The Logistics of a Temporary Structure

24/08/2015

Following on from our post on the types of Temporary Structures available for weddings and events, today we are looking at all of the logistical details you need to consider in order to erect your chosen structure.

Before looking at specific elements it is important to remember that with a temporary structure, you have to bring everything in for your event – you normally do not have the luxury of using existing toilets, electricity supply etc. So while this is great as it means you can really personalize every element of your wedding day to make it unique, this does come at a small price so it is worth budgeting for the essentials from the beginning.

So, what are the basic things which you need to consider…?

Location
In order to host your wedding in a temporary structure you will need to find suitable land in which to erect it. The options here include:

Your own land: your garden, a paddock or fields
Someone else’s land: farmland, a field, public space (but make sure you obtain the necessary permissions)
The grounds of a venue: some venues have grounds in which to erect marquees

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Also consider if you wish to incorporate any existing elements into your structure. For example, a few years ago we worked on a wedding where the family wishing well was a focal point inside the marquee. Other couples have chosen to place the marquee over a pond or around a special tree so that they are incorporated into the final design.

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Location Suitability
Temporary structures are usually very versatile and can be accommodated in most places however consider the following:

Access to the grounds
Surface of the grounds – is it level, are there big dips
Shelter – is it exposed to all the elements or is their some shelter from nearby trees
Noise – are you surrounded by private residences and therefore do you need to politely alert them to your event or obtain a temporary events license in case of any issues

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Structure Suitability
Does the structure you are interested in work, based on the other variables:

Style of wedding
Season – all companies will be able to advise you on the weather limitations for their structures to include maximum wind speeds etc.
Guest Numbers – All reputable companies will do a site visit before providing a broken down quote.  Site suitability will be assessed and recommendations made based on their findings as to where the structure should be situated.

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Size / Layout
Once you know what type of structure you want, you will need to ascertain the size. There are various websites which give you rules of thumb relating to the size of structure dependent on your guest numbers, but ultimately it comes down to what you plan to use the structure for and how flexible you need the space to be. I would always recommend seeking the advice of the supplier and asking them to advise you on the size and layout once they have a clear idea of your requirements.

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Access
Prior to your structure being erected, it is important to understand access requirements for them and the rest of your suppliers. You will need to know what they will be bringing (in terms of vehicles) and if possible, get them to do a site recce in advance to check that they are happy with the proposed entry and exit routes and also the distance from parking their vehicles to setting-up the structure…it all needs to be efficient as possible.

Don’t forget that even if it is dry day, if you have lots of suppliers using the same access route and using heavy vehicles, it will start to impact underfoot. It is seriously worth considering investing in some heavy duty track matting to avoid any issues.

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Set Up and Break Down
Most temporary structure companies will inform you a few weeks in advance what day they will be delivering and erecting the structure and what day they will be taking it down. This is important so that you or your wedding planner can schedule in all of the other supplier timings. You will also need to ensure that there is someone there on the day of the build who can be responsible for the structure during the event. Most companies will want to officially ‘hand the structure over’ and then take it back.

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On-Site Contact
Don’t assume that someone from the marquee / tent / tipi company will remain on site throughout your event. If you have any concerns about looking after the structure, or if you just want reassurance in case of any problems, it is really worth arranging this in advance with the company. I think this is particularly relevant f you are using a tipi or tent structure which may require sides being lifted up / putting down during the event, management of a log fire etc

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Next time we will be looking at how to personalise your structure and what added extras you need to consider.

Until next week…

Should you have any questions or if you wish to discuss your own luxury marquee wedding, please get in touch.

Photography Credits
Pippa Mackenzie   // Steve Ramsden  //  Guy Collier  // Paul White  // David Pullum  // Lucy Davenport // Laura Babb

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