When the weather permits, nothing can measure up to an outdoor wedding. The sun, fresh air, family and friends coming together to celebrate a marriage, are something to look forward to. There is something about a sunshiny day that adds magic to any wedding. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, a marquee can come in handy.
Whilst we don’t supply marquees, we have hired wedding furniture to hundreds of marquee weddings over the years and have picked up some invaluable tips for you and what to consider when hiring a wedding marquee.
Different Marquee Suppliers
Checking what different marquee venue providers have to offer is essential. You will realise that prices will vary and so is the range of services offered. Some providers may go an extra mile and provide other essential services such as comfortable apparels for the evening when the weather gets chilly while others will only set up the venue and leave everything else to you. When consulting, ask how they conduct business, the ideas and suggestions they would have for the setup and the site.
A critical consideration is the venue. Do you have the space or will the event’s planner get a venue for you? Note that it is cheaper when you have the land. You will only have to pay for the equipment, labour, and other required services. Check out the different venues available and choose depending on the convenience, size, and price. Also, it is important to check the infrastructure of the area, the condition of the land and availability of water and electricity.
If you are not sure of what you need, request for photos of the provider’s previous setups. Most likely, he will have photographs and videos of different structures you can choose from. Ask for the advantages and costs that will come with every choice.
Hiring the Venue
If you do not possess the land for the venue, hiring will be inevitable. The marquee provider may suggest appropriate sites but check the area before any work begins. Survey the terrain of the land, location, size and available utilities. If you have the land, let the provider view it first then offer suggestions on the size of the marquees, shape and appropriate furniture.
When hiring wedding marquees other than the primary structure for the guests, consider the bathrooms, which should be a few meters away and catering space. Catering services should occupy a separate tent. Also, you may want to set up a bar and a relaxation space or lounge for the guests. If the setup is away from a permanent structure, the cost of bringing in electricity and water may be higher. How soon should the structures be set up? This will depend on the complexity and wedding date. Simple setups may be put up the night before while complex or more permanent structures may require more time. Setting up the marquees at least three days before the wedding is critical. This gives you enough time to decorate and arrange the furniture and other amenities.
A reputable company will be glad to direct you to some of the clients they have done setups for. Call a few and get to understand why they chose the company, what they were happy about and the letdowns. It’s natural to get a few negative remarks but when the positive outweighs the negative, go ahead and choose the company. Also, ask for photos and any other information that will help you make an informed choice.
You may want to ask the clients how big their marquees were and the time it took to set them up, how many guests they occupied, the type of marquees chosen and any challenges they encountered with the setup.
Although you may have adequate natural light, note that as the evening sets in, you will require more light. Guests need enough light to move around and see what is on their table. You can use different shades depending on the area. For instance, in the main marquee, softer light tones may be more appropriate, but brighter ones can be used in the bathrooms and catering tent. Candle lit marquees can be perfect, but ensure the structure can allow open flames inside.
Other than lighting, you may require power for the catering unit and the sound system. If you do not have a direct electrical connection, a generator may be an option to go for. Ask the provider whether they can fix one at the venue or whether you will have to do it yourself.
You may have a perfect set up, but if it is not accessible, the guests will have a difficult time getting to the area. If the marquee provider is also offering a venue, choose one that is convenient for you, one that is central to all your guests, has excellent infrastructure and easy directions. More people will manage to locate the area fast, and will not find it hard to leave the place after it is dark.
You may want a provider who offers more than just the structure. This gives you less to worry about. For instance, a marquee provider who also offers furniture sets up bathrooms, and does the lighting may be preferable to one who only does the basic set up. It is critical to have the information ironed out in the consultation stage. You will also realise that the price will go up with every addition service, but this may be cheaper and more convenient than hiring different providers for the required services.
Although you may be predicting warm and pleasant weather conditions on the big day, be prepared for any eventualities. For instance, the day may get too hot making it uncomfortable to stay inside the marquee. To avoid this, go for a marquee that can be opened up when it is too hot. Also, if it gets chilly or starts raining, the set up should offer adequate protection and if necessary allow a heating system. If the evenings get cold, have a heating system ready to plug in and umbrellas at the entrance for the guests to use. Also, the set up should be strong enough to withstand any weather condition.
Before deciding on the cost of the marquee, it is essential to check what the service providers are offering. As you will realise, those offering a more extensive range of services may end up being cheaper. It’s important to keep to the wedding budget but if you do not have an idea of how much it will cost, shop around first. Note that marquees will range in price depending on their elegance, size, accompanying services, company, and type of event. If you want a top of the range marquee like the one Pippa Middleton had for her wedding, you will pay more.
Does the company provide furniture or is that separate, equally does the caterer provide all the cutlery and crockery or is that separate. Make a list of all furniture and catering requirements and add these to your wedding planning checklist.
Furniture hire is our specialist, so feel free to contact us should you want some advise on table sizes to wedding chair decoration.
Accidents are unpredictable. Although you may do everything possible to avoid any accidents, be prepared when it happens. Does the provider offer insurance coverage? Find out before hiring the marquee. In case of damage to property or injuries to the guests or those setting up the structure, you will not have to take care of the issue but the insurance company will.
With the right marquees, an ordinary outdoor wedding can turn out to be a beautiful, elegant and memorable event. The best part is, it does not have to cost an arm and a leg, and the structure can be erected anywhere you want. Other than celebrating this memorable event, it also gives you a chance to enjoy and indulge in good weather with friends and loved ones.