Wedding Maquees, good ideas or not?

by Alvin Kan, General Manager, Gosford Golf & Function Centre and  Perfection Wedding Catering

Marquees have slowly grown in popularity. It is often the fantasy of having it in the open in an all white Marquee with drapery everywhere that draws the bride. This fantasy can be a reality if you take precaution otherwise it can become a nightmare!

Never think you are going to get out of it cheap!!!(Unless you want a cheap looking wedding)

Having a marquee wedding in a mates backyard on acreage may sound like a great way to save money, however costs associated with marquee wedding have to be considered and these quite often counteract the savings of room and ceremony hire.

Budget for:

The Marquee Normally at least $1600 for a decent one (including install), flooring (don’t even think about doing it without flooring) will cost at least another $350.

Caterers Will charge a premium to do a marquee wedding as they have drag all the equipment to the site and may have to supply generators and refrigeration, all big costs

Air Conditioning Most Professional Marquees (at Function Centres and Restaurants) have air conditioning. If you are hiring a Marquee you will have to hire a conditioner. Don’t be tempted to try do without it in summer as your guests will suffer and your wedding will turn into a nightmare. In winter heaters without fresh air will be incredibly stuffy.

Bar Staff You will require quite a bit of staff as a portable bar in a marquee is lot harder to staff as it is not as well set up as permanent bar.

Cutlery Your caterer may or may not include cutlery in which case you have to hire cutlery.

Glassware If you are supplying your own alcohol the caterer will not provide you with glassware. Even if they do they will only provide limited glassware and you will have to organize more to get the look of a classical wedding.

Pathway What if it rains will you guest have to walk through a muddy paddock to get to your wedding. Will they have to get wet muddy feet whenever they go to the toilet? Organise a pathway to the marquee. The minimum should be large concrete pavers. Be careful they these are flush with the ground as pavers above level ground provide a trip hazard. Ensure these pavers are large you may want put several together (don’t forget your guest have been drinking).

Electricity Do you need to get a generator to run electricity? Ensure the generator is large enough. Where will you place the generator as it is pretty noisy?

Wedding Planner People who choose to do a temporary (not at a function centre or restaurant) marquee should employ the services of a wedding planner to coordinate everything. This will take much of the stress out of your wedding planning. It is definitely money well spent in the circumstance.

Furniture Round Table, chairs and chair for the ceremony can add greatly to the cost of a wedding. Also ensure your chairs are compatible with the chair covers of your wedding decorator.

Linen Some Caterer supply table linen some don’t. Many caterers supply napkins or some sort, some times paper. Don’t settle for paper napkins it makes your wedding seem incredibly cheap, pay the extra for linen napkins and save yourself the embarrassment. Linen may be an unforeseen cost you will have to factor in.

Marquees can be an unbelievable wedding venue. They look great, can have that fairytale effect about them and can look incredibly elegant especially in the right setting. A Marquee wedding is however invariably more expensive (to a comparable venue based wedding), requires a lot more planning and effort, with contingency requirements not as forseeable. If you want the feel of a Marquee Wedding go for it with all you heart and you wallet). Trying to skimp on a Marquee wedding will invariable take away all that is great about it and to disastrous effect.

Gosford Golf and Function Centre is one of the Premier Reception Venues on the NSW Central Coast

Perfection Wedding Catering provides full wedding services to a number of beachside venues on the NSW Central Coast

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