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Tents can be a great addition to an outdoor wedding for many reasons.  Not only can a tent greatly enhance the appearance of your wedding, it can also greatly increase the comfort of the wedding ceremony or reception by sheltering you and your guests from the elements - and bugs.

Tents for weddings are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 10' x 10' to infinity in a variety of colors ranging from solid white to a number of gala colored stripe options.


Canopy Tents and Pop Up Canopy Tents
These tents are very lightweight and are designed to provide only shade or protection from light rain.  Perimeter staking is usually required for standard canopy tents.  This type of tent is good for food preparation and grill setups, covering a buffet table or food service area, or for seating and shade for smaller groups.  Pop up canopy tents are similar to the design of a small frame tent using a collapsible aluminum frame which does not require staking.  Neither of these lightweight tents are suitable for heavy rains or high winds and they usually do not have sidewalls.

Frame Tents
These small, lightweight tents are made of a reinforced vinyl or vinyl coated canvas stretched over a metal (usually aluminum) frame. Since they have no center poles the inside area of the tent is unobstructed. Depending upon their construction, and due to their lightweight and sturdy frames, minimal staking (if any) is required which makes them perfect for installation in areas where staking is not a practical option, like patios, decks, driveways, etc.  There is minimal damage created with this type of tent during lawn installations as well...

Marquee Tents
These tents are usually constructed of reinforced vinyl or vinyl coated canvas stretched over a sectional, tubular aluminum frame.  They can be used to cover a buffet table or food service areas. They can also be placed end to end for use as a covered walkway or to create a longer tented area.  This type of tent usually requires staking or weighting.

Pole Tents
This traditional style tent is supported by perimeter poles and center support poles. This type of tent is great for group seating and entertainment areas.  This type of tent requires staking around the perimeter of the tent. (Be sure you have an additional 8' to 10' of space in addition to the tent size for staking.)

The type and size of tent you select will depend upon your intended use and your available space. Your cost will depend mainly upon the size and type of tent selected. Be sure to explain the factors that will affect your selection, i.e. number of guests, number of tables, height restrictions, etc. to the tent rental company so they can assist you in selecting the proper size.

When considering the placement of the tent, try to select a level area and make sure that you are not placing it in a low area where water will flow or accumulate if it should rain.  If staking is required, be careful of the unseen underground factors that may affect the tent placement like sprinkler systems (checking the sprinkler timers is not a bad idea either), gas and water lines, and telephone and electrical conduit or wires. In most municipalities the local utility companies will be happy to visit the site and mark the locations of their pipes, wires, etc.  TIP: Depending upon the utility company, "marking" the locations sometimes means the use of spray paint rather than removable flags. Check with the utility company to see how the locations are marked.  If electrical service is required to the tent for lighting, etc. try to locate the tent in an area where power can be easily accessed and run to the tent.  Electrical generators are also available for areas where electrical power is not readily available.

Keep in mind that damage that occurs to the tent during the rental period will be your responsibility.  Situations that may cause damage to the tent should be avoided.  For example, newly cut grass can severely stain the sidewalls of a tent - not to mention that green  grass clippings may stick to the sides of the white tent. To avoid these problems be sure to cut and rake the grass well in advance of the tent placement.  Another situation to avoid is the contact of electrical lights to the tent material.  Since the heat that the lights generate may melt or scorch the tent material, care should be take to suspend the lights away from the tent material.

Depending upon your intended tent use, following are some accessories you may want to consider...

Sidewalls - Solid, windowed and mesh screen sidewalls are usually available for most larger tents. Some windowed sidewalls are rather elaborate in design and offer a very upscale appearance.

Air Conditioning/Heating - Depending upon the expected ambient temperature, these options can greatly increase the level of comfort.  (Tent sidewalls are needed when either of these options are used.)

Sub flooring - If you want to protect your lawn, a sub flooring can be used to protect high traffic areas or in areas where there is (or may be) excessive moisture.

Carpeting - Outdoor carpeting is available from most rental companies that can enhance the appearance and comfort when tents are placed on asphalt or concrete.  It can also be used in high traffic areas to protect turf from traffic pattern wear.

Dance Floors - This optional item is highly recommended if dancing is planned.

Lighting -  Lighting can be used for practical application (like to see what you are eating) or to create a desired effect or mood.

Draping - Material draping can add an elegant touch and can be combined with lighting effects to create a very romantic or dramatic effect.


When it is time to rent a tent for your wedding, following are a few examples of questions that you will probably want to ask the tent rental company...

What are the costs and what exactly is included?
Some companies include setup and tear down in their costs while others do not. Some charge an additional "drying" charge should it rain while the tent is up at your event. Some charge extra for weekend delivery.

Are the tents deodorized?
The musty smell of mildew does little to enhance the appeal of a delicious wedding reception meal.

How early will they set up?
There have been instances when the tent was still going up while the wedding guests were arriving which left no time for the caterer or band to set up the area prior to guest arrival.  Not a good thing...

When will they tear down?
Be sure to allow sufficient time for your wedding guests and suppliers to leave before the tent comes down.  Having a bunch of workers standing around waiting for your guests to leave is quite tacky.

Is the company insured?
Hey, mistakes do happen. Be sure there is available compensation if the tent installation damages something (or someone) at your event.

Does the company have recent references or letters of recommendation they can share with you?
It is not a bad idea to make sure they have a history of quality and reliability.

Be sure all included items and costs are clearly outlined along with deposit refund policies, etc.  Delivery, set-up and teardown times should also be firmly established an in writing, as should special installation concerns or instructions.

Prior to the delivery and set-up of the tent it is not a bad idea to measure the area and create a diagram indicating the placement of the tent - including extra area for staking and walkways.  It is also wise to have someone onsite when the tent arrives and during set-up to make sure the tent is set-up in the proper place.

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