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Guests enjoying the evening festivities at a private marquee wedding


The Pros and Cons of Private Marquee Wedding

As a wedding photographer in Suffolk, I have navigated the journey of marquee weddings through its considerable ups and downs.

Looking back on it all, these styles of weddings are like a delightful mix of magic and mayhem! They are all about adding that special touch to your wedding day, but boy, do they come with their fair share of twists and turns.

So, let’s dive in! From the enchanting moments to the nitty-gritty of managing finances and logistics, I will tell you the pros and cons of private marquee weddings.

The inside reception styling at a private marquee wedding

Private Marquee Weddings

  • The Joy of Private Marquee Weddings
  • Flexibility in Supplier Selection and Catering
  • The Financial Investment
  • Weather Dependence
  • Logistics of Building a Venue from Scratch
  • The Unique and Unforgettable Atmosphere
  • The Charm of Private Marquee Weddings

The Joy of Private Marquee Weddings

Envisioning the moment you exchange vows, not in a conventional venue, but under a beautifully adorned canopy with nature as your backdrop – it’s nothing short of enchanting. 

This kind of wedding allows you to personalise it to your vision and gives you full exclusivity. The joy of transforming an open space, perhaps a family garden, a secluded beachfront or even at a marquee wedding venue, into a space that mirrors your love story is unbeatable.

Each detail, from the fairy lights to the arrangement of the floral centrepieces, is a testament to your wedding day vision and personality.

The beauty of opting for a private marquee wedding is how it seamlessly integrates with the surrounding environment. Whether it is the gentle rustle of leaves in a woodland setting or the relaxing sound of waves on a beach, nature plays a significant role in enhancing the atmosphere.

This synergy between elegance and the natural world offers a sense of peace and intimacy that is hard to replicate in more traditional settings.

Flexibility in Supplier Selection and Catering

One of the true joys of organising a private marquee wedding is the freedom it affords in selecting suppliers and catering options.

Unlike more traditional venues, which often come with a fixed list of suppliers, a marquee event puts you in the driving seat. This makes your wedding planning journey so much more enjoyable!

Being able to handpick each supplier, ensuring they align with both your vision and budget. 

Drinks on the lawn outside at a private marquee wedding

This personal selection process is not only limited to the florists or the band but extends to the very essence of the celebration – the food. The catering at a private marquee wedding can be as unique as you wish.

If you are a food enthusiast then your wedding meal can reflect your love for diverse cuisines. Explore and choose a caterer who can offer a bespoke menu, incorporating flavours from your favourite dishes.

The result?

A culinary experience that is distinctly ‘you’, ranging from tasty canapes to hearty, gourmet main courses, all the way to a late-night snack bar that surprises and delights your guests.

This level of flexibility also encourages creativity. You may find yourself engaging in delightful conversations with suppliers, brainstorming ideas that would bring your dream wedding to life. This collaborative approach not only ensures that every aspect of your wedding is infused with personal touches but also creates a sense of partnership.

Navigating the range of options, liaising with different suppliers, and tailoring the catering to your tastes, ultimately makes your wedding day personal and satisfying to plan!

The Financial Investment

When planning your private marquee wedding, you must look at the financial investment involved.

This aspect of your wedding planning journey presents the most significant learning curve. While the allure of a personalised and exclusive event under a beautifully adorned marquee is undeniable, the associated cost of a marquee wedding can be somewhat eye-watering.

It’s a common misconception that choosing a marquee over a traditional venue might be a cost-effective alternative. However, the truth is, every little detail – from the wedding marquee hire itself to the furniture, the enchanting lighting, and even the practical necessities like generators and posh portable loos – comes with its own price tag.

There is no built-in infrastructure in a blank canvas venue, which means nearly everything has to be brought in. This not only includes the more obvious elements like tables and chairs but also extends to the behind-the-scenes essentials that ensure the day runs smoothly. 

Navigating this means carefully budgeting and planning, requiring a detailed breakdown of every expected (and unexpected) expense.

This aspect of planning a private marquee wedding, while allowing for a highly tailored experience, necessities a careful, considered approach to budgeting.

It underscores the importance of striking a balance between the dream and the reality, ensuring that the vision for your day doesn’t compromise your financial well-being.

Weather Dependence

If there is one thing you can’t control on your wedding day, it’s the weather.

This part of planning may feel like rolling a dice, hoping for favourable conditions but knowing full well that anything from a light mist to a full-on tempest could occur. 

The unpredictability can add a thrill to the preparations, but it also requires you to be adaptable and inventive. Have contingency plans in place, from arranging additional marquee walls to hiring industrial heaters, ensuring comfort for your guests no matter the forecast.

Having a Plan B (and even a Plan C) is a great idea, leading you to think creatively about every aspect of your day. From selecting a private marquee wedding provider who could swiftly adjust to weather changes, to choosing decor that wouldn’t wilt at the first sign of damp, every decision made should have the British weather in mind. 

Logistics of Building a Venue from Scratch

The logistics involved in transforming an empty canvas into a mesmerising venue are both intricate and extensive.

It demands a well-thought-out strategy, a keen eye for detail, and a sense of purpose. 

One of the first tasks is ensuring the availability of power and adequate lighting, which is fundamental to setting the right vibe and ensuring the comfort of your guests as the evening draws in at your private marquee wedding.

This should be followed closely by waste management solutions, which, although not the most glamorous aspect, is crucial to maintaining the pristine nature of your chosen marquee wedding location. 

Accessibility and parking are other key considerations, requiring you to think creatively about how to best utilise the space available without disrupting the natural beauty of the setting.

Coordinating the arrival and setup of each element brings its own set of challenges. From the marquee itself to the furnishings and the myriad of suppliers arriving at different times, maintaining a clear line of communication is vital.

This not only ensures that everything is assembled correctly but also that the overall vision for the day is realised without a hitch.

Personalised wedding sign with the couples initials at a private marquee wedding

The Unique and Unforgettable Atmosphere

Creating the atmosphere for a private marquee wedding is, without a doubt, one of the most exhilarating aspects of the entire planning process.

The thought of every element, from the lighting casting a soft glow over the space to the carefully chosen music serenading you and your guests into the evening, is a reflection of your personalities and your journey together is incredibly fulfilling.

This bespoke setting is not just about aesthetics; it is about crafting an environment where every laugh, every dance move, and every shared glance feels magnified. 

The joy of witnessing your vision come to life, of seeing the delighted expressions as friends and family explore the wonderland you had envisioned, is such a lovely experience. 

The peace of nature, combined with the personal touches sprinkled throughout your private marquee wedding, fosters a warm, convivial atmosphere that invites everyone to connect on a deeper level.

Guests enjoying the evening festivities at a private marquee wedding

Will You Be Opting for a Marquee Wedding?

Now you know the pros and cons of private marquee weddings you can decide whether this style of wedding suits your wedding day vision.

As a documentary wedding photographer there is nothing I love more than couples creating the day that suits their vision, needs, style and personality. I capture the true nature of a couples love story. So, get in touch with me to discuss your photography! 

The outside of Voewood which is a wedding venue in Norfolk


My Top 7 Wedding Venues in Norfolk

Imagine this – me, as your Norfolk wedding photographer, totally obsessed with capturing love stories against Norfolk’s jaw-dropping scenery. I have been lucky enough to wander through some dreamy wedding locations in Norfolk…

Tucked away in East Anglia, Norfolk is like a secret garden of romance, with its mix of rolling countryside, stunning coastline, and cute little villages. Seriously, it’s a haven for couples saying getting married.

Whether you’re into rustic barn vibes or elegant halls, Norfolk has it all. So, let’s dive into my top 7 wedding venues in Norfolk and see which one is the space for you and your partner!

7 Wedding Venues in Norfolk

  • Voewood
  • Godwick Hall
  • Oxnead Hall
  • Happy Valley
  • Holkham Hall
  • Curds Hall Barn
  • Fishley Hall 


The outside of Voewood which is a wedding venue in Norfolk

If you are looking for the perfect wedding venue in Norfolk, look no further than Voewood.

This charismatic property boasts hand-painted walls, stylish furnishings, and a unique blend of contemporary art, tribal pieces, and retro furniture.

With its secluded environment and intimate setting, Voewood is the ideal place. The venue can accommodate up to 41 guests in its individually designed rooms, giving you and your loved ones plenty of space to celebrate.

Whether you choose to have your reception in one of the three elegant reception rooms or the enchanting 11-acre gardens and meadows, the flexible attitude of the Voewood staff will ensure that your wedding is everything you have envisioned.

They can even provide a list of the best local suppliers to assist with your planning process, as well as offer flexible in-house bar services with an extensive selection of drinks.

And when the celebrations are over, you and your guests can retire to one of the 17 beautiful guest bedrooms for a comfortable night’s sleep. 

With its independent spirit and unpretentious charm, Voewood is the ultimate choice for an exceptional wedding venue in Norfolk.

Wedding ceremony at Voewood which is a wedding venue in Norfolk

Godwick Hall

Nestled in the heart of the lost village of Godwick, Godwick Great Barn at Godwick Hall, emerges as a marvel of the English countryside, blending 450 years of history with the serene beauty of its rural surroundings.

This Grade II listed wedding venue in Norfolk is more than just a place to exchange vows; it is a testament to the blend of how incredibly beautiful it is and its history, set against a backdrop of 100 acres of lush parkland.

Godwick Great Barn offers couples a versatile space, allowing for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. This venue prides itself on being a ‘blank canvas’, giving couples the freedom to tailor their wedding day to their exact preferences.

With its rustic charm, polished concrete floors, and contemporary facilities, including luxurious loos, a modern kitchen, a welcoming reception area, and a bespoke bar, Godwick Hall ensures every detail is catered for.

Offering exclusive hire, this wedding venue in Norfolk is equipped for celebrations of all sizes, from intimate gatherings to bigger celebrations, accommodating over 120 guests for weddings and 200 for evening festivities.

Alongside its stunning main barn, Godwick provides exquisite on-site accommodation, including seven beautiful bedrooms, three quirky Shepherd’s Huts, two stargazer bell tents, and the charming Old Stables, ensuring up to 30 adults can experience the magic of Godwick overnight.

With a heated outdoor pool, a games room, and a dedicated team of wedding planners, Godwick Hall is a place of history, luxury, and personalised service.

Oxnead Hall

Oxnead Hall, an award-winning wedding venue in Norfolk tucked in the heart of the countryside, presents a blend of history and modern luxury for weddings.

This Grade II listed estate, complete with a Tudor hall, barn, and orangery, is set against 15 acres of breathtaking gardens and a private lake, offering a picturesque backdrop for weddings.

With the capacity to host up to 200 guests, Oxnead Hall accommodates both religious and civil ceremonies. The secluded medieval church of St Michael and All Angels, with its serene atmosphere, is ideal for traditional vows, while The Orangery offers a more intimate setting. 

The Great Barn, a stone’s throw from The Orangery, is a versatile space for lively receptions, complemented by the Fountain Room for relaxed socialising.

This wedding venue in Norfolk ensures a memorable experience with luxury accommodations for guests and bespoke services tailored to each couple’s needs.

Engaged couples are invited to discover the magic of Oxnead Hall and begin their journey to a dream wedding against the timelessness of this Norfolk space.

Happy Valley

Happy Valley emerges as a gorgeous woodland wedding venue in Norfolk, just a 15-minute drive from King’s Lynn.

Spanning nine acres of diverse terrains, from mystical woodlands and relaxed watersides to open glades and vast countryside, Happy Valley presents a unique setting for wedding celebrations of all sizes.

This family-run venue prides itself on offering bespoke wedding packages, complemented by meticulous service, ensuring every detail of your day is seamlessly planned out.

The wedding venue in Norfolk’s versatility is evident in its ability to host big family gatherings as well as intimate ceremonies and elopements.

Couples may choose the idyllic Willow Island for an outdoor ceremony, enveloped by nature and accessible via a quaint footbridge, or the rustic charm of the Hay Barn for an indoor vow exchange.

For larger receptions, the Dutch Barn offers an expansive, industrial-chic space with captivating views of the surrounding beauty.

Accommodation options range from luxury glamping in bell tents and shepherd huts to cosy cabins, with the added indulgence of year-round hot tubs and fire pits, creating a memorable experience for up to 28 overnight guests.

Happy Valley stands as a great choice for those seeking a magical woodland wedding in Norfolk.

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall stands as a beacon of elegance and history, offering couples the opportunity to celebrate their wedding in the majestic Lady Elizabeth Wing and its private courtyard.

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed into a secluded courtyard, offering breathtaking views and large arched windows that provide a romantic setting perfect for capturing the essence of the day through documentary-style wedding photography.

With the addition of musicians and a welcome glass of bubbly on the lawn, the atmosphere becomes truly enchanting.

This wedding venue in Norfolk encourages couples to consider the advantages of weekday weddings, presenting a luxury package that promises the same lavish experience as a weekend celebration, potentially offering significant savings.

This approach not only benefits the couple but also allows guests an excuse to extend their visit into a long weekend, enhancing the overall wedding experience in Norfolk.

The transition from reception drinks and canapes in the courtyard to the main celebration inside The Lady Elizabeth Wing is seamless.

You will be captivated by the expansive, light-filled space with its high-pitched ceilings, which can be adorned according to personal taste, from romantic chiffon drapes to elegant white paper lanterns.

The luxury wedding package ensures every detail is accounted for, making Holham Hall a distinguished wedding venue in Norfolk for those dreaming of a wedding filled with sophistication and exclusive privacy.

Curds Hall Barn

Nestled in the stunning Norfolk countryside, Curds Hall Barn presents itself as a captivating venue for bespoke weddings.

This exclusive-use barn offers a splendid opportunity for couples to personalise their wedding day, with early access ensuring every detail can be carefully planned out.

Under the watchful guidance of wedding coordinators Eleanor and Annabelle, whose expertise and passion for weddings shine through, couples are encouraged to make the most of a curated list of trusted suppliers.

The coordinators’ hands-on approach ensures a seamless and stress-free celebration, from the emotional support before walking down the aisle to the smooth execution of the day’s events.

The Main Barn, with its vaulted ceilings and big windows, offers a bright and airy setting for the ceremony, whilst the grounds provide various lovely backdrops.

Post-ceremony, the celebrations can spill out onto the lawn for drinks and garden games, or stay within the barn for a cosy atmosphere.

The Woodshed, with its darker tones, sets a romantic stage for the wedding breakfast, complemented by a choice of approved caterers.

As the evening unfolds, the Main Barn transforms into a lively dance floor, complete with a bar and a loft space perfect for creating a snug cocktail lounge.

The accommodation at this wedding venue in Norfolk is provided at The Old Coach House, with additional camping options for up to 10 overnight guests.

Fishley Hall

Fishley Hall stands as a historic jewel within the peaceful countryside, promising a wedding venue in Norfolk that combines finesse with a rich narrative backdrop.

This esteemed estate, with its references in the Domesday Book and royal affiliations, offers a relaxing escape in the vicinity of Norfolk Broads and major locales like Norwich.

Capable of hosting both large and more intimate celebrations, Fishley Hall caters for up to 200 guests, ensuring every wedding is imbued with a sense of exclusivity.

The conservatory, offering views of lush landscapes, and various licensed ceremony spots, including the Saxon round tower church, provide lovely settings for vows.

The venue’s barn, with its rustic red brick and adaptable decor, sets the stage for an evening of dining and celebration that can be tailored to reflect each couple’s unique style.

Beyond the festivities, Fishley Hall extends a warm welcome to overnight guests with eight appointed bedrooms, complemented by facilities designed for relaxation and enjoyment.

The hall’s dedicated team, alongside a curated selection of local suppliers, works carefully to ensure every aspect of the wedding weekend is nothing short of perfect, for you to create lasting memories with loved ones at this wedding venue in Norfolk.

Enquire About Your Wedding Photography in Norfolk

Now you know my top 7 wedding venues in Norfolk you can go away and decide which venue best suits your wedding day vision. Norfolk is nothing short of timeless memories and beautiful settings, so why settle for anything else?

Oh, and don’t forget to enquire about your wedding photography! I am a documentary wedding photographer – get in touch with me as I would love to hear about your love story, wedding plans and of course, talk about your photography for the day. 


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