Marquee weddings are that most English of things. They immediately conjure up the warmth of summer don’t they? Pretty bunting flutters in the breeze, and strawberries and champagne are a must. Everyone applauds as the bride and groom arrive and the marquee is a riot of summer colour. As a wedding photographer, some of my favourite wedding celebrations have been in marquees.
Will you choose a simple marquee in an English garden? Or, will you opt for a palatial Raj style tent in extensive grounds? Whatever your choice, marquee weddings are fun! They are without a doubt a fantastic mix of English eccentricity, Boho chic and grandeur.
A simple white marquee set in a pretty garden of almond blossom and roses is beautiful. Hannah and Ian’s marquee in her parent’s garden was exactly that. But, if you love opulence a Raj style tent is definitely the style to go for. I love the grandeur of Hannah and Seb’s Raj style marquee, set in the grounds of Hannah’s parents’ home. Bold reds and blues stand out against the English green of the lawn. And, its reflection in the early evening light by the nearby lake is just gorgeous.
Light is the key factor if you want great natural light photographs in your marquee. An open sided marquee (street style) is perfect for providing natural light and ventilation. Even better if we actually get summer heat!
There are other ways to introduce light too. Candles and chandeliers give gentle light that has the effect of softening everything. Beware the coloured lights so beloved of wedding dj’s. It can be quite atmospheric but sometimes it can be too much. A little goes a long way and as a photographer it’s useful to know ahead of time if coloured lighting is a feature. The blue and cerise lights are particularly challenging to work with. But, a good photographer always makes sure your wedding photos are still fantastic!
And the position of your marquee? There’s something rather special about a marquee that has a view of the lake. The permanent marquee at Chippenham Park is hard to beat on position with a grand view of the house lake.
If you can’t have a lakeside view think about the view that you’ll have when the sides of the marquee are open. Overlooking a golf fairway is popular or maybe positioned close to a romantic orchard? Michelle and Neil’s marquee, positioned next to a beautiful English Cricket field is lovely. My favourite photo of the marquee is against a darkening summer sky. The flags fluttering in the wind are of every nation of each of their guests.
When guests are able to mix and mingle with ease, a wedding photojournalist will ‘jump for joy’. It’s the perfect situation for relaxed, candid wedding photography. Which brings me to the final thing to consider – the interior design of your marquee.
It’s essential that there’s room to make a grand entrance. After all, you want everyone to witness how happy you are. And it’s all the better if your photographer has enough room to capture it all. Room to drink, dine and dance is also essential. A table layout where you can see your guests and mingle with them is perfect. Long bench style or round tables it doesn’t matter. The key thing is being able to get round everyone and say hello! And finally, it’s party time. A good dance floor (and music) is critical to getting that dance floor filled. Wooden floors or black and white chequered floors are both great. And when it comes to the first dance to kick the party off? A sparkling ‘star’ filled ceiling is perfect for that romantic touch. Let the party begin!
If you’re having a marquee wedding and like what you’ve seen here come and say hello. You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0370 626 5200. I’d love to be part of your day.