Is a Clear Roof Marquee really right for your wedding reception?

by: Acacia

2021 March 24
Table plan in a wedding marquee reception with a clear blue sky over head

A clear roof marquee is undoubtedly visually stunning and really does add "wow" factor to a wedding reception. They suit a wide range of design choices too. Whether it's a completely transparent dining area, lighting up a reception or providing an alternative to a dance floor. In this post, we'll give you some pointers to consider when designing your wedding reception. And hopefully, we'll help you to decide whether you really should hire a clear roof marquee or not.

Pros and Cons of a Clear Roof Marquee


  • Allows you to maximise the views from inside the marquee
  • Internal and external lighting looks incredible when combined with clear roofs
  • Can be added to specific areas as a feature, or to create a theme
  • Gives your reception that "wow" factor


  • Can become very warm at the height of summer
  • On a sunny day, the amount of light could be uncomfortable for dining guests
Long rows of tables formally set up in a wedding reception marquee

Fully Clear Roof vs Partially Clear Roof Marquees

The Fully Clear Roof Marquee

When you mention a clear roof marquee, what would most people think? Probably that the entire roof space is transparent, as well as most (if not all) of the windows and gables. The aim here would be to maximise the views out of the structure - to bring the outside, inside. Perhaps it's the rolling hills in the distance, or more prominent features, such as trees or buildings in the immediate area.

The completely transparent marquee looks truly fantastic and can work extremely well in the right setting. One important point to note is that when everything is transparent, there really is nowhere to hide. Toilets, catering, vehicles - it could all be visible! So we would only suggest this as an option for a smaller, more intimate reception, where the amount of additional equipment required is kept to a minimum.

If you want to hire a completely clear roof marquee for your wedding reception, designing the layout to incorporate additional marquees may be a good idea. As well as offering some shade, these could house essential services and help events run smoothly on the big day.

The Partially Clear Roof Marquee

The other alternative is to hire a partially clear roof marquee. This ensures that services and additional equipment have their own place and can be hidden from the attending guests.

By adding clear roofs to a certain area of the marquee, it can create a specific look and feel to a particular part of the reception. It can still be the dominating feature, or it can complement other design choices within the wedding reception. This is a great way of defining distinct areas, such as the dance floor, dining area or reception. But it also works as a panoramic window, to see the views above.

From a practical point a view, the combination of clear and opaque (solid white) allows you to direct the focus, allowing you to hide some of the services, other marquees and everything else that makes the reception work. The number of roofs you would need depends on the size of the marquee you choose to hire, as well as the size of the space you want to highlight. Talk to your supplier to make sure the design works for you.

Key Things to Consider

Time of year and hours of sunlight

Long, bright sunny days in summer will increase the temperature inside the marquee. You may wish to consider air conditioning if you want a large proportion of the marquee covered with clear roofs.

Use them sparingly

More isn't always better. Decide why you want to include clear roofs and for what purpose.

Too bright for dining guests?

Increasing the amount of direct sunlight can become a strain on the eyes, especially if you're in the setting for a long time, such as eating dinner. Providing some shade for guests is always advised, as the weather is the one aspect we can't guarantee.

Not always the best for some items

We would advise against placing certain items or furniture in direct sunlight. A black dance floor is going to get pretty hot, for example. And although we're no caterers, we have heard stories of buttercream melting, so be careful with the wedding cake! Some shade would be beneficial throughout the day.

Formal dining area in a clear roof marquee with ivory linings and round tables

Final Thoughts

We believe that hiring clear roof marquees will remain a popular option for many years to come. They can be used to complement the design of the reception, or accentuate the views and overall experience for guests. It is important to think about what will work best for you, the time of your reception and what you want them to achieve. Remember that more isn't always better. Work with your planner and the setting of your reception, to maximise the return from this design choice.

Evening at a wedding marquee reception with lights illuminating the trees outside
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