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 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!


How should I prepare for my marquee being built?


Customer preparation for a marquee build is minimal. Where applicable space for vehicles should be left clear as previously would have been discussed, and for the best results any grass a marquee will be covering should be freshly cut. ( A little ask of anyone with dogs … Please can you make sure that the area is clear of any dog mess and that they are kept away during the build – we would hate it if your family pet escape through an open gate!).  Other than that provided you are happy with everything you don’t even necessarily have to be at the site for the majority of the build, although always being contactable is a great help.

Whilst working on site we always try to be as tidy as possible with minimal impact and encroachment on anyone else living or working in the area (although time taken out of your schedule to offer a cup of tea is always greatly appreciated!). Having said this, depending on the scale of the marquee being erected we may need to take up a little extra space at times where convenient and as non-invasive as possible. These details will be quickly discussed with you on site if required so that everyone is happy with how the work will proceed.

We always aim to cause as little disruption as possible and are more than happy to move any of our trucks or equipment during the day if required. If we are planning to spend more than one day on site we will of course inform you, and upon leaving the site to return the next day everything will be left as neat, tidy, secure and as self-contained as possible.

We had a fabulous evening, the marquee looked beautiful, we danced all night! The guys did a great job putting it up and dismantling and my lawn was still lovely when it was gone.

Can I change my marquee after booking?


Closer to your big day your ultimate specification will need to be finalised. It is not uncommon for this to be a little different from your original quote and due to the flexible nature of marquees there are many smaller details that can still be changed up to the last minute.

Once many facets of your event have been decided upon it is a good idea to agree on options such as lining colours and table numbers and sizes as soon as possible so that everything can come together smoothly.

At Southern Marquees we always aim to offer as much assistance as possible, and the sooner we can sew up all the details the less you will have to worry about.

Most marquee suppliers will ask for the final payment up to several weeks in advance of your marquee being erected, although at Southern Marquees we don’t ask for final payment until you have the finished marquee.