How Much Does a Wedding Marquee Cost? The 2024 Average Revealed

Since 2021, the laws surrounding outdoor weddings in the UK have been relaxed to allow couples a greater amount of choice when it comes to getting married. Now, if you’re looking to get married outside, or in a marquee surrounded by glorious countryside, you’re absolutely free to do so.

However, there are costs and considerations you need to be aware of when it comes to hiring a marquee for your wedding. In this post, we’ll take a look at the average cost of a wedding marquee, what factors can push that cost up, and why a marquee might not necessarily suit every venue.

What’s the average cost of a wedding marquee?

Photo © Original Marquees | See their Bridebook profile

As explored in our ultimate wedding budget breakdown, couples spend an average of £4,200 on a wedding marquee. However, the bare bones of a marquee aren’t likely to provide you with a dream location for you to host your wedding ceremony, breakfast or evening reception. So, you’ll also have to budget for wedding decorations to ensure it’s personalised to your tastes and every bit as beautiful as you’d hope for your big day.

On top of the cost to hire the marquee, there are other costs to bear in mind:

  • Site rental: This could be free if you own the land, or £1,000+ if not
  • Furniture hire: £500+
  • Catering: The average cost of catering starts from £15 per head
  • Toilets: £100+
  • Staff: £100+ per member of staff
  • Decor: Couples spend an average of £1,000 on non-DIY wedding decor
  • Power: Generator rental costs are around £100

Do all types of marquee cost the same?

Photo © Sami Tipi | See their Bridebook profile

Due to the differences in style and size – which can affect storage, set up, take down and transportation – not all marquees cost the same to hire. There are several types of marquee that are often used at weddings, with each type suitable for a slightly different purpose. Just some of the marquee types include:

  • Pole marquees: Wooden poles support a canvas roof. They provide an elegant look for a more traditional wedding.
  • Clearspan marquees: Modern and high-tech with a metal frame which allows for more flexibility. However, they’re also more expensive.
  • Stretch tents: A popular choice with material – as the name suggests – stretched over internal poles.
  • Tipis: Tipis are full of character, but creative use is important as interior space can be limited.
  • Yurts: Yurts are constructed using circular wooden frames and can be visually striking, especially from the inside.

For something a little different, you could even hire a circus tent to really make sure your wedding is remembered for a long time to come. In fact, Bigtopmania allows just that, with prices starting at £100 if you have a smaller budget. If you’re looking for something a little more modern but still just as unique, BAYA Hire provides incredible dome tents, with prices starting from around £4,600.

What is the most commonly used marquee at a wedding?

Photo © Abacus Marquees | See their Bridebook profile

Despite there being so many choices available, the traditional marquee remains a firm favourite thanks to its versatility, large capacity and highly customisable interior space.

What factors can affect the cost of hiring a wedding marquee?

Photo © The Events and Tents Company Ltd | See their Bridebook profile

On top of the type of marquee you decide to go for, there are many other factors that mean the price you pay may begin to creep up (and up and up if you’re after a lot).

Some of the factors that can affect the cost include:

  • The size: The bigger the marquee the more you’re likely to pay.
  • Location: Is the venue in a remote location? Does the space mean set up and take down will be difficult?
  • Duration: If you need the marquee for multiple days then the cost will be higher than if you only need it for one.
  • Date: If your wedding is taking place at peak times such as during the summer or at weekends the rates may be higher than off-peak times.

Is it cheaper to use a marquee over a traditional reception venue?

Photo © Bigtopmania | See their Bridebook profile

The average cost of a wedding venue is over double the cost of a marquee. Initially, it may seem like a no-brainer that a marquee is a more budget-friendly option than a traditional venue. Here are a few ways a marquee may be a cheaper option:

  • A greater level of flexibility when it comes to location, size and layout
  • There are far lower rental costs
  • Venues often have certain restrictions which marquees don’t
  • Vendors can provide off-peak discounts

On paper, a marquee is a great option for couples with a smaller budget. But, before you start hammering tent pegs into the nearest field, there are additional costs to be aware of.

What are the potential additional costs?

Photo © Coastal Tents | See their Bridebook profile

When speaking to your chosen vendor, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for the price you’re quoted. If you’re after a marquee and it just fits within your budget, then check it includes everything you’re hoping for – otherwise, you could be in for an unwelcome surprise.

For example, not all marquees will be big enough for you, your guests AND catering, so will a second smaller marquee be required for the caterers? Similarly, what about a bar and a dance floor? Or lighting and heating? You may also need to hire a generator to make sure there’s power and toilets because…*ahem*. All of these additions will considerably bump up the cost, so if they’re needed make sure they’re factored into your budget before you hire your marquee.

For more information check out our post on the questions to ask your marquee hire company.

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And if you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding marquee, we’ve got plenty of money-saving tips to help you make your budget go further.

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Happy Planning!