Wedding Tent Ideas – Everything You Need To Know About A Tent Wedding


An outdoor wedding is often not complete without at least the option of a tent. For many garden matters, the tent is the focal point of the ceremony, reception, or both. Tents can come in all shapes and sizes, and the style, setting, and number of guests at your event will determine the type of wedding tent needed. Your wedding planner and / or event designer will help you make the right choice and evaluate your options, from sailcloth to ClearSpan to glass. The season also plays a major role in identifying the tent for you; a transparent roof tent in the middle of summer won’t keep your flowers fresh, and an outdoor tent in winter can be a challenge to heat up.

With post-containment events ushering in the rise of outdoor celebrations, we’ve handpicked some of the biggest names in planning and design for all the information, ideas and inspiration you’ll need when planning a ceremony. in a tent, at a reception or after the party.

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Consider the non-negotiable

Just like when building a house, flooring is an absolute must when planning an outdoor tent event. It may be tempting to exclude the foundation for your tent in favor of the grass underneath to manage your budget, but reducing that cost will likely result in countless expenses and last minute additions. “I will not work in a tent without soil. [I] learned my lesson. People worry about the rain but neglect to think about the mud and soil damage which can be disastrous [for you and your guests], ” BAZAAR The best wedding planner, Marcy Blum, says.

Organizing an event in a tent is basically building a space from scratch. “The lighting, ceiling and sidewall treatments are all more important than usual when hosting a tent wedding,” says Blum. “[It’s] particularly important if [you’re having] an evening event, as it will be dark outside with no visible scenery, even with the sides open. If the sides are down without any sheets or decor, the vibe is like being in a plastic bag. »Take this into account when making location decisions; renting land to put up a tent takes a lot of time to build and decorate, so you’ll also want to save a lot of budget and energy for decorating; when designing a tent wedding, you will choose the floors, walls and more, in addition to your flowers and table tops.

The essentials of the tent

Setting up a tent may seem simple, but there are many types of structures to choose from, both at home and abroad. “Top clear, where the sky can be seen through the ceiling; high white, where the ceiling is opaque; sailcloth, where the poles reach a point in the ceiling for a more dramatic look; and greenhouse, which looks more like a residential structure, are the styles of tent we use the most, but we don’t favor the type of tent, ”says Lynn Easton of Easton Events. Every tent has a vibe, and the look you are going for should play a big part in deciding what style you use for your event.

“Tents are often thought of as ‘back up plans’ for inclement weather, but, oddly enough, that’s not our approach,” Easton said. “We love the way a tent defines space and helps create a sense of place; it provides the elements necessary to create an extraordinary event. “

Easton encourages couples to approach tents like an interior designer would – build them from the ground up and design with a residential eye. At a tent wedding, “use color, different types of tables, dramatic group settings and never forget to make a statement with the fascia of the stage and the dance floor!” No matter how many fabulous custom pieces you have in your tent, lighting is the most important element to make everything truly cohesive and beautiful.

Bring the outdoors inside: ClearSpan tents

Basically, a tent is simply a large open space; when planning to get married, try to create the same warmth and ambiance outside as inside. “I always think that a party should be intimate, where there is enough space but never too much”, Rishi Patel of HMR Designs, a BAZAAR top designer, says. “Of course, COVID has changed all of that for us over the past year and a half. It’s important to think about how to make a socially remote and secure tent look like a timeless, well-appointed wedding.”

As for how to create that vibe, Patel considers the type of tent before design, completing the look with fixtures (like the orchid chandelier pictured here) and floors that mimic interior or landscaping. “My love for a fully transformational event usually makes me gravitate towards a ClearSpan tent,” he says. “The great part of ClearSpan tents is that you have the option of choosing a beautiful transparent top or an opaque top if shade is needed.”

The glass tent

When it comes to finding a tent overseas, we’re only slightly obsessed with the glass tent. These greenhouse-like structures are currently only legal to install abroad and are ideal for a couple looking to continue the romantic architecture of a European castle or villa in the gardens of that same space.

Rachel Birthistle and Taimar Birthistle-Cooke of The Lake Como Wedding Planner used this marquee for Chris Hessney and Simon Miall’s Lake Como wedding, pictured here. “What I found amazing was that it was so decadent to use this amazing tent – a glass structure that’s probably as sturdy as a house that took days to put up – and decorate it. entirely just for dinner, ”Miall said of the couple party tent.

“Most wedding tents are used for cocktails, desserts and dancing afterwards, but ours was more about creating that one-of-a-kind experience where you walk in, eat, leave, and then never see it again, which was really. cool and over the top, ”says Hessney, Founder and Creative Director of Hessney & Co ..

Build something from nothing

Rather than stepping into a rented space and working with its pre-existing architecture and design, “a tent is a blank canvas that sets the stage for the imagination,” says Steve Moore of Sinclair and Moore. “You can create any world you want within the walls of a tent. From the addition of chandeliers, hanging fixtures, walls, windows, doors and floors that match the aesthetic of the event to all table textures, plush lounges, bars, and more. “

“A tent eliminates the need to compete with the difficult patterned rugs and differently colored walls of standard ballrooms, or any pre-existing fixtures, art and structural components that may be difficult to design. A tent also defines the perimeter of the space and creates boundaries that draw guests into the celebration, ”adds Moore.

“If a client is looking for something timeless, classic and formal, I could work with them on a tent whose ceiling is covered with a bulky liner that hides the structural components,” says Moore. “I can choose a transparent roof tent if my client is drawn to a more modern look or if we want to show how beautiful the view around the property is. A sailcloth tent can be used for something more organic and natural. I compare choosing a tent to choosing what type of house you would consider buying. The style of the tent sets the tone for the decoration design details to follow. “

Get the weather report

For Ashley Mason of Saunter Weddings, there are three things to keep in mind when considering a tent event: the season, the surroundings and, of course, your style. “Whenever the location offers stunning views of nature, opt for a tent that allows everyone to enjoy it. Translucent ceilings with open walls welcome the beauty of the outdoors into the interior. Fully cleared tents on hot summer days can make you feel like you’re sitting in a humid greenhouse, but if your event is planned for the chilly evening, this is the perfect setting to gaze at the stars.

“For those who like full drapes or high ceiling installations, structured tents are best. They can support the weight of a designer installation and provide insulation in the colder seasons. Sail canvas tents are lightweight. , airy and leans in the windy weather of coastlines and garden weddings. They are perfect for letting in lots of natural rays to brighten up your space too. Seasonality is key; you will rarely see a canvas tent in the middle of the sea. winter. The tent should be consistent with the theme, suit the setting and weather, and add to the design story. “

Tent alternatives

Joy Proctor suggests designing beautiful outdoor events, without using a tent at all. “Tents have traditionally been used for protection from the elements, but they also offer the option of adding design elements to a higher focal point as possible. To maintain the ‘open-air’ outdoor vibe, j have often [opt] for elegant wooden structures instead, often draped in fabric and adorned with flowers.

“To create a truly bespoke feel, use the wood frame as a decorative element, rather than just a structural element. Match the wood color to your venue, like the event pictured here. For this reception, we have suspended four floral chandeliers covered in beams David Austin Roses and draped the entire ceiling to provide guests with respite from the heat. ”This has the appearance of a tent, without the predictable structure of one.

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