If you’re looking to hire a marquee for the first time it can be quite an overwhelming prospect. We might be biased but we think you’re making the right choice and we promise, it’s not as overwhelming as it can seem. Unlike a traditional venue a marquee has virtually limitless opportunities to make the event your own, giving you the freedom to create something truly unique.
We’re here with all the tips you need to know to get the ball rolling on your marquee event planning journey. Whether you’re looking for a marquee wedding, an outdoor party or a structure that is going to accommodate a corporate event, have a read through our tips.
Top Marquee Hire Tips
1. Get in early!
We hire out our marquees throughout the year but if you have your heart set on a date, particularly if it’s over the summer months, it’s worth reaching out to us as early as you can to avoid disappointment. Peak season reduces stock availability so you may not be able to source all the items you need for your event if you leave things right to the last minute.
We receive requests for summer events months, sometimes even years ahead so don’t delay getting in touch if you’re considering a marquee for your wedding, party or corporate event.
Get in touch for a marquee quote
2. Size Matters
What size is the space available to you? How many people are you hoping to get into your marquee? If you’re working with limited space there’s still many options available to you but it’s worth noting that you need more space if you’re hoping for your guests to be seated at tables for your event, rather than if they were standing. You also need to consider the space required for catering and utilities, such as hidden spaces for catering staff to prepare your meal and a toilet block if needed.
After assessing your site we put together a plan and a CAD visualisation that ensures you’re covering everything and gives you a clear idea for how the layout will work. Have a look at some examples here.
3. Prepare for all weather
We have you covered (literally) in terms of ensuring you have a structure built to withstand the Great British weather, come rain or come shine. But it’s worth ensuring you have plenty of space available indoors if the weather does take a turn. For example, if you are hoping to hold a drinks reception outside, is this easily able to move inside should it need to?
If part of your celebration is outside you can have open sided areas or patio style doors to allow guests to freely flow in and out of your marquee, to escape a spot of rain or the searing midday sun – on a hot sunny day you’ll often find guests seeking out a shady spot to cool down, particularly worth noting if you’re in a large open space with no natural shade. Alternatively, clear walls have that fantastic outdoor indoor feel while protecting you from the elements.
Have a read of our tips for creating a warm winter marquee event
4. Make the most of your surroundings
While of course you must make considerations for weather, it’s wonderful to make the most of outdoor space. If there is a stunning view or a beautiful garden flower border then it’s worth bringing those components into the styling considerations. Whether you have a canopy area, with roof cover and open walls to take it all in, or the transparent window walls and roofs for panoramic views. How about lighting up key features too, incorporating strings of festoon lights and lanterns around the trees outside, uplighters against a neighbouring monument, or simply a string of lights to guide guests down a path to the action.
5. Seating Plans
It’s important to note that round tables, long tables and theatre style seating all need different footprints. Consider if you also want relaxed areas as well as dining areas, such as some sofa seating near the bar for guests to break away to. If you’re having a sit-down meal, the space between the tables also needs to be taken into consideration. To allow plenty of space for catering and waiting staff to get around. Also, for a pleasant experience for your guests. No one wants to be budging in and out constantly to allow people past, or tripping over chairs. If you have limited space there is ways to reuse and rework the space to allow for multiple functions – we’re always more than happy to discuss various ideas with you.
6. Don’t forget furnishings and flourishes
Unlike other venues, marquees don’t come with furniture. This gives you the freedom to choose exactly what you want, the opportunity to treat your marquee as a blank canvas to decorate as you wish. We have fantastic relationships with a number of local décor, event planners and styling specialists, to help you work out exactly how you want your space to look and save you any unnecessary headaches!
How about some fab hot pink carpet like at this recent party with Alastair Currie Events?
7. Making comparisons
When making cost comparisons make sure you’re taking into consideration the reputability of your supplier – do they have the necessary insurance? Will the marquee and internal coverings arrive clean? Do you trust the team installing the structure and the other suppliers they work with? Will the structure be secured appropriately? Have they been to see the proposed site with you to assess it for suitability?
Marquee maintenance is an important factor in ensuring they look the part on the day. We have a state-of-the-art marquee washing machine to ensure all our marquees are spick and span at all times. We are proud to receive the vast majority of our custom through repeat business or referral, we are confident that this is testament to our high-quality marquees and personal service, no matter the event type or size.
8. Entertainment value
Is there plenty of space for your entertainment? Have you decided on whether you would like a DJ or band – or maybe something else entirely, the marquee is your oyster! Bands often require a specific size stage, to allow for all of their equipment, which we will need to take it into account and allow for in the space and plans. It’s worth thinking about whether your entertainment will need a green room too. Somewhere for them to chill out or prep in the time when they’re not performing or on stage. If your marquee is at Home or at a Venue then there may be a room they can use. If not, you may need to think about additional space for them.
We love a reveal screen, particularly for a wedding marquee. You’ll have a stunning reception set up during the day, then as night falls and everyone is ready to head to the dance floor, draped curtains are lifted to reveal a night lit stage and dance area.
9. Danger, danger, no voltage?
It’s very important that the power provision is appropriate for the demand. In many instances, where sound and lighting, entertainment and catering all require a significant amount of power there can be a large amount of cabling. From a stylistic point of view, we are well versed in ways to hide away wires where required. But from a safety perspective, it’s vital not to overload the supply. If there is no power available at the site there’s always ways around it, you can hire in generators for your catering staff, lighting, sound and technical equipment, as well as any external utilities such as toilets. If you are able to connect to mains supply, we would still recommend a backup generator, to avoid any risk of being left without lighting or food, or anything else you might need to bring your event to life.
10. Time restraints
Marquee’s take time to build and time to take down, sometimes this can take days, so it’s worth working time into your schedule to allow for this. If timings are tight or there are restrictions on how long a temporary structure can be up for, you need to let your marquee company know. When we quote, we can give you an idea of how long we would expect the build and dismantle to take. Then, when we have more firm plans in place, we will provide a full timeline of our build, detailing when structures will be up and in place, as well as showing when further deliveries for furniture etc. will be coming to site. So you’ll have a clear idea of the timeline of activity in the lead up to your event.
These are all great things to be thinking about when you get in touch about a marquee in order to get the ball rolling, but we go over this and much more with you. We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. We’re here to guide you through the process of hiring a marquee for your event, to make sure you have everything you might need. Offering you a bespoke solution that’s going to be the perfect backdrop for your occasion.
Give us a call in the office to start the planning process, your blank canvas is just waiting to be transformed!