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May 05, 2020Best In Tents

So you want to have a wedding with the best outdoor wedding tent but you’re not sure where to start? Even though it might seem intimidating to organize a tent wedding, our experts at American Tent know exactly how to have a tent wedding of your dreams, and it’s not as difficult as it might seem.  

How to Plan a Tent Wedding?

We're here to guide you through every step of the process and ensure you're prepared to blow your guests away on your big day and understand how to plan a tent wedding. With our complete wedding tents guide, you'll have everything you need to know to organize your outdoor tent wedding with ease.

#1 Determine Your Budget

How to organize tent wedding

Tents range from heavy-duty pop-up options for a few hundred dollars that would be perfect for less formal backyard weddings, to large frame tents or pole tents that can accommodate hundreds of guests and provide an elegant venue for your big day.

To determine the price, you’ll also have to know how large your tent will need to be. Many couples think tent size is only determined by the number of guests at your wedding, but extra tables and seating arrangements must be calculated into the total size as well. For a complete guide on choosing the perfect-size tent for your wedding, we’re here to help.

#2 Find the Perfect Venue

One of the biggest pros to getting a rental tent for your big day is that you can host your wedding practically anywhere! Whether you’re throwing an exquisite reception at a large venue, or you’re simply putting on an intimate event for your close friends and family, a tent will help you achieve your desired wedding aesthetic. If you’re trying to keep costs low, here are some of the best options for your outdoor venue:

  • Backyard wedding - if you’ve got the room, backyard weddings can be the perfect venue for your big day! You’ll have the comfort of being familiar with your venue, and most likely have a lot of extra room in the house for your entire bridal party to get ready. By incorporating a backyard tent to the wedding, you can ensure the day will be perfect, rain or shine, and still have an elegant feel to an intimate venue.
  • Beach - if you’re close to a body of water, even if it’s not an ocean, a beach wedding could be the perfect backdrop for your wedding. Get close to the shoreline for your ceremony and then retreat to a nearby, grassy area for your reception. The best part is, many beaches are public and you won’t have to pay crazy amounts of money to book your venue this way. Plus, you won’t have to shell out a ton of money on decorations, since your beach venue already has the water as a beautiful backdrop!
  • University campus - Many couples meet in college, and have amazing memories at their alma mater. So why not get married there? Nearly every university, large or small, has the space and ability to host a wedding, especially outdoors. Take advantage of your college’s unique architecture and personality and incorporate it into your wedding for an extra-special, sentimental venue.
  • Garden/Museum - Last but certainly not least, if you’re looking for a beautiful outdoor venue that won’t break the bank, consider reaching out to any local gardens or museums in the area. Most of these local places will have beautiful, pristine outdoor spaces that will give your wedding a magical feel for a fraction of a formal wedding venue price.


#3 Understand the Tenting Regulations at Your Wedding Venue

Tent for a wedding

When planning a wedding reception under a tent, it is important to choose a venue that is compatible with the use of a tent. Before selecting your tent-friendly venue, there are many factors to consider.

  • Size. Be sure the venue has enough space for your wedding tent and the guest count you are expecting.
  • Location. The proximity to nearby buildings is a crucial aspect to take into account, as well as having enough perimeter space for stakes and your tent being set up on a flat surface. Before staking a tent, contact your local utility 811 number and have the site checked prior to staking to help locate underground utilities,
  • Schedule. Early set-up is a must-have on your big day. It's crucial to consider the time needed for setting up the tent, adding wedding tent decorations, and completing any last-minute details.
  • Regulations. Find out if the venue has regarding tented weddings, such as noise ordinances, which may set limits on the volume of music or require that music end by a certain time.
  • Amenities. Pay attention to the amenities offered by your wedding venue. Will the outdoor event space be equipped with accessible bathrooms or a bridal suite?

Ensure a seamless and stress-free wedding experience by working with a full-service wedding planner and tenting professional to ensure that all your needs are met and that the tent is set up properly.

#4 Select the Best Tent Size

When determining what tent size you need for your wedding, it's crucial for ensuring that your guests are comfortable and that all of your vendors and equipment fit comfortably inside the tent. It is important to keep in mind that a wedding tent size that is too small will feel cramped, while a tent size that is too large will feel empty and uninviting. When determining what tent size you need for your wedding, consider the amount of space you will need for:

  • Anticipated number of guests
  • Tables and chairs
  • Dance floor
  • Stage, DJ booth or band area 
  • Catering and bar area
  • Additional unique items you plan to feature on your big day

If we don’t have your perfect tent size, we can build it! American Tent is a proud manufacturer of custom made wedding tents. Our frame tents can be made with custom length, width, and height measurements.

#5 Choose the Type of Tent

With a clear vision of your dream wedding in mind, it's time to select the perfect tent to bring your celebration to life. But with so many types of wedding tents available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. To make the process easier, here are a few of the most sought-after tents for weddings, each with its unique charm and atmosphere:

  • Frame Tent - These tents are a classic option with white canvas and airy interiors. No center poles allow for 100% use of your space. Our durable frame tents are a popular choice among venues hosting events each weekend. Frame tents are great for long- term installation and help avoid frequent set up and take down of your tent. As an added bonus, frame tents can be secured into soft ground with stakes or utilize our Tent Ballasting System on surfaces such as concrete. 
  • Pole Tent - A pole tent is a popular choice for weddings because of its traditional and elegant appearance. Pole tents feature center poles that hold up the tent structure, creating an arching peak design that is visually striking. Pole tents are ideal for installation on grass, gravel, dirt, or any surface that you are able to stake into.
  • Clear-top Tent - These tents offer a unique style for your venue because of their see-through clear tops. This can add a dreamy feel to your wedding, as guests will be able to dance under the stars and see what’s going on outside of the tent. 
  • Pop-up Tent - If you’re planning a budget wedding or hosting an intimate reception, these smaller tents are the perfect choice. They’re incredibly easy to set up, and you can choose to use just one, or set up multiple through your venue to give your guests room to roam.
  • High Peak Tent - For the ultimate guest experience and over-the-top venue choice, a high peak tent can give you the ability to create multiple “rooms” within your tent, including high-peaked domes and interiors that will make your entire venue swoon-worthy. These tents are also widely used as a separate catering or food preparation tent.

#6 Create a Seating Chart

Wedding tent

Creating a seating chart for your tent wedding is an important step in the planning process. It ensures that all of your guests are comfortable and they can efficiently interact with close family and friends. It's important to consider the different seating options available, such as round tables or long banquet tables. It's also important to consider the flow of the event and to make sure that the seating chart is easy to navigate for both guests and wedding vendors.

#7 Have a Rain Plan

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, right? When rain is the forecast, a well-thought out plan can save the day. Elements of your rain plan might include:

  • Sidewalls: When rain begins to fall, sidewalls are a great defense mechanism helping to keep water and wind out of your tent. Designate a specific person/crew to quickly install side walls if necessary
  • Umbrellas, Tarps, and Towels: Keep your guests dry by providing umbrellas when walking outside, tarps to cover any exposed item you want to keep dry, and towels to dry up the wet spots for safety.
  • Relocation: In the event of an extreme storm with high winds or lightning, seek safe, indoor shelter immediately.

    #8 Decorate a Tent Wedding

    Now for the fun part: learning how to decorate a tent for a wedding! One of the best parts of using a high-quality custom made wedding tent for your wedding venue is that it offers a blank slate that can be transformed into just about any style or theme for your big day! If you know you want an outdoor venue but have no idea how to decorate a tent for your wedding, here are some of the best steps to make it perfect!

    • Create a grand entrance - The easiest way to instantly upgrade your wedding tent is creating a beautiful entrance for your guests to walk through. Our tent sidewalls can be customized to include a zip-up doorway for easy entrance and exit. This will give your guests a great chance to take pictures in front of your beautiful venue, as well as yourself, and it will make your entrance even more special!
    • Incorporate lighting - Lighting is another quick and easy way to take a basic tent and make it your own! Transform your wedding tent by incorporating lighting to set the desired ambiance for your special day. Experiment with different hues of lighting such as blue for a starry night feel, red and orange for a romantic atmosphere, and more. Lighting can be an affordable way to elevate your wedding decor, whether it be with simple string lights for a backyard wedding or more elaborate industrial backlighting. Whatever your budget may be, adding lighting to your tent will bring an extra special touch to your event.
    • Dress up the ceiling - Make your wedding tent stand out by drawing attention to the ceiling with special decorations. Hanging lanterns at different lengths to create a visually interesting display is a great way to add style and light to your tent. Another option is to incorporate draping or tent liners on the ceiling to create a luxurious and inviting atmosphere for your guests without compromising on space.
    • Add a focal point - Create a focal point for your wedding tent by utilizing key elements within the structure. For example, center poles found in pole tents can serve as a beautiful backdrop to decorate and draw attention to. Another option is to highlight a specific area, such as the bridal party's table, as the main focal point for the event. This allows for a more curated and intentional decorative approach without overwhelming the entire space.

    Benefits of Using Custom Made Wedding Tents

    Say 'I do' to the ultimate wedding experience with the best custom made wedding tents!

    Tying the knot under a beautiful, custom made wedding tent is the perfect way to make your special day even more unforgettable. Not only do custom tents provide a unique and elegant setting for your ceremony or reception, but they also offer a host of benefits that will make your wedding planning a breeze. First and foremost, custom tents are designed to fit your specific needs and wants. Whether you're looking for a grand and spacious tent to accommodate all of your guests, or a cozy and intimate setting for a more intimate affair, a custom tent will be tailored to your exact specifications. This means that you'll have a one-of-a-kind wedding venue that's sure to impress your guests.

    You Want a Change of Scenery

    When it comes to high-quality custom made wedding tents, the sky's the limit! (Literally, if you choose to have your wedding on a beach or rooftop!) Whether you're dreaming of a backyard bash or a beachside bonanza, custom tents can be set up virtually anywhere to create a unique and beautiful setting for your special day. Or imagine getting married in a secluded forest, or a romantic vineyard, or a picturesque lake. With custom tents, the location is up to you!

    You Care about Your Environmental Impact

    Finally, custom tents are an eco-friendly option for your wedding. When it comes to planning a wedding, it's easy to get caught up in the details and forget about the bigger picture. But, with custom made wedding tents, you can have your dream wedding while also being mindful of the environment. Traditional venues can be costly to maintain, but custom tents are a reusable and eco-friendly option. Not only can they be used for multiple events, but they also don't require the use of energy and resources that traditional venues do. Plus, you'll be able to create a unique and beautiful setting without leaving a lasting impact on the environment.

    Plus, after the big day, you can easily take down and store the tent for future events, whether it's a family reunion or a backyard party. The tent will last for years to come, making it an investment that will pay off.

    You’re a Parent with Many Kids

    Raising a big family is no small feat, but planning multiple weddings doesn't have to be a daunting task thanks to custom made wedding tents! As a parent with many kids, you know that the cost of multiple weddings can add up quickly. But, investing in a high-quality, custom made wedding tent from American Tent is a smart and cost-effective way to host all of your children's nuptials without sacrificing style or sentimentality. With a custom made tent, you'll have the freedom to host your weddings and receptions anywhere, whether it be in your backyard or at a picturesque location of your choosing. Plus, you'll be able to create a family tradition, with your tent serving as the gathering place for all of your guests on each special occasion.

    So, say goodbye to the hassle and expense of finding different venues for each wedding, and hello to the convenience and cost-savings of a custom made wedding tent. 

    You Simply Prefer an Outdoor Wedding

    Tent wedding decoration

    While some people prefer to have their weddings at a rented indoor venue, many people love the open air charm of an outdoor wedding. While there are so many options and ways to host a wedding outdoors, a custom made tent from American Tent can help you make your wedding look its absolute best. In having a wedding outdoors, you also have no control over how the weather for the day will turn out. But, let's be real, Mother Nature can be unpredictable. While you can plan for the best, sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate. That's where a custom made wedding tent comes in! The tent itself will protect the wedding party and guests from whatever weather may be occuring outdoors, and the sidewalls will provide your tent with adequate support from blowing winds, allowing you to focus on what’s truly important - your wedding day.


    So, whether you're a hopeless romantic or a practical planner, custom made party tents from American Tent are the perfect choice for a unique, beautiful, and flexible wedding venue.  We are proud to provide our customers with affordable and high-quality custom made tents. Made domestically in America's heartland, we are able to offer you optimum quality and service while keeping costs low. Whether you’re looking to order something for use at home, or a tent for commercial use, American Tent has a wide variety of options to help you build a tent that perfectly suits your needs. To learn more about our custom American-made party tents, get in touch with us today!

    Tony Ehrbar's headshot

    Tony Ehrbar

    Owner & CEO

    Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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