My Expert Help on Planning a Marquee Wedding at Home
One of my favourite venues has to be a planning a marquee wedding at your family home. This is often when the couple perhaps live in London but have their family home in Surrey or Sussex.
Hosting a wedding reception at home for over 100 guests can seem quite daunting. However with some careful planning and some professional help from a wedding planner, it really can be an amazing day. I have put together some key elements you need to consider when planning a wedding reception at your home…
Location of Marquee
Whilst you may have a lovely manicured lawn, you need to ensure there is space for the marquee. Also the extras such as a catering tent, toilets and generator need to be considered. These days, it is relatively easy to incorporate flower beds or perhaps a statue within the marquee space. The marquee space you have needs to be sufficient for the number of guests you are looking to invite. The caterers will also need a catering tent situated close to the main marquee.
Access and Storage
If you are planning a marquee wedding at home, you will be having a number of deliveries in the lead up to and after your event. This will include things such as furniture, large kitchen equipment, tableware, generator and toilets. These will all need to be delivered prior to the event and collected prior to the marquee being taken down.
Do you have somebody to manage this for you? Where will you store all of it? For a marquee wedding, this is why I will be on site in the lead up to the wedding to manage the logistics and ensure the client doesn’t need to. Considerations for access need to be thought out also. Whilst you may have a large driveway with access for vans/lorries, any other restrictions need to be thought about such as narrow lanes and access points. Can equipment easily be transported to the marquee site? Are there any restrictions on timings? All of this can be managed by my team.
It is always good to try and allocate a storage space when planning a marquee wedding. Whether a garage or kitchen space to store any bits that are not required throughout the day or cannot be put out until the morning. Try to find a space that is easily accessible and you are happy for suppliers to access.
Toilets and Generator
The less glamorous side of the logistics when planning a marquee wedding at home! The generator needs to be out of site but also in a location that is accessible for all staff.
When clients are hosting large events at their home for the first time, they often think that the two or three toilets they have will be sufficient for the number of guests they will have. Firstly, do you really want all your guests walking through your house all day and night? Also, have one of two domestic toilets will not cope with the volume of guests. Consideration needs to be for the suppliers as well. Depending on numbers, I suggest access to perhaps a downstairs toilet or to provide a smaller toilet unit out of sight for suppliers.
If you are having more than a one day event, do ensure you have the toilet unit cleaned and refreshed with new water in the pumps.
When planning a marquee wedding at home, lighting for a marquee wedding is often overlooked! Yes, you have the uplighters or chandeliers in place inside the marquee but have you considered that later in the evening it will be dark? When guests need to walk to the toilets or perhaps want some fresh air outside in a chill out area? Also the parking access – can they safely walk to any cars parked and has sufficient lighting been considered? Another area is for the catering and suppliers who need to clear down that night. So often the marquee and catering tents do not have any lighting outside which can make it difficult for them when loading up.
Whilst very few properties allow for parking for many guests, please ensure adequate parking facilities or options have been thought about. If off road parking is required and you have may neighbours, it may be worth talking to them all to pre-warn them and perhaps come to some arrangement. Or do you have a local community hall that perhaps has parking facilities? Some of my clients have fields adjoining their property and the local farmers have allowed access. In this situation, weather may have impact on parking as a field will not be suitable in heavy rain conditions for example! Another option is to put on transport for your guests from the church or local hotels they are staying. This will help to avoid having lots of cars at your property.
A sign of a good party the morning after is not always a pretty sight! From empty bottles, broken glass, food debris and dirty linen! It is important to put plans in place before the event and ensure all parties are clear on their responsibilities. So often, this is overlooked and there is nothing worse than walking into a marquee the morning after and having the daunting task of clearing it up. It’s important for you to enjoy the morning after as a newly married couple rather than clearing up!
This is why I can also come the following morning to manage this and complete a clear down for you. We would also recommend that your catering team takes rubbish with them as part of their contract. Ensure all collections are timed so the marquee company do not come before all the furniture has been collected.
Another suggestion would be to hire in large refuse and recycling bins as they will also take it all away for you.
If you would like some professional help for an experienced wedding planner to chat with about planning your marquee wedding at home then please do get in touch. I specialises in planning marquee weddings across Sussex, Surrey and beyond A small number of examples of marquee weddings I have managed can be seen over here