WEDDING TENT RENTAL GUIDE
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.
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.
TYPES OF TENTS
Canopy Tents and Pop Up Canopy
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.
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...
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.
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
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
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
- 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 -
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.
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
can be used for practical application (like to see what you are eating) or to create a
desired effect or mood.
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
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?
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
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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