Temporary Structures | 3. The Necessary Extras

You’ve decided that a temporary structure, be it Tipi, Big Top or Marquee, is definitely going to host your wedding celebration.  Lisa Baker from Just Bespoke wedding planning takes us through the necessary extras. This is the third installment after Part 1 Structure Types and Part 2 Considerations.  The necessary extras cover everything from amenities to areas for your suppliers.


As well as the personal touches, there are a few other aspects which need consideration when planning a wedding in a temporary structure. These are of course the least interesting things, but in many cases they are some of the most important!


Every temporary structure will need to have washroom facilities. Which you choose will be determined by budget and requirements. For a luxurious and seamless feel, it is a good idea to have the toilets integrated into the structural set-up – inside the marquee for example. However, most couples prefer to save their money and opt for stand-alone portaloos instead which are all relatively inoffensive and can be located close to the structure.

Both of the above images show ways to disguise portaloos


Unless you are able to take power from an existing source, you will need to ensure you have a generator for your wedding. This will provide the power both inside and outside the structure to include: toilets, lighting, sound and catering equipment. I always recommend my clients book a back-up generator also so if the main one fails at any point during the celebrations, the back-up will kick in to ensure you have a continuous power supply.

Make sure you speak to all of your suppliers in advance to understand their power requirements so that you can let the generator company know. They will usually bring the generator 24 – 48 hours before the wedding and will need to know who requires power, how much and where the cables need to be so it is worth knowing this information in preparation so that they can then set your power up without any issues.

Water supply

If possible, you will need to provide a water supply which can be used by:

  • caterers (for prep and washing up)
  • toilets

An outside tap with hose facility is usually sufficient.

Heaters / Coolers

In some structures it will be necessary to bring in heaters or mobile air conditioning units to regulate the temperature inside the structure. Last year, we planned a wedding on the hottest day of the year and at the eleventh hour decided we needed to hire in some mobile air conditioning units. We had a couple on stand-by already which is definitely worth doing so that in the event you need them, you know that you have some available.

Car Parking

Ensure you have a suitable area available for parking and bring in flood lights to guide the way and track matting if the ground requires it to ensure that guests have a smooth exit at the end of the celebrations!


Catering Tent

Your caterers will require their own closed-off area within the main marquee, their own tent, or pre-determined existing area within easy reach of the main dining area to prepare the food. This is usually relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things but they will also require power, lighting and furniture in this space. Most caterers will specify the size of the space required based on your guest numbers so check this early on to avoid any issues.

Chinese Hat being used for a kitchen

Outmess Area

Weddings involve a great deal of people working away behind the scenes, to make them happen. From photographers and DJs through to wedding planners and sound technicians – they all have a role to play. However, that is exactly where you want them – behind the scenes. When they are taking a break, having their dinner or getting changed, you want them out of the way so it is worth thinking about this in advance and either creating a screened off area within your marquee which is a dedicated out-mess area, or finding a suitable location within the grounds (pool house, garage etc.) to accommodate them.

Out of Hours Contacts

It is imperative that you have out of hours contact numbers for all of your major suppliers – particularly the marquee / tipi / tent provider, generator company, toilet company and lighting company, just in case you have any issues on the day and need urgent help or assistance.

Wedding Planner

Having a temporary structure for your wedding venue is hard work but it is worth it to create a really personal day. If however, you do have some additional budget, it would be worth considering a wedding planner who can help you navigate the intricacies of this type of wedding, help you avoid any pitfalls, provide advice and their professional knowledge at every stage and oversee set-up and break-down of the structure to take this pressure off you. Many planners have very specialist experience in dealing with marquee weddings and can ease the whole process for you.

Introduction – Wedding Planning | Temporary Structures

Part 1 – Temporary Structures | Types

Part 2 – Temporary Structures | The Basics

One thought on “Temporary Structures | 3. The Necessary Extras

  1. Pingback: Wedding Planning | Temporary Structures | You & Me Venues

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