Wedding Marquee Lighting – How To Light Up Your Marquee!

Weddings are all about romance and celebration. Naturally, you really want your marquee to look beautiful and to be an inviting space for your guests. Lighting is key to creating atmosphere. and In this blog we take a look at some of the options available to help you get your wedding marquee looking just perfect.

1. Functional Lighting

All marquees need some element of functional lighting. This can come in the form of pendant lights, chandeliers or up lighters. All can be installed on dimmer switches so that the light can be set to suit the time of day/night. We tend to favour up lighters as they sit at the base of the linings and up light the walls of the marquee creating a subtle but practical background light.

Beautiful Wedding Marquee - Hatch Marquee Hire

Credit: Hatch Marquee Hire

Other more functional lighting might be required for catering tents (strip lights), or to light car parks, paths to toilets where a floodlight can be installed.

2. Decorative Lighting

This is the fun stuff. Depending on how you are decorating your marquee might depend on the style of lighting you choose:

Chandeliers: add a bit of glamour to your marquee with chandeliers, great for creating a stylish traditional wedding marquee or for adding a bit of elegance to the roof space in a clear roof marquee.

Clear Marquee -1

Credit: Hatch Marquee Hire

Fairy Lights: can be used behind the roof linings to give a pretty romantic look – these look great day and night.

Beautiful Wedding Marquee Hire Devon

Devon wedding marquee hire

Credit: Helen Lisk Photography

Festoon Lighting: traditional large bulb lights can be strung in the roof space below the marquee linings on a dimmer switch.  By day or night it adds atmosphere and works really well with flat marquee linings as shown below.

Festoon Marquee Lighting

Credit: Navy Blur Photography

Festoon Marquee Lighting

Credit: Navy Blur Photography


Alternatively they can be strung from the roof space along with fairy lights behind the linings to give a fantastic mix!  It looks brilliant whether you opt for linings or have a clear roof marquee –  plenty of twinkle!

Marquee Lighting - Hatch Marquee Hire

Credit: Helen List Photography

Clear Roof Marquee and Sparkly Lights


Credit: Travers and Brown Photography

Starcloth Linings: for pure twinkle factor, starcloth linings look fabulous! White starcloth is pretty and romantic whilst the black starcloth is usually used over a dance floor to add a bit of drama! Dividing curtains can be used during the day so that dance floor area is hidden and then when the time comes you can make the big reveal for the evening celebrations.
Cornwall Marquee Hire

Credit: Nick Reader Photography

Lighting Rigs:  if you are having a band or doing your own music and just want to get the party started then how about adding a lighting rig for great party atmosphere – it is sure to get your guests dancing all the night!

Cornwall Wedding Marquee Hire

Credit: Love Day Photography

3. Hanging Lighting

Paper Lanterns: These have grown in popularity in the past few years and are a great feature often adding colour as well as light  to the roof space. They can be used with small battery operated lights so they glow as the evening draws in.

Clear Roof Party Marquee Hire

Credit: Hatch Marquee Hire

Hanging Greenery & Lighting:  for total ‘wow’ factor your lighting can get completely theatrical and look simply amazing.  Combing foliage on a suspended structure with hanging lights creates a spectacular feature to your marquee by day and night.

Clear Roof Marquee

Credit: Freckle Photography

Clear Roof Wedding Marquee

Credit: Freckle Photography

4.Table Decorations

Candles: there is something special about a candelabra decorating tables at a wedding reception, but you can also get creative and use candles to make your own personal centre piece to suit your theme. Candles won’t add much light but are great at adding to the romance.

Beautiful Wedding Marquee

Table Lights: Here’s a lovely idea –  glass bottles filled with led fairy lights! In this photo the bottles have been used as table plans which can then decorate each table.  So effective especially for a wintry wedding when the evenings are darker much earlier.

Wedding Marquee Decor

5. Outdoor Lighting

Don’t forget to think about lighting outside your marquee, for both practical and decorative reasons. You can really add to the ambiance by lighting an outdoor area or help welcome evening guests by lighting a pathway.

Festoon Lighting. Use festoon lights on poles to light any outdoor space adjacent to the marquee or to light a pathway to/from the marquee.

Wedding Marquee Hire

Credit: Evoke Photography

Marquee Wedding Lighting

Credit: Emma Stone Photography

Lanterns. Similarly use lanterns to highlight a path or to edge an outdoor seating area.

Autumn Wedding Marquee in Devon

Credit: Helen Lisk Photography

MBI’s : light up trees or buildings with MBI’s to bring your outside in. With clear roofs the affect can be quite amazing at night, both inside and out!

Clear Roof Wedding Marquee - Hatch Marquee Hire

Credit: Hatch Marquee Hire

So have a think about what will work for your marquee, the space you have, your surroundings and how you want your marquee to look!

For more information, advice and inspiration take a look at our blogs:  ‘Marquee Weddings – is there a lot to arrange’

10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Marquee Wedding

Hatch Marquee Hire, Devon – Beautiful Wedding Marquees

Best Coastal and Beach Wedding Venues in Devon

For a bit more inspiration take a look at our pinterest  pages – it’s a great way to get ideas for decorating your marquee!

Or for more information on marquee hire in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset visit Hatch Marquee Hire, specialists in wedding marquees.

About the author
Author Image

Jon Green

Jon has been a director/owner of Hatch Marquee Hire since 2013 and previously was a marquee rigger for the company. So when it comes to marquee weddings, from working with clients to plan their ideal layout, to managing the operational side of installing a marquee, there isn’t really anything that Jon hasn’t experienced. Having said that, he is always up for a challenge! With his in-depth knowledge he is in the perfect position to provide give guidance and advice on anything marquee and wedding related.

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