Wherever your event falls on the spectrum between formal and casual, a tent can lend a special air of festivity that is unique, combining the whimsy of the outdoors and the glamour of a ballroom into an unforgettable, intimate, an entirely personalized venue. The beauty is in the versatility, a tent being appropriate for every type of event, from family barbeques to black-tie galas. If you’re considering a tent for your next function, the following tips will help you decide what sort of tent is the right fit for you.

Keep in mind the size of your site – The size of your site and the amount of guests and amentias that you require will determine what size of tent or tent(s) will work best for you. Allow for at least 10 feet all around the perimeter of the tent in order to allow for set-up and safe anchoring. Adjacent buildings, access two and from the tent(s), cooking facilities, washrooms etc. all must be kept in mind.

Consider the surface of your site –  Soil or gravel is best for staking which is the safest way to secure a tent. However, there are anchoring options for sand, asphalt, stone, and other surfaces. Also, keep in mind what may be beneath the ground. Always check with an underground utility locator to make sure it’s safe to stake.

30'x75' Clearspan at Manteo Resort

How is the access for your service providers? check with your venue regarding access. Heavy tent equipment, tables & chairs, washrooms, DJ equipment etc. all need to be packed in. If your site requires carting equipment long distances from trucks to the site this will take time and you will likely incur additional labour charges. Another option could be a different access point, shuttling equipment with ATV’s and smaller trucks or even barging equipment in if the site is on the lake.

What about the location? If it is on the lakefront, in a valley or other area prone to wind special staking may be required. In addition, you may want to consider a tent with walls to help protect your guests and décor from the wind. Sliding walls can be a great option, opening up the tent to a perfect day or helping to buffer your guests from some unexpected weather. Look up! Trees and power lines may interfere with the high peaks of tents remember safety first. It is always wise to have a site inspection well in advance of your event to identify any potential concerns so they can be dealt with well in advance of your event. An experienced tent professional will come out to your site, review your requirements and give you their best recommendations for a successful event.


Your vision – Have some ideas for décor already in mind. Tents are a blank canvas things like ceiling décor including liners and lighting can help to create your vision. A Clear span tent is great for projection as there is minimal structure in the ceiling of the tent for a clean look. Frame tents offer many places to attach décor while a tent like a tidewater glows and creates it’s own ambience.

Guests & Seating – Think about your guest list and seating arrangement. Tent capacities are approximate and vary based on a variety of factors. The number of people you seat at each table as well as the tables themselves will affect how many guests a tent will be able to accommodate and the flow of your event. Long harvest-style rows of rectangular tables will often accommodate more guests while round tables can be better for conversation. while mixed seating plans can be fun and casual. You may require tent space for a buffet area, DJ or band, gift and cake tables, and dance floor, a CAD drawing can really help with your planning.

Let’s Power up – Lights, fans, DJ equipment and ways to cook your food and keep it warm all require electricity. How will your outside space supply this for your vendors?  Power is something that many people don’t think is an issue … until it is!

Out of town venues – If your event is out of town and budget is important, consider choosing a cluster of smaller tents rather than one large one. This means that fewer staff and trucks will be required for set-up, keeping delivery costs down. If budget is less of an issue create your dream wedding just remember to allow for the additional cost of delivery in your budget.

Where is everyone going to park? This is not a question you want to be answering the morning of your wedding. If you’re planning to have your wedding in a field or on a farm, you need to plan for parking in advance. Think about lighting, consider whether there is a nearby park or paved public area for cars. You don’t want your guests driving through soft grass, parking on the side of a busy road of walking long distances to get to the final destination.

Loud and Legal – Even in wide, open spaces, noise still travels. If your venue is near other homes or public areas, you will want to check on noise ordinances and make your DJ aware well in advance. Most cities and municipalities will place limits on how much noise can be made after a certain hour.

Outdoor events Mother Nature has been known to deliver quite a few “wedding presents” of her own and they are not always the most thoughtful. When planning an outdoor wedding, you must have a plan B and C. If it rains, can your tent accommodate the ceremony too? Do you have tent walls to hang if the wind and weather should interfere? Talk with your event rental company to make sure you are prepared for every weather possibility.