Absolutely Weddings’ experts answer your planning questions. Here, ‘party architect’ Johnny Roxburgh discusses how to dress a winter marquee wedding in style
Q: We want a tented wedding but our celebration is taking place in winter. Is there a way to combine the two?
A winter wedding in a tent or marquee is a fabulous option, but there are considerations. Most importantly, you need proper flooring and decent heating. In your budget, you must allow for the heating to run continuously throughout the day, evening and into the early hours to avoid condensation. When it comes to flooring, it’s best to go for a wooden floor. If it does snow, there will have to be an arrangement to clear settled snow off the top of the tent. The most critical thing is to ensure you have a good, strong, tent structure, so choose your supplier wisely.
Think about access to the site and make sure you have a metal trackway for delivery vehicles. The last thing you want is a sea of mud that suppliers and indeed, guests, need to park on and walk through to reach the party. Similarly, it is an idea to have a dedicated area outside that is dry underfoot and well lit to cater for those who decide to head outdoors for a breath of fresh air or cigarette/cigar. With that idea in mind, we often purchase old fur coats from charity shops and hang them on a hat stand so guests can pop them over their shoulders if they do want to go outside and don’t need to worry about going back to the cloakroom to get their own.
“Consider using sheepskin rugs, which turn even the most mundane chair into a warm and comforting seat”
Practicalities aside, the season offers fantastic opportunities for decoration. You can create wonderful frosted settings using all the bare branches in the countryside. Asparagus fern looks superb when it’s glittered and there are unlimited possibilities using candles and low lighting. We often use battery table lamps to create a soft glow on tables. Long tables work well in this type of setting, covered with tactile or edgy tablecloths – I love using wallpaper to create unusual looks. Consider using sheepskin rugs, which turn even the most mundane chair into a warm and comforting seat.
Johnny Roxburgh is ‘party architect’, with a career that has seen him hold a Royal Warrant for organising parties at Buckingham Palace, Highgrove and Windsor. johnnyroxburgh.com
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