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I absolutely adore shooting a Cambridge marquee wedding and as you’ll see from the images featured in this blog, Fairytale Marquees provide outstanding and yet homely environments to hold your special day! I often get asked if marquee weddings are cheaper than booking a venue and so I wanted to get clued up myself! We’re lucky enough to have Louise from Big Green Space who can help us clear this up! We also hear from Nick, founder of Fairytale Marquees!

Cambridge Marquee Wedding, Bythorn with Fairytale Wedding Marquees

Sarah says:
In my experience, couples who’ve opted for a marquee wedding haven’t done so because the final bill will be cheaper but because a Cambridge marquee wedding allows them to have the wedding they’ve always dreamed of! They’ve opted for a marquee wedding so they can be in a location that they’re most comfortable, such as their parent’s farm or at a marquee venue they fell in love with, like Lattenbury Hill Farm for example!

I’d love for my blog to be a place that wedding planning couples can go to for helpful tips and honest advice so I hope the information helps you or someone you know, to plan their dream marquee wedding day!

Over to Louise from Big Green Space

ARE MARQUEE WEDDINGS CHEAPER?

No marquee weddings are not necessarily cheaper but of course it does depend what you are comparing it to.  It is definitely more cost effective than a 5 star hotel wedding but you could also do something in a village hall for a fraction of the price.  It’s really depends on the type of wedding that you want.  There are so many variables from the style of marquee, to the ground conditions, as well as the choices you make on styling and furniture to the location and the type of food.  I believe that you don’t have a marquee wedding to save money, you choose to have a marquee because it suits your style. 

Sarah says:
That’s where having a wedding planner can be such a godsend as you can begin by telling them what your budget is as well as the style of wedding you want and they can bring ideas and suggestions to you!

Louise says:
The great thing about a marquee wedding is that you can make it as personal as you want and there are solutions for all budgets! You have the freedom to make choices about where you spend the money and where you don’t.  Although there are certain costs for things that you can’t do without such as toilets, generators and furniture, you’re not restricted on other things like you would be at a venue.  For example, you can choose your caterer, bring in food trucks, provide all your own drinks, and have time for friends and family to come and help with setting up.  The beauty of a marquee is not the price, it’s the flexibility!

HOW MUCH DOES A MARQUEE WEDDING COST?

Marquee weddings vary depending on the type and style of marquee as well as the ground conditions.  A marquee could vary from £4,000 to £40,000 depending on the choices you make in terms of guest numbers, styling, flooring, linings layout, lighting, décor. It’s really important to do a site visit to make sure that you have the right marquee for your space!

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR STICKING TO YOUR BUDGET WHILST PLANNING YOUR CAMBRIDGE MARQUEE WEDDING?

Louise says:
Think about what’s really important to you and spend the money in those areas.  There are certain things that are essential to the running of the day such as furniture, toilets, power, etc. There are lots of things that we are led to believe that we “need” for a wedding when in fact we don’t!  It’s very easy to get carried away looking at Pinterest and Instagram looking at inspiration.  But it’s important to remember that everything has a price tag.  However, we have loads of clever tips and tricks that will give you amazing impact but don’t need to cost you a penny extra.  It’s all about looking at the day holistically.  Your marquee wedding planner should always be on hand to talk through what you do and don’t need to make the day a success and to make sure you are getting the best value from your suppliers!

TELL US YOUR SECRETS FOR KEEPING THE COSTS OF THE MARQUEE DOWN

Nick says: We advise our couples to stick to hiring items which are already in stock, for example, chairs and tables would be cheaper than benches in our quote.

Louise says: Standard stock items are certainly cheaper. The most cost-effective thing to do is to use what your marquee company owns and can provide.  The moment you start bringing in specialist items such as bars, benches, unusual chairs, you’ll often find that these are more expensive and incur extra transport costs.

DO THE NUMBER OF GUESTS MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERNVE TO THE COST OF THE MARQUEE WEDDING?


Nick says: There isn’t a huge difference in cost between 60 compared to 100 guests but it is a conversation to have if budget is an issue.

Louise says: The main cost difference comes with the food and drink. The costs of the furniture and extra marquee bay per person is relatively insignificant when it comes to small differences in numbers.  The main bulk of the costs will be in keeping people fed and watered!

WHAT ARE THE TOP PERKS OF HAVING A MARQUEE WEDDING?
Location –

Louise says: There is nothing more special than having your wedding reception at home. There are also some stunning venues out there from the homely to the grand so you can feel like Lord and Lady of the manor for the day!

Sarah says: I love getting to shoot weddings at my couple’s parents’ home or farms. They tell me all about their lives growing up there. They’ve usually moved to the City in later life to there is a lovely feeling of nostalgia with them and their friends and family! Similarly though with specialist wedding venues like Lattenbury Hill, the couple and their wedding party have usually spent the day before getting the wedding set up and so they feel very at home! They’ve literally moved in and the wedding is the house warming party!

Corkage
Sarah says: Corkage can be a huge shock when your venue adds this to your bill and the great thing with a marquee wedding is you can usually buy your own alcohol, in bulk!  

Louise says: Caterers will charge a service fee though to cover the bar staff, glassware, ice etc.

Catering
Sarah says: I love that couples can be flexible with their meal choices of catering compared to having to stick to a strict list like usual venues. E.g Hog roast vs three coarse meal! Again, depends on your budget and when shopping for caterers, perhaps provide them with your budget straight away and they can advise you from there. I wholeheartedly recommend Hall & Co for your food! I’ve shot many weddings where they have catered and I can’t wait to see what the couple have gone for!

Nick recommends: CDC, Kingfisher, Harts Catering

Styling –

Louise says: You have complete flexibility in your design and layout.  You can take tailor a marquee to look exactly the way you want.  Choose from different structures to instantly show a style, choose carpet colors, choose furniture and chairs etc. You can change layouts, create a journey for your guests by building different spaces.

Abby & Guy -At home wedding ceremony & Fairytale Marquee for reception


WHAT ARE YOU TOP TIPS FOR COUPLES TRYING TO DECIDE IF A MARQUEE WEDDING IS FOR THEM OR NOT?

Louise says:

  1. Do you have the space to do it in?
  2. Do you have a large garden that can accommodate a marquee?  Is there a marquee venue that you can hire?
  3. Are you happy to get married in a church or registry office or licensed venue?  You cannot do a legal ceremony in your own garden so you will have to find somewhere else to actually legally say I do.  You can do a humanist or non-legal ceremony though so if you are happy with that.
  4. Are you someone with a keen interest in designing how it will all look?  You need vision for a marquee wedding.  If you struggle to imagine how it will look it can make you feel a little apprehensive.  Some people LOVE the excitement of creating something from scratch.  Some people want to be able to see exactly what their day will look like in advance and might need the reassurance of a venue.
  5. Do you want to create something unique?  No two marquee weddings will ever be the same!
  6. Do you have the budget?  There are lots of behind-the-scenes costs to consider such as skips, generators, toilets, and lighting.  All essential elements to make the day run smoothly but some people find it hard to part with money which they can’t “see” on the day.
  7. Are you prepared to compromise on the weather?  Most people imagine a marquee wedding, with people standing outside in the sunshine.  What if it rains?  Are you happy to compromise your plans or invest in plan B if the weather takes a turn for the worst? We’d always recommend getting a specialist marquee wedding planner involved.  They are the people who run around behind the scenes whilst you and your family are enjoying themselves.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR SERVICE, LOUISE!

At Big Green Space we are never happier than when faced with a green space to transform into a wedding venue.  Whether it’s your own back garden or a venue, we can take the stress out of the design, planning and management of your day leaving you to make the most of the time with your guests. 

 As every wedding is unique, all of our services are tailored towards our couples’ needs.  We’re flexible to step in at any stage of your process to provide support and work closely with you to ensure that all essential elements are considered.  This could be as simple as casting an experienced eye over your plans, offering advice at any stage or managing the event from concept to execution. 

We believe in creating experiences and doing things your way.  We use our expertise to advise and guide you, to bring order from chaos and to help with all of those things that go on behind the scenes but which aren’t so much fun for you. With over 20 years experience in delivering corporate, public and private events, we’ve seen it all! With our trusty box of resources, we’re equipped to handle any crisis and always have a plan B up our sleeves.  We look after the logistics and the things that people can’t see but which are absolutely essential to creating an amazing experience for you and your guests.   

OVER TO NICK, TELL US ABOUT FAIRYTALE MARQUEES – CAMBRIDGE MARQUEE WEDDING COMPANY

We started almost 20 years ago. I studied engineering at university and went out into the big scary world of work, but soon realised being indoors wasn’t for me. And so Fairytale Marquees was born. The name came from scouring through wedding magazines looking for that stand-out word. ‘Fairytale’ was it! We have grown organically, with experienced crew, into what we are today, meaning we are built on solid foundations. I have learned so much by doing that and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Our focus has always been, and will always be, variety, fairy pricing, and how we deliver our service. No big to-do, just an organised and smooth in and out which involves pre planning with clients to develop a solid plan, then delivering on that plan. Doing what we say we are going to do, when we say we will do it. Testament too, is the fact that most of our work is repeat business and new business from recommendation!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO

Me and my crew all love being outdoors and working as a team! We all live in our shorts from April to November, whatever the weather! We also thrive on the pressure of our peak season, it definitely brings out our best. The real treat for us are the beaming smiles on the clients faces on the Monday when we go back to take the marquee down.

WHAT CAN COUPES EXPECT FROM FAIRYLATE MARQUEES?

Variety, experience, professional service and good advice!

With a personal and hands-on approach, we aim to provide you with a bespoke marquee solution that meets your requirements. We can build a structure to ensure that your event is one to remember! Offering a variety of designs and sizes, we are able to seat 30 to 800 people within our event marquees or alternatively we can provide 1000’s of square feet of low-cost marquee cover. It is not only about providing you with the main shell (although we are happy to do so) we also provide an extensive range of accessories from heating solutions and furniture hire, to flooring and lighting. This enables you to have the ‘space’ element of your event completed together, no hanging around for other suppliers to arrive to see what you are working with, you can get straight on with the finishing touches.

We understand that contemplating using a temporary structure for an event, can sometimes feel overwhelming, but with our wealth of experience and knowledge we can put you at ease.

Nick, Fairytale Marquees – Cambridge Marquee Wedding Company

I really hope you’ve found this blog helpful but if you do have any more questions, please let me know or feel free to reach out to Louise from Big Green Space or Nick and the team at Fairytale marquees!

Fancy an outdoor wedding? Check out this blog on my Top Outdoor Wedding Venues!

Cambridge Marquee Wedding

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