Guide to Wedding Tents

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you should definitely consider renting a tent. The last thing you want is your guests huddled together in the rain instead of dancing the night away. But a tent offers more than protection. Decorated and lit up (with electric lanterns, of course) for the evening, a tent can set the scene for a night of fun and romance.

Your caterer or event planner should be able to give you the names of reliable tent-rental companies. Those companies will be able to advise you on everything from tent types to dance floors. If you are considering using a tent for your wedding, start contacting tent-rental companies right after you set your wedding date. You don’t want to risk being left out in the cold.

The first thing to set up is a site inspection for the tent company so they can discuss with you the various kinds of tents available and what would work best in your space. The type of tent you choose will largely be determined by the number of people you are expecting. Remember, in addition to space for the guests, you need rooms for tables and chairs, with room to walk around, mingle, and, of course, dance.

Choosing a tent-rental company

Before signing a contract with any company, make sure it carries liability insurance and that one of the installers will remain at the event to make adjustments as needed during the wedding. All tents should be flame retardant, and the company should be willing to find out which, if any, notices and permits are required to put a tent at your site.

Most companies will set up a couple of days before the event and take everything down the day after. Ask to see photos of previous work they have done. Also, many tent-rental companies also provide tables, chairs, linens, generators, and portable restrooms. Having one company that does it all is a good way to keep things streamlined.

Guide to Wedding Tents

The three basic tent styles

The classic push-pole tent is the most traditional; the ceiling slopes downward from tall centre poles to a set of shorter set of the pole, then out to the perimeter poles. Pole tents have a fabric roof and are a minimum of 30 feet wide; by adding sections, the tent can be extended to almost any length.

A tension tent has high centre poles, a sloped ceiling and a visually striking sculptured top. Like the pole tent, sections can be added. Both pole and tension tents require around eight additional feet of clearance on all sides for anchor ropes, so they work best in a large space.

Frame tents are best for small sites since they can be as narrow as ten feet. Since they don’t use poles to support the structure, they can be positioned on any type of surface.

Walls and Flooring

Many people choose to have sidewalls all around that can be raised or lowered. If your surrounding is particularly lovely, clear vinyl walls allow for unobstructed views. Solid white walls provide a more “private,” intimate feeling. As for flooring, you can have plain ground, a partial floor for dancing, or a full floor. The ground is obviously the least expensive but can be difficult to walk on, especially if it rains.

If the tent is going to be located on a sloped area, you will most likely want to install a full, level floor. Plywood is the prettiest (and most expensive) type of flooring. Paved surfaces can be covered with a rigid plastic floor; while not as attractive as plywood, it is about half the price. Artificial turf rolled right over the ground is the least expensive way to go but will not stay dry if it rains.

How much does a wedding tent cost?

The cost of a tent depends on what kind and size and whether or not you have flooring. And if the company also provides tables, chairs, and other services, the fee will vary greatly. Your location is also a factor. A tent alone can run anywhere from £300 to £2,000. With flooring, that figure can double or triple.


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