5 Tips For Hiring the Perfect Marquee For Your Event


Lieux is a spacious event venue hire Melbourne, comfortable and sophisticated venue, strategically located on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD and immersed in a vibrant neighborhood. Hiring a Marquee is not something that you tend to do very often. So here are some simple tips to help you get the best from your marquee supplier and make your special event a resounding success!

Leave yourself plenty of time

Many people make the mistake of leaving too little time to plan an event. Leaving things until the last minute is a prime reason why events can become stressful for many people and stress is one of the last things you need to be worrying about. Be sure to book your marquee and other hire equipment well in advance of your event, especially if your event is planned during the summer as popular suppliers can be booked out anything from a year in advance. Many marquee companies may offer discounts for weddings outside the peak summer months.

Ask for Advice and Ideas

A quality marquee supplier will be able to provide you with ideas and suggestions when planning your event and will also have numerous contacts in related services to pass across to you. You may be looking for an unusual location or wish to theme your marquee, find caterers or florists. However unusual the request you have nothing to lose by asking.  If you have a friend who is a flower arranger then why not ask if they can help you out  for a small fee. You never know if you don’t ask! Some people like to do things for free for big events as it advertises their work and business free of charge.

Know your budget

If you are on a tight budget, keeping the number of guests down is the simplest way to make the biggest savings on the marquee, furniture and catering costs. Friends can always be invited for the evening drinks & buffet later in the day, when some of the close family will often be leaving. Why not have a look online and try and get some ideas for the internal decoration so you can think about decorating the marquee yourself. This is a good place to save money as a marquee can be decorated nicely yourself for little expense. (A beautiful tent and lining will need less dressing up and expense to create an impact)

Independently sourcing furniture and generators locally will keep delivery costs down and give you a bit of extra cash to spend elsewhere.

Getting the Location Right

Choosing the location of your event is very important. It is always good to think outside the box with your marquee hire as you can erect a marquee wherever you wish. The flexibility of a marquee means that you are not restricted to buildings and hire halls and so use this to your advantage and get creative. Many customers contact local farmers or speak to neighbours and ask them about hiring their land so why not take a drive and see where the best spots are.

Always check for additional costs

A good supplier will always provide details of transport and insurance costs from the out-set (if it applies). However, on many occasions some specifications will not be covered in the standard pricing. These costs are not always able to be assessed at the first quotation and when you are just looking for ideas. If you are happy with what the marquee company have suggested and would like to talk things through face to face, booking in a site visit is a good idea (even if you just have a totally flat lawn) Common issues that may affect the pricing are, if the ground is slightly uneven and requires scaffold flooring to level it out, there are objects obstructing the area (rockery, trees, steps) or the marquee is to be erected is on patio or other hard standing.  

Have you also thought about…..

Guest – Guest numbers will determine the size of the marquee you will need. You can usually assume that approximately 15% of your invites will be unable to attend

Heating – There is nothing worse than a cold marquee and unhappy guests. Even in the summer, evenings can get cold and you may need some provision to heat the tent in to the early hours. If you are lucky enough to have some really hot weather then you may wish to consider a fan to keep the air circulating and your guests cool. Alternatively many tents are designed to have the walls removed and the sides open.

Parking – Is there adequate parking for your guests? do you need to provide a walkway from the car park to the marquee? Does the car park need lighting?

Access – Does your marquee site have adequate access and the room required for erectors and contractors to work? Are there restrictions on the set up and de-rig times? If hours are restricted, this may affect the build cost as it may mean contractors require accommodation to stay near the site.

Loos – It is important to make sure that you have adequate toilet facilities for all your guests especially the disabled and mothers with small children. Do you need a cloakroom facility? This can usually be supplied in the form of a small tent attached to the main marquee.

Insurance – You will need to establish if your insurance policy covers you for damage or accidents including the equipment hire? we would advise taking out special event/wedding insurance for the day just to be on the safe side. It is worth reading the terms and conditions of the suppliers very carefully or ask if you are not sure about anything.

Timings – When using different suppliers try and stagger their arrival times to avoid confusion or overcrowding onsite. Ask the suppliers when they will be arriving, how long they will be onsite and when they are leaving. Offer your contractor adequate time to ensure the success of your supply thus avoiding last minute panics and disappointment and stress.

Catering – If using caterers it is worth considering a separate marquee for their sole use. Some catering companies can provide their own mess areas if required. If not, most if not all marquee companies will have tents they use specifically for this purpose. It is worth establishing from the caterers what equipment they are bringing with them and how much space they need. If they require a large tent this will impact on your budget.

Overcrowding – Be cautious of your table seating numbers. You don’t want your guests to be sitting on each other’s laps but neither do you want them to be so far apart they have to shout across the table. Industry standards suggest a 5ft 6in round table can set between 8-10 guests and takes up approximately a 3m x 3m sq area.

Power – Do you have adequate power availability for lighting, catering equipment and other electrical accessories? Who is responsible for looking after things while the event is in progress? Do you need a back up supply? You may need to allow room in your budget to have crew onsite if you don’t want the hassle of dimming lights, plugging in heaters etc.

Payment – What are the company’s terms of payment? How much deposit is due and will you get it back if anything happens and the event has to be canceled? Taking this simple advice will remove the stress from hiring a marquee and help to ensure that you have a truly memorable and unique event.

Good luck!

Justin Varcoe is the owner of http://www.whitecanvastents.com. His creations and vivid imagination as well as his experiences in India, now mean that White Canvas have tents to suit every occasion, from beautifully simple garden tents to large elegant Mughal-style marquees.

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