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The Friday Fight-Out: Marquee Vs Teepee

In the next few days I’m hoping to release the first wedding video I’ve filmed in a teepee. So where on earth could I have been to be filming in such an unusual location? Amongst Native Americans in the great plains? Perhaps amongst some traditional Australasian tribe? Close… Huddersfield.

Teepees are becoming more and more… actually is it Teepee? Or Tipi…Or Tepee? However you prefer to spell it I’ve got to say what a brilliant name they have! I mean teepee is just a brilliant example of cause and effect built right into one name…presumably they functioned more as portaloos in the early design stage! I digress…

Where was I? Ah yes! Tipis are becoming more and more common as wedding reception venues and are a great talking point for the guests! But what do they really offer over their closest rival the traditional marquee? Let’s find out!

In the Red Corner, arguing for the great big conical tent (presumably because they usually have a great big warm fire in the middle), she once dressed up as Pocahontas to go camping in her back garden pretending she had a wigwam, it’s Dom ” The Tog” Bride

In the Blue Corner, fighting for the great British Marquee, he was always more of a cowboy than indian… actually he was the englishman in the marquee drinking tea and munching on cucumber sandwiches,  it’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom



Dom: Teepees just look so cool! Marquees are lovely but have become relatively common and used for a variety of purposes. How often do you see a huge Teepee in everyday life?! As soon as guests see it they’re always blown away – it provides a great talking point to get the reception started!

Matt: Marquees are basically a blank canvas to allow you to create whatever look you want. They can be laid out and added to in various formats and accessorised inside and out. They offer a huge amount of flexibility to create whatever design you’d like whereas a teepee really creates one standard look.

Dom: But the lesser need for decoration is one of the huge advantages! The Teepee itself is so dramatic that you don’t need to spend a long time trying to create a certain style and they can also be joined in different formats to create the size you require. Without decoration and nice lining a marquee does just look like a tent and needs a lot of work to make it special.

Matt: Marquees are extremely strong and can support a surprising amount of weight. This means that you can do some very elaborate lighting in a marquee and make it look really amazing. In fact, having lit lots of marquees there are actually more useful hanging points than in most permanent structures so they’re one of the best in this regard!

Dom: Teepees do offer nice lighting options too though! The ones I’ve been in tend to have a circle of lights in each of the cylindrical roofs, also helping to light up the canvas and make it look even more dramatic at night.

Matt: Marquees can have windows! In fact you can replace entire walls with window panels if you prefer, allowing you to make best use of natural light and to really enjoy your surroundings! Teepees don’t tend to have this option and rely more heavily on artificial light and large openings which let the heat out!

Dom: But Teepees compensate for any loss of heat with a nice roaring feature fire in the middle, something I’ve never seen in a marquee as it’s only possible due to the teepee shape!

Matt: If you’re looking for the garden party style wedding then the classic marquee is the look to go for! The teepee is a very rustic look and fits a particular style of wedding where the marquee’s flexibility makes for a more generic venue.

Dom: Despite their dramatic appearance Teepees somehow fit beautifully into the natural environment around them. The canvas colour and traditional design feel very rustic and it can look more in tune with its surroundings than a big white marquee.

Matt: Teepees seem to be generally quite a bit more expensive than Marquees to hire and so, along with the cost of hiring wherever the teepee is to be located, will definitely have a major impact on your budget.


Dom: The Teepee is an incredibly dramatic venue and a huge talking point for the guests. It needs little decoration and sets its own style to help you put a stamp on your day.

Matt: The Marquee is an incredibly flexible, more affordable venue which really allows you to put your own stamp on it. They are easier to obtain and allow you to add on sections much more easily.

So what do you think? Marquee vs Teepee: leave your comments below!

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