Having some outside lighting at your wedding or party can add some serious bang for your buck and really help set the scene. It could be just as simple as a pair of floodlights uplighting a couple of trees or 40m of warm white fair style festoon lights - both options are less than £100.
During the day the view from your marquee or tipi will speak for itself but at night time it's quite nice to see something out of the window, not just a deep black void. LED candles from Lights4fun are a good choice because they're easy to switch on and you don't need to occupy an usher with an hour trying to get real candles going with a lighter! If you stockpile jam jars the twinkling candle effect is multiplied.
We stock a variety of small, medium and large floodlights from LED warm white and colour changing through to large output HQI floodlights. We also stock a couple of miles of warm white festoon lights (which you can see in the left and middle photos above). Festoons look brilliant strung over the top of tipis or traditional marquees and you can run them from the roof/apex down to 10ft high poles and create an area in front of the marquee for evening chilling. Get a fire pit on the go too with a few wooden benches (or bales) to create a cosy outside area.
We also stock 4ft and 10ft high festoon light poles as you can see in the middle photo above. They can be placed anywhere but look great flanking a strip of matting leading to your marquee or tipi entrance.
It's not just the decorative quality of outside lighting you need to consider but the functional quality too. Most people have lights on their mobile phones now but if guests need to find their way across fields to collect their car at the end of the night a little illumination is very welcome. I really don't want to tell the story (or publish the photo) of one poor wedding guest who found himself up to the shoulders in a slurry ditch...
For £2-300 you could get a really nice outside lighting set up. Festoons are £40 per 20m length and floodlights are £15-30 depending on size. Fire pits are £85. We often use fairy light strands outside if you want more subtle warm and pretty lighting. Once we put a disco ball and smoke machine in a copse for a slightly psychedelic outside lighting feature (complete with swing suspended from a branch)!
You're very welcome to do your own outside lighting because it's not expensive or rocket science. The point is that for a little expense we you can create a difference to your event which is worth far more.
A difficult question, a bit like being asked which one of my parents I like most! I don't have a favourite - all have their own charm.
Tipis are increasingly popular because one of the priorities with weddings is the desire to do something different and original. Many of us have been to a wedding in a white marquee whether it be a pole or frame structure whereas a wedding in a tipi is a new experience for most. However, all our marquee styles allow customers to bring them to life in their own way - there is virtually no restriction on decorations. We've installed wallpapered walls, water features, topiary, different carpet colours, Moroccan linings and lanterns, coloured drapes and so much more over the years. That's one of the key reasons people choose a marquee wedding.
Tipis can be a bit more cosy by virtue of the fact that there's less roof space (due to the conical design) and you can have real fires inside thanks to the flaps at the top that allow smoke out. You don't get one big space with tipis as you do with marquees because they are smaller (10.3m diameter) structures joined together, so depending on layout the event can feel slightly divided. Having said that, I'm sure we've all been to rocking house parties where several rooms are involved, some with music playing, others for chilling out, the kitchen for drink and snack selection, which never seemed to affect the atmosphere negatively at the time.
What I really like about tipis is the timbers we use which are de-barked spruce from the freezing forests of Scandinavia and all 80+ years old. Furthermore, tipis have been used by humans for 4000+ years and I love that sense of sitting in a piece of history. Traditional white pole marquees are very English and suitable for quintessential country wedding experiences and clearspan frame marquees are extremely flexible in terms of layout and interior fixtures and fittings - both attributes I like.
Tipis are darker inside due to the canvas used, so if you're after an event space that's light and airy then perhaps a tipi isn't the best choice. Also, you don't get the many window options as you do with a conventional marquee - if you want to look out at a view the sides need to be raised which is great in summer but not ideal if it's raining and windy.
Whichever structure you choose for your event, you can rest assured that you will get the best standard from us and we'll happily meet with you to introduce our range and listen to your ideas. Oakleaf Marquees are renowned throughout Dorset, Somerset and across the South West for the hire of marquees and tipis. A quality service, premium product and approachable pricing.