Choosing the right site for your marquee is key. There are some gorgeous venues out there ready to host your event – and we’ve been fortunate enough to work with many of them. But if you’re lucky enough to have enough space available to you meaning you can host your own wedding or party, then sometimes there’s nothing more exciting than starting from scratch with just a vision and a dream! However, you may be unsure as to whether the site you have in mind is suitable, or you may just want to discuss through how it could work – that’s where we can help!
A site visit is a great way to get the ideas flowing but below are our initial suggestions as to what you may want to consider.
How much space do you have?
This applies more to gardens and enclosed spaces rather than open fields. Essentially do you have enough space to cater for the amount of guests you would like in attendance? Do you just need space for dining, or are you planning on having a bar and dance floor area? Archers Marquees can provide guidance on how much space is required for your event, but as an example we would recommend a marquee sized 12m x 24m for a wedding with 120-150 guests – this would allow room for a dining area, reception area and stage/dancefloor.
Don’t forget you may also need space for caterers and toilets.
How long is the grass (can it be cut?) and how undulating is the ground? How well does it drain? These elements will affect the type of flooring we would advise you to have. For example, our options are:
Waterproof membrane: suitable for ground on the firmer side with short grass that does not undulate too much, and that is not susceptible to flooding.
Plastic event floor: suitable for softer ground that does not undulate too much, and is raised about an inch off the ground therefore providing some drainage.
Wooden flooring: suitable if the ground undulates a little and is raised off the ground therefore coping much better
Naturally, the waterproof membrane is the most economical option, followed by the plastic flooring and then the wooden flooring.
Gradient of the ground
How much of a slope is there? If you’re not sure if it’s on too much of a slope or not, it’s sometimes worth getting a couple of chairs (and a table if you can manage it) and sitting down on them as a test. This should give you an idea of how much the slope might affect your event.
Are there any obstacles in the way?
By obstacles we mean steps, over hanging trees, shrubbery..etc. Rest assured there’s usually a way around these if so, and often incorporating them into the marquee just makes it more exciting! However, a site visit is pretty important if this is the case. At Archers Marquees we love nothing better than a challenge of fitting a pond / apple tree / balcony steps into your marquee and will always do our upmost to give you the space you need.
Exposure to the elements
How exposed is the area you have in mind? As a general rule, we usually experience a westerly or south-westerly wind in the South West of England – is there protection from this? If not, you will probably have to think about having the entrance to the marquee on the side opposite to this, to minimise the amount of wind that can find its way in. Our traditional marquees
Proximity to power & water
Chances are you’ll need a generator to provide power for your event but a more economical option might be to hardwire into the fuseboard of a nearby house or building, therefore if this is a possibility, it could be a factor in deciding how far away you have the marquee. Some caterers require access to water so it’s also worth finding this out in advance as well (however, toilet units don’t tend to need access to water).
It’s worth thinking about this from both the point of view of your guests and also your suppliers (marquee company, caterers and toilet supplier in particular who will all have larger vehicles to get in and out). How far will they have to drive on the grass and if it’s wet will it be a problem getting in and out? How is the turning in and out of the site, and what are the roads like to get there? Are there any overhanging branches or narrow sections?
Where there’s a will, there’s usually a way but it might be worth advising your guests of any tricky directions or access.