Design Tips: Marquee Events

Over the last 7 years I have organised many marquee events and have become known as an expert amongst planners and clients alike. Personally I love them, yes its HARD work but the results are worth it. Below are some design tips that work in marquees.

  • Think about the carpet colour and chair seat pads carefully, they should match your wedding theme and colours, not clash, if in doubt go neutral.
  • Be imaginative with the design, if your theme is butterflies then why not have a butterfly lining? Try crescent moon for custom made linings.
  • Lighting is key for weddings now so ask your marquee company about up-lighters or spot lights on tables from above, this creates a very powerful effect. Candelabras look amazing when night begins to fall. In the garden place garden lanterns on trees and in flower beds to make a feature of them, if the weather is nice hopefully guests will be spending time outside.


  • Arrange the layout so minimal disruption is causes when moving furniture. Trying to remove a long top table form the dance floor when evening guests have arrives is not much fun. I advise avoiding having tables on the dance floor unless absolutely necessary.
  • Speak with your florist about creating a high impact display, small low arrangements just get lost in the ceiling height. A combination of high/low arrangements works best


  • Ask to see the marquee chairs before agreeing to hire them, some hire chairs should have been taken out of service years ago. Ask for spares so you can only place out the good ones, have someone on site to take delivery of the chairs and quality check them.
  • If there is one thing that can break a theme it is rough and starched linen. Speak with your planner or caterer about hiring in some designer linen, there is a range of colours and styles you can get. Ensure the cloths are to the floor .
  • Try raising the dance floor and have steps leading up to it. Line alternative pots of flowers with up-lighters to light the dance floor from below.
  • Many people now have big displays on the marquee poles (if traditional marquee) but why not ask your florists to create a palm tree or willow tree with twigs and blooms?

If you are interested in hiring Dream Occasions to help manage planning your marquee event or the design do visit our website and get in touch.Photo Credit: Kate Anderson

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