Many years ago we did a Xmas wedding marquee. The bride and groom wanted lots of Xmas trees with fairy lights, fairy lights in the roof, fairy lights around the sides. If any guest stood in one spot for too long they’d probably want fairy lights on them too!
Sadly this was pre-internet so sourcing white strings of fairy lights turned out to be an impossible task. So I spent 2 days covering green strings of fairy lights with white insulation tape!
Xmas trees with fairy lights? -no problem as long as you’ve got plenty of extension leads to run round the marquee. Xmas trees in the roof? -no problem you can hang them above or below linings and they look good.
Fairy lights around the side of a marquee are slightly trickier and I remember just thinking I’d get on site and ‘wing it’. The problem is people really want them hung around the eaves, but that’s where the swag is. One option is to drape them round and round the swag but I didn’t think that looked very good. So in the end I came up with going behind the swag and poking each fairy light up through the velcro holding it on to the roof so just the bulb is showing. The end result is surprisingly good (sadly the photos are long gone).
For weddings or occasions where people just want subtle lighting effects I think just having fairy lights criss crossing the ceiling is perfect. But for those customers who just want fairy lights everywhere then above the swags is very effective.
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PS Apologies for the delay, I was out of the country yesterday
There are some people (I suspect my wife included) who think we/I get a little too excited about marquees however this time I feel our excitement is justified! Our new 9x12m DIY Marquees are now available for sale off the shelf.
Up until now it’s been a big price jump for marquee hire businesses wanting to go from 6x14m marquees up to 9x12m ones. You were looking at £1,099 for a 6x14m but around £7-9,000 for a decent quality aluminium frame marquee. At that price it’s very difficult to get a good return on investment.
Our new 9x12m DIY Marquees are only £2,499 + VAT. They operate on a similar system to our 4 & 6m wide ranges but have additional roof braces on 50mm framework together with roof and wall bracing cables. The end result -as anyone who saw it at The Showmans Show will tell you is a very very strong and impressive structure.
Don’t worry, the price won’t suddenly shoot up if you want more in the future this isn’t an introductory offer. Remember it’s in our interests to offer you good reliable products that can earn good returns on investment as that means you’ll be coming back for more DIY Marquees in the future!
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This is a question I’m asked often – how long can a marquee stay up for?
There are two parts to this -one is the structure, the other is the state of the ground.
Marquees are only designed as temporary structures, if you have them up for a long time then certain precautions should be taken. Checking it regularly for signs of wear & tear, checking the strength of bungees, making sure there is no water or snow gathering on the roof, not leaving it up in extreme weather conditions. All common sense stuff really.
The ground is only a problem if it’s going up on grass. As Legend mentioned on the forum recently if grass is covered for a long time the groundsheets underneath can become covered in rotting grass which smells. Badly. Can barely stay in the same vehicle badly! But I’ve only ever found that smell to be once the flooring has been taken up, never while the marquee is in use.
You can put flooring down for a week or two and all that will happen will be the grass will yellow a bit. A few weeks later and it will have recovered no problem. If it’s down for longer than that then the grass is likely to die off and need re-seeding.
Please don’t think about ‘breathable’ flooring/matting. As mentioned previously it allows a build up of condensation but also if it’s left down long-term the grass just grows up through the mesh. I can’t stand the stuff which is why we don’t sell it.
We’re trying to have a clear out before the season really starts so following on from the 6×12 we sold last week we’ve got a 6×6 with damaged boxes on eBay starting at 99p. In the main 6×6’s are less popular than 6×12’s so this could go cheaply.
Happy bidding, thanks for reading.
This is only really relevant for people who supply wedding marquees.
When you’re meeting a potential customer it’s always good to come across as knowledgeable about other parts of their event not just the marquee even if it’s something the relevant supplier (caterer, florist etc) should cover anyway. It shows that you care about the success of the event as a whole and not just the marquee which is something that always goes down well.
One such thing is flower centre pieces for tables. These are important as they’re one of the first things people see when they walk in to the marquee and people spend a lot of time sat at the tables staring at them.
Essentially they come down to one of two options, they need to be positioned either above or below eye height (for someone sat at the table). So either a display sat on the table or a display on top of a thin stemmed stand. Anything in between loses a lot of social atmosphere around a table.
It’s not essential information as you probably don’t supply flowers but it’s useful to show how knowledgeable you are about wedding marquees.
Thanks for reading.
In the main we’re careful and cautious people however there are occasions when we’re a bit too heavy handed stacking a box and the packaging rips. Usually accompanied by some colourful language.
So what do we do with a perfectly good marquee that has damaged packaging?
Stick it on an ebay auction starting at 99p! 6m x 12m DIY Marquee on eBay
Happy bidding 🙂
I find myself spending a lot of time looking at different marquee hire websites. It might be looking for people who would find the marquee forum useful or just keeping up with what’s going on in the industry. But the biggest thing that hits me on most of the websites is you can’t see what area people cover.
Take this luxury toilet hire website (yes I am biased). You can clearly see the area they cover there on the front page. Instantly people will arrive and know they’re not wasting their time -don’t underestimate that.
If I search for blue striped widgets and open several interesting results in different tabs the one I’m going to spend my time on is one that on the first page says -we supply blue striped widgets. No searching through the site. No ‘we supply a variety of widgets’ where you have to mail them to find out if they do blue striped ones.
If I want a marquee in Dorking and google marquee hire the resulting websites that are going to grab me are ones that in words or maps say ‘we supply marquees to Dorking’. I’ll probably still be interested in one that says ‘we supply marquees to Surrey’ and I may stay on one that says ‘South-East’. I’m not going to linger on one that doesn’t say the area and I have to email to find out. What’s the point when others obviously do?
Apologies for the 24hr delay in posting, I was off yesterday shopping for blue striped widgets 🙂
Thanks for reading
Wouldn’t it be nice if -like Voldemort in Harry Potter you would know if someone ever mentioned your name. Well, now with google alerts you can (at least anything that appears online).
Just set up a google alert for your business name and google will tell you whenever it finds a match, this informs you what people are saying about your company.
But it’s more powerful than that:
- It lets you know if a competitor is using your name in any marketing (this has happened to us in the past)
- You can set up alerts for your competitors names to see what people are saying about them or even what they’re saying about themselves
- You can set up alerts for your keyword phrases – so if anyone mentioned ‘marquee hire surrey’ (for eg) on a blog then you can make a comment with a link back to your site (very good for the rankings)
All in all very useful and strongly recommended.
Thanks for reading
Modern marquees can be erected on any surface, they can even go over swimming pools with spectacular results. But marquees are essentially strong boxes and you need to anchor them down to make sure they don’t go anywhere.
Keep in mind that marquees are better at resisting strong winds with the sides on, taking the sides off effectively leaves you with a large umbrella which needs a lot more anchoring down.
On soft surfaces:
- Use tie downs with ratchet straps attaching to the eaves of the marquees pulling down to marquee stakes.
- If it is a sheltered location then just using the marquee stakes through/over footplates is usually sufficient
On hard standing:
- If there is soft ground nearby or other strong anchoring points (fence posts for eg) then use longer tie downs to these points
- If long tie downs aren’t possible then you must use heavy weights: concrete blocks, sand bags, a vehicle (if a marquee was only up for a few hours we’d use one of our vans) or water butts (assuming you have access to a hosepipe to fill them up on site)
- Strap the heavy weights to the marquee. Avoid setting them back and using tie downs as the weights might get dragged towards the marquee slackening the tie down and allowing the marquee to move.
If in doubt put more weights/tie downs on.
Thanks for reading
As readers of the marquee forum will already know there’s been some debate about the type of electrical leads we should be using in the marquee industry.
Essential Supplies kindly forward this article to me recently which discusses several marquee related issues but the main bit of interest for me was this:
“The [arctic] cable can often be seen supplying caravans or used at live musical events, it can even be purchased from DIY shops in the form of a ready made extension reel with BS 1363 13 A accessories for use at 230 V 1Ø. As can be seen from Table 7B of BS 7540, the cable was not designed for and is not suitable for these purposes.”
My understanding of this is that despite their wide spread use arctic cables shouldn’t really be used for temporary installations in marquees. Instead we should be using HO7 RNF cable instead (much more expensive).
In my eyes that doesn’t mean we should replace all of the arctic cable we currently use but when it comes to ordering new/replacements we should then go over to HO7. Like everything on here this is just my opinion and it’s a judgement call for you to make yourself, I just think it’s worth highlighting to people.
Thanks for reading
The eagle eyed among you will have noticed some changes to our marquee layout planner. It’s a useful tool for looking at different options for laying out marquees and I made some improvements before Christmas:
- Different sizes: Every size marquee we offer is now on there in a nice compact layout
- Different orientation: Each size is available in portrait or landscape. Marquees at funny angles (anything other than 90degrees) are to be avoided, they are impossible to securely weather proof
- You can decide on different backgrounds: lawn, car park or snow. Okay, not hugely practical but a fun thing to have 🙂
If you can think of other features or scenery that would be useful to have on there let me know.
If you want to use the planner on your own website (complete with your own name at the bottom) then contact me, we’re considering licensing it out.
Thanks for reading (and thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes, life is just about back to normal now)