It's becoming increasingly popular to hold wedding and civil ceremony receptions in wedding marquees, and no wonder - wedding marquees provide a flexible space and offer you a blank canvas to work with. However, all that white can be daunting! You want your wedding reception to look perfect, but where to start? We've put together this handy Inspiration Guide to give you some tips and ideas when it comes to choosing your wedding marquee lights and décor.
If your wedding marquee, tent or teepee has exposed beams or columns, make the most of them! They're absolutely perfectly for wrapping fairy lights around or draping festoon wedding lights along, turning the whole structure into a beautiful talking point. If you use a connectable lighting system, you should be able to dress all your beams and poles with just one circuit powered from one plug, meaning no messy trailing extension leads for your wedding guests to trip over.
Papakåta, based in Yorkshire, are absolutely brilliant at using fairy lights to best effect in their teepee tents...
Photo credit: Papakåta, Lights4fun
If you really want to go all out, you might want to consider a backdrop of fairy lights, either for the ceremony or behind the top table at the wedding breakfast. Using either curtain lights, fairy lights or net lights, the bulbs look fantastic when teamed with a lightweight, pale-coloured fabric. You could even line every wall of your wedding marquee with backdrop lights, and use canopy lighting alongside it to give a real "starlit" effect. Sometimes, more is more.
Photo credit: SK Weddings, Lights4fun
If you're looking for the "wow" factor, you might decide on a marquee light canopy. Using connectable LED fairy lights, it's really easy to string the bulbs from the sides of your marquee to the centre, bringing a real old-time Hollywood flair to your reception. For a traditional look, stick with warm white bulbs, or match the colour of the fairy lights to your theme. Light canopies look particularly effective when teamed with draped gauzey fabrics like chiffon, or set behind darker fabrics with the bulbs threaded through, making your marquee ceiling looking like a starlit sky.
Our friends at 3 Point Lighting Ltd are experts in light canopies. Take a look...
Photo credit: 3 Point Lighting Ltd
From top to bottom: warm white fairy lights with purple LED par cans, warm white fairy lights with pink uplighters, warm white fairy lights alone, blue uplighters with multi coloured paper lanterns, pink fairy lights with pink LED par cans, ice white fairy lights with multi coloured uplighters, ice white fairy lights with violet par cans.
You've got the venue, the marquee, the lighting - now you just need to add a personal touch or two to tailor your blank canvas to your own wedding theme.
We've pulled together a few of our favourite looks that can be achieved by just adding a handful of finishing touches.
A splash of green in a white wedding marquee is the perfect addition to a spring or summer ceremony. Brighten up the tables with little potted plants and frame arches and doorways with ivy leaves. We love this pretty vintage birdcage decoration (by White Door Events, pictured below) filled with delicate white flowers - you could even put a mini version on each table, or fill the birdcage with fairy lights as in this lovely vintage wedding décor.
Photo credit: Lights4fun, White Door Events
Brightly coloured bunting, wooden benches, paper lanterns and hay bales teamed with a non-traditional wedding tent make for a perfect country-style wedding. Increasingly popular for weddings, parties, birthdays and events, teepee-style tents are an interesting alternative to traditional marquees and most can be tailored specifically to your design - whether you're looking to accomodate 30 people or 300 people, with or without a sizeable dancefloor, you can do it with a teepee. For when evening comes, festoon lights fit perfectly into this rustic theme and make an interesting alternative to small-bulb wedding lights.
Photo credit: Lights4fun at Papakåta
If country-chic is your thing, have a look through boho-weddings.com's Rustic Wedding tag for more inspiration.
Don't forget about the outside! If you've taken the time to make the inside of your wedding marquee look immaculate, then it's worth getting the exterior right too to give the best impact when your guests arrive. It's not just about the marquee lighting, either - potted plants or trees on either side of doors and archways frame the entrance to your tent and lend a sense of occasion, whilst strategically placed benches are always welcomed by those who have partied a bit too hard (or just those who have been standing in six inch heels all day). You could even festoon the trees with fairy lights, as below, for a real fairytale look.
Festoon lights work great as exterior lighting on wedding marquees and give off enough light to illuminate paths and entrances.
At any event, safety is of utmost importance, especially when there are large numbers of people in a confined area. Marquees are ordinarily a temporary structure, which can often be left exposed to the elements, externally at least. Therefore it is essential to ensure that all wiring and electronics are connected correctly. All our outdoor marquee lights are specifically designed to withstand inclement weather with weatherproof casings for all wires, bulbs and connectors. This means that all electrical lighting equipment is safe for use indoors and outdoors. For more information on what's weatherproof and what's not, have a read of our IP Ratings Buying Guide.
Power can be a problem in hired marquees, and sometimes the nearest electrical point is at a caravan club round the corner! Choosing the right Lights4fun LED connectable lighting system will give you all the lighting you require from one UK power socket. To help ensure that the lights don't go out on your celebration look for lighting fixtures with fuse bulb technology. This prevents the entire circuit tripping if a single bulb fuses. By bypassing the affected bulb, the others in the circuit can continue to function as normal, allowing the celebrations to go on uninterrupted.
With all of the safety considerations taken care of, you can just relax and have fun on your wedding day. And do not hesitate to call our friendly team for advice - you can reach us on 01423 816040.