Picking a tent for your outdoor wedding

6 Factors to Consider for your Wedding Tent

When deciding on a tent for your wedding there are several factors to consider:

1. Location
Start at the wedding site. You and a representative from the tent rental company should meet at the location and determine if there are any limitations to the tent due to the site. The installer will provide recommendations on a good location for the tent, but in general you will want to place it in the flattest part of the site. Take into consideration water and electric lines, trees, or other limitations.

You should have the tent company stake the exact placement so you can see where the tent will be situated at the venue. Consider walking distance to restrooms, the parking lot and other amenities. If you have older guests, or ones that have difficulty walking, keep in mind the easiest way they can access the tent. You may need to have golf carts or other options available to take guests to and from their cars.

2. Usage
You will need to determine what will be taking place under the tent during your wedding. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • What will take place under the tent?
  • Will the tent be used for the ceremony, cocktails or full reception?
  • Will your dinner be served or buffet style?
  • Will you have a bar?
  • Will you need to accommodate a dance floor?
  • Will you be having a band or DJ? If you are having a band, how much room will they require?
  • Will you have a cake or gift table?
  • Will you need power?

If your reception is under the tent you will want to meet with the caterer to understand what amenities they will need. They will likely need a power source for the bar, food stations or refrigerators.

3. Time of day
Determine the time of your wedding. If you are having an evening or night event you will need lights under your tent. Depending on the time of year you should account for heating or fans to circulate air.

4. Site or county requirements
Some locations will require a permit or special accommodations. You will need to determine if there are any venue or town requirements that dictate emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers or other safety requirements that you will need to have included with the tent.

5. Size
The size of the tent you need will be dictated by the activities taking place under the tent.

A general rule of thumb is:
• a 20′ x 40′ tent can hold 100 guests seated theater style with an aisle or 64 seated guests at 8’ round tables.
• a 30′ x 60′ tent could hold 245 guests seated theater style with an aisle or 144 seated at 8’ round tables.
• a 40′ x 60′ tent could hold 300 guests seated theater style with an aisle or 180 seated at 8’ round tables.

Additional space will be needed to accommodate a bar, band, cake table, dance floor and other activities that will be part of your event.

6. Tent styles
There are several tent styles available at Amazing Jumps, Tents, & Events.
Pop-up canopy
A pop-up tent is a small, lightweight tent that is easy to transport and set up. It provides a simple option for protection from light rain or sun. This would be an option if you want your wedding party to be under a tent during the ceremony.

Pole tent
A pole tent is an economic choice. They have center poles in the middle of the tent. Due to the stakes pole tents are typically installed on grass. Poles are can be hidden using fabric and pole skirts for an elegant event. One disadvantage of pole tents are they require a larger space to accommodate installation stakes and the poles can sometimes obstruct views inside the tent.

Cross cable frame tent
A cross cable frame tent differs from a pole tent in that it doesn’t need center poles for additional support. Since this tent doesn’t require staking it can be installed on concrete, pavement, patios, decks or other hard surfaces. These tents have no center poles which means there are no obstructions. They have dramatic high peaks and are designed to hold up to higher amounts of wind. The biggest advantage of this type of tent is that it provides a clear and unobstructed view from all points within the tent.

Sailcloth tent
As the name implies a sailcloth tent was inspired by a nautical theme. The tent uses sailcloth material instead of vinyl. They are available in both pole and frame versions. The pole tent is commonly available in two different heights and many vendors use a higher end wood pole option.

Tension tent
Tension tents are a great option if you need a longer-term installation or are concerned about weather. These tents require no ropes or stake lines and instead use a tension sidewall system. The strong aluminum frame gives extra protection against weather and high winds.