A mother of a bride once referred to me as “the queen of tent weddings”. It’s been one of my favorite compliments because there is a lot that goes into a successful tent wedding. Whether it’s on the grounds of a historic DC mansion, or in an open field at a private Virginia estate, I love that tents offer such opportunity. Taking the personality of my couples and painting that onto the blank canvas of a tent is what I enjoy. To some, it can be intimidating to start with such an empty space, but I love that every choice we make when planning your tent wedding adds your personality and style to the overall wedding design. The fabric of your tent, a welcoming tent entry way, whether we hang floral chandeliers or lanterns, whether you want the tables set up like family style dining with long rectangular tables pushed together, a traditional dinner set up with round tables or cocktail tables with lounge furniture- you get to make it 100% you!
Depending on the number of guests and the layout of your venue, choosing the type of tent is the first step. Will you have dinner under the tent but utilize a patio for dancing and cocktails? Or will all events take place under the tent, requiring a bigger tent space for tables, a dance floor, stage, bars, desserts, lounge furniture, etc. Frame tents offer more options for layout, but you’ll want to consider covering the metal frame with fabric for aesthetics. Pole tents are more pleasing to the eye but will have a center pole to plan around and must be staked into the ground. Sperry tents have a clean smooth ceiling and pretty wood poles. A clear tent can make you feel like your bringing the outdoors in. We can help determine what makes the most sense for your wedding needs and venue grounds.
You can consult the Farmers Almanac and pray for good weather every day of your engagement — but there is no guarantee your wedding day will not involve rain. If you’re choosing a venue that does not have an indoor option, then we strongly recommend you plan for unwanted weather with a tent or other good covered option on the property. The truth is that weather is unpredictable, and you want to prepare for anything. You don’t want to be worrying about the weather leading up to your big day! Your plan B should be in place to have peace of mind during the fun planning process.
Tent weddings do require some thoughtful considerations and careful planning, which your wedding planner must be equipped to handle! During the summer, you’ll want cooling options such as fans in place or an air conditioner. In colder months, heaters may be necessary as well as a tent with walls to help block the wind or potential rain. If your wedding is on a private estate, you’ll need to rent restroom trailers. Flooring is another consideration. A dance floor will need to be installed if your tent is over grass. Catering, lighting, the DJ or band, etc. will require a generator. A golf cart may be needed to transport guests from the parking area to the wedding site, depending on the layout of the grounds.
Tent weddings are worth every extra moment of planning. Here at Pamela Barefoot Events and Design we’d love nothing more than to help your dream tent wedding become a reality!
Looking for more tent wedding inspiration? Find more ideas here.
Photo credits: Amelia Johnson (1,4,7), Abby Jiu, Kelsey Thompson, Liz Fogarty (5,6), Justine Ungaro
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