Thinking of hiring a marquee for your wedding reception? Black Cherry Events share their expert tips on what you need to know and show you how to ensure your marquee supplier is the best one for you.
Using a marquee as a venue for your wedding reception has many benefits. It is a blank canvas that can be decorated to your requirements and, if you want to, there is lots of scope to add your own finishing touches to make it really personal. The size and layout is tailored exactly to the number of guests you’ll have and how you want to use the space, and there are no restrictions on timings so you can dictate the running order of the day. All this choice of course can seem overwhelming, but by knowing what questions to ask and what you need to consider initially, this process can be made much less daunting.
Things you need to think about first
- Location and date – do you have a site for your marquee? This quite often will be your own/relatives garden or in the grounds of a hotel. Alternatively if you have your heart set on a marquee but are struggling to find a venue, good places to look are nearby sports grounds, restaurants or pubs with large gardens, or even farmers fields which may be available for hire.
- Guests – as with any wedding reception, knowing the number of guests you are expecting during the day, and importantly any extra guests for the evening, will be key in planning the size of marquee you require.
- Catering and bar – while you don’t need to have these in place before you contact marquee suppliers, it is a good idea to start looking at options soon, as caterers will require a service area the size of which will depend on the number of guests and the menu choices you select. Marquee companies can often give you recommendations for this. Your caterers will run the bar for you or you can bring in a mobile bar company to do this.
- Entertainment – again the marquee company won’t need to know all the details upfront but it will help to know if you are planning to have a band and or DJ so space can be made for them.
- Depending on your site you may need to consider hiring other items such as toilets or a generator. The majority of marquee companies can also quote for these items.
- Specifics – if you have already done some research and have specific ideas at this stage then do include them on your brief to the marquee company, whether it’s chillout furniture, entrance doors or pagoda, starlit or fairylight ceilings.
You now have the basic information needed to contact marquee hire companies for quotes and brochures. It’s always worth briefing at least three suppliers so you can compare costs like for like. Some will also provide a 3D CAD drawing which is great for visualising the space inside the marquee.
Questions to ask your marquee provider
Marquee companies as a rule will offer free, no obligation, site visits which are invaluable. The marquee supplier can assess the site, talk through the details of the quote and offer any advice or information. Of course as with any supplier it’s always good to have some background knowledge about the company, i.e. how long have they been in business, how many events can they cater for, how new is their stock etc, but there are some key questions to ask:
- What are the setup dates and times? – It’s good to get an idea of when they would normally set up for a Saturday wedding and how long they estimate it will take, especially as you may need time in the marquee yourself for any dressing.
- Can they show you pictures or swatches of all the items included in their quote; different styles of chairs, lighting, carpet colours, linen etc so you know exactly what is being quoted?
- Does the quote include insurance and what exactly is covered?
- What are their payment terms?
- Is it possible to view one of their marquees? Even if a marquee isn’t permanently erected they can usually arrange for you to view one of their other clients’ marquees.
Black Cherry Events decorated marquees specialise in providing beautifully decorated marquees for their clients. Based in West Yorkshire, they cover all events in the North.