wedding marquee in garden with paper lanterns strung from trees

Marquee Hire FAQS

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Our FAQs answer all those questions you have about hiring a marquee to suit your event, your budget, the venue and your guests.  If you can’t find an answer to your question here please feel free to drop us a line.

Call us on 01844 208 371 or use our enquiry form.



Get in touch with our team who’ll be happy to help.


Why choose Marquees & Pavilions?

We have been established since 2002 and since then we have accumulated a great wealth of event experience. We only commit to a small number of jobs per week, so that we can offer a level of advice and planning beyond a standard equipment hire business. We are members of MUTA and follow their highly regarded ‘Best Practice Guide’ to ensure we deliver and install to the highest standards. We are regularly complimented on the courteous nature of our on-site crew.

What equipment do you provide?

We supply frame marquees and pavilions for events. These structures are modular and configured to suit your requirements. We can include flooring, lining, lighting, furniture, bars, staging, dance floors, heating, electrical distribution, generators and luxury toilets. There may be some overlap in the provision of products and services between your contractors (EG catering company supplies furniture) so we are happy to be flexible and only provide the equipment you require.

What does it cost to hire a marquee?

We provide bespoke quotes for every client based on their requirements, so this is not an easy question to answer without further information. There are some obvious factors which affect the price, such as marquee size, level of specification and length of hire period. However, as a rough guide, a standard specification Wedding marquee will work out to approx. £50+vat per head.

You can find more information about our marquee hire prices here.

Why do marquee quotes vary?

Marquee hire quotes can vary for many reasons but the first thing to check when comparing quotes is that the equipment specified is ‘like-for-like’.

Check that the floor plan is a similar size, ask if the equipment is well maintained and updated regularly and everything you require has been included (such as toilets, heating, electrical distribution and generator).

Other companies may be using different equipment and not offer equivalent levels service.

Can you explain the damage waiver fee?

Under our terms and conditions, you will be responsible and liable for damage to the stock and equipment whilst it is on hire to you.

Upon payment of the damage waiver fee we waive our right to charge you for accidental damage.

If you choose to take out separate event insurance we can remove the damage waiver. Typically, the sum to be insured will be in the region of £80,000 to £150,000. This can be more than standard wedding insurance is prepared to cover, and excess charges can be quite high.

We try to give you a complete a picture of our costs as possible, and will show the damage waiver fee on our quotes unless you choose to take out separate insurance and ask us to remove it.

What about other costs such as loos and generator?

Your quotation will be broken down item by item so you can see individual costs for everything we think you need for you event. Loos and generators are two of the more expensive items on any specification, however, they are often essential, and it is certainly essential that you have enough power, and nice loos.

We will discuss your requirements and existing services and then advise on the correct services for your event.

What are your terms of payment?

We request a flat fee £1,000.00 + vat non-refundable deposit, with the outstanding amount payable 28 days prior to the event. The deposit provides us with some compensation should you cancel the booking, after we have reserved the equipment exclusively for your use. The outstanding payment can be adjusted, so that you can continue to make changes to the booking, subject to availability.


Where can I put a marquee for a wedding?

Frame marquees and pavilions can be installed on grass or hard standing. Typically, we secure the structures with stakes driven into the ground. However, where this is not possible, we supply weights to give the necessary downforce. Frame marquees are clear span structures, without internal poles or external guy ropes. The structures can cope with uneven ground, spilt levels and be installed adjacent to other buildings. Ideally, we require vehicle access to within 30m of the marquee site. However, where this is not possible, we can arrange a forklift and transfer equipment from a compound area to the marquee site.

How much space do I need?

As a rule of thumb we suggest a space 9m x 24m for a wedding with 100 guests; 12m x 24m for 150 guests and 15m x 27m for 200.

Multiple marquees can be joined so you can make comprehensive use of the ground you have available.

A typical interior layout for a wedding marquee would allow for a wet weather reception space which will be reused later as dance and bar, and separately for a dining room. You would allow around 0.8sqm – 1sqm per guest for the reception space and 1.2sqm for the dining room. Additionally, you might need to consider space for the kitchen marquee (allow 6m x 9m initially), loos, buffet areas, photo booths, lounge areas and outdoor reception areas.

Can you put a marquee on a car park?

Our marquees can certainly be installed on hard standing including tennis courts and car parks, however there are some additional aspects to consider.

If the marquee cannot be secured with ground stakes in the usual way then we will need to hold it down with weights. This can be easily done although the weights can be unsightly.

We would also suggest you install a wooden floor if your marquee is going on hardstanding. The wooden floor raises the marquee a minimum of 3 inches off the ground which will allow any rain water to pass underneath it as it will not drain away on most hard surfaces.

Can you put a marquee on a slope?

A marquee can also be installed to run with the ground along a slope. You can very easily put a table and chairs on the slope and see if this level of finish will be acceptable to you.

Should you want a level finish a marquee with a wooden floor can be levelled to height of 2m across the marquee site.

Some clients decide to have an area of a field levelled in advance such that their marquee can be installed to a flat surface. If you are considering doing this, it is worth considering that you need to allow plenty of time for the ground to recover and grass to regrow.

Can I put a marquee on a tennis court?

No problem. We would specify a wooden floor to aid drainage and make provision for weights to secure the structure, where the surface cannot be penetrated with ground stakes.

Will a marquee damage my garden?

Grass can become discoloured however, it generally returns to normal in a short space of time. Wet lawns are more susceptible to damage and we suggest a wooden floor in these conditions. During set up we lay ground covers for areas of high impact (EG gateways) to minimise damage to your lawn.

What if there is no power, water or toilets?

Power is no issue. Most of the events we are involved in require a generator because of the amount of power required and irrespective of their proximity to a house.

Event loos are self-contained, requiring only a power supply (see above) and do not need access to water of drains.

Your caterers might expect to have a water supply near the kitchen area, so if you are not able to provide this then you should warn them in advance so they can make arrangements.

Do you need vehicle access?

Generally, we will want to get lorries as close to the marquee site as possible. Items can be carried from the lorries to the site and everything is constructed and installed by hand. As a rule of thumb, within 30m is probably acceptable.

Most loos and generators are towed by a 4×4. Caterers will want to get refrigerated vehicles close to the kitchen, or be given notice of the distance between vehicle and site so they can make arrangements.

In most circumstances we will visit the site with you and discuss logistical constraints.

What about underground services?

It is essential to check if there are any services such as water, electricity or gas less than one metre below the surface. This is for the benefit of you and your neighbours, but also for the safety of anyone working on the site.

We will ask you about underground services on the site you are suggesting. If you are unsure, or unable to provide plans of the site then we can arrange to take a CAT scan to ensure we have full information about underground pipes and services.

When do you set up the marquee and how long does it take?

This is by negotiation, but typically we set-up from the Wednesday prior to the weekend and remove the equipment from the Monday immediately after the event. If you are having a second event (such as a lunch/charity event the day after) there will be no additional charge. However, if you require the marquee for subsequent weekends there will be an additional hire charge.

The build schedule depends on the specification and size of the event. However, most of our marquees are built over a 1-2 day period.


I’ve not hired a marquee before, where do I start?

Get in touch by telephone or email to discuss your event requirements. We’ve got lots of experience in creating bespoke marquees for any event. In our initial conversation we can share our ideas, answer any questions and provide you with information on what to consider when planning an event in a marquee.

Then, based on your brief, we produce an initial drawing and quote to illustrate the size of marquee required for your event. If the quote looks in the right ‘ball-park’, we’ll arrange a site meeting to discuss your requirements in more detail and survey the marquee site. Following a site meeting, we can refine this drawing with reference to any further information and site constraints.

What size marquee do I need?

This will depend on the type of event you are planning. However, as a rough guide, you should allow between 0.5 to 1 sqm. per person for a standing drinks reception and 1 sqm. per person for dining areas. You should also take into consideration any furniture, bar units and dance floors which may reduce the overall capacity of the structure.

Whats included in the initial quote?

A typical initial quote will include a comprehensive list of items and equipment required for your event, such as marquees, pavilions, flooring, lining, lighting, furniture, heating, loos, generator and electrical distribution. On the second page of the quote you will find a specification breakdown so you can make a ‘like for like’ comparison with other companies.

We include a menu of optional extras, after the specification breakdown, for your consideration.

We do not include, and do not supply, quotes for catering, table linen, flowers, musicians or other entertainment.

When is a site meeting necessary?

In most cases a site visit is required so that we can discuss your brief in more detail and to survey the proposed marquee site. Occasionally, if we know the venue well, and the requirement is straight forward, a site meeting maybe unnecessary.

Can I make amendments after confirming a booking?

Absolutely, many bookings are confirmed a long way in advance of the event date and it is perfectly normal for your requirements to change through this period.

We always try to accommodate your changing requirements but hope you understand that amendments are subject to availability.

When do you need to have final numbers?

We will ask you to confirm your specification 28 days prior to your event date. At this point we issue an invoice for the outstanding balance. If you make additions to the specification after this point we will issue a separate invoice.

Can I bring in other event contractors?

Of course, we are happy to work with other contractors and a successful event depends on good communication among everyone.

Do you work with Wedding/Party planners?

Yes. Event planners provide several services, including selection of suppliers, liaison with contractors on your behalf, providing one-point of contact through the planning stage, assistance with creative styling/décor of your marquee/venue and ‘Front-of-House’ support on the big day.

An event planner may seem like an unnecessary cost, but they smooth the planning process, help realise your vision and possibly save you money in procurement of equipment and services.

Can you advise with marquee styling?

Please browse our gallery and portfolio pages for inspiration from previous events. In addition, social media provides a great way to keep up with changing trends.

With so many options available it is a good idea to decide upon the general style you like (such as Country Wedding, Festival style, Opulent, Contemporary) so that you maintain some consistency through the design process.

If you want a high-end finish, a frame marquee on a 3m leg (upgrade from standard 2.3m leg) provides a grand space with greater scope for floristry and high-spec lighting. A wooden floor, which can be levelled to alleviate bumps/dips/slopes, is a significant upgrade from matting. Swap clear PVC windows for glass windows and French doors. Consider employing an event stylist or bespoke lining company.

Many Wedding/Event Planners will offer styling advice, to cover the marquee layout/interior and other areas such as tableware, linen, floristry, furniture and lighting production.

Will the marquee be warm enough in the winter?

Absolutely, however the marquee will require a higher level of specification than standard. Aside from the obvious addition of heaters, you should consider a wooden floor, French doors for all entry/exit points and glass panels to replace clear PVC.

What about power failure during the event?

Any electrical system is susceptible to misuse and/or equipment failure. However, we can mitigate this risk through a well-designed system and well-maintained equipment. We request you gather information, from all your other contractors, to establish their power requirements. We then design the system with enough capacity for everyone. Always check that any equipment added to the system is well maintained and PAT tested. If required, we can provide a back-up generator (in event of failure to the mains supply or the running generator) which will switch on automatically upon failure of the mains unit.

When is a generator required?

Collate the power requirements of all your contractors (to establish the total power requirement of your event). If you require more power than can be supplied from your mains supply then a generator will be required.


Terms of Payment

Typically we require a minimum deposit of £1,000 + VAT with your confirmation of booking, with the balance being invoiced 28 days before your event.

Terms & Conditions

We send out full terms & conditions with your order confirmation. If you would like a copy in advance please ask and we will email you a copy.

Cancellation Form

You may download and complete the following form to cancel the hire of your marquee.

Cancellation form

Health & Safety

You may require method statements, risk assessments or other Health and Safety documents. Please let us know and we will be happy to send these over.

MUTA membership

Marquees & Pavilions are members of MUTA and you can find us on their website. If you would like any more information please ask.

Since 1919, MUTA has been working to improve standards in the marquees, tents and structures industry.  Their highly regarded Best Practice Guide is followed by their members, and we inspect them against it.

Public & Product Liability Insurance

We hold a minimum cover of £10 million of employers liability and of £5 million for public and products liability.

Please ask if you would need a copy of our liability insurance, and we will email one over.


Please get in touch to arrange a site meeting to discuss how a marquee would work at your venue.