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  • Writer's pictureEvie West

How to Style your Marquee Wedding for Perfect Wedding Photos - Tori Deslauriers

There are so many benefits to marquee weddings such as being able to craft your own day in a way that suits you and location flexibility, often in a place that is special to you as a couple like your own back garden; that the draw of marquee or tipi weddings is immediately obvious. For anyone that loves being in nature, then the outdoorsy feel of a marquee wedding can also have serious appeal.

Obviously, with marquees you can find yourself at the mercy of the weather gods in all seasons and can find yourself in the middle of a downpour, freezing or boiling so they definitely do need some careful planning, which is why having someone like Evie on your side is invaluable to make sure it all goes without a hitch.

Top Tips for Great Marquee Wedding Photos!

When it comes to your wedding photos, marquees and tipis do have a unique set of challenges that other venues often don’t face so here are my top tips ...

1. Have enough space for any weather

On our little island you can never trust the weather so it’s important to make sure you have enough space for your guests to spread out a little bit in the event that cold, or wet, weather keeps everyone inside the marquee. For us photographers it’s very tricky to move around during your drinks hour if everyone is squashed into a tight bar area and this impacts the quality and candid nature of photos of your guests mingling and having fun. If you want natural, happy photos of everyone enjoying themselves, make sure you’re not packing them in like sardines!

All of these photos were taken with a relatively long lens so that they weren’t even aware they were being photographed which is key to making sure you get the lovely, natural photos you dream of.

2. Consider a marquee reveal

Did you know that you can have an area of your marquee ‘revealed’ at any point during your wedding? For example, your seating area or dancing area can be hidden behind a curtain until later in the evening. It keeps the intrigue going for your guests throughout the day!

You can also have a marquee reveal for you, the couple; this is where during your drinks reception, you head in to see the marquee all set up and your photographer captures your reactions. It is a great idea if you want to make sure that you get amazing room shots without your guests' coats and bags draped all over seats!

Pink, white and green paper lanterns decorate a classic wedding marquee.

Bride and Groom dance in front of their guests on a white dancefloor

3. Think about your photography backgrounds

When you are setting up your marquee, think about areas that will inevitably fall into the background of your photos.

Can you have cars hidden away out of site somewhere so that you don’t have cars littered in photos from all angles? When you make your entrance into your wedding breakfast have you made the entrance to the marquee look nice as this will probably be your backdrop for your first steps into your reception.

A black and white image of a Bride and Groom entering their marquee reception

4. Lighting is your photography friend

The best way you can allocate decorating budget for a marquee wedding is into lighting. There are so many fun ways to decorate with lights; chandeliers, uplighters (in different colours), festoon lights, fairy lights, ceiling or floor pin lighting, lanterns, candles or a combination of lots of different lighting types.

Often marquees come with one small chandelier in the middle of the room so definitely add some lighting where budget allows. It’s also a really easy way to create different areas like seating, dancing, bar by changing the lighting schemes between them.

For photographers, creative lighting is so much more fun to work with than white canvas walls so get crazy and make a photographer happy (especially during dancing!)

5. Make your marquee unique to you

Make your marquee theme and decoration unique to you. There is nothing that will give you better photos than having something that really represents you as a couple; your happiness will be written all over your faces and that is such a joy for us to photograph.

6. Think about photo locations

If you’re hiring a country house then they’ve often spent years cultivating manicured gardens which are rich with opportunities for photos. If you’re putting a marquee up in your garden or a field, sometimes it’s trickier to find photo locations for your couple photos and this is doubly true if it’s raining.

Often, it’s a good idea to have a think in advance where you might like to take your couple photos. Do you have time to do some pre-planning like planting anything in your garden / fields? Do you have use of the farm areas? Do you have anywhere you could stop en route from the ceremony location?

A tiny bit of pre-planning can bypass a lot of on the day stress and your photographer would be happy to help.

7. Pick the right photographer

Make sure you check out photographers carefully before booking one. Marquees and tipis can be quite different to photographing in other locations, so as with all locations ask the photographer you approach if they are comfortable photographing at your chosen location and if they have a full gallery they can show you.

Marquee weddings are so fun in their relaxed beauty and informality. You deserve great photos that capture that perfectly so I hope the above tips help you craft a day that creates opportunity and space for photos; couple portraits, candid shots and beautiful moments free from background distractions.

Bride and Groom embrace in front of tipi at night

If I can help you capture your marquee wedding day, I’d be delighted to chat to you!

Tori x

Tori is a wedding photographer taking happy and joy-filled photos for fun loving couples in London and the home counties. She thrives on capturing wedding days as they unfold and getting natural photos that truly represent the couples in front of her camera. Check out her work at

Bride and groom dance on chequered dancefloor with light up V & L behind

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