Having Your Wedding Reception in a Tent

If you’re looking for wedding reception themes in a tent, then you’re in for a treat because there are fantastic ideas to choose from. Many people decide on a tent reception because they love the ambience of the outdoors, but they want to provide shelter from wind, rain, or sun.

Wedding Marquee

Others are looking for a way to have a wedding in a place lacking typical reception facilities on a beach, in a park, in the desert. Or maybe you simply want to get married at your home. Many people choose this option because combined with the skills to decorate the tent and provide food it will save a lot of money.

First you have to understand the types of tents. Pole tents include poles that hold up various sections of the tent, including the centre of the ceiling. Frame tents are better for a wedding reception because anodised aluminium poles are assembled into a frame that outlines the area of the tent, and the tent itself is fastened on top, which means you have no poles obstructing traffic or views in the centre of your tent. Canopies are a less expensive alternative to tents.

You can find tents in either opaque or translucent materials. Sides are an inexpensive option if you want the sense of total enclosure; for a little bit more you can choose sides that have windows. Other options are portable air conditioning or heater units, depending on the weather you expect on your wedding day.

The size of the tent is calculated according to the number of guests you expect. For one hundred guests who will be seated at rectangle tables, allow 800 to 1000 square feet. For round tables, allow a little more.

Will your relatives prepare and set out the food, or will you hire caterers? And don’t forget to allow space for the band or DJ. Frame tents of this size will cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 depending on prices in your area and your specifications to the vendor.

You will also need to rent tables and chairs.

Tables cost about $7 and folding chairs cost under a dollar.

Don’t forget the dance floor. Each 3×4 foot section costs about $20 installed.

Be certain to reserve your tent several months in advance and plan on a deposit of about one-third the cost. If your vendor is not familiar with the place you have chosen for the reception, ask him to meet you there. He will need to look over the ground and make certain the area is suited for a tent.

The vendor will set your tent up prior to your wedding day, but you will have to decorate it. If money is no object, you can hire a company, or you can just do it yourself. Start by purchasing lengths of inexpensive, sheer nylon fabric to drape alluringly around the tent poles and hide them. Hang Twinkie lights with either coloured or all-white bulbs around the perimeter.

You can make your tent look like a tropical paradise, with foliage, flowers, and tiki torches. Buy lengths of brightly coloured material to drape at the ends of tables.

Buy toy nets in the children’s department and seashells in the hobby department and use them to create the look of a seaside retreat. Plastic fish and pool toys complete the look.

Entwine exotic silk flowers around the sheer fabric you have draped and burn scented candles to create the look of the Arabian Nights. Drape additional sheer fabric around the tables.

Create the look of an English country garden with plenty of flowers, purchased in bulk at a dollar store. Buy spools of satiny ribbon and tie large bows strategically around the tent and on the chair backs.

The real fun of this is the endless variety of themes available for wedding reception themes in a tent! Ask your bridesmaids to contribute ideas for the tent theme, and once you and your fiance have chosen one get everyone to pitch in with decorating suggestions. Your wedding day will be a wonderful occasion for everyone who contributes.


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