There’s something quintessentially British about a wedding reception in a marquee!  And here at Expresso we particularly love catering for marquee weddings across Norfolk and Suffolk!

Opt to celebrate under canvas and the world’s your oyster when it comes to styling your big day.  A marquee wedding reception is a wonderful opportunity for couples to express their personalities and hospitality in a way rarely permitted in other venues.  And if you’re planning a big bash then it’s the perfect solution!

So, if you’re planning a marquee reception what do you need to consider?

Lots to think about!

Venue: while some hotels and country houses offer marquee-based wedding packages, we’re assuming you’d rather go it alone.  So first of all you’ll need a large garden, field or other open  space.

Marquee: at the risk of stating the obvious there are marquees and there are marquees.  Consider carefully what it is you’re after.  Options include traditional wooden pole marquees through to circus tent styled options, metal-framed marquees, yurts and tepees.

Prices vary considerably so make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.

Have a list of questions!

For instance…will there be a hardboard floor? will it be a new carpet – what sort? is the marquee fabric or vinyl? will it have an inner lining? will it be large enough for guests to mingle before they sit down/after the meal? does it have a dancefloor? will there be windows – can you specify which direction they face? what about heating? can the loos be accessed without guests having to go outside? And so the list goes on!

And don’t forget to check about marquee set up/break down times in order to avoid unexpected surprises!  Of course you’ll need to co-ordinate with equipment hire and other service providers.

Access: consider where guests and suppliers will park.  Take into account potentially wet, uneven ground and high heels. Remember that your caterers will need to get their vehicles as close as possible to their catering area in order to load/unload.  Consider also how you’ll light the area around your marquee once darkness falls – you don’t want guests tripping over guy lines, stumbling into ponds or trampling through flower beds!

Signage: a few well-placed signs will ensure guests – and later taxis – find their way to your reception easily.

Toilets: you’ll be pleased to know portable toilets have come on a long way.  Today’s posh portaloos have proper flushing porcelain and running water – a far cry from those found on building sites!

Food: The huge advantage of having a marquee wedding is, of course, that you can choose your own caterer – but catering for marquee weddings requires experience, flexibility and a ‘can do’ spirit so it’s essential to choose your caterer with care.

Please do pay attention to what your caterer will require in terms of facilities!  At the very least they’ll need:

  • An adjacent catering/work area – usually a dedicated catering marquee linked to the main marquee.  Discuss optimum size with your caterer.
  • Water – the closer the supply the better!
  • Power – and plenty of it!
  • Lighting

When it comes to the menu, catering for marquee weddings differs little from catering at other remote venues – in fact a well-equipped field kitchen can offer a better/cleaner working space than the so called ‘kitchen’ facilities available at other venues!!  An experienced marquee caterer will be able to produce stunning food in the middle of nowhere – so enjoy working with them to come up with a great menu!

Drinks: the great benefit of opting for a marquee wedding is that you can provide your own drinks – thus avoiding pricey drinks packages and corkage charges.  Catering for marquee weddings usually includes drinks service and we’d recommend asking staff to man your bar until the end of the evening.  Just remember you’ll need to dispose of the empties afterwards!

Entertainment: Wedding professionals will be used to working in remote locations such as marquees but don’t forget to check if they require changing facilities, food and extra power!

Catering for marquee weddings 

Catering for marquee weddings isn’t for the faint hearted but rest assured the Expresso team will ensure you have a fabulous day.  We love the challenge of working in new locations and have plenty of experience catering for marquee weddings of all shapes and sizes across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Next weekend we’re off to Mattishall to help Tom and Charlene celebrate their big day and we can’t wait!

What’s not to love about a marquee wedding?

Click on….