Hiring v buying a Marquee – Making the Best Decision for your Event

Hiring v Buying a Marquee

The reason why you’re here is because you have a small party coming up and are wondering after looking at hire prices is it cheaper to BUY a small marquee rather than HIRING it?

Un unbiased article designed to help you make the right decision for your party – we touch on the pros and cons of Hiring v Buying a Marquee.

Short answer?


No typo it is in theory!  However you’re comparing buying something that is essentially a supermarket plastic bag, on very thin plastic framework comparing to hiring a commercial grade structure with a trained & experienced team to set it all up.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee – The explained answer.

This is aimed primarily more at the small garden marquee hire market who are looking to give your house some more space for a party they’re planning.  Most likely to extend your home by “attaching” the marquee over a set of doors in their garden.  If this is you great, there’s another blog post about attaching a marquee to your house here!

Attaching a marquee to your house is a little more complicated than you think.  Ensuring its a watertight and airtight seal isn’t easy and thats where your money going to hiring one that’s designed to be attached over a set of doors (the ones you buy on Amazon etc aren’t tall enough to reach over open doors!)

I’ve made an impartial pro’s & cons chart below to give you an honest opinion of both options you have.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee

How long will a domestic marquee last?

I have lots of conversations with people in the same boat as you who want to know the difference between hiring v hiring a marquee.  They’re sitting on the fence because they have 3 summer parties coming up so it makes sense to buy a gazebo online and use it three times.  I get you.  That does make sense!

However due to the thinness of the poles you find on domestic structures you will be lucky to take your new tent down without breaking anything before it goes back up again.  You’ll struggle to order singular spare parts for it as well as usually they come all boxed up straight from China.  I’m telling you this first hand as this is how I got into hiring commercial marquees in the first place.

So, let’s compare the two.  Let’s say you need a 3m x 6m Marquee.  If you wanted to hire a commercial grade marquee after paying for a trained installation team, who arrive in a taxed, fuelled and insured van then yes buying a 3m x 6m gazebo will be cheaper.

Talking by rough ballpark figures – a domestic gazebo will probably cost around £200-£300.  Hiring a commercial quality marquee of the same size after installation costs will be around £400-£450.


Bear in mind that the hired will come with a decent floor system, a carpet and probably some heating and lighting – your new eBay purchase will not!

But it’s the value a marquee hire company brings to the table that makes hiring so much more worthwhile.   Commercial grade marquees come with all of the extras you need to make your even work.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee –  The value in hiring a marquee

When you hire a marquee – you’re also getting with that an experienced team (in our case award-winning too!) making sure your structure is set up completely safe and ready to use.  Remember you could be having 20-100 people that you know under this big metal thing – it’s got to be watertight and secure in case it gets windy. I don’t think your auntie would appreciate your Amazon gazebo falling apart on her…

Domestic gazebo’s are also only shower proof due to the thinness of the material.  So if you get any form of typical UK rain coming during your event you’re still going to need umbrella’s….so what’s the point?

That also mean it’s not very good at keeping the warmth in.  So the summer nights with no cloud cover, or if your birthday party happens to fall in mid-January you may night to ask your guests to bring their bobble hat.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee – Thinking of having the marquee attached to the house?

This is the biggie. Chances are if you’re attaching the marquee to your house the terrain it’s going on is most likely patio. Domestic gazebo’s you buy online do not have the height that a commercial grade marquee has to clear the height of most UK doors.


When the wind or rain gets up I call Friday afternoons…Frantic Fridays.  Why?  Most of my phone calls go something along the lines of…

“Hi Mark it’s Mrs Smith again.  We spoke about a month ago and you gave me a quote for my daughter’s 18th birthday party for this weekend, remember?”

“Hello!  Yes I remember, you said you bought your own one and was going to do it yourself?”

“Yes, yes that’s me.  Well the wind has launched our marquee into next door neighbours conservatory and the marquee has all collapsed.  Are you able to come over this afternoon and put one of your ones up please”

“Oh no that’s awful, you’re the second person thats called this afternoon.  I’m really sorry to say we’ve been fully booked for some weeks now”

“What am I going to do for my daughters birthday?!”

I get this a lot.  A lot.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee – Is there a cheaper alternative to hiring one?

Yes.  Here they are:



When comparing Hiring v Buying a Marquee, it is possible to buy something for less than you can hire.  I would like to make that perfectly clear.  However they are incomparable.  What you are buying essentially from Amazon is a huge plastic bag with very thin poles.  For £250 it seems great value…why would I spend £400-£500 on hiring one Mark?

Like I said above these plastic parachutes only need the slightest gust of wind and they’re off like one of Richard Branson’s hot air balloons.  More to the point they’re not even watertight…so what’s the point?!  Anyone got an umbrella?

Plus, you’ve got to put it up yourself (Just picture 3 men scratching their heads trying to interpret a very badly drawn diagram they’ve been staring at for 3 hour whilst its peeing down).  Your relaxing Saturday afternoon with the family has turned into carnage…

If the thing has stood up successfully for 3 days you’ve then got the task of fitting all these plastic poles and dripping wet canvass back into the half torn cardboard boxes they came in.  Take it from a chap who owns 28 Marquees…they take up a lot more room than you think!  They certainly don’t fit back in those boxes either.

There are a long list of other issues these structures have but I won’t go on, you get the picture.  Hopefully this is giving you the pros and cons to Hiring v Buying a Marquee.

Commercial quality marquees are have a far higher maximum wind loading speed, are fully waterproof and can be installed over doors to allow you to step from your house seamlessly into your marquee.  They’re installed by trained professionals who do this everyday – so you’re going to get a product that’s perfect for your requirements – and safe to use too.

And…..(I know you can’t start a sentence with and but I’m doing it).  And….the cheap Amazon Prime hot air balloon doesn’t come with flooring, heating, lighting, linings etc your new commercial quality marquee has as well!  So it’s a win-win all round.

Hiring v Buying a Marquee – The Biggest Benefit?

When having conversations about hiring v buying a marquee, our biggest benefits is you get this great new little venue in your garden and you haven’t lifted a finger.  Your friends & family will be amazed at what you’ve achieved and it can be our little secret that you had the superheroes in pink do all the hard work!

After you weigh up your time, stress and hassle it’s a false economy not to hire a marquee from a marquee hire company hiring commercial quality structures who do this every day.  I want to take as much stress away as possible for your event and I know your party can be arranged completely stress free.  That’s why I offer full catering services, DJ’s, event loo’s, chair & table hire etc so you’re not dealing with 4 people and hoping they’ll all deliver on time. 

With Party in your Garden  you have one dedicated person arranging your whole event for you so you haven’t got to do a thing!

I hope I’ve cleared up the Hiring v Buying a Marquee question – both have their places.  If you are wanting your event to be a success, with zero stress to you – leave it to the guys that do this every week.

It’s really easy to get a quote.  Your best best is to call me directly on 01462 262001 or pop your details in here as we’ll send a quote over to you 

Want a party like no other?

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