by Martina Paul
Warwickshire and Cotswolds wedding planner & coordinator
Having a marquee wedding is a big decision. It takes time to choose the right land, to build it, and then hope for decent weather for at least 5 days. A few days for the build, wedding day, and clear up afterwards. And it is just the beginning. Finding a reliable company to deliver the marquee of your dreams can be a hassle too. However, I am here to tell you how it can be all managed and turn this potential nightmare into the smoothest experience.
Marquee set up & Style
As I have mentioned, building a marquee is a big job. The ground must be flat, marquee must leave enough space for the kitchen tent and the toilets, and access for the suppliers to drive up to it to unpack.
Marquee is usually built a few days before the wedding day. You can overlook the build if you are building it at your family home or your home. It is a bit more complicated if you hired a land elsewhere and you need to travel. This is the first point where the coordinator comes in handy and can assist with overlooking the site. It is even better to hire a wedding planner who will recommend a reliable marquee company who they have worked within the past. You can then leave it all to the planner and just be excited for the big day.
Styling a marquee wedding is great fun as you are dressing up a blank canvas. You can create a lounge, chill out area with the bar, snack area, and of course, the wedding reception area. All to your taste.
Inside of the marquee is a time-consuming part of the set up that can take a full day. All décor needs to be hanged up, tables need to be laid with cutlery, crockery, glassware, favours, folded napkins, and flowers. Again, this is where the coordinator comes handy and can set up with a décor company, synchronise suppliers working together, and assist where needed.
Arrivals of the wedding suppliers
Wedding suppliers come and go at all hours and on various day when it comes to a marquee wedding. These lovely people need to be directed to their offloading spot, parking spot, collection spot, electrical plugs, and any other equipment they might need to do their job. Most of them will also appreciate getting a cup of tea while they are at it 😊 Meet and greet of the suppliers and looking after them is part of the wedding coordinator’s role. All suppliers do need to work together well, and it helps for them to know there is a person they can turn to for help. Please remember that these guys don’t necessarily know each other and work together for the first time. And the outcome must be perfect. So, the coordinator ties it all together and acts as a team manager with one goal – your perfect wedding day!
Meet & Greet your guests
It is always nice to have a host to welcome your guests to the wedding venue. This way your guests feel at ease and know the person to find if they need anything later. And the welcome is not just for the guests, it is also for the Bride & Groom to be handed their first glass of Champagne, and for the parents to know that all is under control.
Wedding day coordination & timings
The big day is here! You have waited a long time for this and planned all to perfection. The day timeline has been drawn and handed over to the groomsman, bridesmaids, and the coordinator. Everybody knows what happens next as there is a big timeline printed and sitting on an easel in the marquee entrance. However, it can be tricky to keep an eye on the time when you are having fun! This is where the wedding coordinator follows the timeline and act as a reminder to announcements. Checking in with the Bride & Groom during the day and prompting the MC to announce the next part of the wedding day. The timeline can also change a bit. It is up to the coordinator’s judgement of the situation (rainy weather or other delays), and agreement with the Bride & Groom to move it slightly.
Wedding suppliers will be arriving at the venue from early morning. They might need directions, helping with parking and offloading. There also needs to be the supervision of the marquee and making sure no damage is being caused to the tent. Not to mention, health and safety requirements must be met. This means mostly making sure the cables and leads are covered, and there no spillages or slippery surfaces.
As suppliers arrive, they are met and greeted by the coordinator, they know exactly where and how they set up according to the briefing. So, no matter what stage of your wedding day you are at; whether it is a DJ setting up during your meal, band arriving during your speeches, or caterers needing to leave while you are cutting the cake; they are all taken care of.
So, even though your bridesmaids and groomsmen are super organised bunch and fully capable of helping with various tasks, running a wedding day is a huge responsibility and hard work, especially for the first time.
Why not let them have fun and hire a professional coordinator to tie all the tasks together into a smooth operation.
Tidying up & Break down
Hiring a marquee for your wedding day often means that you can party until early morning hours. Which is a great bonus, however, the tiding up must be happening during the day, and all suppliers must do their part, so you are not left with a massive mess the next day. It is a good idea to think about what is going to happen with all the rubbish. There will be food waste, empty boxes, empty bottles, and most likely broken glass. And there will be a lot of it too. Is the catering company taking their waste and dirty crockery away with them? Are the bar staff recycling on-site or taking all empties with them? It is good to establish who is responsible for clearing away what afterwards and is it going to happen late at night or the next morning?
Even though the wedding coordinator wouldn’t stay late into the night, they can always come back the next morning and continue organising the clear up.
The marquee company usually comes the day after that and takes it down and away.
As we are all trying to be environmentally conscious, try to deliver a plastic-free wedding, make use of compost, and recycle.
Overall, getting a wedding planner’s help or a coordinator on board means that all you need to do is to be excited about your big day. And have a stress free, set up free, and clearing up free wedding experience.
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