How to Plan a Tented Wedding

A wedding under a tent lit up at night.

If you’re considering tenting your wedding, you’re probably asking yourself if planning a wedding under a tent is any different than planning any other type of wedding. The answer is yes, but don’t let that put you off! Read below for tips, tricks, and things you should think about when planning your tented wedding.

The Nitty-Gritty

A wedding tent attached to a lawn.

No one likes to plan the scary little details that make a party work (well, maybe the insane and wedding planners), but there’s no need to back out now. Just keep dreaming of what your tent will look like all lit up and sparkling. That is, if you can figure out how to run power to it.

Besides power questions, there are a lot of things to consider and inquire upon when it comes to tent talk. Start by figuring out all your options. If you’re getting married at a venue, what types of tents do they offer? Will you choose a solid colored tent or one that’s transparent?

Once you’ve chosen your type of tent, then you can get to the rest of the decisions. If your tent is able to feature sides, will you have them attached? When it comes to this question, it’s helpful to consider the weather you’ll be having. While it’s ridiculous to assume you’ll know exactly what kind of weather you’ll have, you can probably make a well-educated guess. If your wedding falls in a time between warm and cold seasons, you may want to consider utilizing the sides of the tent to block any chilly wind. Ask your venue how quickly sides can be attached and if this is possible during the festivities should you need them. These answers will hopefully help you make your mind up.

Speaking of the elements, let’s consider our most favorite part of nature: bugs. Chances are if you’re having a summer wedding, the bugs will be all too happy to join in the fun. Think of a possible bug treatment before your festivities and if you’re getting married at a venue, ask them how they normally keep from being bugged. All these little details may seem unnecessary, but the more in-depth questioning and work you do early on, the less work you’ll have to do and stress about later. Once you’ve taken care of all these little technical issues, you can move on to more interesting topics like layout and décor.


A wedding reception under a tent.

So, we said we would talk about layout and here we are! A tented wedding needs a layout just as much if not more than a wedding in a ballroom or similar space . Normally if your wedding is in a large banquet hall, you’d have some pretty fixed layout options. With a tent, the setup is pretty much up to you. You have your limitations, of course. You’ll have to think of how much space you have and how many tables you need.

Another limitation: will your ceremony and reception both take place under the tent? If so, where will your guests go while the reception setup is going on? Think about the space you have to work with. Perhaps your venue has a solution to this issue already, so talk to them before you ponder. If you’re tenting in a backyard, consider possibly moving guests indoors for a brief cocktail hour.

You’ll want to know the details of what’s going inside your tent before you decide fully on layout. What type of tables would you like? Either way, you’ll want to have a good grasp on just how much space you have to play with. And don’t forget the dance floor! You’ll want to have your tent placed in a nice flat area, or at least on a spot with a bit of flatness. This way the dance floor can be utilized safely.

Planning for Décor

Now comes the fun part. You’ve done your work and figured out the layout and how everything is going to function. It’s time to decide the final piece. How do you want your tent to look? There are so many possibilities when it comes to décor. Let’s look at a few.

Consider lighting your tent. You’re going to want some types of lights especially if your reception will last into the night. Beyond functional lighting, consider lighting for ambiance with some modern strung lights, candles, or even lanterns.

Use your other details to build your embellishing plans. For instance, if you are going to have sides on your tent, figure out a way to decorate them. Possibly dress them with large decorative frames or garlands. Inquire about the tent’s weight allowance so you can decide how much to hang. With the right weight allowance your tented wedding can feature everything from floral chandeliers to large beautiful garden swings.

It’s the little things that make a tented wedding great. If you do your homework and planning, you can’t fail. Ensure safety by getting all your technical questions answered and when in doubt, plan for the worst. It can’t hurt to be overly safe! Your layout will be the next step that unlocks the final chapter of the planning process, the final touches. Once you’ve asked, planned, and prepped you’re ready to just get married: tent style!

Additional Resources
Find Amazing Vendors