Ideas and Tips for Decorating a Tent or Marquee for an Event

Are you planning on taking your celebration for your family members, coworkers, or friends outside the comfort of four walls? Having your party outdoors may be the great change of pace you and your family and friends may be looking for and could even be the event to remember for some of your guests. This isn’t to say that renting a hotel ballroom or closing out an entire bar for your private engagement isn’t as memorable or refreshing as when you’re taking your party outdoors. But think about it—a birthday party on a warm summer afternoon while enjoying drinks and finger food near a lake sounds like a swanky affair, no? How about a wedding where bride and groom both say their vows under a canopy of trees? What about a garden party informing your family and close personal friends of your engagement? Sounds like the stuff of dreams, doesn’t it?

If these are the kind of laid-back occasions you’re looking for, for your party, then you should consider a tent or marquee for hire service to add a hint of class to an otherwise open event (literally). Contrary to popular belief, tent or marquee for hire vendors not only arrange the main fixtures for the event—that is, the tent or the marquee—but they also provide extras to suit the client’s needs. One important addition they offer is the installation of auxiliary equipment and fixtures to the tent or marquee to give your guests the additional comfort and protection they need from the elements. Others have their own consultants to assist their clients in some basic decorating, and they certainly can work with designers to bring to life the client’s vision of the party.

But before renting a tent or marquee for your event, in today’s post, let’s take an in-depth look at tips, ideas, and what you need to do to ensure your outdoor party’s success—while inside a tent or marquee, that is.

Choosing the event date and venue

First and foremost on your to-do list is choosing the date and venue of your outdoor party. For party planners, it goes without saying that celebrations in a garden or park are only held when the weather is just perfect—preferably late in the spring and throughout the summer. Be wary of the weather on your chosen date, though, as the weather could change without warning. Make sure to check regular forecasts at least a week before your event. After you’ve chosen the date, the next thing you’ll need to accomplish is picking the venue.

Of course, the venue should be big enough to fit all the equipment, the caterers, the tent or marquee itself, and your guests. For smaller, intimate get-togethers like birthday parties or wedding anniversary parties, tent or marquee services can accommodate backyards; larger celebrations will require larger properties. Lakefront properties or other eco-tourism spots like farmsteads or national parks have ample space for guests to roam around in and around the property. A landmark like a decommissioned lighthouse or a rustic barn makes for a memorable postcard and icebreaker for your guests.

In choosing a venue far from home, consider areas where comfortable accommodation is close by, in case your guests want to go sightseeing in their free time or after your event. Areas with accessible commuting options are also ideal. Choose a venue close to an airport or a bus or train station for out-of-town guests, and those driving will appreciate huge parking spaces. Also, it’s important for a venue to have emergency services within a reasonable distance in case of accidents or unplanned circumstances.

Obviously it’s very rare to find venues where everything you need is within a stone’s throw, and when you do find such venues, their prices will probably take a huge chunk out of your budget. In any case, if you hit at least three of these requisites, you’ll be sure your guests will come. 

How big is the party size? 

Next on your list is knowing exactly how many guests are coming. As tents and marquees for rent come in many different types and sizes, it’s best to get an approximate number of guests first before getting quotations and pricing options. The bigger the party size, the bigger the tent or marquee you’ll need so you could seat every one of your guests. Also remember that the guests aren’t the only people you’ll have to fit in your marquee. The band, the caterers, the ushers, and contingency seating (in case stragglers and last-minute attendees appear out of nowhere) also need their own dedicated spaces so your party won’t feel crowded and packed.

Which tent or marquee is perfect for the event? 

After determining, the party date, venue, and size, next you’ll need a tent or marquee to seat your guests. Marquees could fit as few as 50 to as many as 50,000 guests at any one event. That said, you’ll need the right marquee for the right event.

Clear-span and clear-top marquees are perfect for weddings to really take in the scenery of the venue. The unique engineering in clear-top marquees has virtually removed the center poles or supports within the tent to maximize as much space as possible. However, as these types of marquees use clear wall panels, these are better suited for events late in the afternoon and early in the evening.

For huge conventions or festivals, Keder-frame marquees could be easily installed on grass, asphalt, rock, or concrete surfaces. Available from 5 to 15 meters (15 to 50 meters), these versatile, do-it-all tents can be installed with clear or white tops and hip-end or gable-end configurations for extra support and stability.

In any case, there are a lot of tent or marquee for hire services from which you could choose the right equipment for your event.

Color and lighting: The basics

Decorating the tent or marquee usually falls on the vendor’s hands. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a more hands-on approach to the decor. To accentuate the beauty of nature, open tents and marquees are a must. Maharaja- and Mughal-inspired marquees take all the good cues from Persian, Indian, and Turkish architecture, which are filled with royal golds, purples, and deep reds, complete with different flowers and patterns, to give your special event a festive, Oriental feel.

Free-hanging lights are a must for events early in the evening. They not only add illumination within the tent; they also also add a romance and intimacy unique to a wedding or a high school prom. However, make sure the lighting should not be too bright or too dim to irritate your guests. The best way to go about the decorations is to work with your designer and the vendor’s consultants as they have a better grasp on the design side of the event.

Once you have all these considerations in place, everything else follows. But the hard work does not stop there to ensure the success of your event. If you have the venue, the party size, the right tent or marquee, and the decor handled, then you can focus on the minute details like who sits where or the dress code. All in all, just plan the outdoor party like how you’d plan an indoor party—but with the addition of a tent or marquee for hire service.


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