The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Marquee Wedding

by | 3 January

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Marquee Wedding


Thinking about a marquee wedding? Read on for my top tips on planning the ultimate marquee wedding that will go without a hitch! 

I’m Jo, a luxury wedding planner in Oxfordshire and I specialise in marquee weddings. I love bringing all the different elements together on your wedding day to make it as smooth and seamless as possible! 

Step one: Find your marquee

Your marquee is your venue and so needs to be booked as soon as possible. If you are holding your wedding at a private home or on private land you should get a quote from at least three different marquee companies.  They will come and measure the area thoroughly, check access, utilities such as power and running water and ask about any underground services that they have to be mindful of. 

Step two: Make a list of requirements for your marquee

These can include furniture, dance floor, stage, lighting, flooring, bar, mobile loos and any other extras that marquee companies can provide. Make sure these are all included in the quote you are sent so as not get caught out later on!

Step three: Receive and approve your quote

Your marquee supplier should send through a quote including everything above, but this isn’t final. As you get closer to the day, things can change – some you can control like guest numbers, others are out of your hands, like the weather! 

Once you have decided on a supplier, get them booked in and make sure to keep in touch throughout the planning process. 

Step four: Ask for a plan of the marquee

Again, this might change as you get closer to the wedding day, but it’s good to have a preliminary plan to give to your other suppliers who will be using the marquee, such as florist, stylist, caterer and band. 

Step five: Chat with your caterers

Whether you’re choosing a caterer that comes with your venue, or booking separately, you need to know their requirements for a kitchen, including power, prep tables and the size of catering tent they require. This information will need to be fed (pardon the pun) back to the marquee supplier. After this, the caterers are responsible for all kitchen hire equipment such as ovens and fridges. 

Top tip: At this stage, it’s worth getting your order in for a fridge trailer so you know you can easily chill drinks on the big day; this can usually be done through the marquee company or caterers.

Ardington House


Step six: Sort your timings

If you are holding your marquee wedding at a venue, check with the venue when the marquee company can have access to build the marquee and take it down after the wedding.  A marquee build will usually take place about three to four days before the wedding, depending on the time of year.

Step seven: Get insured! 

Ensure that you have wedding insurance that covers your marquee for the entire hire period, from set up to take down and don’t forget to include all the furniture.  Again, liaise with the marquee company about this. 

Step eight: Set up

Fast forward to the day before your wedding! The catering company will want to come and lay the tables, set up the kitchen ensuring all the equipment has arrived and in good order. Other suppliers may also need access to the marquee the day before so there’s not a huge rush on the day.  Depending on the time of year and how hot it is, the florist will want to come and do the flowers on the wedding day, but will do any necessary prep the day before.

Top tip: If you are holding the wedding reception at home, make sure that you are there when the marquee is being built.

Step nine: Make a timeline

Produce a timeline of supplier deliveries and circulate to all suppliers involved, including the venue where applicable. It’s essential that everyone has an overview of what’s happening, even if every step doesn’t directly affect them. 

Step ten: Hire a wedding planner

If all of this feels like far too much admin to cope with, then hand it over to an experienced wedding planner who lives and breathes marquee wedding planning! 


Jo x 


Photography credits:

Lucy Davenport –

Emma Jane Photography –

Jonny Gouldstone Photography –