There are plenty of reasons brides, grooms, and planners alike choose to have a tented wedding. Tents help keep the ambiance, the cozy feeling, the air of intimacy, and the whole party (and all of your wedding decor) safe and protected from the elements. Building a wedding structure is not an easy feat. It takes a lot of work and requires as much preparation and planning as any other portion of your wedding- if not more.
Many details have to be taken into consideration before making the decision to opt for a tented wedding. From cooling and heating to lighting and draping- there is a lot to take into account.
To get started on planning your own canopied big day, take note of these 10 must-know facts.
1. Plan for a HEFTY bill.
Renting a tent is expensive (starting at $1,500 for 100 guests) and you're also responsible for the cost of all the other rentals, decor and equipment it takes to turn the raw space into an inviting atmosphere for a wedding.
2. Pick a Model
Think about what you want to achieve aesthetically as well as important aspects such as weather, decor and functionality in the space. Pole tents have peaks created by center poles and are vinyl or sailcloth. Structure and frame tents have an open steel shell that can support heavy equipment like big speakers. Clear tops are sleek and modern, offering views of the surrounding landscape.
3. Find the Right Spot
Focus on the view and scale of the tent in relation to the surroundings- it shouldn't swallow the entire plot of land. And don't forget to find a flat surface at least 10 feet from a building (for the stakes).
4. Know Your Venue's Rules Before You Book
Can you stake directly into the ground? Are there noise restrictions? When can you start setting up? That last one is crucial because putting together a tent can take anywhere from one to four days.
5. Reserve It Early
Rental companies have a limited supply of styles and sizes, so book one as soon as you finalize your date and have a good idea of the guest count- no later than six months before the wedding.
6. Get the Proper Size
A tent that's too big or too small can mess up the flow and vibe of your party. As a general rule, figure 18 square feet of tent per person for a seated dinner and dancing.
7. Have a RAIN PLAN- and Don't Forget the Walls
In perfect weather, you can leave the tent open. But if you need to keep the outdoors out, have wall paneling ready and a plan that can be put into action quickly.
8. Consider Flooring
Grass is the cheapest option, but if you don't want the ladies to ruin their heels, cover the ground with wood flooring, sisal carpet, or Astroturf (an affordable option) in a neutral hue.
9. Think Hard About The Temperature
Trust us: Nothing is worse than being trapped inside a tent with no AC in August in South Alabama. Depending on your date, you may need air conditioners or heaters to keep everyone comfortable.
10. Do a Sound Check
Music will be nice and loud on the dance floor, but what about during dinner? Have your DJ or band do a test run to ensure that everyone attending can hear the music at a desirable volume.