How To Decorate a Tent – Lights, Lanterns and Garlands Galore

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.”


{sources: 1, 2, 3, 4}

We need a tent.

Yes, it will be almost summer in Hawaii, but according to the local experts (aka, our wedding coordinator and catering manager), there is always a miniscule chance of rain. Warm rain….but still rain.

Awwww man. :(

But according to the farmer’s almanac and all of the historical weather data I dug up on the world wide web, the chances are slim to none. *WHEW*

But we still need a tent….so let’s make it one they’ll never forget!

THE TENT: Since we want everyone to enjoy the views of the tropical skies and sunset, we opted for a clear tent, just like the one in our inspiration board below. Pretty cool, huh?

THE LIGHTS: Sparkly lights, sparkly lights, everywhere! This is one item we knew we wanted to pepper throughout our seaside wedding spot, tent or not. We’re the biggest Christmas/Holiday fanatics you’ve ever met, love dining al fresco surrounded by these twinkling strings, and Mr. O even decorated his old apartment bedroom with these cuties along his windows. And not to mention, they look super awesome in photos—see exhibits A, B, C, D, E, F & G below. 😉

THE LANTERNS: No, they’re not the most innovative wedding decor idea in the world, but beautiful things never go out of style, right? Every shape and size, in silver and white. Hung in random clusters, like balloons, filling the top of our tent {see that pretty yellow and white lantern pic below? just like that!} and strung alongside our lights surrounding our open air dance floor. And after the sun sets, they’ll make the whole place glow!

GARLAND PARTY: It wouldn’t be an Ostrich Wedding without something colorful and sparkly, so I’ve vowed to drape our tent and seaside setting with a party of different garlands—flower poms and festive shiny strands like in the inspiration board above. We’re thinking they’ll grace the border of our tent and the dance floor too. I’m slaving over these as we speak and can’t wait to share my tutorial with the hive!


{sources: 1, 2, 3, 4}

So that’s how the Ostrich duo does up a wedding tent—twinkling, glowing and a party all the way through. The best part? The clear tent, lights and lanterns are all available for rent from a fantastic local vendor, design layout and setup included! The only thing we have to do is create our shiny, happy garlands. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

Are you having a tented wedding? What decor ideas are you dreaming up for it?


Mrs. Ostrich

San Francisco/Hawaii
Wedding Date:
April 2011
Texas Twosome: We Walk!
After "I Do": Finances

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  1. Member
    tslewis 6 posts, Newbee @ 4:27 pm

    We are also planning a tent reception. We are also confuzzled beyond confuzzled when it comes to prettify-ing it. Looking forward to your tutorials! :)

  2. barrettes Member
    barrettes 913 posts, Busy bee @ 5:50 pm

    I’m so jeally! I always dreamed of a reception in a tent! Can’t wait to see you deck it out in true Ostrich-fashion!

  3. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 5:52 pm

    Great inspiration pictures, can’t wait to see how your tent looks!

  4. Member
    TheFutureMcBride 4485 posts, Honey bee @ 5:55 pm

    I love tented weddings at night. They’re so pretty.

  5. waffle Member
    waffle 1161 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:15 pm

    Oooh, I can’t wait to see it! Our reception area is tented. The ceiling of the tent has Christmas lights with draped sheer fabric over to diffuse them and give a really dreamy romantic feel. Your wedding is going to be soooo pretty!

  6. lox Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:28 pm

    Your tent is going to be beautiful! And I’m looking forward to seeing your garland. :)

  7. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:01 pm

    Oh I love this post! I am having a hard time right now trying to figure out what to do for the tent at our at home reception.

  8. ostrich Member
    ostrich 2402 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:24 pm

    @Miss Waffle: Waffle, your tent decor sounds positively dreamy. the sheer fabric is a brilliant idea!

  9. Member
    Miss Treble 58 posts, Worker bee @ 11:19 pm

    Yay! We’re having a tent as well, and I have so many ideas for decorating the tent, but I can’t narrow my options down. I wish we could have a clear tent, but they don’t have those available up in Indiana! I definitely love the lights….so pretty! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  10. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:37 am

    I adore it all! Can I come??! We have the same lantern inspiration image (top group, right). Take lots and lots of pretty pictures, pretty please!

  11. jaguar Member
    jaguar 6491 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:16 am

    I love the mixture of lanterns and lights – it really brings a special twinkle out. Gorgeous! How will you organise it – will you leave that to your planners to arrange, or will you be sourcing them before you get there?

  12. lioness Member
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 6:35 am

    Love it! Great twinkle inspiration :)

  13. rainbow Member
    rainbow 1525 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:04 am

    So, so gorgeous! I love your inspiration photos, can’t wait to see how it turns out irl!

  14. Member
    Lexsy 537 posts, Busy bee @ 1:23 pm

    How pretty – the inspiration is lovely, can’t wait to see the result!

  15. bacon Member
    bacon 695 posts, Busy bee @ 4:08 pm

    The twinkly lights will surely be so magical! Love it :)

  16. husky Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:51 pm

    Ours was half-tented, half-barned. Is barned a word? Can it be? Anyhow, we decorated ours with lights and lanterns, and I loved how it looked in the end – especially a shot taken from outside at night!

  17. Member
    partylights 3 posts, Wannabee @ 8:37 am

    We love seeing new ideas for lights and lanterns. Can’t wait to see more!

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