There are some outstanding function rooms and venues in the Margaret River Region, many of which don’t require hiring a marquee.
But what if you choose a stunning venue with a fabulous outdoor space – one of the many wineries, for instance? And what if the weather is cold, windy or rainy – would you enjoy the day as much if you had to move the entire wedding indoors? And would it work logistically, bringing your ceremony inside? Even if you have your heart set on a garden ceremony and dancing under the stars, here are a few reasons to consider a marquee for your comfort and peace of mind. Heidi Goldstone, director of Wonderland Tents and Events shares her insights.
- So you have a plan B in case of inclement weather
Couples often say to me they want an ‘open air’ wedding reception with ‘dancing under the stars’. This is so romantic but often the unpredictable south west weather patterns can determine otherwise. We can have rain in summer and evenings are generally cold. A marquee ensures that the party will go on no matter what the weather and that you and your guests will be comfortable even after sunset. There are plenty of marquee options to choose from that allow you to bring the outdoors in and maximize any breathtaking views; a sandy beach, coastal cliffs, native bush, beautifully manicured gardens or expanse of ocean and sky.
Georgia and Adam were well advanced in their wedding planning before they thought about booking a marquee; in fact, they didn’t really want one until it was suggested by their parents that it might be a good idea to consider one in case of bad weather.
They secured a booking for a 10m x 24m clear span marquee and it truly saved the day. Their wedding day in late April was in fact spectacular because of the stormy, coastal weather but without a marquee it might have been quite a different story. In my opinion, the marquee was the hero of this beautiful wedding story, it provided a unique ceremony space taking in breathtaking coastal views, it hosted a magnificent reception, also designed to maximize the use of the private house, it’s grounds and unique coastal views and the clear roof allowed for dancing under the stars until the wee hours of the morning.
What you don’t see in the photos is the speed of the gale force winds.
FLOWERS Flowers for Mrs Harris // LOCATION Incognito Escape // PHOTOGRAPHY Keeper Creative // MARQUEE 10 x 24 meter clear marquee. The wedding ceremony was held atop the dance floor within the marquee. Wonderland Tents and Events
- Say ‘I Do’ somewhere sentimental and special
A marquee gives you greater freedom to choose a place that is meaningful to you as a couple. That could be your family farm, your favourite beach or the place where your fiancé popped the question. Our Kimberley based couple Tarryn and Brodie chose Olio Bello for their wedding because that’s where he proposed to her, it was a very sentimental and special place for them both.
It was a romantic summer ceremony in the olive grove followed by a marquee reception by the lake. Dancing was under the summer night sky with music by their favourite band, The Pigram Brothers, from Broome. It was a perfect marriage of bringing the Kimberley to the southwest coast.
You have many fabulous wedding venues and private locations to choose from in Yallingup, Dunsborough, Margaret River and beyond – mrbg.com.au has an extensive list, and we detail some of our favourites at our website.
Images below by Tim Campbell Photography at Edwards Wines
- Beware of unpredictable winds
It was March 2016, a beautiful sunny autumn day. We supplied just about every piece of equipment for this wedding – tablewear, beautiful chairs, ceremony furnishings, a coolroom and much more – everything except for a marquee. Their wedding planner and I both recommended a marquee many times, but the bride and groom were just so set on having an ‘open air’ wedding with dancing under the twinkling lights of the night sky.
The day itself was beautiful. By midday it was hot and the set up team were sweating as they set the long guest tables with dinnerware, cutlery and glassware. Set up was on track, the caterers and bar staff arrived and it was nearly 3pm and the ceremony about to begin.
‘From nowhere (or so it seemed) a strong gust of wind travelled across the paddock toward the already set reception tables; causing the beautifully folded napkins and placed menus to fly away and the hired glassware to fall over and break along the tables cape.’ Glasses were smashing and all I could think was, “if only they had booked a marquee this wouldn’t be happening”. Of course the set up team acted fast and rescued the majority of glassware and packed it back into boxes and relocated it to the bar ready for bar service following the ceremony. The wedding planner has said she will never do an ‘open air’ reception set up again.
Fortunately for the bride and groom they had such an experienced team working for them because to this day, they don’t know it even happened. All they know is there were glass breakages on the night but then that was going to happen anyway!
- WOW your guests with a spectacular setup
Marquees are the ultimate WOW factor regardless of the weather. Perfect for stylish couples because a marquee is literally a blank canvas on which you can stamp your style, creating a wedding day unique to you. Find styling inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest so you can give your suppliers examples when briefing them on your style.
Wedding of Ann nie and Andrew at LOCATION Woodstone Cottages
Heidi’s Tips for a Marquee Wedding
- When choosing a site, ideally look for a flat lawn area with easy access for large vehicles and mobile caterers.
- If you book a commercial marquee wedding venue, ask their in-house wedding coordinator to recommend good, reliable suppliers. Yes, you may pay a little extra but this is worth your peace of mind knowing they will deliver the right product, in good, clean condition, on time. This will save you a lot of time and heartache!
- Do you want space for your dance floor, DJ, band or other furniture inside the marquee? Let us know so we can determine the right sized marquee for your needs and provide you with an honest, accurate quote right from the start.
- Ask your marquee supplier plenty of questions! We love our job, we love talking about marquees and the intricacies of setting up for a marquee wedding. We’ll share ideas and experience we’ve learnt along the way.
- Lighting is an important feature of any event both aesthetically and practically! You will need to consider both the interior lighting of the marquee as well as outdoor lighting at the entrance to the marquee.
- As the marquee is one of your bigger expenses, make sure your other vendors are all available on the requested date, in particular your caterer.
- Book it in early! There’s a thriving wedding industry in the southwest and reputable suppliers do get booked up.
- It’s beneficial to work with one hire vendor where you can, so that you save money on multiple delivery fees. If you are hiring a marquee and most of your equipment from one supplier you are in a strong position to request a package discount.
- Plan a memorable celebration with your beloved family and friends. Don’t worry about a Pinterest perfect wedding, just be sure to have fun.
by Heidi Goldstone, director of Wonderland Tents and Events, Marquee and Event Specialist
Heidi and husband Russell Goldstone own Wonderland Tents and Events. Based in Busselton, they specialise in marquee hire and travel throughout the southwest region.