How to Choose the Perfect Marquee Size for Your Party

When you’re planning a big event or celebration, selecting the right marquee is crucial to ensuring your guests have an amazing experience. A marquee that’s too small can feel cramped and uncomfortable, while one that’s too large may seem empty and impersonal.

Getting the marquee size just right is all about striking the perfect balance. Whether hosting an elegant wedding, a corporate function or a big blowout bash, choosing the right marquee size is essential to a successful party.

Guest Count: The Key Factor in Marquee Sizing

Your final guest count is the most critical factor when determining marquee size. After all, you need adequate space to accommodate every attendee comfortably. As a general rule of thumb, you should allow 8-10 square feet per person for a seated event like a wedding reception or formal dinner; for a more casual cocktail party or standing reception, you can get away with 5-7 square feet per guest.

Don’t just stop at your confirmed guest list number though. It’s wise to overestimate a bit to account for any last-minute plus-ones or walk-in attendees. Unexpected guests can quickly make a properly sized marquee feel overcrowded. Leaving a little breathing room is better than having people feeling cramped and squeezed together.

If you’re planning a larger event, say with over 200 guests, you may even want to size up your marquee a bit more than the square foot recommendations. The more people in an enclosed area, the more open space is needed to avoid feelings of being overly confined.

The Type of Event Impacts Your Marquee Needs

The type of event you’re hosting plays a major role in determining the ideal marquee size and layout. A seated dinner reception has very different space requirements compared to a standing cocktail party or corporate product launch.

For formal seated events like weddings, you’ll need enough space to accommodate guest tables, a head table, adequate aisles for entrance and exits, and potentially a dance floor area. Each guest table requires 25-35 square feet of space depending on the table size.

If you’re hosting more of a mingling atmosphere like a cocktail party, the marquee layout can be more open and freer flowing. Be sure to allocate extra space for food stations, bars and any lounge areas.


Don't Forget About Additional Areas

When sizing your marquee, think beyond just the main event space. You may want to incorporate separate additional areas into your marquee layout – failing to account for these extra spaces could leave your main tent feeling overcrowded.

One common area is a dedicated zone for the band, DJ or other entertainment setup. Live music or performers require space for their equipment, speakers, lighting rigs and more. You’ll want this area somewhat separated from the main event space to allow for better acoustics and prevent any obstructed views. Another popular option is incorporating a lounge, chill-out zone, or “break” area into your marquee. This separate space allows guests to step away from the main festivities to relax, catch their breath or have more intimate conversations.

Outdoor spaces like patios or terraces attached to the marquee can extend your event footprint too. These open-air areas are perfect for allowing guests to enjoy nice weather, take in views or just get some fresh air. Don’t short-change your event by neglecting these auxiliary spaces – having plenty of room for separate specialised areas provides memorable guest experiences.


Climate and Location are Important Factors

Where and when your event is taking place has a major impact on your ideal marquee size and setup requirements. For outdoor events, you’ll likely need a larger marquee to accommodate amenities like heating or fans depending on the time of year. Ensuring guest comfort is critical, so adequate space for portable heating units or air conditioning is a must if temperatures will be an issue.

Speaking of heating and cooling, you’ll also want to properly size the marquee to ensure efficient distribution of heated or cooled air throughout the space. An undersized tent could struggle to maintain comfortable temperatures. Similarly, if your event is in a region that frequently experiences severe weather, you may want to opt for a larger marquee that allows for moisture barriers or backup power sources.

Get in Touch

Selecting the ideal marquee for your event is both an art and a science. By carefully evaluating crucial factors like guest count, event type and overall style, you can find the marquee that hits the sweet spot. At Strawberry Marquees, we offer a wide selection of marquees and event spaces in various sizes and styles – contact us for a bespoke quote.