Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marquee

Are you thinking of hiring a marquee for your next party, wedding or event?

This is the ultimate guide to marquee hire and has everything you need to know when hiring a marquee. With so many things to think about when hiring a marquee it can feel a bit overwhelming. This marquee hire ultimate guide covers everything from marquee sizes , different types and how many people they hold. The ultimate guide to party and wedding marquee hire also covers everything to do with decorating , lighting, permits and pricing.

If you are looking for marquee hire options in Melbourne there are also suppliers listed below to help you find the right marquee hire company.

What Is A Marquee

Marquee peg and pole

To put it simply, a marquee is a large tent used for social or commercial functions. Depending on which country you are from will depend on how marquees are referred to. In America they are more commonly known as party or event tents. In Australia and the UK, they are more commonly known as Marquees.

Marquees can be a permanent or semi-permanent structure and are more widely used for events and parties.

Benefits Of Hiring A Marquee

There are many benefits when it comes to hiring a marquee for your party or wedding. If you are not sure if you should hire a marquee here are a few reasons why.

Location – marquees can be set up pretty much anywhere which gives you flexibility on where your party is.
Blank Canvas – You can decorate your marquee however you want.
Tight Budgets – You can choose a marquee size that will fit your budget.
More Guests – With function venues, you have a guest limit based on the size of the venue. Marquee size can be chosen to fit the number of guests.
Flexibility – Marquee’s will suit and can be used for any type of party, wedding or event.
Outdoor Events – Marquees allow you to incorporate the outdoors into your event easier if you wish.
Privacy – You usually don’t get unwanted guests wandering into your event like you might at a function venue.

Based on my experience working with marquees for many years they typically create a more relaxed atmosphere. The atmosphere a marquee creates is very different to most function venues. They typically feel more intimate and guests feel more connected. The main benefit for me is that they are so versatile and can be decorated anyway you want for any type of event.

Downfalls To Hiring A Marquee

Along with most things in life there are usually a few downfalls when it comes to hiring a marquee. Below are some of the potential down falls to look out for when considering marquee hire.

You Need to Think Of Everything – Unlike hiring function venues when you hire a marquee you need to think of hiring everything else that you may need. You will need to bring in everything from furniture to catering products and a whole lot more.
Time Factor – You will need to allow a lot more time for both marquee set up and pack up as well as decorating and setting everything up.
Cost – A lot of people think hiring a marquee will be cheaper than a venue. Once you factor in everything you need they can cost the same or more as a function venue.
Noise Issues – Marquees are typically less soundproof than a normal venue so this could be a potential problem with music and guest noise.
The Clean Up – With marquee hire you may have to clean everything up afterwards. With a function venue, you leave the cleaning up to them.
Price Changes – Like function venues depending on the season may mean different pricing to hire. Summer is usually a lot more to hire than winter.
Weather Issues – Depending on the season weather may affect your event more. Heating and cooling are other factors to consider that you don’t have in a function venue.

As you can see there are some downsides to hiring a marquee. However, in most cases, these can be easily solved. Working with experienced marquee hire companies and suppliers will help resolve alot of these issues.

What Can You Use A Marquee For

Classic Peaked Marquee hire

Typically marquees are mostly used for parties, weddings and events. In reality though they can be used for such a wide range of functions that require some form of shelter. In recent times they have been used as testing centres for Covid-19.

Other uses for marquee’s are in construction. military, and areas that require temporary housing.

Things To Consider When Deciding What Size Marquee To Hire

When deciding on what size marquee to hire there a few things to consider.

Number of Guests – Obviously the number of guests will determine the size you need.
Dance Floor – Are you planning to have a space for a dance floor as you will need to allow for this.
Bar – Are you planning to have a bar set up. You will need to allow both space in front and behind bar to function properly.
Furniture – How many chairs and tables are you planning to have. Is its a sit down or cocktail event.
Decorations – are you planning any large decorations that may take up floor space.
Catering – Will caters be using some of the floor space for there preparation or serving area.
Entertainment – Whether your dj or band is on a stage or not you still need to allow room for this.

All of these will play a part in determining how much space you will require. Your marquee hire company should be able to help you work this out but you will need a list of everything first.

How Many People Do Marquee's Hold


There is a massive range when it comes to marquee sizes ranging from 3m x 3m up to massive structure marquee’s that cold hold thousands of people. Most marquee hire companies have similar sizes but there are some variations in width depending on the brand of marquee’s they use.

The chart below will give you a basic guide on popular size marquee’s and how many people they hold. You do need to remember all the things mentioned earlier as these sizes only allow for guests and round tables only. All the extra things you want will require bigger marquee’s than listed below.

There is slight differences in size and capacity of marquee’s based on which marquee hire company you speak to. The chart below is based on round tables 1.8m wide when it talks about seated. The chart below allows approximately 75cm x 75cm per person without furniture. If you like a bit more room and have the budget 1m x 1m per person is a good size.

marquee size chart

How Much Space Do I Need For A Marquee

If you look at the chart above it will give you an idea in the far right column how much space to allow for each size marquee. Things to consider when allowing enough space for your marquee are the following.

Marquee Weights – What size weights or tie downs does the marquee require.
Catering – Will you require a separate marquee for catering purposes.
Pre Dinner Drink Area – Are you planning to have a pre dinner drinks area or chillout space out the front of your marquee.
Access To Space – How easy is it to get the marquee into the space to be set up.

Ideally you would require a minimum of 1.5m all around your marquee to be able to set it up without too many issues.

What Are The Different Types Of Marquee's

There are 3 main types of marquee’s that most marquee hire companies use. They can all be slightly different depending on the marquee brand. There are also custom style marquee’s that some of the bigger event and party hire companies use.

Below are the 3 most common types of marquee’s used.

Structure Marquee

Structure Marquee

Structure marquee’s or also known as clear span marquee’s are probably the most common type of marquee’s used for hire. These marquee’s can be adapted to suit any size function by just adding more bays. These marquee’s are more commonly used for corporate and larger events.

Peg and Pole Marquee

Peg and pole marquees or also known as traditional marquee’s have been used for years. They are held up by centre poles and held down by long pegs or stakes on the outside. 

This type of marquee is usually only used on grass areas as the pegs need to be banged into the ground. They also are quite often used for weddings as the have a more classic softer look. These marquee’s can be made quite big but are normally suited for functions no bigger than 200 people.

Frame Marquee / Pagoda Style

Frame marquee’s are a solid metal frame marquee that are more commonly used for smaller house parties and events. They can be weighed down by either concrete or water weights and also be tied to the ground with stakes. These marquees typically have a lower profile roof.

The pagoda style is the more pointy roof in this type of marquee if you like that kind of look.

Clear Roof Marquee's

marquee clear roof

In more recent years marquee manufacturer’s have been able to produce both clear roof panels and walls. This is a great look and even better if the location has nice gardens. The downside to these types of clear roof panels is if its a hot day you have no shade. This also means your marquee will also heat up a lot more if it is mostly closed.

Where Can You Have A Marquee


You can pretty much put a marquee anywhere providing its level ground. In some cases some marquee companies have also set them up on hills and built temporary structures to hold them up.

The type of marquee you use will be dependent on the ground surface and access to set them up.

Do I Need A Permit To Have A Marquee

This varies depending on what country and state you live in. If you are unsure check with your marquee hire company as they will know the regulations around this.

In most cases for private events on private properties you dont need a permit in Australia. Where things change is depending on the size of the marquee and if it is being used in a public space.

Your marquee hire company will know all these regulations for this so check with them first.

Can You Have A Marquee In A Public Space

The short answer is Yes. In Melbourne and Australia you will need permission from the local or state governments depending on where you wish to set up the marquee. Again check with your marquee hire company as they will know more information regarding this.

Usually there are strict restrictions on the amount of time the marquee be set up in a public space.

How Long Does It Take To Set Up A Marquee

In most cases most marquee’s can easily be set up in one day. If its a smaller marquee for example 6m x 6m this may only take a few hours. Bigger structure marquee’s depending on size would take at least 6 to 8 hours undecorated.

Variables for how long a marquee takes to set up would be the following.

Type of Marquee
Access to Set Up The Marquee
Type of Ground Surface
Type of Weights Used
Flooring Type Being Put Into The Marquee
Decorations and Lighting Being Installed
Access To Power

Do Marquee's Come In Different Colours

The most common colour for marquee’s is white. They do come in other colours but these are usually the smaller pop up style marquee’s.

The main types are usually white which then creates a great simple backdrop to decorate how ever you want.

Can Marquee's Be Set Up If It is Windy

Most commercial grade marquee’s have a wind rating of up to 80km an hour. Variables for this will be the size of the marquee and the types of weights used.

Your marquee hire company will know the wind ratings for their type of marquee. For safety reasons they usually wont set them up if the wind is too strong.

For smaller budget style marquee’s that you can set up yourself they are not really rated for winds over 15 – 20km and hour. If it is windy it is strongly recommended by hire companies not to use these smaller style marquee’s.

How Are Marquee's Weighted Down

The type of weights used to tie down the marquee will depend on the marquee type. Typically the weights are either water barrels, concrete blocks or stakes in the ground.

The type of ground surface and access to power and water will also influence this. The amount of space around the marquee will also determine what weights can be used.

Do Marquee's Cause Damage To The Ground

If the marquee is set up on grass it can have temporary damage to the ground depending on what flooring is used. Even if the flooring is just the bare grass your guests may cause some damage to this.

If your surface is concrete there is usually know permanent damage to the ground once marquee is removed. Using temporary flooring in your marquee will usually protect the ground surface.

Marquee Wall Options

ClearSpan structure Marquee hire

Marquee’s usually come with two wall options with most hire companies. You can have the choice of solid white walls or clear walls. Depending where your marquee is set up you may want solid white walls to block out certain areas that you dont want to see. Most hire companies will give you the option to choose what will suit you best. Some hire companies do have different types of window walls with different designs. If the weather is good you can also choose to have no walls at all.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Marquee

There are lots of variables when it comes to the cost of hiring a marquee. The type you hire , the size and location access will all affect costs.

To give you an idea on costs for a 6m x 3m structure marquee you can pay around $650 right up to $6800 for a 10m x 30m marquee. As mentioned there may be other variables that could add extra costs. To get a more accurate idea on marquee costs click here.
Most hire companies include the set up and pack down cost of the marquee in the hire price but this is something you should check. Delivery in most cases is usually on top of the hire cost and is based on location.

Can I DIY The Set Up If I Hire A Marquee

In most cases the answer to this question is no unless its a small pop up marquee. Commercial quality marquee’s usually require multiple people who are trained in setting up a marquee properly. You may find some hirers that will allow some DIY on marquee’s but usually the answer is no.

Should I Buy My Own Marquee

cheap marquee hire in back garden

You can buy cheap plastic frame marquee’s from Bunnings at low costs but usually the quality is very poor. Unless the weather is perfect and you only intend to use it a few times these are not great to use.

Many a time have we had distressed clients ringing on a friday as their cheap DIY marquee has blown away and has let them down the day before their party. In my opinion if you dont want any stress stay away from these types of marquee’s.

Should I Hire A Cheap Marquee

cheap marquee set up

Cheap marquee’s like the ones mentioned above or pop up style marquee’s are only really suitable for basic use. If you are just wanting a bit of shade and the weather is perfect these would be fine.

If you are having a party and the weather is not great it would be wise to spend the money on a commercial grade marquee.

Is There A Difference Between Party and Wedding Marquee's

marquee set up for wedding on property in country

There is no difference between wedding and party marquee’s. All marquee types can be used for any type of function. It really comes down to costs and personal choice on what marquee type you use.

What Is An Instant Pop Up Marquee

pop up white metal frame marquee

An instant pop up marquee are usually seen at markets and trade shows. These are usually metal frame that expands and can be set up in minutes. As mentioned previously these are best used for shade and good weather options.

Flooring Options For Marquee's

When it comes to flooring options for marquee’s there are multiple choices. If the marquee is set up on concrete or grass that is in good condition then you may not need flooring at all. If you are wanting to cover the ground then the options below are usually available from most marquee hire companies.

Solid Wood Floor – This is a temporary wooden floor that is usually built after the marquee goes up. This can be made out of various types of timber depending on what the hire company has.

Pro Floor – This is a plastic flooring that is heavy duty and can be rolled out and made into any size floor. Pro Floor is great for protecting your grass but also lets it breath so your grass will recover quicker. 

Grass Matting / Artificial Turf – If you have a solid foundation like concrete but still like the grass look, you can also use artificial turf. This can be rolled out very quickly an is usually a cheaper option compared to the others.

Solid flooring that can handle large amounts of foot traffic and a lot of furniture weight is super important. A lot of people skimp on the flooring and then quite often regret it afterwards.

Lighting Options For Marquee's

marquee lighting in green and blue

Options for lighting in marquees are endless and are usually relatively easy to install. Lighting is usually an extra cost on top of the marquee hire price. Below are some different options when it comes to lighting your marquee.

Flood lights – Simple and cheap way to light up the marquee. This is not really a great mood light though.

Pendant Lights – These can come in a massive range of choices and can be picked to suit your decoration style. You can either choose the raw look of just globes or add different style lamp shades to suit. Click here to learn more.

Festoon Lights – Festoon lights are very popular for indoor and outdoors when it comes to marquee lighting.Make sure you hire a dimmer as these can be quite bright if you have a lot of them. Click here to learn more.

Chandeliers – These suit wedding really well and come in various styles and sizes. Click here to learn more.

Led Mood Lighting – There are multiple options when it comes to creating colour in your marquee. Click here to learn more.

Fairy Lights – Another popular options for weddings in marquee’s. Fairy lights look great but can cost a lot for installation as they are very time consuming. Click here to learn more.

Party Lighting – Dont forget about creating the right atmosphere for dancing with your lighting choice. Multiple types of party lights are available to suit your party style. Click here to learn more.

Silk Roof Lining For Marquee's

marquee set up with silk roof lining in white

If you dont like the raw look of metal beams in your marquee you can hire silk lining to cover the inside of the roof. Most hire companies offer this on certain types of marquee’s but it does usually cost extra.

Dont Forget Power

Power is obviously important but is quite often overlooked when it comes to hiring a marquee. If you are planning on placing your marquee in the middle of a paddock then power maybe an issue.The next option for this if you cant run power leads from a house or building is to hire a generator. If you need to go down this path it is important that you hire one large enough to cover all bases. You will need to consider lighting, catering use, entertainment and heating and cooling.

Ask your marquee hire company for help with this as this is a common issue that pops up when hiring a marquee.

Click on the below to find generators for hire.

Southern Generator Hire

Better Rentals

Coats Hire

Furniture Hire For Marquee's

wedding marquee set up with green and white table setting

Furniture hire for marquee’s can be simple but you do need to think of multiple areas. If you are planning a sit down dinner you will need round or trestle tables as well as enough seating for your guests. You may also need lounge or cocktail furniture for other areas as well depending on what is happening.Cocktail furniture like bar tables and stools are a lot simpler and cheaper if you are choosing a cocktail style event. Your flooring option as mentioned earlier needs to be very stable for any type of furniture.

Click here for furniture options and ideas.

Decorating A Marquee For A Party Or Wedding

wedding set up in garden inside beach. Closeup of flowers

The fun part about any party or wedding is the decorating. When it comes to marquee’s they are perfect for decorating as they are a blank canvas. There is usually plenty of beams and places to attach decorations if required. Things to think about when decorating your marquee are listed below. Click on the below items to learn more.

Table Decorations

Party Props


Styling Products

Marquee Heating And Cooling Options

Heating and cooling is very important when choosing a marquee for your event. You may be lucky and get just the right temperature on the day of your event. This doesn’t always happen so it is good to be able to fix the problem if it cools down or heats up at the last minute.

Portable heaters and coolers can be hired to use in marquees but check with your hire company first.  Below are some hire companies specializing in heating and cooling for marquees if you live in Melbourne.

Active Air 


Climate Rentals

Dance Floor Hire Options For Marquee's

Depending on what flooring options you have chosen for your marquee you may not need a dance floor. Obviously, the type of function you are having may not require a dance floor anyway.

If you do want a separate dance floor or need something more suitable for dancing, click here for different options.

Cool Room Hire For Marquee's

Nobody likes warm drinks so another thing to think of is how you are going to keep your drinks and food cold. You can choose buckets of ice or maybe hire fridges if you dont have a lot of drinks or food.

Another option is to hire portable cool rooms which can hold quite a lot and will also keep food cold. Below are some cool room hire companies in Melbourne.

Melbourne Cool Room Hire

Hire A Cool Room

Valley Cool

Toilet and Bathroom Hire For Marquees

If your marquee isn’t set up near a house or toilets you will need to hire some in. Again you will need to consider power for these if you are also hiring in a generator. If you are based in Melbourne below are some portable bathroom and toilet hire companies.

Black Tie toilet Hire

Melbourne Toilet Hire

Aim Hire

Marquee's For Catering And Change Rooms

marquee used as a kitchen for an event

In some cases you may need to hire a separate marquee for the kitchen area or possibly a change room for the bride or entertainment. Smaller marquees can easily be set up next to the main marquee for these purposes. 

The benefit of this is it won’t take up floor space in your main marquee. It will also keep the noise from kitchens and maybe entertainers separate from the guests. This does add extra cost to your event but is definitely worth doing to create a better experience for everyone involved.

Where To Hire Marquee's In Melbourne

If you live in Melbourne below are some of the marquee companies that will be able to help you with your event.

Click on the links below to learn more about each company.

Feel Good Events – Covering Melbourne Metro

Betta Event Hire – Yarra Valley and Melbourne Metro

Prestige Events – Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula

Melton Party Hire – Western Suburbs


As you can see from the marquee hire ultimate guide above there is a lot to think about when hiring a marquee. You really do need to think of everything in some cases. If you are hiring a marquee to put in your back garden then most of these things really arent an issue. If you are deciding to hire a marquee to put out on a large property in the country there is more to think about. 

The good news is if you use an experienced marquee hire company like Feel Good Events then we will make the whole process easy and stress free.

If you would like help with hiring a marquee for your next party or event contact us today.