Organising any event can be a daunting task. For wedding clients this may be the only time you have worked on bringing together a large-scale event. At south west marquees, we are here to help you every step of the way. We believe that the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Here are some questions that you can ask potential suppliers to help you make the most informed choice.

Questions to ask no matter which marquee company you choose:

Procurement

Starting at the very beginning, Is the company available for your date and venue? Once you establish this, you can ask if they are prepared to meet you for a free no obligation site visit. At the site visit you should expect to see up to date photos of all equipment that they are proposing to supply. Ideally, they will be able to show you photos of recent weddings with testimonials to match.

When they provide a quotation, is it itemised showing all prices separately so that you can see exactly what you are paying for? Is it accompanied by a scale layout drawing?

Getting into the details of marquee hire you need to be able to choose from a range of options, companies that only supply one style have a tendency to try to talk you into hiring that type, whether it is in your best interest or not.

If the company is providing a package will they be sub-contracting any parts of it? Many companies sub contract large items such as toilets, generators and furniture, if they do you need to feel comfortable that the quality will meet your standards. Regardless of who is supplying these items you need to know that they are well maintained and of suitable age. We encourage clients to come to our premises to see all these items for themselves. Not only does this help you make decisions, it also gives you a good insight into our operation. We highly recommend you do this with whatever company you choose. It is all to easy to build a state of the art website with nothing concrete to back it up. When you meet the representative, ask how long they have been trading and who will be on site to oversee the build.

Bad weather may require contingencies, can this company cater for last minute changes in weather? You may need to add extra cover, hard floors, heaters or even change the style of marquee.

Changes to guest lists are inevitable, before you book, ask how this will affect your order, can it be tweaked as your plans evolve? Find out how much deposit is required and what the payment terms are. Will there be any extras to pay after the event?

Site requirements.

On a site visit the company representative should carry out a thorough inspection, with your input, considerations should be made for vehicle and guest access, best placement for marquees, toilet, generators etc, potential problems with the site. They should ask for information regarding overhead and underground services. They may be able to offer a site scan for possible underground hazards. Any particular features that you know about prior to the site visit should be communicated to possible suppliers so that they can provide an accurate quotation.

Once you have agreed a date for delivery, make sure that the site will be clear and access will be possible for large vehicles. You need to be on site on the set-up day, otherwise decision will be made in your absence.

Safety Considerations

Some safety questions you need to ask are: are any electrical items supplied with a current PAT test? Have you provided adequate fire exits and do you need emergency lighting and fire extinguishers? Is the marquee constructed from fire retardant material?

How long do I need the Marquee for?

Good companies will be flexible when it comes to erection and dismantling the marquee. Allow yourself plenty of time to get the interior just how you want it. Some venues have time restrictions and need the site to be cleared the following day of the wedding. Can your supplier remove on a Sunday if necessary? If you book early you will have a better chance that your supplier will be able to accommodate you preferred set up and removal dates.

Overall

Do you get a good feeling about this company? trust your instincts; you need to be working with people you trust, like and get your vision. Weddings should be enjoyable from the earliest stages, if you are not enjoying the process, you are working with the wrong people.

At South West Marquees, we believe it is vitally important that we are here when you need us. We have a dedicated team who work in the office, answering your queries and making sure everything runs smoothly. Natalie is our office manager, and Jake is our assistant manager, and if both of them are busy, you will have to make do with Gabe who is the General Manager. Site visits are carried out by either Gabe or one of our team leaders. You can always refer to them for site specific advice. Meet our full team here.