Let's talk MARQUEE WEDDINGS – and why we love them!

Marquee weddings are very much an upcoming wedding trend for South African destination weddings. In fact, last year, as many as 40% of our clients opted for marquee weddings! As a KZN wedding planner, it’s one trend I’m excited to see, since a marquee allows you to create a truly bespoke event. If you’re not a typical cookie cutter couple, and want something that’s distinctively beautiful and true to your style and personalities, then a marquee wedding could be just what you’re looking for. Of course, tented weddings come with some very specific planning challenges, which I recently detailed in a guest feature on local wedding blog, Hooray Weddings. But I still love planning marquee weddings in Durban and beyond. That moment when our clients walk into their reception and see the marquee space transformed into something magical and unique makes it all worth it! Here are my top ten reasons why a marquee may be the perfect venue option for your wedding.

1. It’s a blank canvas

When you choose a traditional wedding venue, there are many aspects that you cannot change. Crazy wallpaper, dated carpets and fixtures, walls that clash with your colour scheme. Marquee weddings allow you work to your exact specifications and add in features you love, like chandeliers or a custom dance floor. The result is something completely unique and special that only you and your guests will ever experience. We absolutely love the creative process of building a space from the ground up, and it’s probably the biggest draw for our clients as well.

2. You can have it literally anywhere

A tent can be built in so many locations – all you really need is a bit of space. Oh Happy Day has pulled off marquee weddings in a huge variety of conditions. From destination safari weddings in the middle of the bush or on the airstrip of a Big 5 game reserve, to the banks of a lagoon, to gardens, fields, and farms. In terms of finding a unique wedding venue, it’s a game changer!

3. The sentimental aspect

Having your choice of location means you can pick one that’s really special to you. I love how meaningful it is when a wedding is hosted at a bride’s family home or farm, near a favourite beach, or whichever location has significance to you.

4. You can make it as intimate or large as you like

The size of your guest list can be a real hurdle when finding a venue for your South African destination wedding. Marquee hire means that you can have a much larger number of guests, but it also works for a smaller, more intimate wedding.

5. The best of both worlds

If you can’t decide between an indoor and outdoor wedding, then a marquee is the perfect middle ground. Especially with a glass marquee, you get to take full advantage of the view, and bring the outside in with your décor.

6. Come rain or come shine

Another major advantage of marquee weddings is that they can take place year round (although you’ll have to consider additional costs such as heating or air conditioning). With the right planning, it also means you won’t have to worry about rain spoiling your wedding day.

7. You can choose your own caterer

I know this is a big one for many of you! A marquee wedding in a neutral space means you don’t have to conform to a venue’s restrictions, including who caters your event. It gives you a huge amount of flexibility in terms of food options, and bar options too!

8. Flexible layout

Another advantage to marquee hire is that you can choose where everything will be, from the dance floor and entertainment to the bar. You can build your own ideal layout to suit the ‘flow’ that you want to create, and section off any areas you choose.

9. You aren’t confined by time restrictions

Most venues require the party to end at midnight, or charge a fee per hour after that time. If you’re the types who want to squeak some tekkie late into the night, a marquee will give you that flexibility (assuming there aren’t any noise restrictions).

10. The feeling of spaciousness

With a glass marquee or one with open sides, there’s a wonderful feeling of spaciousness. Marquees feel much larger than they might actually be, and create a beautiful open air feeling.

As I mentioned, marquee weddings definitely aren’t for everyone, and can often be more complex or costly than you imagine. That’s why, if you do love the idea of a marquee wedding in Durban and beyond, you’ll need some help! An experienced wedding planner will be able to ensure that every aspect is covered, and can do some of the more complicated arranging on your behalf. So you just get to sit back and enjoy every moment!

Images by Vanilla Photography