Outdoor Wedding Venue Options

Marquees and Bedouin Tents

Wedding reception tents are a boon for those planning an outdoor wedding. While an outdoor wedding may seem very romantic, a really hot day, heavy rain or gale-force winds can soon ruin what should be a perfect day. Some protection from extremes of weather means that plans can proceed whatever happens. Hiring a tent or marquee will minimise these problems and add to the glamour of an outdoor wedding.

If the weather is fine, the sides can be left off altogether or opened right up to let the outdoors become part of the decor. You can choose a transparent roof which protects everyone from the elements but allows a beautiful sunset to be part of the proceedings.

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when planning a wedding reception. What size and type of tent do you need? Will you need an area for cocktails and/or sit-down meals? How many guests do you envisage? Do you need a dance floor or band stage? These can all be hired for your special occasion. You can get good advice from your hire firm too.

Wedding CarCredit: Wikimedia

Modern-day tents and marquees come in a mind-boggling array of options. A few decades ago, scope and design were limited. A flat area of a certain size was needed and the surface was a crucial consideration too. Today's tents can be erected almost anywhere for any number of people. The choice is huge.

The traditional marquee is usually made of PVC. These are attractive from outside and can be dressed up on the inside. Linings can be added and may be plain, striped, swathed or smooth. Tulle, fairy lights or mobiles will add to the glamour inside. Marquees can even be air-conditioned if necessary. However they do need a specific area that is flat with a surface that will allow the use of tent-pegs and stays. With artificial turf, sisal or carpet laid on the ground and a red carpet leading to the entrance, these can be dressed up to look really fantastic. It is also easy to add fully enclosed lean-tos as a kitchen or catering area.

This 10 x 20 canopy has easily removed
sidewalls which attach with Velcro
fasteners. Framed windows
allow maximum light and viewing.

Freeform or stretch marquees and tents are another story altogether. These may also be called Bedouin or nomadic tents. They are admirably suited to weddings, combining elegance and style. They are not called freeform for nothing. They can be wrapped around trees, walls or rocks so can be used in areas where marquees simply will not fit. The terrain is of little importance. They can be erected on sloping or terraced ground or on gravel, pavement or tarmac. Adaptability is the middle name of these tents. There is a wide choice of colours too.

This 10 x 30 marquee holds up to 50 people.
The six sidewalls have windows and there
are two end walls.

High grade fabric ensures these tents will withstand quite severe thunderstorms. Lightweight aluminium frames, two-way stretch, a totally waterproof fabric and a modular design are part and parcel of freeform tents. The dimensions can be altered easily by shifting the poles and stretching the fabric to fit. Yurts or tipis can be interconnected creating a dramatic effect at light when lit up.

Carpet or wooden flooring can be chosen, together with a dance floor, stage for musicians and pennant flags. Transformation and reinvention is easy with these versatile tents. For something different but hassle-free, you might like to think about having your wedding reception in a tent. Nowadays this is an attractive and feasible alternative to a more traditional venue.