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How Much Bunting Do I Need For a Marquee?

My wife and I got married on a farm with bunting all around the barn and marquee. It was a magical day that we’ll never forget.

Before the big day everyone who wanted to in the wider family made lots of little colored fabric triangles in preparation. We made a lot because we needed a lot, and we still have our ‘family bunting’ to this day.

How much bunting you need for a marquee will depend on the size of your marquee and the way you hang your bunting (central star, pole crosses, around the edges, or side-by-side). You should also allow a couple of meters extra when calculating the length you’ll need for every distance.

Whether you make the bunting yourself or buy it in, this article will help you measure your bunting accurately so you don’t end up with a mountain of it like we did 🙂

How To Measure Bunting

As mentioned, properly measuring your bunting hinges upon two factors: the size of your marquee or venue and the way in which you will actually hang it. There are several ways of doing the latter which we’ll look at below, and these will impact what length of bunting you’ll need.

If you’re hiring your marquee for an event in your garden, you can ask the company you’re using to give you its dimensions. You never know, they may even have a good idea of the length of bunting you’ll need for it too.

However, if they don’t know or you’re borrowing a marquee or have never measured one you own, then you’ll have to measure up and make your own calculations. This will mean getting a tape measure and measuring the height, length and width of your marquee (or venue).

When we combine these numbers with your chosen way if hanging your bunting, then you’ll soon get a good idea of the exact length you’ll need.

When coming up with this final length, always allow another two meters for any sag in the bunting.

If you’re going to have hanging lights or lanterns, then you should also allow another couple of meters on top of this, so you bunting will clear these and hang below safely.

To make the measuring process easier, you can always use a long piece of string to imagine where your bunting will hang – and then you can simply measure the string itself afterward to get your lengths.

Ways of Hanging Bunting

There are several ways of hanging bunting that will determine how much you need. Let’s look at four of the most common, which you can mix up and combine if you like:

Hanging Bunting Inside The Marquee

Central Star

This is a very traditional, and involves choosing a central point within the marquee (usually the central pole).

You then hang 6-8 lengths of bunting from the top of this, radiating down and out to the side walls of the marquee. This creates a lovely star pattern when looked at from below (or above).

Pole Crosses

Most marquees have at least two or three poles, but no matter how many you have – this hanging style works by crisscrossing each pole with four lengths of bunting, attaching them to the top of the poles then radiating them out diagonally to the marquee walls.

If you looked at this one from above it would just be a simple cross with each pole in the center.

Around The Edges

This is another classic but straightforward way of hanging bunting. Simply hang the lengths of bunting around the edges of the marquee at the top of the walls, leaving some slack so you get a lovely U-shaped drape effect.

This is perhaps the easiest one to measure up when you’re calculating your final lengths.

Side By Side

One of my favorites if done well, this method of hanging will mean creating a ‘fake ceiling’ with lengths of bunting hung side by side down the full length of your marquee.

You can choose to pull them taught or leave a bit of slack in them so they drape a bit – but if you do the latter just make sure you create enough head space for taller guests. I went to a wedding once where anyone over six feet was constantly getting hassled by the low bunting!

This video on hanging bunting is really informative…

Hanging Bunting In The Garden To Complement The Marquee

Pole Pathway

This is a lovely way to draw people into the entrance to your marquee, and can be used in conjunction with small pathway lights or lanterns.

Simply position some 6 feet high bamboo poles spaced evenly apart along each side of the path, and hang a draped line of bamboo along them. This can look magical, especially in the evening, but you will need to do this on grass so you hammer in the poles with a mallet.

Criss-Cross Path

You’ll need slightly longer bamboo poles of around eight feet for this one, as the aim is to make a false ceiling above the pathway.

Simply hang your bunting diagonally across between each pole, creating crosses above the heads of your guests. Again, this method can be combined with lights to for maximum effect.

Pergola Bunting

If you have a pergola in your garden that’s going to form part of the wedding ceremony, event or party – you can also string up bunting inside this to create another magical space.

You can copy one of the hanging styles for inside marquees, or get even more creative with all those pergola beams!

If you need any more help with this, you’ll find some very useful bunting hanging style charts here and here.

marquee bunting
Hanging Marquee Bunting Requires Accurate Measurements

How Do I Attach My Bunting To The Marquee?

Hanging your bunting the wrong way can actually damage it, so it’s best not to use sellotape, glue, metal fasteners or duck/duct tape.

A better idea is to use white cotton tape, ribbon or simple string to tie up your bunting, as then you can lightly tie it to eyelets on the marquee walls, or the marquee poles and cross beams.

If you hire either your bunting or your marquee, the company you go to may even be able to supply the white cotton tape or tying string you’ll need – so you don’t risk damaging either their bunting or the marquee itself.

Even when tying up the bunting for the side-by-side method of hanging mentioned above, it’s important not to pull it too tight as this can snap the bunting. You can easily achieve the straight-line effect without pulling it as tightly as a guitar string!


There’s something truly magical about bunting hanging in a marquee that creates a really special atmosphere for a wedding, birthday or any other important event.

Whether you choose to buy, hire or make your own bunting, knowing how much you’ll need is a genuine concern that can only be calculated by knowing the exact measurements of your event space, combined with the hanging style you’re going to use.

Once you’ve established just how much bunting you need, the fun can start as your hanging plan takes shape and your marquee starts to fill with color and life.

Preparing your marquee before an event is a very sociable thing to do, as everyone starts getting excited in anticipation of the special events to come – and there’s nothing that says ‘let’s celebrate’ in style more than colorful and carefully hung bunting.

Mark H.

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >