Things to Consider Before Tenting Your Wedding



Photo by Amy Campbell Photography

Outdoor weddings are a popular option for couples that enjoy the outdoors and find the appeal in celebrating their marriage in
unique surroundings.

Typically an outdoor wedding requires some escape from inclement weather. Most couples rent tents to keep guests covered and protected during the festivities, and because tents provide a beautiful and customizable venue that couples can make all their own. 

Tommy Wilson, director of event services with All Occasions Event Rental, says there are several things couples need to make sure they’re thinking about when planning a tented wedding, to ensure everything goes smoothly and effectively. Because rental companies can help couples best when provided with ample information, consider all the details before renting a tent.

Couples planning a tented wedding should consider what will go under the tent. When tenting a reception, will it be a plated dinner or a buffet? Additionally, consider how entertainment will be handled. If a DJ booth or band needs to fit beneath the tent, make sure the rental company is informed, so they can map out a layout – and don’t forget to consider electrical needs. 

Determine what style of tent will best suit your wedding’s décor and theme. Multiple styles exist and each one is ideal for a different set of circumstances. A traditional high-peak tent is large, distinct and graceful. However, it might be less ideal for your event because of the interior poles. A structural tent is roughly the opposite – it has a plain appearance, but lacks the center poles inside and provides a more open space. A newer option, the sailcloth tent, is both attractive and large, but slightly higher in price. These tents, however, can be adorned with lighting and are absolutely gorgeous for an evening or sunset wedding. 

Aside from tent styling, it’s important for couples to inform rental companies of the overall look and feel of their wedding and how other factors and décor can be incorporated. According to Wilson, the best part of tenting an event is the plethora of customization options available – and this is the most fun step for couples as well. A tent can have clear tops, liners, stylized drapery, chandeliers, paper lanterns, terrace lighting and more. Because of the number of options available, couples should communicate with their rental company about their expectations and decorative ideas.

For an outdoor wedding, it’s obvious that you need to track the weather carefully. However, with the addition of a tent, there are other factors to consider. Depending on the time of year, a tent might need to have heat or air conditioning. Additionally, if the weather turns, ensure you have a contingency plan: are you comfortable moving your ceremony if you need to? Rental companies can be flexible to work with your needs depending upon weather; if an additional rain tent is needed or connector tents and flooring need to be added, make sure you have money in your budget for these factors. 

Perhaps the most important detail couples need to provide their rental companies with is in relation to the venue. Wilson says that typically All Occasions employees will visit a venue if it’s not familiar to them to make sure they’ll be able to provide everything a client needs both for the event and to feel at ease. Venues can bring limitations to your vision particularly if you’re using an atypical location. The ground must be well drained so the tent will be stable and the ground will not be soft. If you have electrical needs, there must be a way to provide that. Couples must not forget to consider restroom facilities – a backyard or farm wedding typically will need extra provisions. Fortunately, the rental company will be there to assist with every detail, so that couples never feel overwhelmed. 

Tenting a wedding provides a unique experience to make lasting memories at a family home, farm or other venue. However, according to Wilson, couples shouldn’t assume a tented wedding in a yard or at home will save money. Because venues are fully equipped to solve all of the logistical problems of a wedding, they’re less expensive than having to craft a new infrastructure from scratch at a private residence. Wilson says that, on average, couples typically spend 30 percent more when working to emulate the amenities of an established venue in their own yard. But, in the end, the opportunity to be married in a location with sentimental or family value is something that can certainly be worth it.

All Occasions Event Rental is located at 10629 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241. You can reach them at 513.563.0600 or visit their website at www.aorents.com.