How to hire a marquee: Questions you need to ask

wedding marquee hire questions you need to ask

How to hire a marquee: 9 Questions you need to ask yourself


Marquee hire for country estate photographed from drone

Marquee hire with a toilet block and separate catering tent

A marquee hire can be the cherry on the icing of a major event, offering a stylish and attractive temporary structure which can host guests in comfort. But when you are hiring a marquee, there can be many questions which come to mind. That is a good thing because the last thing you want is to hire a marquee which doesn’t match what you want for an event. By the time it arrives, it might be too late! So here are some important questions for hiring a marquee:

1. What is the surface?

It is important to know as much as you can about the surface your marquee will sit upon. Both the surface area and the composition. Some marquees will need pins to support the guy ropes so your surface area may need to be wider than the area of the tent. The ground the pins are going into is important too, is it a lawn, tarmac, or hard standing? Knowing these factors will enable the supplier to cost the hire accordingly and not leave any big surprises on the day for the team erecting the marquee, and possible cost increases. New Century marquees use pins and ropes for support and strength, check with the site owner that they are ok with pins being driven into the ground. (they usually are ok).

2. What is your expected attendance?

This can be crucial to the type of marquee you hire. As a general rule, it is always better to have too much room, than not enough. For this reason, you might like to increase your expected attendance by 20 to 50 people, in order to allow for any unexpected guests.

questions to ask when hiring a marquee

Will your guests be seated or standing?

3. Seated or standing?

Whether the people inside the marquee will be standing or sitting will have a big impact on the type of marquee you choose. A standing room marquee for a music festival will be able to host more people than a marquee which is full of seats for a wedding.

4. What are the insurance terms?

Understand all the legal terms which come with hiring a marquee. You should read the terms and conditions carefully, and know who is responsible for what.

5. What is the marquee interior, flooring and lining?

Hiring a marquee isn’t just about size. The look of the interior in your marquee can determine the atmosphere, so make sure you know exactly the style and colour of interior features, and match it to your event type. Make sure all fittings, flooring, and lighting are documented on the quotation.

6. Do you need a separate catering marquee?

You need to consider whether any catering can be done inside your main marquee. If it is not big enough, a separate catering marquee can be very helpful to the smooth running of your event. That’s because it can allow your catering team to get on with their jobs without being distracted by events in the main marquee, and waiting staff can be given their own entranceway into the main marquee, to ensure there is no congestion. In some cases, having your catering inside the main marquee can also be a health and safety risk.

Small Garden Marquees (7)

What lighting will you need for your marquee hire?

7. Toilets

Everybody needs them, but are you sure you have planned the toilets correctly for your event? Don’t assume your marquee comes with a toilet area, as many of the smaller ones won’t have toilets. Unless you are putting your marquee close to a building which has its own toilets, you should make sure that you hire a marquee which can include them.

8. What are the terms of deposit, payment or cancellation

If your event is at risk of being cancelled due to bad weather, or for other reasons, you should always read the terms and conditions carefully to note the cancellation policy. Not only that, but you should also know the rules when it comes to making a deposit and payment for the hire.

9. What heating and lighting is offered?

Modern marquee hire offers a large number of heating and cooling options, as well as a wide variety of lighting. If your event is going to be held in cold or hot weather, you should make sure you have ways of controlling the temperature. And when it comes to lighting, you should ensure that you can adjust it to your wishes. For entertainment, you can also hire lighting which is suited for discos and dance floors. (we have heard of people being charged extra on the day for extension cables etc, please make sure a complete, functioning lighting package is what you have signed up for).

Keep your wits about you, ask for everything in writing, take out insurance for your event and remember to have a ball.

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