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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

It's a nice day for a wet wedding! Are marquees rainproof?

Updated: Feb 27

How do pole and canvas marquees protect you and your guests from the elements?

Summer 2023 in the UK is currently proving to be a total washout! Now, we don’t mind the odd rainy day, who doesn’t love a good excuse to stay home in their pj’s, but this is getting ridiculous!

Still, the drizzle has inspired this week’s blog article. We're going to wade through how and why our marquees are perfect for bringing people together, whatever the weather.

Festoon lights and fairy lights give an inviting glow to a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee, brightening up a grey rainy day.

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, milestone birthday party, or other special event, you’ve probably got a lot of weather-based questions about marquees. I mean, we all know that British weather is unpredictable. But, if you choose the right type of marquee and a good, experienced supplier, a marquee makes for a great venue at any time of year. Marquees not only provide shelter from the weather, they also add a touch of elegance to your wedding day or special celebration.

You can rest assured Peacock and Bow's marquees are designed and manufactured to be rainproof and weatherproof. Below we’ll tell you how our marquees are made to withstand the elements and what to look out for when working with a marquee hire company. We’ll then answer some of the most common weather related questions that we come across. You can certainly trust us to provide expert advice on this particular topic, read on to find out why!

Rainproof marquees designed for the great British weather

Our pole and canvas marquees are made from robust off-white cotton canvas. Our marquees are manufactured by Wills Marquees. Wills source their canvas from British Millerain, based in Lancashire. British Millerain also supply fabrics to luxury lifestyle brands Belstaff and Barbour. The marquee experts at Wills chose British Millerain’s Filamore range for its high quality and durability. Furthermore, all British Millerain’s cotton is sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). BCI promotes sustainable farming, and fairer working conditions.

The natural cotton fibres of this superior canvas allow it to be breathable yet water-resistant. This ability to ‘breathe’ means that your marquee can insulate heat when it’s cold, keep a cooler temperature inside when it’s warm and remain rainproof.

The canvas used for our traditional marquees is finished with a world renowned dry chemical formulation. This versatile product is used not only for marquees and tipis, but also Land Rover tilts, traditional horse-wear, and rainproof protective covers of any nature.

Both waterproof and rot-proof, our canvas marquees are perfect for commercial outdoor festivals, food and drink events, seasonal extravaganzas, summer concerts, garden parties, milestone birthdays, weddings, and more.

Rolls of rainproof canvas used to manufacture Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquees.

Peacock and Bow’s rainy day marquee solutions

If you choose an experienced and professional marquee supplier, they will offer solutions for tempestuous weather. Be sure to chat with your marquee hire company about what steps they will take to keep you and your guests warm and dry.

Here at Peacock and Bow, we add rain gutters between catering tunnels, porticos and colonnades. This ensures that rainwater is carried away and doesn’t fall between joins in the marquee structures. We also install weather flaps over the lacing to stop rain sneaking in through the joins and rain bats around the top of the king poles to stop it dripping down and splashing into your guest’s cocktails!

Our transparent panoramic marquee walls provide shelter without diminishing the light and views. They also roll away in more pleasant conditions, allowing excellent air-flow and ventilation. Ideal for humid and hot days as well as those unavoidable soggy, chilly ones.

Ok, full disclosure, the reason we can so confidently recommend our marquees as a weather safe option for any event is because our own wedding was very soggy. In fact it hardly let up at all.

For us, it didn’t dampen our spirits because we had a wet weather plan, something we now always talk through with clients. We had umbrellas and over shoes for guests to complete their 1/4 miles woodland walk. We also had enough space in the marquee for everyone to mingle without feeling cramped or having to take a seat early.

The only downside was that we missed out on group photos outside the church. But fortunately, the marquee provided a magnificent backdrop that more than made up for it.

The pros included the fact that everyone was inside under one canopy which made for a brilliant party! Also, who doesn’t love an umbrella photo!

Owners of Peacock and Bow Katharine and Terry and their dog. They stand together beneath an umbrella as festoon lights give off a warm glow behind them.

Your weather related questions answered

Will my guests get cold in a marquee?

The 100% cotton canvas of our marquees is a naturally insulating material, so heat is kept in and everyone will be nice and toasty. Our marquees include clear walls to keep everyone sheltered from chilly winds and rain. The walls are attached and can be rolled away as needed. We also provide marquee heaters for hire. These offer extra protection from the cold and can help make your marquee a cosy place to be whatever the weather.

If you choose another marquee hire company, it’s best to check what they recommend for inclement weather.

Will my marquee get blown away?

A reputable marquee hire company should have enough experience and knowledge to make decisions on wind conditions. They should be equipped to prevent your marquee from impersonating Dorothy Gale’s farmhouse. If your site is exposed, near the coast or it's the middle of winter then high winds are to be expected and should be planned for. Three simple rules for ensuring your marquee doesn’t take off are:

  • Don't use a cheap and lightweight marquee, they’re not appropriate for anything but very mild weather

  • The marquee should be securely tethered to the ground

  • Be sure not to open up the windward side of the marquee in high winds

Traditional Marquees like ours need special consideration when it comes to keeping them on the ground. Here’s how we do it.

  • If necessary we may use extra guy ropes around the marquee

    • This improves pre tension, which means less flapping

    • It also reduces the effect of the wind on the pegs

  • To prevent the pegs from lifting out the ground we always:

    • Angle the pegs away from the marquee

    • Attach the guy ropes as low to the ground as possible

  • We always give careful consideration to where we place the pegs

    • Too far away from the marquee and the side poles may lift

    • Too near and the roof won’t be tensioned enough to withstand the wind

What will I do if it rains on my marquee?

Nothing, except enjoy the ambiance of the rain running down the panoramic clear walls. You can remain warm and cosy inside the glow of your beautiful marquee, revelling in the company of your favourite people.

A bridal party seated at the head table inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee. The landscape behind them can be seen through the clear walls that have been rolled down to keep guests warm and dry.

Will my marquee flood?

Absolutely not. If it starts raining, the flooring, furniture, flowers, food, everything and everyone will be perfectly safe and dry. At Peacock and Bow, we always follow strict health and safety guidelines. So, you can rest assured that everything will be done the right way to keep you and your guests protected. Ensuring your special day is memorable for all the right reasons.

Creating a perfect marquee event come rain or shine

We can’t control the weather but we can reassure you that we will make your day spectacular, whatever the weather report says.

A pole and canvas marquee is a great choice for weddings, corporate events, garden parties or any other special occasion that calls for elegance and luxury. But, if your marquee isn’t properly set up and taken care of, it can put a real dampener on the situation. So, whichever marquee hire company you choose, make sure the marquee is waterproof so no one gets wet on their special day.

Here at Peacock and Bow, we've got everything covered. If you would like a chat about what would best suit your marquee needs, do contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.


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