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Pros and cons of a marquee wedding
We’ve always found it hard to find straight-up info on the pros and cons of a marquee wedding. So we asked South Coast Party Hire to share their honest thoughts on the topic. And being as awesome as they are, they did. Read on.
South Coast Party Hire marquee
Words by Amy Parfett
2 October 2015

As more and more couple choose to get married outside of traditional spaces, opting for farms and private properties instead (high fives), marquee weddings have in turn blossomed.

We’ve always found it hard to find straight-up info on the pros and cons of a marquee wedding. So we asked South Coast Party Hire to share their honest thoughts on the topic. And being as awesome as they are, they did.

Here’s what they had to say.


In recent years we’ve seen the rising popularity of the marquee wedding. This style of wedding is so appealing to couples as it really allows you to put your personal ‘stamp’ on the wedding, ensuring your guests have a one of kind experience.

Be warned – it is more work, but the benefits far outweigh this.  All the couples we’ve worked with over the years will attest to that. I feel it is very important for couples to be prepared for what is ahead when choosing a marquee wedding- it certainly isn’t something that suits everyone.

So, marquee wedding vs. venue wedding. Here’s what you need to consider.


A marquee wedding is going to cost as much, if not more, than a traditional venue due to the fact that you need to hire everything from the floor to the ceiling right through to cutlery and crockery. This said, it can still be done on a budget without making too many sacrifices.

Money-saving ideas include finding a space that has a level compacted surface so you don’t need a floor or even having a cocktail style function instead of a seated wedding, which eliminates a large amount of hire equipment. The food packages (depending on the caterer) may also be less.

Creative license

If you like DIY, then a marquee wedding has big benefits. By it’s very nature, a marquee wedding provides you with a blank canvas to design your own space. You can source styling items that suit your tastes and reflect your personality as a couple, then take time out with close family and friends to set it all up prior to the wedding. Over the years we have seen some absolutely amazing DIY weddings that have come together through pure creativity.


Weather can be a downside of having a marquee wedding as everything to do with the wedding is essentially outside. On the flipside, this is also one of the best things about a marquee wedding.

Although marquees are completely water and wind-proof with the walls attached, it’s not ideal if the weather is grim, as guests still have to walk to and from the marquee for amenities.

If the forecast is looking a bit grizzly, it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan, like agreeing with your hire company to have access to a larger marquee should the lead-up to the wedding be wet. Generally if it’s a busy time you may need to actually book the larger marquee or take the gamble and hope it is available in the weeks leading up to the event.

A larger marquee will ensure there is ample space for all guests inside the marquee to eat and mingle. It may even serve as a back up plan for your ceremony should it rain.

Awesome vendors required

Reliable vendors are an essential part of any marquee wedding. You need to source suppliers that are both honest and flexible to deal with last minute changes.

With a marquee wedding you’ll probably have a larger number of suppliers to deal with than a regular venue wedding, so you want to make sure your team is A+.

Vendors that know and have worked with each other before are an even bigger advantage.  They’ll know each other’s work style and will be able to sort out the logistics between themselves when it comes to setting up, saving you time and stress.

It’s good to always try and use vendors that have been recommended [WedShed interruption: you can find some amazing vendors here]. This means the quality of their work has been vouched for. Visit your vendor’s showroom, check them out on social media and if possible, taste/see/experience what they do. And remember, in this business cheap almost certainly comes with a catch so make sure you fully do your research.


We thought we’d just weigh in with some final thoughts:

  • Bare is beautiful. Don’t feel like you need to add draping to the roof or sides of the marquee (in fact, we’d completely advise against this – it looks heavy and dated). Embrace the scaffolding and frames of the marquee and use them to hang lights or floral installations from.
  • If the weather is looking good, opt to have no sides on the marquee for an open-air feel.
  • Consider a clear marquee for afternoon/evening weddings – you won’t need the shade and you’ll get to see the stars while still being somewhere contained, weather-protected and warm.
  • Marquees (and teepees) enable a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e to become a venue. Which is just amazing. For that alone, we’re all for marquee weddings.

Check out some inspo from South Coast Party Hire below. You can find more of their work on their WedShed profile, or their website.

South Coast Party Hire marquee

Image by John Benavente.

South Coast Party Hire marquee

Image by Scott Surplice


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