Lisa Baker from Just Bespoke wedding planning takes us through what you need to consider when opting for a temporary structure for your wedding. This is the second installment after looking at what types of structure are available. These are the basics; what you need to think about before making that final decision.
THINGS TO CONSIDER – THE BASICS
Before looking at specific elements it is important to remember that with a temporary structure, you have to bring everything in for your event – you normally do not have the luxury of using existing toilets, electricity supply etc. Of course, this can all be costly so it is worth budgeting for the essentials from the beginning. So while this is great as it means you can really personalise every element of your wedding day to make it unique this does come at a small price.
In order to host your wedding in a temporary structure you will need to find suitable land in which to erect it. The options here include:
- Your own land: your garden, a paddock or fields
- Someone else’s land: farmland, a field, woods, public space (but make sure you obtain the necessary permissions)
- The grounds of a venue: some venues have grounds in which to erect marquees. Check out the following You & Me venues available for temporary structures,
Also consider if you wish to incorporate any existing elements into your structure. For example, a few years ago we worked on a wedding where the family wishing well was a focal point inside the marquee. Other couples have chosen to place the marquee over the pond or around a special tree so that they are incorporated into the final design.
Temporary structures are usually very versatile and can be accommodated in most places however consider the following:
- Access to the grounds – See Access further down
- Surface of the grounds – is it level, are there big dips
- Shelter – is it exposed to all the elements or is their some shelter from nearby trees
- Noise – are you surrounded by private residences and therefore do you need to politely alert them to your event or obtain a temporary events license in case of any issues
Prior to your structure being erected, it is important to understand access requirements for them and the rest of your suppliers. You will need to know what they will be bringing (in terms of vehicles) and if possible, get them to do a site recce in advance to check that they are happy with the proposed entry and exit routes and also the distance from parking their vehicles to setting-up the structure…it all needs to be efficient as possible.
Don’t forget also that even if it is dry day, if you have lots of vehicles using the same access route, bringing in heavy vehicles, it will start to impact underfoot. It is seriously worth considering investing in some track matting to avoid any issues.
Does the structure you are interested in, work based on the other variables:
- Style of wedding
- Season – all companies will be able to advise you on the weather limitations for their structures to include maximum wind speeds etc.
- Guest Numbers
All reputable companies will do a site visit before providing a broken down quote and site suitability will be assessed and recommendations made based on their findings as to where the structure should be situated.
Size / Layout
Once you know what type of structure you want, you will need to know how big it needs to be. There are various websites which give you rules of thumb relating to the size of structure dependent on your guest numbers but ultimately it comes down to what you plan to use the structure for and how flexible you need the space to be. I would always recommend seeking the advice of the supplier and asking them to advise you on the size and layout once they have a clear idea of your requirements.
Set Up and Break Down
Most temporary structure companies will inform you a few weeks in advance what day they will be delivering and erecting the structure and what day they will be taking it down. This is important so that you or your wedding planner can schedule in all of the other supplier timings. You will also need to ensure that there is someone there on the day of the build who can be responsible for the structure during the event. Most companies will want to officially ‘hand the structure over’ and then take it back.
Don’t assume that someone from the marquee / tent / tipi company will remain on site throughout your event. If you have any concerns about looking after the structure, or if you just want reassurance in case of any problems, it is really worth arranging this in advance with the company. I think this is particularly relevant if you are using a tipi or tent structure which may require sides being lifted up / putting down during the event, management of a log fire etc.