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“My eyes filled with tears when I saw what an amazing job Jades had done!”

Wedding Flowers - How to style a Marquee

As the warmer months are approaching we wanted to provide an inspirational guide to making marquees simply spectacular!


As a floral designer for over 20 years I have been fortunate enough to work at many beautiful venues all over the country.  Each type of venue offers unique opportunities but experience has taught me how to adorn each location to maximise its full beauty. 

One type of venue that we love to work with is a marquee.  Marquees are extremely versatile and allow us to do what we do best - create unforgettable weddings!  They are truly amazing spaces that always excite me - as designers they offer so many opportunities.

I thought that I would share my experience of dressing marquees and provide some advice and inspiration to newly engaged couples looking to hold their wedding in a marquee.  There are definite ways to showcase a marquee to its full potential and I hope that you find my top tips useful.  If you would like to talk to me directly about your upcoming wedding please call me on 01376 563111.  As you can probably tell, I LOVE talking about weddings! x

Beverley Nichols - Floral Designer at Jades Flower Design (01376 563111)

1. Make an Entrance

The outside of a marquee is normally neutral white or cream.  To create excitement before entering the space I always recommend dressing the entrance.  This gives the guests a hint of what to expect inside of the marquee and provides interest to what is otherwise a blank canvas. Outside this marquee by the Highfield Event Group, I installed two large pedestal arrangements and worked with Bernadette Chapman from Dream Occasions to create a grand entrance. 

In the photograph below the bride wanted to create a magical, forest feel for the beautiful marquee at Le Talbooth, Dedham so we dressed both entrances to ensure that guests felt as though they were entering a wooded wonderland, creating a seamless transition from the outside setting to the inside.  The theme was 'A Mid Summer's Night Dream' and the floral designs and marquee lent themselves perfectly to the brief. 

2. Dress the Ceiling

You have a unique opportunity in a marquee to create a huge impact by dressing the ceiling.  It is a vast, neutral space that presents a myriad of possibilities.  In the photograph below I worked with Bernadette from Dream Occasions and suspended silk flowers from a central pole in a marquee provided by American Marquees, which created a jaw dropping effect that wowed guests all day.

Photograph - Jasmine Jade Photography

In the photograph above Bernadette from Dream Occasions and James from Wedding Creative created the most spectacular display using multicoloured ribbons to dress the ceiling.  The colours complemented the floral designs and table linen and looked incredible in the photographs.  The marquee from American Marquees was the perfect backdrop to the bright, vibrant colours. 

3. Incorporate Tall Arrangements

Tall arrangements can be easily seen by guests from all angles of the marquee and look simply spectacular in photographs.  They create great impact in such an open space.  By simply elevating floral designs they immediately look decadent, luxurious and expensive! 

Notice in the photograph below how the tall arrangements filled this marquee with colour.

We have even been known to place trees on top of tables to create impact.  They are an effective way of creating great drama without using a heavy number of flowers.  The tree in the photograph below perfectly filled the large marquee at The Fennes Estate in Bocking and the bright, vibrant colours stood out againt the neutral background. 

4. Include an arrangement on the table for guests to enjoy.

Although we feel as though it is important to create height in a marquee, you do need something to adorn the tables for the guests to look at whilst enjoying the wedding breakfast.  This can be anything from flickering candles, pretty lanterns or vases filled with flowers. 

5. Make the most of the space

Marquees often offer a unique space with plenty of room.  You therefore have plenty of scope to be creative and incorporate personal touches to your wedding.  This side unit was transformed into a unique and beautiful cake table, complete with messages such as ‘All you need is Love...and a Dog’.  I couldn’t agree more!  Make the most of the space available and have fun with it! 

Photograph - Tim Bowden Photography

Cake - Amelies Kitchen

6. Dress the poles

Take full advantage of the unique features of a marquee such as the poles.  Marquee poles are a florist’s dream as they can be dressed and transformed in so many ways to complement the style of the wedding. Bunting and floral garlands are often used during vintage styled weddings such as in the photograph below at the beautiful Prested Hall but we have previously adorned poles with huge palms to create glamorous 1930’s weddings. They really do offer so many possibilities.

7. Don’t forget the lights!

It is so important to also think about how the marquee looks during the evening reception, not just the daylight hours.  We have a huge array of accessories to ensure that each wedding is lit beautifully in the evening with candles, tea-lights, fairy lights and lanterns.  They are an inexpensive way of creating impact and candlelight is course the epitome of romance!

I hope that I have given you some food for thought and helpful advice regarding your upcoming wedding.  If you feel inspired please do give me a call and pop over for a coffee.  I can’t leave though without sharing some more photos of some our stunning marquee weddings - they are simply too gorgeous to be missed!  

Beverley Nichols - Jades Flower Design

Photograph - Simon Carr Photography 

Location: Le Talbooth, Dedham

Location: Braxted Park 

Photograph: Kerry Morgan Photography

Wedding Planner: Bernadette Chapman from Dream Occasions

Marquee: Chelmer Marquees 

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