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A Classic English Summer Marquee Wedding


I first met Robyn with her mum back in 2019 and I knew straight away that I really wanted to work with her.  Robyn’s energy and excitement for her & Oliver’s wedding at Smallshaw Cottages was infectious and it was clear it was going to be a great day.

Robyn & Oliver had already booked Smallshaw Farm Cottages & Spa for their marquee wedding – a venue I had been hoping to work at since I visited them back in 2017!

Robyn & Oliver booked my Wedding Day Management service which is perfect for marquee weddings like theirs.  I kept in regular contact with Robyn after they had booked, helping her with supplier recommendations and offering advice when needed.

The wedding was initially booked for July 2020 but we all know what happened there.  So eventually the wedding took place at the end of July 2021 and thankfully we had just had covid restrictions lifted.


The Run Up To The Wedding


This was quite a challenging period for Robyn but I provided extra help.  I took over communication with all her suppliers and worked with them to agree the timeline of the day and answer all their questions.

Between us we finalised the details of each element of the wedding until we had everything in place (all suppliers are listed at the end of the blog.)



The Set Up


The marquee was built on the Thursday and then most of the suppliers delivered on Friday with as much set up as possible being completed.  The weather on Friday was awful – it never stopped raining all day and it was freezing.

One of the outdoor bars was a converted Citroen van from Loxley which broke down on the way to the venue – not the phone call you want to receive on set up day.  Thankfully it was able to be towed onto site and we then managed to push it into place.

Robyn & Oliver had set their hearts on an outdoor ceremony but we all know you need a wet weather plan in this country.  So we also worked out the final details for where the ceremony would be held if it was still raining the next day.



Robyn ready for her big day
Bride Squad



Marquee at Smallshaw Cottages



The Venue – Smallshaw Cottages 


Smallshaw Cottages is a family run spa which has a number of cottages which you can hire for you and your guests so all the family and close friends were staying on site.  You then use the land at the side of the gardens for your marquee.  So you have use of the beautiful gardens in a stunning location and also have free rein with your suppliers.  The family are super friendly and helpful too without interfering in your plans.

You can see more here about this fabulous venue.



R&O at Smallshaw Cottages
R&O at Smallshaw Cottages



The Ceremony


Robyn & Oliver had completed their legal ceremony a few days before as at this time it wasn’t possible to have a legal outdoor ceremony in the UK.  On the day they had a personalised celebrant led ceremony.

As the weather was still a bit unsettled I had to wait until the very last minute to set up the ceremony outside. And of course the minute I had done this it rained!  Thankfully it was a short shower and that was the last of the rain for the day.

The ceremony area was completed with stunning florals at the beginning of the aisle and a flower arch at the top.  Robyn also brought some of her own décor items from home which I used to style the ceremony table.

They couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful setting for their ceremony, just look at the view over Yorkshire too!

Robyn & Oliver also had a videographer as well their photographer and you can see the video of their day here.  


Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony


Wedding couple with their dogs



The Food & Drink


This is an important part of every wedding.  It’s a long day so make sure you keep your guests fed and watered.

Because Smallshaw Cottages don’t have rule about your bar supply or corkage fees, it meant that Robyn & Oliver could supply some of the drinks themselves.  I set up a welcome drinks station so that guests were handed a glass of fizz on arrival.  Then during the ceremony I set up a drinks reception in the gardens with more fizz and some soft drinks too.

R&O had booked 2 outdoor bars,  one served beers whilst the other served cocktails and spirits.

Canapes were served during the drinks reception which looked delicious – sadly I didn’t get a chance to try them L

Prosecco was already on the tables when the guests were seated ready for the toasts during the speeches and then guests were treated to a 3 course meal with table wine.

In the evening, there was a chocolate fountain, a cheese wall, a pizza van and some street food so there was no shortage of food to keep everyone going.


Horsebox bar


5 tier wedding cake
Cheese Wall



The Décor


Robyn chose classical white flowers with plenty of foliage which complemented the marquee beautifully.  She added rustic touches and guests were treated to mini bottles of gin as favours.  Bonus tip here – don’t add a fizzy mixer to the little cork topped bottles – the tops will fly off at various stages and make you jump out of your skin.

Place settings had a sprig of eucalyptus from Robyn’s mum’s garden added to the white napkins.  The seating plan and table numbers were based around horse racing which was the only thing which Oliver had asked for in the décor.

The top table was a rustic wooden table with chandeliers hanging above it.  This gave a lovely contrast to the crisp white table linen on the guest tables and some additional subtle lighting.



Racing themed seating plan
Racing themed table numbers



Top table with chandeliers
R&O's marquee set up



The Entertainment


Live music was a big feature of the day.

R&O had opted for a violin and guitar duo to play for their wedding ceremony.  And at the last minute they also agreed to extend their playing to cover the drinks reception.  The singer who was booked for this had Covid and couldn’t attend.

During dinner the guests were entertained with piano music.  Then the DJ took over and played some background music until the evening party was ready to start.

Cris Quammie and his amazing soul band played 2 sets, the first of which included Robyn & Oliver’s first dance.  The DJ kept the energy high in-between and, when I’d finally rescued the sax player from the local station where he was stranded, he played a couple of sets too.


First Dance with live Band



What They Said

“Louise has been absolutely fantastic. She is the absolute best of the best and our day was nothing but perfect with her planning and coordinating.
It would not be possible without Louise! She is phenomenal and went above and beyond more than I ever imagined.. she is fantastic.
If your thinking about booking Louise then 10000% go for it! You will not regret it! I feel like I’ve gained a friend and will miss her. Thank you Louise for making it all possible !!”
Robyn & Oliver

Robyn & Oliver had a beautiful wedding at Smallshaw Cottages which was totally relaxed for them and their guests.  Yes there were issues for me to resolve but that’s to be expected with this type of wedding and so many suppliers involved.  And the most important thing – they were resolved without Robyn & Oliver even needing to know about them.  They had booked a great team of suppliers and it made for a fabulous day for us as well as their guests.  

Marquee weddings are naturally more challenging to plan as you need to bring in more suppliers than normal.  And you won’t usually have any venue staff available to run your wedding for you.  So Wedding Day Management is the perfect solution if you’re happy to do the planning but just want some help in the final few weeks and on the day,  However, if you need more help than partial or full wedding planning would be beneficial to you.  You can find more details on all my planning services here.


R&O at Smallshaw Cottages
Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding