The power of love is strong but not quite strong enough to keep all those disco lights, amps and catering equipment going for the duration of your marquee wedding or special event. For that, you’re going to need an actual, reliable power supply.
When you hire a marquee you’ll need to discuss your power requirements with the marquee hire company and feel satisfied that they can safely install all the equipment so that you and your guests can relax and enjoy yourselves without the fear of a sudden blackout.
In this article, we’ll break down the different power supply options available for powering a marquee. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of marquee power supply and answer some frequently asked questions, so that you can make an informed decision on the best way to power your marquee wedding or event.
Video credit - Wills Marquees
How much power will I need for my marquee event?
Any electrical appliances that generate heat, such as hot cupboards, urns, turbo ovens, hot lamps, and fat fryers, consume a lot of power. We recommend allocating around three kilowatts (kW) per appliance to ensure a safe power supply.
Caterers often have a number of electrical appliances running simultaneously. If they have for example, ten appliances, which isn’t unheard of, this could amount to nearly 30 kW of power usage. That’s roughly four regular households worth of power, just for the food!
Larger appliances like washrooms and catering carts also consume a substantial amount of electricity, usually around four kW each.
In general, bands and DJs don’t typically come with big power challenges, unless they have huge sound systems.
Photo credit - Katharine Settle
Apart from a generator, what other options are there for powering my marquee party?
There are alternative options available to power your marquee for a wedding or event. The choice of power source depends on factors such as the location, your budget, and the specific requirements of your event. Here are some common methods for powering marquees.
If you are hiring your marquee for a wedding or party at your own home, or if the venue provides access to electricity, you can connect your marquee to the existing grid power.
No need for additional equipment or fuel
If the venue does regular events they will probably have a hefty supply already installed
If the electricity provider has a power cut, fixing it will be out of your hands
You will need to use long extension cables, this might provide enough power for a DJ, but perhaps not everything else
You might need to daisy chain lots of cables, which can look messy, not to mention the trip hazard. You don’t want Dad to go flying as he struts to the dance floor!
If the marquee location is a residential house it might not have sufficient power to meet the demands of your marquee wedding or event
If grid power is not available or insufficient to power your marquee, a generator would be a better option.
Battery packs can provide temporary power for smaller marquee events, such as a summer garden party. They’re rechargeable and typically include multiple outlets for connecting lighting, sound systems, and other low-power devices. However, they may not be suitable for events with high power demands.
Battery packs are portable, so you can set up your marquee in various locations without relying on a fixed power source. This flexibility is great when it comes to outdoor events
Battery packs are silent, which is helpful if you’re having a ceremony, giving speeches, or doing a presentation
Battery packs offer a greener alternative to traditional generators since they don't emit harmful fumes
Depending on the scale and frequency of your events, investing in battery packs can be a cost-effective solution over time
Battery packs have limited power capacity compared to generators. Depending on the size of your marquee and the power requirements of your equipment, battery packs may not provide sufficient energy for extended periods or high-power demands
Battery packs will need recharging. If your event exceeds the battery pack's runtime, you may experience power disruptions
Photo credit - Katharine Settle
For most of the marquee weddings and events we do here at Peacock and Bow, we supply our standard 40kVA generator, its modern, efficient, quiet, and fume free. This generator is powerful enough for all but the biggest parties and you can hire it from us for £960. The generator hire cost includes:
Approximately 24 hours of fuel
Delivery and setup
24 hour on call electrician assistance
If you're throwing the party of the century, we do also hire bigger generators. Alternatively, you could try a big tool hire company like HSS or Jewson, but make sure you get a like for like quote that includes fuel, cables, sockets, delivery and set up. You’ll also want to check if assistance is available at any time if something goes wrong.
Top tip - Be sure to hire a 240v generator and not 110v, which is used on building sites and has distinct yellow sockets.
Generators can be used in various locations, whether indoor or outdoor, making them suitable for different types of marquee events
A generator provides an independent power source, allowing you to hold events in remote areas or locations without access to grid power
Generators come in different sizes and power capacities, so you can choose one that meets the specific power requirements of your event
You have control over the power output, allowing you to adjust and distribute power according to the needs of different equipment and appliances
Modern generators are designed to provide consistent and reliable power, minimising the risk of disruptions during your event
Some generators can be noisy and may emit exhaust fumes
Generators come with safety considerations, such as fuel storage, and ventilation requirements. It's important to follow safety guidelines and regulations to minimise these risks
Generators may be slightly more expensive than alternative power supply options
How do I set up a generator for a marquee?
If you hire your generator from Peacock and Bow, you can relax and leave it to us to set up your generator and carry out all the necessary safety checks. We’ll then give you a lesson on how to monitor and keep it running throughout your marquee event. But, if you hire from elsewhere, be sure to follow these guidelines.
Determine power requirements - Assess the power needs of your marquee, including lighting, sound systems, heating or cooling equipment, and any other electrical devices. Calculate the total wattage to determine the size and capacity of the generator you'll need
Choose a suitable spot for your marquee generator - Select a location for the generator that is away from the main event area to minimise noise and potential hazards. Ensure the area is well-ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Follow local regulations and safety guidelines regarding generator placement
Prepare the generator - Inspect the generator and ensure it is in good working condition. Check fuel levels and ensure there is enough for the duration of your event. If the generator requires oil, check and top it up as necessary. Make sure all safety features are intact and functioning correctly
Set up cables and distribution - Determine the power distribution requirements within the marquee. Set up heavy-duty extension cables of the appropriate length and gauge to connect the generator to the main distribution point. Use cable protectors or covers where necessary to prevent tripping hazards
Connect and ground the generator - Connect the extension cables to the generator's output sockets, ensuring a secure and proper connection. Before starting the generator, ensure it is properly grounded according to manufacturer instructions or local electrical codes. This grounding is essential for safety purposes
Start the generator - Follow the manufacturer's instructions for starting the generator. Typically, this involves turning the ignition switch or pressing the start button, while following any specific startup procedures. Allow the generator to warm up and stabilise before connecting any electrical loads
Distribute power - Once the generator is running, distribute the power within the marquee by connecting the extension cables to the appropriate power distribution points. Use power boards or surge protectors to connect multiple devices, ensuring you don't exceed the generator's capacity
Perform safety checks - Regularly monitor the generator during the event to ensure it is functioning properly. Keep an eye on fuel levels and refill as necessary. Check for any signs of overheating, unusual noises, or fuel leaks. If you encounter any issues, immediately shut down the generator and address the problem
Shutdown and dismantling - After the event, allow the generator to cool down before turning it off. Disconnect all electrical loads first, and then disconnect the extension cables from the generator. Follow proper shutdown procedures as outlined in the manufacturer's instructions
Always prioritise safety when working with generators. If you're uncertain about any aspect of generator setup, give us a call and we’d be happy to talk you through the process or we can put you in touch with a reliable electrician or generator technician.
Photo credit - Katharine Settle
How do I know if I will have enough fuel?
The duration for which fuel lasts in a generator for a marquee depends on several factors, including the generator's fuel tank capacity, the load being powered, and the generator's fuel consumption rate. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.
Fuel tank capacity - This varies among different generator models. It can range from a few litres to a few dozen litres. Check the specifications of the generator you're using to determine its fuel tank capacity
Fuel consumption rate - Generators have different fuel consumption rates, which are typically measured in litres per hour (L/h) or gallons per hour (GPH). This rate is affected by the generator's size, power output, and the load being powered. Higher loads generally result in higher fuel consumption
Load being powered - The amount of power being drawn from the generator has a direct impact on fuel consumption. The more electrical devices and equipment you connect, the more fuel the generator will consume. Consider the total wattage of the load and estimate the runtime accordingly
Efficiency - The efficiency of the generator's engine can also affect fuel consumption. Modern generators like ours, are designed to be more fuel efficient, meaning they can generate more power while using less fuel compared to older models. Higher efficiency can prolong the runtime of the generator
Given these factors, it is challenging to provide an exact figure for how long the fuel will last in a generator for a marquee without specific details. However, you can estimate the runtime by following these steps.
Determine the generator's fuel consumption rate
Estimate the load being powered by calculating the total wattage of the connected devices
Divide the generator's fuel tank capacity by the fuel consumption rate to get the approximate runtime. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate, as the load and fuel consumption may vary during operation
For example, if a generator has a fuel tank capacity of 50 litres and a fuel consumption rate of five litres per hour, the estimated runtime would be approximately ten hours.
It's essential to monitor the fuel level during the event and have extra fuel available if needed. Consider factors like the duration of the event, potential interruptions in fuel supply, and make appropriate arrangements to ensure uninterrupted power.
Photo credit - Kate Lowe Photography
Power up and party on!
Here at Peacock and Bow we know that ensuring a reliable power supply for your marquee event is essential to create a memorable and seamless experience for you and your guests.
By understanding your power requirements, evaluating the available options, and following proper set up and safety procedures, we can advise you on the best way to confidently power your marquee and enjoy your celebration without the fear of a sudden blackout.
So, let the lights shine, the music play, and the good times roll as you power up your marquee event and create unforgettable memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.