One of the wonderful aspects about Iscoyd Park’s beautiful venue is their gorgeous
permanent marquee attached to the back of the house. A relatively recent addition, it
means that regardless of the season and the weather outside (yes we’re looking at you
snow in February and thunderstorms in August!), beautiful weddings can still take place
under cover away from any malevolent conditions.
Marquee weddings are wonderful in their versatility; you can, in a sense, create an entirely
new universe and transport your guests away to a different time and place. Plus you can
be sure that you can dance your heart away under the stars without any potential rainfall
drenching you and your guests. Iscoyd is particularly accomplished at this! If you’ve ever
been lucky enough to attend one of their Open Days; the efforts they go to and the
backdrops they create in their marquee, according to the various themes they’ve set
themselves, are breathtaking. I urge you to pop along and take a look if you haven’t
One of the many questions I do get asked time and time again is how to truly create a
beautiful marquee using decor that isn’t going to bust the budget. Marquees can be
expansive, never ending spaces of oatmeal carpeted floors and miles upon miles of offwhite
draped curtains but it doesn’t have to be this way. My best advice would be to take
inspiration from outside the marquee walls, to reflect the seasons. In short, to bring the
outside in. With this in mind I’ve created four mood boards for you below to show you how
you can channel Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in your marquee to your best
advantage. Let’s take a look…
Spring is perhaps my favourite time of year…after Autumn that is. And when it comes to
new beginnings, fresh starts, happiness and hope there really isn’t a better time of year to
get married either. My advice would be to embrace the freshness, the colours and the
decadent blossoms that this time of the year has to offer.
If you’re looking to channel a contemporary Spring wedding vibe then I’d suggest staying
with the white and green colour palette with perhaps the briefest dash of yellow to add
warmth. For the romantic girly types pinks, blush, and peaches will make your eyes shine.
I’m of the opinion that Spring actually has the best flowers out of all the seasons –
hyacinths, ranunculus, tulips, lily-of-the-valley, lilacs, viburnum and freesias, to boot. And
somehow all those ice-cream shades work perfectly in harmony with one another.
Try festooning the ceiling of your marquee with suspended branches of blossom to create
instant dramatic effect; equally branches of magnolia or new growth will work just as well.
You could even hang your table plan from a branch of blossom located near the entrance.
If you want to keep things a little more low-key then fill large plain vases with smaller
branches instead and place them along the lengths and in the centre of your reception
tables – completely chic and utterly elegant.
If you’re after more florals than natural architecture then I implore you to fill sweet little jars
to the brim with Spring flowers. Primroses, grape hyacinths, hellebores, snowdrops and
snakes head fritillaries all work particularly well in this context. Adding fabric runners in
floral designs in the place of tablecloths and floral adorned plates and plates is the perfect way to capture that Springtime vibe too. I particularly love this bike with a basket full of
flowers too…Iscoyd has a few you can rent out if you’re keen to recreate this look on your
own wedding day.
Oh Summer! How we love you so! If there was any season where you’re likely to spend
most of the day outdoors then Summer is it. That doesn’t mean however that your efforts
will be wasted should you decide to really go for it on the decor front, more that it should
be about making the transition from inside to out and vice versa completely seamless. If
anything your marquee lighting costs should be reduced since your hours of daylight are
substantially increased over nuptials held in the Winter months.
This means that you can really go hell for leather on the floral front which will scent your
marquee so wonderfully it will feel as if you’re in a wildflower meadow. My advice here is to
go big and bold. The rustic theme continues apace with bunting and barnyard elements
reining strong – think giant worn milk churns filled with blooms, hay bales for height and
bunting for interest all of which can be collated together in little collections around the
marquee to denote different parts of the day or even different ‘rooms’ for your wedding
guests to dip in and out of. Popular summer marquee themes also include old crates
stacked up upon each other crammed full of flowers at entrance ways and decadent
chandeliers for a more luxe feel. I particularly love the idea of creating a pathway to and
from marquee entrances with lanterns and big pots of flowers that you would usually find
along roads and verge ways.
If you’re after less of a pretty vibe and more of a contemporary look, consider using pots of
herbs and crisp white linens to style your big day. The herbs will perfume your marquee in
the heat without wilting and look fantastic next to hundreds of tea lights spread around
them and along the table. If you’re gifting your guests with favours, why not give them
small pots of rosemary, thyme and basil – even lavender – to take home with them as a
memento of the day.
I won’t lie. Autumn is my absolute favourite…after all I got married in late October on a
sunny crisp day filled with golden light. It’s a combination of elements that simply can’t be
bested in my opinion.
Much like Spring, the natural world really comes into its own in this season. What is it they
say…the year’s loveliest smile. Well I completely agree. Utilise all that nature has to offer –
rich colour palettes, Autumn berries and buttersoft blankets against a backdrop of lemon
yellow and ruby red leaves.
I’d recommend thinking about the marquee as a backdrop to all those activities you want
to incorporate into the day. Want to snuggle up outside next to a fire pit and toast
marshmallows? Set the scene inside the marquee with piles of blankets, favours of
s’mores, lashings of hawthorn berries, rose hips and crab apples sat alongside lustrous
blooms. Add baskets of rustic apples, a romantic lantern, or a punnet of conkers and
Suspend branches or even huge balls of blooms from your marquee ceilings still with
burnished leaves attached. If you’re really lucky then you might even be treated to falling
leaves as they detach from the branches over ahead. Introduce variety to your table
settings too through mismatched plates – with countryside themes …think floral patterns
and the odd pheasant here and there – and with the striking colour pop tumblers to reflect
the colours around you. Collect leaves and scatter them along the lengths of your tables –
this is completely free if you nip to your local park and won’t break the budget! Drape
comforting knits over chairbacks to keep bodies warm when the night draws in and deck
your tables in fruits and nuts to draw the eye along and for people to snack on over the
I’ve written at length here on Iscoyd’s blog about inspiration on how to decorate your
wedding venue during the Winter months. Obviously Christmas sits right in the middle of
this season and we do find that brides and grooms use this as a starting point for
decorating their wedding marquee but don’t feel that you need to go down this route if you
don’t want to. See the reduced amount of daylight hours as a bonus rather than a
disadvantage. You can go hell for leather on strand upon strand of festoon and fairy
lighting which always looks so pretty and transforms a marquee dramatically yet is such a
simple step to take.
Since the amount of readily available blooms is somewhat on the short side, make the
most of scented foliage instead. Eucalyptus and boughs of fir are two such examples
which draped down the centre of trestle tables looks so chic. Nestle in candles to create an
intimate and romantic atmosphere in different heights to create interest and a sense of
depth. I remember seeing one wedding where they produced green foliage chandeliers
above each of their reception tables and I was blown away by how amazing it looked…
Add pops of colour through your glassware, linens and wedding stationery and even your
dinner candles. These are all items you would be utilising anyway so change things up if
you’re looking to add some warmth into the wider colour palette.
And that brings me to the end of this months’ dose of inspiration. Hopefully it’s given you
some food for thought no matter what time of the year you’re getting married.
Until next month, Lolly xxx