Gallery – Marquee Entrances

There are so many ways to design your marquee to fit within your garden or venue and we always take time to make the most of the surroundings including any views and the position of the entrance is an important part of this.

The entrance to your marquee can be used to welcome your guests – especially your evening guests that may be entering in the dark or when you are busy elsewhere so make it stand out.

With all the decisions you already have to make regarding the style of your marquee and the layout of the furniture within, we are always a step ahead and when we provide drawings with our quotes, we have already considered the best place to bring your guest into the marquee.  We may even offer wet weather alternatives that bring your guests onto the dance floor for reception drinks – it works really well avoiding the need for guests to dodge and weave between the beautifully dressed tables!  We can offer walkways linked to reception marquees which can be used later for the bar or buffet tables.

Entrances don’t have to be in a set position – we can put them in the middle, to one side or even on one of the pretty shaped ends of our traditional style marquees.

We can add full width (6m, 9m or 12m) awnings to our multspan marquees and you can choose to have extra bays open if you want to use the space for a bar or chill out area.

Here are a few of the many styles of marquee entrance we have provided. Each offering their own advantages to welcome your guests and invite them to step inside  …

Wedding Marquee Entrance Awning

Our pretty 10′ x 6′ entrance awning

Thanks to the many photographers who have given us permission to use their photos of our marquees – we know where our expertise lies and we are always grateful to receive such beautiful shots taken after our job is done!

Marquees by night …

Step outside your marquee as the sun begins to set and you are taken to a completely different place…

There is something so evocative about the sight of a marquee in the moonlight.  Stand outside and look as the light that seeps through the fabric and outlines the shape of the marquee.  Watch how the dancing and disco lights cast oversized shadows on the lawn. See how the pretty festoon lights strung on poles illuminate the path back to the celebrations inside.

But before you are drawn back in to the celebrations, take a minute to watch and listen to laughter, the singing and the music … this memory will stay with you long after the occasion is over and is the magic only a marquee can provide.

There are so many ways to incorporate the outside space, whether at a venue or in your own garden.  Trees can be Illuminated, festoon lights can be looped along poles or lanterns hung on shepherds crooks …

Fire pits and bales of hay can be arranged close by or outside furniture providing a place for guests to take a break from the music, to cool down or catch up with friends..

You can even take your musicians outside and if you have planned a ceilidh, bring it on to the lawn and ‘strip the willow’ under the setting sun.

Roll up the windows and allow the evening breeze to cool the marquee as your guests take to the dancefloor..

You can even choose to feed your evening guests outside by planning a succulent hog roast or giant paella supper… Add gazebos and create your own Street Food Village!

Smallpiece Caterer paella

Giant Paella was served up by the talented Small Piece catering for this marquee wedding at the stunning Hill Place Wedding venue …

If you are lucky enough to have a garden big enough to allow for a marquee or have chosen a pretty wedding venue, whilst decorating your marquee, dont forget the surrounding space – you may be doing this only once so why not go for it!

A Guide To Marquee Hire

If you are trying to organise or host a marquee event you could easily be confused by the choice available.

When you look at the glossy pictures on websites every page offers yet another shape, colour or style of marquee and they all look fantastic! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, everyone smiling and happy and it is easy for you to imagine your party or reception happening in any one of these marquees.

It is great to be offered such choice but it is important to understand the differences in design and capabilities of each and what benefits they offer you….

What is a the Difference between a Marquee and Frame Tent?

This will always be open to debate but when we joined the industry 30 years ago a ‘Marquee’ was always a “Soft” structure made from stretching canvas over poles and tensioned by guy ropes.

A ‘Frame Tent’ was a “Hard” structure made by fitting covers to a rigid frame.

The modern dictionary definition (Oxford online) describes a marquee as; “A large tent used for social and commercial events”.

This more liberal definition has led to almost any structure being referred to as a Marquee. If you google “Marquee Hire” the results will certainly return at least one company offering small and lightweight type structures. I am not denigrating their design or purpose but it illustrates the confusion when trying to compare prices and companies. Continue reading

What size marquee do I need?

This really is one of those “How long is a piece of string?”

The following square meter per person formula can be used to achieve a broad answer to this question, however this is just a rough guide.

Party Type Square Meters Square Foot
Standing Drinks reception 0.75m 8sq ft
Seated Meal 1m 11sq ft
Seated Meal + Dance floor 1.5m 17sq ft

This formula will give you the MINIMUM Space required!

Using the table above will provide you with a rough estimate of the size marquee you require, however there are many factors which will influence the overall size.  To understand how much space you need you must consider the following points:

  • Number of guest?
  • Type of food?
  • Band or discos?
  • Bar?
  • Flower arrangement?
  • Weather conditions?
  • Cloakroom?
  • Other entertainment?

keep reading!

Gallery 2018

Here are a selection of photos taken throughout 2018.  Please see our  main gallery for more photos of our beautiful marquees.

Peony-blue flowers and ceremony at West Hill July 2018The scorched grass and blue skies – evidence of the fabulous summer of 2018. (Flowers by Peony-Blue Floral Design).

Party Gallery

Marquees make perfect party venues.  They provide the flexibility to hold the party at the venue of your choice including your own garden and any size can be catered for.  A marquee offers a blank canvas to let your imagination and ideas flow …

You can choose the colour scheme, layout, style of chairs and special lighting effects. We liaise with your band or disco and caterer and with our extensive list of useful contacts, you will have many highly recommended suppliers to choose from.

No matter what time of the year, a marquee is perfect for a party at home!  They can be opened up in the summer or supplied with roof only so that your guests can enjoy the balmy summer evenings and heated during winter months to keep you cosy and dry.

We have provided marquees for many successful parties over the years so have a huge amount of experience so if you are planning a party please give us a call!

Any Excuse for a Party!

  • 18/21/40/50/60th Birthdays
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Christmas
  • New Years Eve
  • Cocktail & Dinner Parties

Continue reading

Contact Us

If you are looking to hire a marquee for an event you are planning, we would love to hear from you!  We are very proud of the quality and style of our marquees and the excellent service we provide.

We endeavor to reply to your message with 24 hours ( hopefully sooner!) but please do contact us again if you don’t hear back from us.

Newsletter No 3

Another successful year at Southern Marquees!

2018 has certainly been a year that we can look back on as being one for the record books!  We had spring weddings with temperatures warmer that an average summer, lawns scorched from the sun resembling golden wheat fields and umbrellas used as parasols.

Hana Venn Photography photo1

We have been so lucky again this year to work in some beautiful venues including Stansted House, an Edwardian country house set within the South Downs National Park. As approved marquee suppliers, we have been providing marquees for weddings at Stansted House for over 20 years! This unique wedding (left) had a fairground theme with guests making the most of the fabulous weather in this stunning setting.



Hollybank House, a beautiful Georgian family home in a mature 10-acre garden in Emsworth was the perfect setting for this large wedding in late September with the hot weather showing no signs of waning.  We loved the white feathers on the tables!



20170901_122547The award-winning West Dean Gardens near Chichester, West Sussex is a magnificent marquee location with two beautiful sites to choose from; You can nestle amongst the trees in the Picnic Lawn or the Front Lawn where the historical West Dean House makes a stunning backdrop. Wedding guests will have access to explore the gardens including the Walled Kitchen Garden, the Victorian Glasshouses, the Sunken Gardens and the stunning 300ft Edwardian Pergola. A truly charming marquee wedding venue!

IMG_3972  Newly weds  Peony-blue flowers and ceremony at West Hill July 2018

West Hill Park’s lush green ‘Rose Lawn’ was scorched by the sun this summer but remains a favourite and with some amazing weddings there again this year!

Marquee exterior

Once again 2018 was a year with a lot of repeat bookings for family weddings and anniversaries or just an excuse for another party in one of our marquees!

Peony-blue head table flowers July 2018


You would not believe how diverse the events we provide marquees for and even though most of our marquees throughout the summer months are for weddings, we have provided marquees for lots of hugely successful parties, memorials and corporate events too!

The beauty of a marquee is that it gives you the freedom to put your own stamp on your event and this year once more shows why marquees make for unique wedding and party venues!  Have a look at our 2018 gallery for more photos of our 2018 events.

Peony-blue hanging flowers, table flowers and paper lanterns July 2018   20180504_172730_resized

If you are planning a special event throughout 2019/20, give us a call us on 01489 575372. Alternatively visit our website and complete our Contact Us form.  We look forward to hearing from you!



Newsletter No 2

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year and congratulations on all the newly engaged couples who are now starting out on the most amazing, fun, exciting journey of their lives!


Photo by

First step is to give us a call at Southern Marquees!  We are here to help you through the whole process and can assist in so many areas of your planning including venue finding, choosing caterers, finding florists, bands and discos – to name but a few.

Obviously our expertise is in the marquee area and having almost 30 years experience and two in-house weddings last year, we are very up to date with recent trends!

We still have some availability for 2018 so please do get in touch as soon as possible and get your date secured! Then the fun part of planning your event can be enjoyed including your colour scheme, flowers and marquee layout.  Our Facebook Gallery is a great place to look for inspiration together with lots of information about hiring one of our marquees on our website.

Testament to the quality and service we provide, many of our bookings are repeat and this year is no exception.  We are really looking forward to providing the marquee for the third daughter of a local family and anyone who has daughters or sisters will know how important it is that the marquee reflects their own tastes and style.  Again look at our gallery to see how each wedding marquee is unique!

Party marquee discounts for April and May!

Garden Party

Weddings may be a huge part of our business but we love providing marquees for parties and there are lots of party people out there! We have great deals for parties in April and May before the wedding season kicks off but be warned – holding parties in marquees can get addictive and again we get lots of repeat bookings for party marquees! DunlopOur marquees are so pretty, they become a part of your garden and we sometimes have a fight on our hands when we come to take the marquee away! We always put in lots of windows that can be rolled up so the garden can be enjoyed whatever the weather!

Don’t let a big birthday pass when you can celebrate with friends!

Looking forward …

As we start 2018 with the phones ringing, bookings coming in and Mark and Hugh travelling the Hampshire countryside meeting you and surveying your gardens, we look forward to all the events we are going to be involved in.  We love catching up with all the talented Hampshire caterers and liaising with the bands and discos – not forgetting the owners of the beautiful venues we have the pleasure of visiting throughout the year but we especially look forward to playing a roll in your event and seeing how we can help make it a huge success and rewarding us with more unique photos for our gallery!

If you are planning a special event throughout 2019/20, give us a call us on 01489 575372. Alternatively visit our website and complete our Contact Us form.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Newsletter No 1


A stunning shot of one of our marquees taken by

2017 – What a year!

The majority of our marquee hire is for weddings but we do a fair amount of parties too and this year has been no exception. We have provided marquees for school proms and award ceremonies together with some amazing combined parties – one for a father and daughter celebrating significant birthdays and one for a christening which surprised everyone by turning into a wedding!

A party that really pulled out all the stops this year also gave us the opportunity to reunite with a very talented caterer who took us all down memory lane with her retro food to match the theme of this very colourful birthday celebration!

marquee for newsletterrecordpineapple

The weddings this year have been pretty unique.  Our new multi span marquee has really come into it’s own allowing us to cater for much larger guest numbers and together with some of the best event caterers throughout Hampshire, these weddings were not just a chance bring together family and friends, it was also an opportunity to experience some exceptional fine dining!
We cannot forget all the musicians and dj’s who have done a brilliant job this year entertaining your guests – from silent disco’s to amazing tribute bands – our ‘useful contact’ booklet is now bursting with some brilliant local talent!”

We have had some significant events ourselves this year!  First of all, Pippa – Mandy and Hugh’s daughter married Dan in Newquay, Cornwall!  Unfortunately a little too far away to provide a marquee but great to be able to experience the whole wedding planning from the ”other side’!

pippa&dan-345 - Copy

Jane’s daughter, Ellie, married Chris in July. This was a local event and having worked at Southern Marquees for almost 17 years, there was no question that it would be held in anything other than one of our beautiful marquees!

FullSizeRender (3)Well it is now Autumn and we are busy sending out quotes and filling up the calendar with bookings for weddings and parties throughout 2018.  Lets hope it is as fun and diverse at this year has been!
Thank you to everyone who used Southern Marquees for their special event throughout this year! Mandy, Hugh, Mark, Jane and Ben. x
I hope you have enjoyed reading our very first newsletter and as you nestle down for the long dark evenings recalling the events of the past year, if you used one of our marquees , we would love it if you could send over any photos – we especially love to see our marquees all dressed up and it would be great if we could use them on our website and Facebook page!

If you are planning a special event throughout 2019/20, give us a call us on 01489 575372. Alternatively visit our website and complete our Contact Us form.  We look forward to hearing from you!