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Using the Bride or Grooms home as a reception venue with a Marquee

Most couples start to plan their Wedding Day as soon as the Engagement is announced. In most situations, there are two families to consider who may have had little contact with each other before the big announcement, or may indeed have ever met. No wonder most couples find this a daunting task! Using either the Bride or Groom's home as a venue for the Reception will be an immediate icebreaker. As soon as your guests arrive at the Reception, there is plenty to talk about, unlike with an impersonal venue.

Marquees now come in all shapes and sizes. Most marquee companies offer a free no obligation site survey. This is when they can look at all logistics for your day. From where your guests are going to park, through to which part of the garden is most suitable to site your reception. Incorporating garden features such as ponds, plant borders, statues & small trees will make your marquee unique & personal in a way no other venue can.

Also, simple Uplighting using coloured gel overlays can create a striking look outside the marquee to illuminate your favourite trees, bringing your theme together. The internal marquee linings can be contemporary ivory, perhaps with a stunning starlight roof lining to create an intimate atmosphere over the dance floor. Some Brides incorporate their Bridesmaids colours into the marquee using swags & tails over classic ivory and also using coloured table linen for a more interesting look.

For a surprise element to your reception, fake reveal linings can be used to hide an area until it comes into it's own, for example a band can start to play behind the linings as they drop to reveal the dance floor, always a surprise to your guests and great for signalling that dinner is over and now it's time to party! Flowers look exceptional in marquees. The roof height lends itself to dramatic floral displays; flower balls can easily be clamped to poles or suspended from the ridge of the marquee. Most mothers of the Bride and Groom really enjoy participating in this part of the decoration of the marquee. Catering for your guests outside is always one of the main attractions of the day. There are so many caterers to choose from who specialise in outside catering, from a full hot sit down meal to hog roasts, BBQs, chocolate fountains, vodka luge? Your caterer will prepare and cook for you in either a separate catering tent attached to the main marquee or an integral section of the main marquee.

Most marquee companies now produce a Computer Aided Design illustrating the internal layout of tables, dance floor, access points, toilets etc to help both your caterers and other suppliers such as florists and DJ's. Power solutions for lighting, caterers, DJs are usually overcome with a silent generator. The power is then distributed around the marquee as and where required. Diesel powered heating is ducted into the marquee from units placed outside and these are normally thermostatically controlled from within the structure Toilets are sited close to the marquee and where possible in inclement weather within the marquee or attached to the main structure via walkways. Most couples opt for a trailer comprising ladies and gents. Some units even have piped music and DVDs playing, quite the talking point for frequenting guests! Depending on your chosen location, there are basically two main types of marquee structure used for large gatherings such as weddings: Traditional Radial Tension Roof Marquees are very beautiful for brides where space is not an issue.

They are integral in 20' sections, with a 22' high internal poles. These poles give the marquee an impressive feel and are usually decorated by the florist so that they become a feature. Clearspan Marquees are modular structures, with no guy ropes. They are more versatile than the Traditional Marquees because they can be configured perpendicular to each other to overcome awkward sites and also they may be fixed to hardstanding unlike the Traditional.

Do remember most suppliers are booking up six months to a year in advance for popular summer dates, try not to leave choosing suppliers until the last moment. Planning early relieves stress and allows you to relax and continue to enjoy your Engagement.

Ross Kernick is marketing manager for Buchannan marquee hire who provide marquee hire Winchester, Southampton, Hampshire and Dorset



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