How to Save Money on a Wedding Marquee

Now that couples in the UK can legally get married outdoors, wedding marquees are growing in popularity. Now, if you dreamed of getting married in the middle of a vineyard or deep within the rolling British countryside, you can!

But, thanks to the great British weather being as volatile and unpredictable as it is, you won’t want to risk a washout in the event it decides to drizzle…  or worse.

That’s where a wedding marquee comes in, which is a fantastic way to add cover and customisation to your wedding. Even if you’re not getting married outside, many couples choose to hire a marquee anyway to add more indoor space to their venue.

But, hiring a marquee isn’t always the cheapest option. In the UK, couples spend an average of £3,100 on a wedding marquee, which is a huge amount when you consider the average overall cost of a wedding is £19,184.

If the cost is putting you off of having a marquee at your wedding, then don’t start making alternative plans just yet. In this post, we’re going to take a look at how you can save money on a wedding marquee and what you need to look out for so you don’t exceed your budget.

Is it cheaper to hire a marquee for your wedding instead of hiring a venue?

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In some instances, the cost of a marquee can be more affordable than hiring a venue. The average cost of a wedding venue is between £7,500 and £8,000, which is more than double the average cost of a marquee. But, if you’re not careful then the costs involved with a marquee can spiral, which means it might not be any kinder to your budget.

What is the cheapest type of marquee to hire?

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There are a variety of different marquee types you can hire for your wedding, which includes everything from a tipi to a circus tent. Generally, the more premium it is, the more customisable it is and the more difficult to transport and set up it is, the more expensive it will be to hire.

One of the cheapest types of marquee to hire is a circus-style tent – costs at Bigtopmania start from as low as £100. But, if you’re looking for something a little less niche, a traditional marquee, a clearspan marquee or a pole marquee are among the most affordable. However, the costs will generally start at around £1,500+ for each, depending on the size you need. Of course, the more guests you invite the larger your marquee will need to be.

Can you save money by buying a marquee rather than hiring?

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Large marquees are expensive, so it more than likely won’t save you any money if you decide to buy one – it could even be way more expensive. You may be able to buy a marquee for around £500, but it won’t nearly be big enough to host your wedding – in fact, a marquee for that amount will probably fit in your average back garden.

If you’re looking to hire a marquee that will accommodate 100 guests, it’s far more budget-friendly to hire one rather than buy one. Hiring costs will also include setup and takedown fees and you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to store your marquee once your wedding’s over.

Are there additional costs with hiring a marquee?

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When compared to hiring a venue, a marquee can initially seem like a far more affordable option. But, it’s important to bear in mind that hire costs don’t include the site rental, power generator, staff, toilet hire, furniture hire or insurance costs. You may also need to hire a second marquee for the catering staff, which can significantly add to your costs.

Do you need marquee insurance?

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It may be another additional cost, but you do need to secure marquee insurance in the event something unexpected happens on your big day. Insurance will cover you and your guests, and while it is yet another thing to pay for, it could potentially save you many thousands. If you have wedding insurance (which we really recommend you should have) then you should check with your insurer if your marquee is included in this cover – if you have basic cover marquees are rarely included. The good news is that you can add it as an additional premium, but the not-so-good news it will cost – usually around £50 on top of what you’re already paying.

5 ways to save money on a wedding marquee

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If a marquee is a big part of your wedding plans, then there are ways you can save money. Here are five tips to help you spend less on a wedding marquee so you can have your dream wedding.

1. Hire from a company outside of London

When deciding on the right marquee rental company to hire, try to choose one that isn’t based in London. As with most professional services and vendors, those located in London tend to cost a little (or a lot) more than those found outside the capital. The same applies to hiring a marquee – after all, storing a marquee when it’s not set up takes up a huge amount of space, which is expensive for London businesses. If you can, hire a local company or one that doesn’t call anywhere inside the M25 their home.

2. Avoid peak dates

Just like with any other vendor or service you may hire for your wedding, including your venue and your caterers, if your wedding takes place during peak times then it will cost more – sometimes thousands more. The most popular times to get married are during the summer months and at the weekend, so if you’re thinking about getting married during either (or both) of these then expect to pay more for marquee rental.

If you can, consider getting married during off-peak times, such as during the winter or mid-week. Hiring a marquee for a Tuesday wedding in February will be far kinder to your budget than a Saturday wedding in August.

3. Make good use of the space

As you’ve no doubt realised, marquees can be pretty huge – especially if you want one that fits 100 guests. However, it’s important to remember that you and your guests won’t be the only bodies inside your marquee. You also have to consider the staff you hire, including where the catering team is going to prepare your food, and if there’s room for a DJ and dance floor.

So, you may need to go one or two sizes bigger to make sure all the relevant vendors have room, too. If not, then be prepared to hire a second smaller marquee – which could cost you even more.

The good news is, you can get creative with the space to prevent the need for going bigger. For example, during the wedding breakfast, you can put tables on the dance floor which can be quickly moved out of the way before the evening reception. With a little musical chairs action you can get the most out of the space you have, which will save you some money.

4. Make your booking early

Hiring a marquee for a wedding is growing in popularity, especially since laws in the UK changed to allow couples to get married wherever they liked. As a result, marquee rental companies tend to fill up their availability many months in advance. If you’re keen to hire a marquee then make sure you secure your booking early – the closer to the date you book, the more expensive it’ll be (not to mention more difficult to find availability). Plus, if you book really early you might even be able to secure a juicy discount.

Some vendors will capitalise on couples booking last minute, which means a marquee won’t be a more affordable option anymore. However, here at Bridebook, we have a range of wedding marquee providers that offer exclusive last-minute discounts – another great way to save!

Another important tip for when making your booking: ensure the price you’re quoted is fixed so it can’t creep up at a later date as a result of inflation or other reasons.

5. Book a package

Remember earlier in this article when we mentioned how, on top of the costs involved with hiring your marquee, there were additional costs on top of this? Well, some wedding marquee vendors, such as Capri Marquees, Tailor-made Marquees and Grice Foster event hire offer package deals that include many of these extras, such as furniture, decor and power. Booking a package will be far more budget-friendly than booking each part from a separate vendor.

That being said, make sure you price up both options to make sure you really are getting the best deal.

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Happy Planning!