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How to decorate a marquee: 10 expert tips

How to decorate your marquee centrepiece 1

So, you’ve decided to hold your event in a marquee or tent – and now you need to make it totally fabulous and memorable. Whether it’s a wedding, party, festival or launch, here are some expert tips on how to decorate your marquee that are easy to do, and won’t break the bank.

(Psst! Want help putting together a stunning marquee wedding in an exclusive coastal or countryside location in North Devon? Find out about our ‘Marquee weddings made simple – and beautiful‘ packages)

How to decorate your marquee tent1. Marquees traditionally have high ceilings, and it’s really important to focus on creating height and drama with table decorations, and to give the illusion of a lower ceiling.  The combination of table arrangements at different levels will add interest .

2. Decorate the ceiling with vintage lampshades or vintage brollies of differing sizes at differing heights. For  something really unique suspend unusual rustic candelabras at different heights.


3. Lighting is crucial for marquees.  When using  uplighters, make sure there’s a dimmer switch to allow drama when the wedding breakfast ends and dancing begins. The addition of fairy lights will add romance when placed over a dance floor or the whole ceiling, creating a beautiful sparkle.

4. Create your own photo booth using paper pom poms and fairy lights. Add props from a vintage fancy dress shop, a large frame or two, and your guests will love it! You could add driftwood pieces for a more unusual beach style backdrop.

How to decorate your marquee bunting5. Bunting is always been a firm favourite. Add ivy for more interest, and trail it around king poles – cascading foliage not only looks stunning but can be beautifully fragrant too

6. A chill out area is great for your guests to relax and unwind. Combine vintage leather sofas with suitcases and mismatched furniture for a quirky cool parlour feel – or  try hay bales, throws and cushions for a more rustic feel.


7. An unusual centrepiece will add drama and definition. Fill tall glass vases with water, add apples, top with hydrangeas, and detail with garden twine or raffia for a perfect centrepiece – take a look at our items to hire for more ideas.

8. Adding candlelight will always enhance the ambiance.  Tealight candles in simple jam jars of different sizes, adorned with lace or hessian and placed on the table, will add delicate romance.

How to decorate your marquee table setting 1 How to decorate your marquee table lighting How to decorate your marquee centrepiece 1

9. Everyone loves cocktails and canapés – and they look great set out as a welcome. Strawberries and champagne is so quintessentially English, and the fizz looks fab served in a chilled champagne flute. Use your drink choices as inspiration to style – then add cocktail umbrellas, a champagne bar or rustic cider or ale bar, depending on your theme. Here’s our recipe for a super-cool and delicious mocktail that looks amazing:
Mix soda, cranberry orraspberry juice, simple syrup , fresh lime juice and mint leaves, and pour onto three or four raspberries placed in each glass. Not only does it look good, it tastes superb!

How to decorate your marquee devon10. Lighting flares or fire pits outside the entrance to your marquee will create a special warmth and encourage a natural breakout from the party.  Use candlelit lanterns to create a pathway from your marquee.  String festoon lighting in the trees outside the marquee or place tea lights into jam jars and hang from tree branches.

Get more help with styling your marquee
Read about our luxury marquees/tents to hire
Read about our event planning service
Find great venues for marquee events


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