An outdoor wedding reception can be magical, whether it's on a breezy stretch of beach or under the stars in your back yard. It's essential though to have wedding tents set up properly for your guests' comfort and to shield against the elements in case of inclement weather.
Please bear these 5 key points in mind if you are considering using a wedding tent.
1. Size Matters
If you want a wedding tent to function properly for your event, make sure you know what size you really need. There are more than a few things to take into consideration when choosing the size of the tent:
♥ How many people will be attending?
♥ Will this be a buffet or a sit-down dinner?
♥ Will you need room for a dance floor and a band or DJ?
♥ How many tables will there be and what is there shape and size?
2. What is taking place in the tent?
Will the entire wedding take place under tents? If so, you will need room for not only the guests, but an alter area, a runner, and plenty of space for the bridal party as well as a separate area later for the dining and/or dancing. Don't make the mistake of thinking things can just be "rearranged" - it's too confusing and is a recipe for disaster.
3. What kind of tent?
Yes, there are different kinds of tents for weddings! The most traditional is the pole tent, which, by definition, is supported by individual poles beneath the fabric to give the tent its shape. Tension on ropes holds the roof in place. More recently, frame tents made of fabric over an aluminium or steel framework have become popular. These are more rigid and allow the tent to stand free without supports.
4. What your tent needs:
Now that you know a little bit about tents, you should delve a little bit deeper into the features. Talk to some tent rental companies in your area and ask about the different quality of tents available. A few things you should ask about include:
♥ The specification of the high-quality canvas material that should have been treated with a waterproofing material to resist rain.
♥ Wind resistance - you will want a tent with high wind resistance in the event of an unexpected squall.
♥ What are the support capabilities for running electrical to and through the tent for the lighting, DJ, bandstand, etc? Will the rental company provide electrical outlets, extension cords and other needs?
♥ Are there tents available with roll-up sides to allow the breeze through for ventilation? What about roll-up windows?
♥ Does the rental company include set-up and take-down in their price?
5. Decorating makes all the difference:
Once you've had a tent or series of tents set up for your wedding, don't leave them as "unfinished canvas." There are so many things you can do to add to the magic when you are working with tents! Simply wrapping the poles loosely in tulle, gauze or mesh netting in either white or a colour to match the wedding party will immediately soften the edges of the tent corners and add a hazy, dreamy effect to the "room."
Under the roof supports, string zigzag swags of fairy lights for a magical effect. For an even dreamier effect, twist the lights with netting or gauze to soften the effect. After dark these will look beautiful as they softly reflect light back down onto the party-goers. Another option is to twine artificial ivy or silk flowers around ropes and poles to create a garden bower feel. Or try suspending dozens of Chinese paper lanterns from the ceilings for a festive effect that will add a warm, colourful glow that you can repeat with Chinese paper fans and fortune cookies at each place setting. With a little imagination, your guests will forget they are in a tent and believe they have stepped into a fairytale!
Further Reading on Wedding Tents:
Nine Things Everybody Asks About Marquee Hire - Frances Leyland at CountyMarquees.com answers the questions she gets asked time and time again!
Interactive Marquee Layout Planner - Use this highly recommended tool to design your own layout. Select your required dimensions and start to add your choice of seating, tables and dance floor for the perfect layout.
SimpleSeating.com - Easily create, preview, and print your seating charts in just a few simple steps.
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