Short of hiring a professional to do it for you, here are some tips on how to order a tent for your wedding or event.
First – Decide what function the tent will give, is it going to have to keep you from rain? Or would you just need a canopy to keep off the sunlight or decorative purposes? This will help when ordering your actual tent and with determining set up times. It will also help to determine if you will need a permit from your local sheriff’s office. The larger tents will need weighted barrels to hold it down; this helps to make sure it doesn’t fall on your guests if the wind blows. Other tents will just use rope and need to be nailed down in the ground so make sure that you a lot for that space also.
Second – Ambiance, what are you going to do for light? There are many choices for lighting, from sconces on the tent poles to crystal chandeliers on the tops of the tents and then candles on the tables. You have to decide what suits your wedding style and of course you need to make sure that your guests can see other guests, what they are eating and where they are going.
Third – How much space are you going to need? The going averages are 14 square feet per person if you are including a dance floor. If no dance floor then go for about 10 square foot per person. Then add on 150 square feet per bar, cake table, gift table and buffet table that you use. Then tack on an extra 100 square feet to make things comfortable and not cramped and it gives you a little leeway if you add guests or tables at the last minute. It also insures a smooth flow and allows the guests to be able to walk around and see your cake, sign your guest book, etc.
Fourth – How comfortable are your guests going to be? What is the weather going to be like on your wedding day? If it’s going to be a little chilly, look into adding a space heater or two. Some of the heaters can be put along the bars of the tent, some require extra floor space, others are even larger – and can feel like you are inside a house, these are placed outside of the tent walls. If it’s going to be warm, consider adding fans or an air conditioning unit.
Fifth – How much power are you going to need? Are you having a DJ? If so you’ll have to have a freestanding generator, to generate electricity for the DJ and the caterer, and if you are having any lights you’ll need electricity for that too. Be sure to ask each vendor how much wattage they will need so you can reserve the correct size generator.
It’s not easy ordering a tent for your wedding day. It’s also best done by a professional tent company or event / wedding coordinator. It will ensure a smooth flow for your day and quick and easy set up for you.