Stretch tents are a fabulous option if you’re planning a marquee wedding, and we’re sure that Alex, owner of Stretch and Tents would agree with us. There’s just something super romantic and ethereal about a stretch tent.
Stretch and Tents can provide the perfect solution for couples looking to create a magical event, whether it is just for the ceremony itself or for the reception afterwards. Bold in their design, yet supremely practical stretch tents can be constructed to fit in and around almost any environment seamlessly, even on terrain where you may struggle to fit a traditional marquee.
Crisp white or classic cream stretch tents are perfect for weddings. With so many options in terms of the structure itself and of course, the internal decorations and dressing, stretch tents look equally amazing if your style is casual and fun, or if you’re planning something altogether more classic and sophisticated.
Over to Alex now to tell us more about how his stretch tents can create a stunning environment for your big day.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I’m Alex Hoogewerf and I’m the founder of Stretch and Tents and now the owner of another event business called Moroccan Marquees.
I founded Stretch and Tents on Valentines’s day (such a romantic) seven years ago shortly after one of the best holidays in South Africa where I first encountered beautiful stretch tents (sounds like I’m talking about an encounter with a beautiful lion in the bush!) No but I do believe stretch tents are stunning, I love their ethereal contours and their ability to make any wedding that little bit more magical!
Fast forwards six years from starting Stretch and Tents and my cousin came to me and said did I want to help her with her Moroccan Marquees business in the UK.
I went to see one up at a wedding and fell in love with the exoticness straight away! Following an amazing trip to India I was 100% sold and I’m now the owner of Moroccan Marquees.
We have a growing collection of traditional hand crafted Moroccan and Indian marquees which are really popular for more formal weddings.
What motivated you to start your business?
I love to travel and I also love going to parties (who doesn’t?!). I also hated the idea of being chained to a desk. I actually tried it for 4 years at HSBC but I always kind of knew I was going to start my own business.
The lightbulb moment came when I was at festival in the UK and there were hideous white marquees everywhere! Don’t get me wrong it was a fab little festival but I remember thinking why don’t people in the UK use stretch tents more?!
I’m of course a tad biased but they look amazing, they’re versatile, and they’re super good value! It’s been a crazy journey setting up the business and now running two of them but I love it so much and never ever could imagine myself doing anything else!
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
We have a team of 12 now and we’ve just moved into this mega warehouse in South London. Before we were a little split up with half the staff in an office in central London and everyone else working at the warehouse near Guildford. Now we’re all in one place it’s great, we’ve got the office upstairs and we can peek over at all the activities going on in the warehouse.
Day to day in the office, we’re speaking to clients, going on site surveys, snooping around for fun ideas on Pinterest. The other guys are putting up tents, cleaning tents, storing tents and doing all that kind of jazz. It’s busy busy but we often find time to squeeze in some after work drinks to wind down. We’re just a fab hard working group of friends really.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
Young and brilliant staff to work with you to make whatever you want at your wedding a reality. We always like to think big and always with spectacular design.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
If you like the tone or vibe you get from someone/ a company and you trust them then go for it. Of course look at pictures / videos etc but I think number one you want someone who’s not going to cause headaches and stress!
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
My deputy, the brilliant Will King, had an amazing wedding in May under one of our stretch tents with the most fun band and loads of Scottish reeling. We had loads of the guys from stretch and tents there – it was a cracker of a day.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
Yes! Amongst all the weddings we’re at we’re also busy bees getting our stretch tents up at festivals like Standon Calling, Festival Number Six, Samphire, Boardmasters and that little one in Somerset – Glastonbury to name just a few in the UK.
Stretch tents are becoming more and more popular choices for venues bars at festivals because they’re just so versatile. We had to put one up on the side of hill by the sea at Samphire last year, it was a total mission to get up over the undulating land but we nailed it in the end and it ended up being this brilliant orange party dungeon sunk into the hill!
We also do corporate and sporting events all over the world for companies like Heineken, Fever Tree, University College London. I think one of our black stretch tents is right now docking onto a ship from a party Fever Tree had in Antigua.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
Being outside – all my best thinking happens when I’m out on a blustery walk!
All images courtesy of Stretch and Tents