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How big a marquee for…? Good question! Marquees come in all shapes and sizes and it’s crucial that you get the right sized marquee for your event. Get it wrong and your guests could find themselves either crowded together or swimming in a large and un-atmospheric space.

It isn’t always as simple as asking ‘how big a marquee for one hundred guests?’ Or ‘How big a marquee for a wedding?’ There are lots of different factors to consider, at times it can seem a little daunting but….

Don’t worry, we’re here to help

Your marquee provider will help you to work out the size of marquee that you will need. But it’s always a good idea to understand the factors that affect marquee sizing before you start talking to potential suppliers.

Understanding the key elements that dictate marquee size will mean that you will be able to decide what is most important to you when planning and budgeting your event. It will also allow you to give your potential suppliers the information that they’ll need in order to provide accurate estimates and quotes and to help guide and steer you through the process.

So, what dictates how big a marquee for …?

There are lots of factors that affect the amount of space required for a marquee event. Sometimes it comes down to personal choice, sometimes there are space restrictions at the marquee build site. But in the main, the type of event and the number of guests will dictate the optimal marquee size for you.

So, what are the main factors affecting marque sizing?

The number of guests attending your event

Party Marquees, happy new year, How big a marquee forIt sounds obvious, but the number of guests attending your event is a major factor in determining the size of marquee that you will need. You’ll want to ensure that you create a suitable, comfortable space with a welcoming and atmospheric air.

However, it isn’t quite as simple as calculating the size of the marquee based just upon the number of guests. Once you’ve determined the number of guests attending your event, you’ll need to understand the types of activities that will be taking place within the marquee.

The types of activities taking place in the marquee

How big a marquee forOur method for calculating the amount of space required per guest is based upon the type of event that each client is planning and the activities that the marquee must accommodate. These factors vary from client to client, but generally there are only a few variables that come up from marquee to marquee.

Will your guests simply be partying? Will they be dining? Dining and dancing? Do you want a reception space, and if so, will you want a separate, bespoke reception area? Are you having a live band? A DJ? Are there any other activities taking place within the marquee?

The amount of space available for the marquee build

future of events, How big a marquee forSometimes space is limited by your location, if this is the case then your marquee supplier will be able to advise on the best use of that space and the optimal number of guests that your marquee will be able to comfortably accommodate.

In some circumstances your supplier might spot alternative locations that you may not have considered. We regularly build marquees over swimming pools, on tennis courts, across terraces, sloping ground and over garden features such as ponds, flower beds and pergolas.

How big a marquee for …? Calculating your space

To help you to determine the size of marquee that you’ll need for your event, we have created a sizing guide, using two separate tables.

Table one shows some of the factors that you’ll need to consider and the amount of space per guest that each factor adds. This table will help you to calculate the amount of space that your guests will need. Table two shows a few examples of size and the amount of space that each offer.

You’ll be able to use the calculation achieved via table one in combination with table two to understand the size of  you are likely to need.


Marquee areaSpace required
Dining space0.9m per guest
Combined reception, bar and dance area0.9m per guest
Separate reception space0.9m per guest
Occasional party marquee*1.5m per guest


*An occasional party space usually involves casual dining; this often means bar tables rather than formal seated dining, some casual seating, a bar, dance floor and lots of social, mingling space for your guests.

Example calculation

You would like:

  • 150 guests
  • Formal, seated dining
  • A combined reception, bar and dancing space

Therefore, you would require 0.9m per guest for the dining space. A further 0.9m per guest for the combined reception, bar and dancing space. Meaning that you would need a total of 1.8m per guest.

1.8m x 150 guests = 270 m2

Now you can use table two to determine the most suitably sized marquee for you:


Marquee sizeMarquee space (M2)
6m x 9m54m2
9m x 9m81m2
9m x 12m108m2
12m x 12m144m2
15m x 9m135m2
15m x 12m180m2
21m x 12m252m2
24m x 21m288m2


As you can see, in the example given above (where guests require 270 m2), the most suitably sized marquee would be 24m x 21m, providing 288m2 of entertaining space.

Please remember that the sizing examples and marquee sizes given above are just examples. There are many combinations and configurations available to fit a multitude of event requirements! Please talk to us to find out more.

What else affects marquee sizing?

So, we’ve detailed out three of the main factors that affect sizing. But there are a number of other considerations that should be taken into account too.

The time of year

In winter you are likely to need additional reception space as your guests aren’t likely to want to spend much time socialising outside. You might want to add a cloakroom area to allow guest to take off and store wet coats and umbrellas too.


Are you having a caterer’s area? If so, you’ll need to account for this extra space too. Your caterer’s area could be built into your main marquee, however it’s more traditional to have a separate, smaller marquee attached to the main tent. The size of the catering area is calculated based upon the number of guests that will be dining.


The types and shapes of tables and chairs you might choose for a  formal dining event are an important consideration too. For example, long tables require more space than round tables. Do you want to include some casual seating areas within your marquee? If so, this will require more space too.

Your bar

How many bars are you having? What shape will your bars be? Where will you position your bar? Bars can be placed to one side of the marquee or can be centralised. Round bars offer a large service area, but they take up more room than rectangular bars.

The type of marquee

There are lots of different marquees to choose from. Traditional pole tents are a popular choice for rustic, casual laid back events. They have central support poles that look attractive but take up internal space. They are also supported by external guy ropes and therefore require more space around them. Frame tents, by comparison, have a completely clear internal space without interruption and they don’t require guy ropes either, meaning that they have a smaller footprint than their traditional marquee counterpart.

Let us guide you

Don’t worry if it all sounds a little complicated. That’s what we are here for. We design and build marquees of all shapes and sizes, for all kinds of events week in and week out.

Our expert team know all the right questions and will help you to understand all of the factors that you might want to consider when planning your event. Once we have helped you, help us understand what you are looking to get out of your event, we’ll be able to give you an estimate for your marquee hire over the telephone.

We’ll even come to see you, discuss the details of your event, survey your available marquee spaces, and then deliver you a no obligation quotation and birds eye view floor plan.

Feel free to call for a chat on 01483 322070 or drop us a line by email: