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To Tent or Not to Tent?

When planning your special day probably the first thing you need to decide, other than who the person is that you will marry, is where is the wedding going to be held?

There are so many options and choices of not only where to hold the wedding reception itself but also where to hold the ceremony. Do we want to say our vows on the beach with a beautiful sunset behind us? Or in mom and dad's backyard by the big oak tree that I used to play on as a kid? Or in some beautiful botanical garden?


Wherever the wedding ends up, one must consider keeping all of the guests somewhat comfortable and dry and that will either require a wedding tent or a roof over all the guests’ heads.

When contemplating an outdoor wedding, you may want to consider having a wedding tent over the guests, and you then must ask yourself what kind? A big pole tent? A frame tent with no poles in the middle? How about a clear top tent with a clear ceiling above so all the guests can see the stars while they’re dining and dancing? Wow, a lot of choices to think about!


Well although a clear ceiling tent may look fabulous overhead, if the wedding starts during daylight hours when the sun is up, we now have a large magnifying glass over us, so the guests will get too hot - something to think about. Make sure the reception is towards sunset with a clear roof tent so everyone sees the stars and not the sun baking down on them.


Pagoda pole tents are lovely with high center poles and a vaulted pillowed ceiling! This is a beautiful tent to have for any wedding with a high ceiling you could hang a beautiful white tent liner with crystal chandeliers or even streamer lighting above. If the wedding Is in the back yard with trees in the way and a swimming pool, we may want to use frame tents so they can all connect together to make it look like one big party under a series of multiple tents, we can still add some fabric and lighting to make the night really special.

What about the ceremony? Do we need a tent for that? Most ceremonies are held outside in the open air, but we may want to have a backup tent or plan for the ceremony. This plan "B" can always be to have it under the reception tent in case of rain on top of the dance floor or it can be an entirely different tent, especially if the ceremony and reception are in two different locations.


Now we need to think about the caterer, how is he or she getting the food prepared? Do they need a cook tent? Sometimes they can work out of a house, but in remote locations they will need a cook tent with lights and walls so they can prepare the meal for the guests.

Boy, after giving all this thought to having a wedding outside, what about just having it in a banquet room with four walls, a roof and air conditioning for the guests? Certainly must be easier to have a reception in a hotel ballroom with everything already in place, but it’s not the same as being in a very special and remote location, with all my friends and family around us in the back yard I grew up in, or on the beach with the surf coming in as we dine under a tent.

After attending a wedding in a hotel banquet room, I certainly enjoyed the venue, the food was great and I really enjoyed the air conditioning blowing down from the ceiling. It just isn’t the same as being underneath a tent outside. However, white draping can be added along the walls of a banquet room with colored LED lights to soften up the feel of the room, and you can have an imaginative feel like a tent. And this can be so amazingly beautiful.


Voile Draping

Usually outside under a tent, we can party all night with our friends and family for as long as we want because after all the tent guys aren't coming till Monday to pick everything up. Maybe even have a Sunday brunch under the tent!

Tents have come a long way from years past with so many options to turn your special day into a fairy tale wedding especially with comforts like air conditioning, floors with carpeting, ceiling fabric draping and lighting options which will amaze your guests! There are chandeliers, up-lighting, Tuscan lights that are like old fashioned outdoor street lights, and even Parisian street lamps just to name a few of the lighting options.


A wedding planner may be a good idea to map out your wedding, and they will know all the local venues and all the right and reputable vendors to choose from to select your perfect tent. We at Linens by the Sea, love U.S. Tent Rental in Sarasota for fabulous tents. There are also "day of" planners that can help leading up to the day of the wedding and be there on your special day to help with all the details.

With so many parts and pieces to put the wedding together like food, flowers, tent rentals, dance floors, limousines, etc., make sure you have a good idea how your special day will look and unfold so that there are no surprises. Start early on your wedding plans so you have all of the knowledgeable information you need to have the most wonderful wedding ever. Ask vendors to see weddings they have done in the past or go and see weddings set up so you can get some ideas for your wedding. You certainly don't want to be a "wedding crasher, " but it doesn't hurt to check out other weddings layouts prior to the guests arriving.

So whether you decide to have your wedding under a beautiful tent or in a ballroom or banquet hall, be creative with everything offered and enjoy your special day!


Linens by the Sea was born out of passion, ingenuity and creative flair. Our goal is to turn important events into lifelong happy memories. We pride ourselves on attending to your individual needs, and every day we strive to make your special occasion simply unparalleled with our outstanding linens. Please Contact Us if you would like to start designing your upcoming festivity.

7600 Matoaka Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
941-757-3523 office | 941-727-1938 fax

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