Choosing your marquee
To work out the best size of marquee for your event you should break the marquee up into areas and base your calculations on the number of guests for the seated part of the reception.
If any additional guests are invited to the celebrations later, for example an evening dance or band, following a day time meal, the marquee will accommodate another 50% of this type of guest. So, if you are working on a marquee seating plan for 100 guests, then the marquee will be fine for another 50 people in the evening.
This is the most important element to take into consideration and you should work out the size of this area using the number of round tables per bay as a guide as follows:
- 3 tables of guests for every 9 metre bay
- 4 tables per 12 metre bay
- 5 tables per 15 metre bay
Obviously, the size of table and number of people seated at the table will influence the amount of space between the tables and chairs of your guests. The larger the table the less space they will have between them in a bay. I would advise you seat your guests as follows:
- 5 feet round tables – 8 people
- 5 feet 6 inches – 10 people
- 6 feet – 12 people
Larger sizes are available, but these are better for use as the top table.
It is nice to have an area as the entrance to the marquee to allow the guests to mingle and be received by the happy couple and their families. You should work on 1-2 bays of reception area for every 3-4 bays of dining area. This area can also double up as a bar or chill out area for an evening party.
Allow 2 bays for a dance floor, and an extra bay for a band, with stage.
Put It All Together
Take all your calculations for the various areas and add them together.
For example, a 90 guest wedding:
Reception area – 2 bays including seating, bar and furniture.
Dining area – 3 bays with 3 tables of 10 guests in each bay and including the top table.
Dance floor – 2 bays.
Band/stage – 1 bay.