Essex Marquee Hire Guide

We hope this website helps you to find the right marquee company for you. It's always wise to go by the saying "recommendation will always be king". Looking on the world wide web, you may get lucky and find a good company and personally I hope you do. - Mike.

When Castle Marquees entered this industry in 1995 it was difficult for rogue hire companies to set up business as everything was based on reputation & if you didn't have reputation, the company would have to be set up on quality of kit and money invested into that equipment.

The lesson: "Look for a company that has no end of quality recommendations."

However now-a-days with the invention of the internet; a bit of time on a computer; some "borrowed" pictures from anyone elses website and some cheap gazebos from ebay

it seems that anyone can set up and "rent-a-tent"...This means you could end up embracing marquee companies which are no good for you or the hard working quality companies

out there and there are a few good companies out there - credit where credit is due! So hopefully my guide will help you find the right company for you.


Jump to marquee stylings

A good start is where a company works from:- so a business address and how long they have been trading with company references as well as private references and ask to see pictures of what your marquee will look like and are all the pictures on their website their own, it is always good to see sign written lorries and vans with men in company t-shirts. I personally like to see an itemised quote and C.A.D. drawing.
This surely shows a certain amount of dedication to the craft of installing, erecting and constructing a textile structure. Or in short - a marquee.

When hiring a marquee...

Customers should be wary of uninsured marquee providers, hiring unsafe marquees and/or gazebos. P.L.I. and E.L.I. are legal requirements if a marquee company is working on your land - be it a large open field or your home garden.

marquee staked to the ground

Fig 1: Stakes deep with all bars pinned.

Figure 1 shows that the stake is deep into the ground - this is to prevent the marquee from being pulled up and blown over! It's important that the stakes are around 3 foot deep.
Notice how the bars meet in a single point. it's essential that these are pinned with the appropriate clip so that the skirts of the marquee stay firm to the ground and do not flap in the wind, allowing the bad weather in!
This is why companies that carry E.L.I. and P.L.I. are the way forward. Say "NO" to cowboys.

If you are having marquees joined, make sure they are made by the same manufacturer as I have seen many gazebos hired out as marquees which are not designed to be joined to a commercial marquee. A commercial marquee will be covered by the appropriate regulations by law such as BS 5867 which are fire retardant regulations for textile based structures. BS 7837 for covers and 60mph for wind speed.

The average size for seated guests with top table bar and dance floor; it's recommended that each person be given 18 sq.ft. in a marquee.
So for 100 guests the marquee would be 1800sq.ft. This would equate to 30ft x 60ft or if you measure in metric: 9m x 18m. This would be something like this:

marquees essex

Marquee styling - Essex is full of character. Keep reading to see below!


Modern marquees can have entrances or windows anywhere maybe by the bar or dance floor so you could have a receiving line.

Marquee with a wall of windows

Fig 3: All the windows in this marquee are located in a single wall and can be placed where ever necessary .

Reception marquees could have a roof extension. We in the trade call this a canopy or you could have a second marquee with the drinks bar set up in it.

canopy pic

Fig 4: A canopy with tiny golf ball lighting

canopy pic

Fig 5: A marquee canopy is very popular on hot sunny days

Service tents.

Most caterers will need a service tent for storing & cooking food and the size will depend on:

service tents will use purpose made joiners, guttering and come with a screen.
(all of our marquees are made by hoecker, who are professional marquee manufacturers.) A client must be aware that some companies will supply a gazebo or worse for your caterer.

Marquee Kitchens


wood flooring is a quality product and it is recommended if your site (where you plan to place the marquee) is uneven or very wet. I have been to many sites where a thin carpet has been used with no wooden or rubber backing, which leads to trip hazards and the carpet absorbing the water from the ground.

wood floor carpetted floor. For party hire.


Because wood flooring can be expensive, we personally keep very high quality rubber backed charcoal colour carpet which most of our clientelle would be more than happy to atest to.

carpet colours

If you are going to have a colour coordinated carpet, a contract carpet is used. This is made for one hire only and we only recommend a solid wood floor is used with this type of carpet. But the effect under the marquee is amazing.

Dance floors

This list is endless and the choice of marquee dance floors you are able to hire with a marquee.
some of the most popular dance floors are;

All dance floors need to be laid on a flat surface and many sizes can be supplied.

Black & White dancefloor in a marquee, essex


Staging/stages can be supplied with just a wooden top or can be carpeted with a valence.


we have a large selection of bars, one of which is our contract bar. It has a simple dark stain with hardwood top or can be covered with pleated lining and is good value for money. This bar is great for small parties.

Some of the bars we can supply

Light up party bar


I have written a small guide as to how big your tables should be, in order to seat a given number of guests. If you are using round tables:

table sits 10 people

Above: A table for Ten people! Under a marquee!

Trestle tables are long rectangular tables and come in three sizes:
  1. 6ft x 30" or "standard".
  2. 6ft x 24" otherwise known as "slim jim".
  3. 30 x 24" or sometimes called "card".


always ask the condition of the chairs and do ask to see pictures of the type of chairs that can be supplied. The last thing you want is to be presented on the big day with chairs you're embarrassed to look at, much less have your guests sit on.

Power generators:

Power can be run from property to marquee if you have a good power source in your property. Generators should be silent for obvious reasons
TIP: Generators being used to power D.J. equipment should be purewave as this ensures that the 3-phase wave will not interfere with the fine audio equipment. (Hired speakers, DJ booths)

Generator hire

Above: A compact but powerful generator, properly earthed and supplying 3-phase.

Below: It might be compact - but it supplies more power than your house!

Generator hire

The size of the generator (and the power it outputs) you require will depend on the equipment you are connecting to it.

TIP: ask your caterers, D.J.s and who you hire the lights from, what power they will need. This is important as we can advise you as to what sized generator you will need for your event.


Lighting is the quickest and most economical way (not to mention easiest way) to light a marquee would be with chandeliers with a dimmer switch and a separate additional light hired for the bar, the rest of the lighting can be very creative starlight cloth and parcan lights which could be colour changing and will have an amazing effect add this to pea lighting with good food and drink and music, you will have an amazing day for all to remember.

starlight roof and colour changing lights are excellent mood changers. Starlight cloth can give the impression that you're dining and dancing under the stars - where was hired colourwash lights can paint the very fabric of the marquee.


Heating should be indirect.
This means warm air is blown into the marquee with no naked flames or fumes. Gas blow heaters release fumes of unburned gas into the sealed marquee - this can be very dangerous and should never be accepted.

The indirect heater is thermostatically controlled from inside the marquee. TIP: If it's chilly, try turning the heater on 45 minutes before your guests arrive.