Through my quest to try to find a good deal with our marquee a friend, Tom, at West country Marquee’s offered some advice on what to ask and what to look for. Unfortunately we are a bit to far away for Tom to help us with our needs as I would have used his company. The basic quotes I had through were helpful but oh how I had missed a bit of a trick with the potential extras!
Does the website show pictures of the company marquee’s?
Are they dated and old-looking marquees? Are these what they will be using? Do they have the styles you are looking for? Some of the companies I had requested a quote from only showed pictures of the Georgian windows and all the ivory linings with artificial flowers in the swags however when we asked they did all the parts we wanted. Another website had pictures they had obviously purchased to use on their website but their own marquees looked very different.
Can you go and visit a marquee set up by that company
Ask to go and look at a marquee they have set up at another event. This way you can see the quality of their products
Does the quote include a set of entrance doors
This was not included on any of our quotes until i asked specifically about them. They are helpful for when it is raining
Find out about heating quotes
They vary a great deal and range from blowing machines to patio heaters. This was important with us because we are planning a May wedding and the evenings can be chilly. Most companies will let it be removed from the quote later on if its not needed and some will take off the price if its not used on the day also.
Does the quote mean your seating will be on the dance floor?
If the space quoted for means some of your tables and furniture will be placed on the dance floor, if its raining you may have limited space for people to move around in. This may also mean that in the evening you will have to take away tables to give enough room for the bar etc. There also may not be enough room for people to enter and exit the marquee without having to pass through the furniture.
Is a Bar included on the example layouts?
Even if you are providing your own bar and using tables you will need space so ask where it could fit when looking at the example layouts.
What flooring is in the quote?
Everyone will tell you wooden floors are the most expensive and its correct but make sure you have a good strong option if going for another type such as coir and carpet etc. Carpet should have a weave or coir matting under it or a solid board. The carpet should also be new for a wedding. When you ask to visit one of their marquees you can look at the flooring then and see how they do it.
Always ask for a discount!
Even if you only get £100 off you will have saved. They expect it so don’t be shy. Also tell them of anything other companies have offered as most will match prices too.
Don’t be fooled into having facilities you don’t need
2+1 toilets are enough for about 200 people (a stretch but possible) so ask about and make sure you are not paying more for items you wont really need. Generators are another item you can shop around for and make sure you have not been quoted for one that’s too much power. 45KVA was recommended for a wedding of our size so ask about. You can also hire your own independently and save even more money! Some companies were charging by the hour for the generator and this was very expensive and you also had to pay extra+VAT.
Damage waivers and insurance
5% is normal, look to see if it is on the Quote. You can also source your own wedding insurance that covers marquees. John Lewis does a popular one.