caterer and bar company will need to be able to drive onto the site to offload their equipment. If there is heavy rainfall on the run up to your wedding, then it will be key to discuss how this may affect set up and pack down.

2. Style

When it comes to choosing the right structure for your celebration it comes down to a few different elements – ground type (e.g. grass, gravel, tarmac), your guest numbers, aesthetics, and the season. It’s important you do your research, so you understand the practicalities of each one. The ones you may be most familiar with are – pole tents, frame tents and stretch tents. It’s important you choose the right structure for your day and requirements, so don’t be afraid to approach marquee companies to discuss this further before deciding.

3. Parking

Where will guests and suppliers park on the day and how may cars can you accommodate? Can they gain access 24/7 or is this limited to certain times? Your suppliers will also need to be able to drive up to your marquee to unload their equipment so it’s important you’re mindful of this too.

You will also need to make sure this is well lit!

4. Furniture & Styling

Now it’s important to consider what the inside of your marquee will look like and the functionality of the space available. I like to think of a marquee as one continuous space divided into 3 sections.

Section 1 – Your dining area, normally where your wedding breakfast will take place. This typically consists of long or round tables or a combination of the two.

Section 2 – Your bar area. The position and style of your bar will normally be dependent on the style and size of your structure and guest number. This acts as your reception area which will normally have enough space for guests to grab a drink at the bar and dependant on space you might also have some lounge seating or poser tables.

Section 3 – Then there’s your dancefloor and in some cases your stage. This is normally where you’ll spend the evening partying the night away.

Your marquee company and wedding planner can help you to establish what you can do to maximise the space available. Some couples even look to create multiple spaces or ‘rooms’ with additional or connecting marquees/structures, however this will all come down to your budget and what you are wanting to achieve with the space you have available.

*If you are having an outside ceremony, you will also need to consider what your plan B will be if it is wet weather. Some couples choose to have an additional structure erected just in case (which can then be turned around and re-used in the evening) with others deciding to use their main structure and set up in the reception/dancefloor area. Every wedding is different, so this is something best discussed directly with your marquee company and wedding planner.*

5. Toilets

Please don’t forget the toilets! This is something which slips couples minds. It may be that you already have toilets onsite, but if not, this is something you will need to hire. There are a few different options available including port-a-loos, urinal blocks and trailers. All offer different features at varying price points.

You will need to consider if they require electricity and water and where they are going to be positioned in relation to your marquee. My tip would be to make sure these are kept out of sight, round the back of your marquee would be ideal. It’s also worth noting that if they are positioned on grass you might want to run some matting to them in case of wet weather. You will also need to make sure these have adequate lighting too.

6. Power & Water Access

Make sure you are aware of your supplier’s power and water requirements. This can drastically affect the service they are able to provide. Make sure to liaise your supplier’s requirements with your marquee company and wedding planner. That way they can make sure this is distributed correctly during set up.

7. Catering

You will most likely need to provide a catering area which is attached to your marquee. This is normally done in the form of a catering tent (your caterer will be able to advise how big this will need to be). You will also be required to provide trestle tables and lighting for in here too.

This is an absolute must, so don’t think you can save a few pennies by not including one.

8. Bar

The first question to ask yourself is who is providing the drink (alcohol and soft) for your wedding? Are you hiring in a bar company to do this or are you providing your own?

If you’re providing your own then you will need to look at hiring a bar and staff who can chill and serve this on the day.

If you aren’t providing the drinks yourselves then you will need to hire in a team who can provide everything you need.

9. Lighting

There are so many beautiful lighting options from Edison bulbs to festoons and fairy lights. The options are endless, so speak directly to your marquee company who will be able to advise further.

It’s also important to consider what else may require lighting e.g. your toilet facilities, the car park etc. It will most likely be dark when guests leave, so it is important to consider how they will make their way offsite safely.

10. Wet Weather

My advice would be to always have a backup plan! You never know what is going to happen weather wise so being prepared for all eventualities is key. It could be that you need extra matting running from the car park to the marquee. Or that you need to have a backup plan for your outdoor ceremony and drinks reception.

Having a plan B results in a lot less stress and panic on the lead up to your wedding. If you’re unsure on your plan B then get in touch, I’d be happy to discuss this with you further.

I hope these 10 tips have helped you to make sure nothing gets missed when planning your marquee wedding. If you’re still a bit unsure or want to double check you have everything accounted for then get in touch. I’d love to hear all about your marquee wedding.

Image credits – Glix Photography / Firewood Film / Boutipi / Hannah Rachael Weddings

Planning Advice, Wedding Planning Guides

Why To Go Bespoke – Your Guide To Bespoke Bridalwear

I am delighted to of collaborated with the wonderful Felicity from Felisiti Greis to bring you my next blog – bespoke bridalwear. We cover so much in this blog including why it is crucial to find the right bridalwear designer for you. How the design process works. As well as the benefits of going bespoke and what you really need to consider when doing so.

I honestly can’t wait for you to venture into the world of bespoke bridalwear with us!

Thoughts from Felicity

Your wedding outfit is without doubt one of the most important outfits you will ever get to wear. You have probably been dreaming about every single detail that pertains to your wedding day and you probably have a clear vision of your dream wedding attire by now. There are so many different options available to you in terms of which journey you want to embark on, in your quest to find your dream wedding outfit. The different options available to you are; bespoke, made-to-measure, made-to-order, off-the-rack/ready-made.

Here are some top tips on how to choose the right bespoke bridalwear designer. As well as how to get the most out of your bespoke experience.

What makes a bespoke wedding garment so special & how can you make the most out of the experience?

Just For You

A bespoke wedding outfit is made with you in mind and is your dream and vision. The final design should be the embodiment of who you truly are. This is why it is so important that you choose a bespoke designer who has the ability to design an outfit that speaks to your individuality. Make sure to express all of your ideas to your designer in order for them to bring your vision to life.

Visualisation & Experience

The bespoke process offers a beautiful experience. One that builds an anticipation towards the completion or final fitting of your wedding gown. Most bespoke bridalwear designers will create a sketch of the final design for you to see and approve before construction of your outfit begins. Since a sketch is all you will have to go by, it is very important to choose a designer who listens. One who has the ability to beautifully translate your ideas into a sketch. This will help you visualise your wedding outfit before it is brought to life.

Trust & Expertise

The bridalwear designer you choose, like any other wedding supplier, should be one that you have total trust in. You should trust them as a person and also their expertise. This is the person/company that you will be working very closely with to bring your dream to life.

To do away with any doubts, it is best that you ask your designer as many questions as you possibly can. Make sure you are happy with all the answers you are given. I also advise to carefully look at the designer’s portfolio and past work to see if they are an expert in their field. Look out for clues like their attention to detail, finesse and the overall fit of their pieces.

Fit

Bespoke has a reputation for a great fit. The process a bespoke wedding attire goes through, requires on average anywhere between 3 to 5 fittings. The first fitting is usually what is called a toile (a toile is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected). Once the design is perfected, the designer will then usually start the process of creating the actual wedding outfit. The aim of the toile fitting is to perfect the final design of the garment. Therefore, you should take full advantage of this part of the process and all subsequent fittings.

Voice out any concerns, changes or alterations that you may want made to the design. This part; like any part of the process, requires complete trust in your designer as you see your beautiful dream take shape and come to life right before your very eyes. A great designer offers an impeccable fit and a flattering silhouette that compliments your beautiful body shape.

This is a topic I could talk about all day! With a background in fashion and bridalwear myself, this is something which is very close to my heart. It’s also an area I feel most couples aren’t aware of when looking for the perfect outfit(s) for their wedding.

Going bespoke means you are able to create something which is personal to you. To your style and your vision. Another way to make your wedding truly unique to you.

This is exactly why Felicity and I cover so much more about bespoke bridalwear in my new Wedding Planning Guide! Click the download button below to get hold of your free copy now.

This guide is full of questions to ask your designer, things to think about and how to navigate the bespoke process. You really don’t want to miss out on all this wonderful information.

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Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Felisiti Greis / Hannah Rachael Weddings / Ponden Mill / The Petal Studio / Amore Headwear / Unity Rhodes Bridal / Aminaa Beauty

Planning Advice

What Is A Micro Wedding & Why Might You Have One?

So what is a micro wedding I hear you ask!

A micro wedding is typically a wedding which contains 50 guests or less and is not to be confused with a small wedding or elopement.

Well, what’s the difference between a micro wedding, a small wedding and an elopement then?

A very good question!

Now the difference between a small wedding and a micro wedding does seem to vary depending on who you talk to! Not at all helpful, I know.

A micro wedding traditionally involves no more than 50 guests, where as a small or intimate wedding is based around an even smaller guest count (20 or less). A small wedding might also follow less traditions or formalities (however this is not always the case). For instance, couples may veto a cake cut and first dance. Or opt for a less formal sit down wedding breakfast and instead have a family style bbq. Some would suggest a small wedding is all about the ceremony and marriage commitment rather than the ‘extra’ details.

Whereas the definition of an elopement wedding is “to run away secretly in order to get married”. A marriage which consists of the two of you, plus a select few witnesses, these may be people very close to you or people you’ve never even met before. Most couples who elope tend to pick a location away from their family home, somewhere meaningful to them as a couple. An elopement can be seen as a ‘hassle free’ way to tie the knot, without the pressures and expectations from family and friends.

5 Reasons You Might Consider Having A Micro Wedding

Micro weddings are definitely not to be seen as micro in any way other than the guest count. They often contain the same fundamentals and traditions as a larger wedding. With some arguing that micro weddings allow you to tailor and personalise your wedding to your guests, providing a more bespoke day. This is mostly due to couples allocating a similar budget for a wedding of 100 to their wedding of 50. This results in a larger budget to spend on elements such as personalised decor, fine dining and luxury drink offerings. 

1. Share your special day with your nearest & dearest only!

As you have decided to focus on a smaller guest list it’s important that the people you do invite are your most nearest & dearest only.

Don’t get sucked into the whirlpool of plus ones, work colleagues and family friends. Having a micro wedding is all about spending the most personal and special day of your lives with your favourite people.

Make it clear from the outset that you intend on having a micro wedding so hopefully no one will be left confused as to why they haven’t been invited.

2. Get creative

A whole host of different venues will become available due to your reduced guest list.

This may even include places which feel more personal to you as a couple, such as your favourite restaurant, art gallery or museum or even your own back garden!

See this as the perfect opportunity to go off piste. Select a venue which may not traditionally be seen as a wedding venue or one others may have to rule out due to guest numbers. It’s another way to create a day truly unique to you, your partner and your lovely guests.

3. Lets talk food & drink

A lot of couples who decide to opt for a micro wedding do so, so they can spoil their guests (and themselves). Think about it, it is the perfect opportunity to go all out and select the finest quality food and drink possible.

With more money to spend per head, as well as more time to spend with your guests, what better way to do so than sipping your favourite cocktails or tucking into a delicious 5 course taster menu?

Why not look to allocate a greater proportion of time to your drinks reception and wedding breakfast. This will create a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the day rather than feeling as though you are rushing from one thing straight to the next.

You could opt for a specialist bar offering a bespoke cocktail and champagne menu. You could look into creating a tasting menu with wine pairing, prepared by your own Michelin starred chef. Whatever it might be, make sure it adds a ‘wow’ and excitement to your day. Make it a talking point for all of your guests. It’s the perfect opportunity to create something you might not find at a larger scale wedding.

Top Tip

Whatever you do though, don’t forget about the importance of ambience!

Your luxury dining experience won’t feel so luxury when there’s no background music. Music helps to set the tone, so think about what you’re trying to achieve and make sure your choice in musician or band reflects this.

Do also make sure to think about how your entertainment will transition from day to evening. Do you want something more lively in the evening to get guests up partying? Or are your guests the type to sit and chat all evening long? As you’ve only invited your very nearest and dearest you know them well, so pitch your entertainment at what you know they’ll enjoy.

4. It’s all about the details

Go all out with the finer details and personal touches. Source suppliers who focus on creating bespoke and personalised items, rather than mass produced ones.

Do something different with your favours. Instead of offering guests a foil wrapped chocolate, why not have a local chocolatier make each guest a box of beautiful hand painted chocolates.

Alternatively, why not look to have each of your guest’s names hand embroidered on each napkin. Not only will this add a beautiful finish to your place settings, but it will be a lovely keepsake for each of your guest.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these little touches, your guests will really appreciate the extra effort and time you have gone to.

Things To Consider

Why not go one step further and hire items such as charger plates, coloured glassware and luxe table linens. Decorative details when combined make one hell of a statement.

5. Quality time

For some, larger scales weddings can almost feel overwhelming. Some couples see it as a way to celebrate in the company of everyone they know and love, whereas others find the concept completely stressful.

For couples worrying about how much quality time they will be able to spend with their guests and each other, a micro wedding might just be the answer.

A micro wedding means fewer guests, so in theory more time to spend with each one. Time to chat, grab a drink and to take a moment out just the two of you. As a result, you could argue that you spend less time entertaining and more time celebrating. Sounds like the perfect solution to me.

Top Tip

Whatever you do, don’t forget to hire a photographer to capture your day.

You’ve gone to every effort to create a highly personalised and meaningful wedding, filled to the brim with love, happiness and your favourite people.

So make sure you have these special moments documented for you and your guests to look back on for many years to come.

Hopefully, that helps to eliminate the confusion around what a micro wedding is and provides some interesting pointers on why it may just be the best idea for you and your unique day.

However, as you can see, reducing your guest count doesn’t necessarily reduce the amount of thought, effort or planning that goes into organising a micro wedding.

For more tips and advice on how to create your perfect day then do get in touch.

Image Credits – Phoebe Jane Photography / Wynn Davies Photography / Ivy Alice Stationery / Charlotte’s Floral Design / The Whimsical Cake Company / Denton Hall / The Beverley Barn / Hannah Rachael Weddings

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