We caught up with Brightwell Marquees to talk about marquees, the services they offer and their plans for 2019.
With the launch and rebrand what is the Brightwell plans for 2019?
This coming year we’re really hoping to consolidate the Brightwell brand within the local community and continue to provide a thoughtful and personalised service for a great price. We’re also looking at upgrading certain elements we offer and adding a few more designer touches.
Which events can we see one of your marquees while it is erect?
Last year our marquees were used at Creamfields and Boomtown festivals as well as at the Farnborough airshow, but more locally our marquees have been used the last several years at Bunkfest and Rugfest in Wallingford.
Alternatively there is usually a structure or two up at Brightwell Vineyard just outside Wallingford that anyone can make an appointment to look around.
What size marquee should we have for our number of guests?
This is a tricky one as there’s no set answer. It depends on if it’s standing or sitting room you’re looking at, round tables or trestle tables and what kind of event is being held. A conference has very different requirements to a wedding or a festival. We usually start with our elegant 11metre x 12metre hexagonal pagoda which will hold about 100 people and add other structures to suit.
Do you visit suggested locations and see if it is suitable for a marquee?
Yes! We always like to visit a venue to measure the space and check for overhead obstructions, the type of surface or potential underground obstructions. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the client and get a proper feel for their ideas, style and how they imagine their event looking.
Can you talk us through the different shapes, sizes and arrangements that could fit in our space for our number of people?
The wonderful thing about our marquee system is that all our canopies are modular so we can design a marquee set up completely unique to the space and client. By using larger marquees joined together you can create the sense of one large space or several smaller, different shaped marquees off a central hexagon pagoda to give a feel of radiating ‘rooms’. There is no set formula and every job is tailored to the client and their venue specifically.
When will you assemble and dismantle the marquee?
For a weekend event we will usually set up the marquees on the Thursday or Friday and break down on the Monday or Tuesday so that you have the whole weekend. It can depend on your venue as some have time restrictions but we are happy to set up earlier if you need more time to decorate!
Do you supply any of the furniture, like tables and chairs? Can we see the items, or pictures at least?
Yes, we have a whole range of furniture available to hire in different styles and price points. You can see examples of our furniture on our website or just get in touch and we can send you photos of individual pieces.
Can your marquee be opened up if it’s hot? Can the marquee be closed up and storm-proofed if there is bad weather outside? And will you provide heaters?
We have different styles of walls for the marquees to suit whatever the weather throws at us. We have walls with windows, with zips down the centre to create doorways, walls that slide back entirely or can be fitted with ground bars to prevent them moving in any wind.
Our marquees are designed and produced in Canada to extremely high standards and have been rigorously tested in their extreme weather conditions. We are confident they can withstand the worst of the British weather!
Yes we also provide heaters in different strengths, to just take the chill off a spring afternoon or to cosy up at Christmas time.
Will we need an electrical generator? Can you provide this or recommend a provider?
We have our own 30KVA generator for hire which can handle even the largest of events. This is not always necessary depending upon your venue and the type of catering or music you might be having. We can often draw a power supply from a house or building for smaller events.
How will the marquee be lit? Can candles be used?
We have a huge range of lighting to suit any style. From spotlights and coloured uplighters to fairy lights and disco lights, strobes and dimmers, and we are always adding more to our collection!
We do allow tealights in suitable votives or containers on tables at functions but no tall candles or open flames such as torches, barbeques or heaters.
Will there be lasting damage to the ground or underground cables?
No, we are careful to assess the site in advance and most cable work is too deep for marquee pins to affect. We provide a selection of different flooring options to protect the ground depending upon weather conditions. Simple matting or carpet with a plastic underlay is popular for weddings and parties but we also have plastic clip lock event flooring to provide a stable surface for high traffic areas or difficult ground.
For solid surfaces or areas where pins are not appropriate we have a selection of weighting options to hold the marquee secure.
If your marquee is on grass, as long as it’s up for no longer than 2 weeks then the ground will recover easily. As most marquees are only up for a few days you’ll simply get slightly flattened grass.
How much time in advance would I need to book for my event?
This can depend a lot on the size of your event. It’s always safer to book well in advance to guarantee that we have not only the canopies you require but also the time to put them up. Bear in mind that June through August are our busiest months so if your event is in the summer give as much time as possible. We are taking bookings now for summer weddings in 2020 but usually I would say for a summer event book during the autumn before.
That said, we hate to let anyone down, so even if it’s a last minute booking we do our best to squeeze you in.