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Marquee Wedding Tips from Cape Events

We interviewed the owners of Cape Events to find out a bit more about the history of their business and to hopefully get some hot tips on planning a marquee wedding - and we did good and got you the goss!

What was your inspiration for starting your business? Tell us a bit more about your history, how it all come about?

Jamie and I started up Cape Marquees back in September 2007. For us both it was a change of careers that we wanted and the challenge of owning and running our own business. We began with a few marquees that my Aunt had bought for her business, Margaret River Party Hire, a few months before hand. We set up a few small jobs and parties until it was our wedding in December which we purchased the silk draping for the marquees and really started to get into the industry of weddings in the area. Since then we have added to our family two small boys, a dog and some chickens while the business has grown with extra staff, more and more equipment and a raft of happy clients along the way. We aim to bring to the region an honest, reliable and professional service that is tailored to the individual needs and requirements of our clients, allowing for a stress free, seamless and memorable wedding.

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Is dry hire becoming popular, for furniture and other items? What are the problems/benefits of that for you?

Most of our furniture items we are delivering for clients to set up themselves or who have stylists on board as most of it is quite large and bigger vehicles are needed to carry it, so far we haven't had too many issues with this. We are quite picky with the items we allow for clients to pick up as in the past we have had our equipment come back damaged. Having so many back to back weddings this can lead to quite a big problem as it is difficult for us to replace equipment at short notice. We don't dry hire our marquees because if one piece is missing on return it is a big problem for the next hire and this equipment takes some time to manufacture and be replaced.

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Cocktail weddings? Yay or nay? What do you think?

Cocktail weddings are really preferential and also depend a lot on clients budgets. We are seeing a lot of clients adding a lounge area or furniture of the like to create the atmosphere of cocktail but at the same time still supplying tables and seating to cater for their guests that really do prefer to be seated while they eat whether its a buffet, finger food or gourmet bbq. I like the relaxed atmosphere of cocktail weddings to the more formal seated option.

What are the benefits of a marquee wedding venue instead of a traditional venue?

Creating a marquee wedding allows you to work with your own blank canvas. You can choose pretty much any theme and decorations to suit your own tastes and style. You can style it the day before or have your chosen stylists come in and create that magic you imagine on the day. Our marquees come in a variety of sizes, and, as long as you can fit them into your chosen venue space, you can hire whatever size you need. It's possible to change the layout of a marquee simply by allowing separate areas for your drinks and food. You can also section off the dance floor and decorate it differently to the rest of the marquee. A marquee is a flexible option for any weather, you can opt to have no walls if the weather is warm and sunny or have walls should it turn inclement. The walls can be installed to suit the wind direction and the way the rain is forecast to come through. Depending if your chosen venue for a marquee wedding has any time restrictions, you can generally stay and party into the wee hours if you can keep your eyes open to do this after so much prep through the day.

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Any important tips to give couples thinking of a marquee wedding (the do's and don'ts)?

Supply as much information as you can to get the most accurate quote. Let us know what style of wedding you are going for ie cocktail or seated. If you are having a seated reception, let us know what style of table and layout you are thinking of. What other items you may want in the marquee, dance floor, bar, cake table, food service area. All this comes into play as to the size of marquee that will suit. Are you having a bridal party and how many, how will you be seated. Are you including your bridal party in your total guest numbers. Take into account the level of the ground at your chosen venue. It must be fairly level to install a marquee, not too many humps and bumps. A slight slope is ok. Check on the vehicle access to the area, if we can't drive up and load off the vehicles there will be added costs. There is a lot of pieces in building a marquee and having to carry everything some distance can add a few hours onto the job before it can begin and therefore more cost to you.

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More generally, what have you noticed about the South West wedding industry, any changes that you've seen that are good or bad?

The wedding industry in the South West has increased quite dramatically over the last few years. We are seeing more and more couples from all over the world coming to the area to be married. But who can blame them, it is a magical place. There is a lot more choice and options for couples being married in the area from venues, hire and stylists.

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