There is something very special about creating a birthday party in a marquee. Call us self-indulgent but being asked to work within a massive blank canvas is like giving us a very big present tied up with a plush red bow. We get really excited!
Yes, we still have to wear our sensible hats. Yes, there are plenty of logistics to sort out. But the decoration… now that’s where we can really allow our creative juices to flow.
Turning a simple marquee space into something unbelievably amazing
If the party has a particular theme, then it’s a case of grabbing that theme with both hands and bringing it to life through the decoration and props. We’ve created Las Vegas in a back garden, gone Back to the Future transforming a marquee into a 1950s American diner and high school hall, turned marquees into cool nightclubs. Anything is possible and that’s what makes the design and decoration such an exciting process.
Equally, if your party doesn’t have a theme but you want to evoke a particular atmosphere – from rustic to sophisticated – it’s still important to get the décor right. We’ve often been given briefs to simply create a stylish birthday party in a marquee, and this particular 18th birthday party shows what’s possible to achieve without a specific theme.
A bare marquee has minimal appeal, but the minute you start to add wall linings and a cloth ceiling the transformation begins. Not surprisingly, lighting is key to creating the desired mood and party atmosphere, and it’s something that can evolve as the party progresses – especially if you’re starting with a drinks reception before dinner and then want to create a nightclub environment. The same lighting throughout the party wouldn’t work, so it’s important to think this through.
One space or two or three…
Another great trick is to not see the marquee as one big space. You can create different zones within the marquee, whether it’s for dining, dancing, drinking or chilling out. Take a look at any of our marquee case studies and you’ll start to get a good idea of how the space can be cleverly utilised. Giving guests different areas where they can relax and chat or party hard is a great idea, and the way in which you decorate these different areas – both to provide visual cues and physically create each zone – will add to the overall experience.
You can even be a bit sneaky and keep a few tricks up your sleeve. Back to the 18th birthday party we mentioned earlier and our client wanted to give their daughter and guests a huge surprise after dinner. We created a fake end to the marquee, which later dramatically revealed an eight-piece band – it was a fantastic wow moment and a great example of not giving your guests everything at once.
Don’t forget what will be seen outside!
Of course, it’s not just about dressing up the marquee interior. The approach to the marquee is just as important for creating atmosphere, excitement and a sense of anticipation. Outdoor lighting effects, from drenching the front of your house in colour to illuminating trees, can have a fantastic visual impact. And thinking about the journey your guests will take from the moment they arrive is another very effective trick – it might mean rolling out a red carpet, stringing fairy lights along the way or ferrying guests to the marquee entrance in a vintage car.
Got an idea for a marquee birthday party but can’t imagine how it might ever work? Why not get in touch, we’d relish the challenge to put together the most amazing marquee party for you!