Whether you’re throwing a boutique summer garden party or an extravagant celebration, hiring a marquee is a fantastic way to utilise existing space or add capacity to an indoors area. Marquees come in all shapes and sizes, making them an incredibly flexible choice and one that will add style and panache to any soiree you’re hosting.
They are also not solely limited to summer time use as all reputable marquee companies will provide solid flooring, heating and lights. This makes them an ideal addition to your party all year round, as you can be sure guests will remain dry and comfortable.
Traditionally one might have assumed hiring a marquee was a complicated and expensive process, one fraught with the dangers of hidden charges or unexpected bills. Fortunately, there are a number of marquee and catering companies here in the UK that make that assumption completely unfounded. A search for ‘catering equipment hire London’, for example, will put you in touch with some of the best.
These firms work closely with you to establish your budget, break down costs your costs modularly and will happily personalise the marquee down to your every whim and fancy. This guide will help you plan your marquee so you can make the most of your relationship with them.
Size and Space
The first thing to consider is how much space does your venue provide for the marquee? Moreover, how much indoor space do you want to create or add to existing buildings? It is important to measure up the space you are working with in order to accurately spec up plans and the budget for your marquee.
Take into account any room you might need for guide ropes and plan a route into and out of the marquee. Most venues will have fire and health and safety regulations that you will be obliged to abide to as well. Discuss with the venue to ensure you’re not caught short at the last minute!
The next step allows you to get creative! How do you want the inside of your marquee to look? Choose a theme and a colour scheme to base the design upon, ensuring everything from table linen to the drapes fits in perfectly.
Consider whether you want a dancefloor, or simply dining space and whether or not the space inside will house a bar. Plan routes and pathways between tables that allow guests and staff to move around freely, particularly if there is food being served.
The occasion will also play a part in dictating the layout and design. Is there to be a stage, high table or centre piece? What other decorations are you planning on housing in the marquee? It is worth drawing out a number of rough sketches to present to the marquee company in order to put across your big plans!
Lighting and Sounds
Next, consider the marquee’s lighting – particularly important should the party continue into the night! Consider the ambience and mood you wish to create, and whether additional lighting is needed for a stage or dancefloor.
The same goes for choosing the sound system and selecting the music for your event. Will there be a DJ or a live band? Consider their location in the grand design.
Both lighting and sound systems require a supply of electricity, which may dictate the location to a certain degree. Check with the venue whether they are able to provide an electricity supply point and remember to hire a generator if they are not! Most marquee or catering companies will be able to supply generators if required.
The Finishing Touches
Once the macro design has been completed it’s time to consider the finishing touches. This includes everything from table decorations to tableware, so make a list to ensure nothing is forgotten. Many marquee and catering companies are able to provide tableware and many decorations. Discuss this with the firm when designing your package.
Hiring tableware and the like is usually a very economical decision. Whilst many firms require a small deposit and a cover for damages, the cost is far lower than if you were to purchase an entire set new.
Other things to remember include party favours, table linen and table decorations!