6 Things you are need to know when planning a tent wedding.
Outdoor tent weddings are on the rise and have always been a popular option but especially now, here in Michigan where large groups are still not allowed to gather in any capacity (January 2021) thanks to Covid-19.
Before you decide on a tent wedding what should be some of your considerations.
In Michigan, there are a few options when considering tent weddings. Either as private property, perhaps your parents have a larger backyard or many venues now have all season tents on their grounds, many Country Clubs such as the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club or Grosse Pointe War Memorial have all season tents with wooden floors. Hotels such as Royal Park Hotel also have year-round tents. Some museums, think outdoor museums, often have grounds available and also universities.
The capacity of the property, how many guests can you comfortably fit?
It is not just the tent that you will need to consider, but additional areas for the ceremony if you are having the ceremony on the property, for cocktail hour, and an area to prep area for the caterer.
Sometimes the caterer will require a separate pop-up tent or garage area but sometimes they will just a hot box truck and that is all they need. Discuss with the property if there is room for these.
It is always a good idea to have a tent company come to the property to look at area to see what size tent you can fit in the space with all the extra space you will need around the perimeter of the tent for the stakes, this is typically 4-6ft. Often this will be the deciding factor on your guest count, how many guests can you comfortably fit into the tent.
How Level is the Ground?
It is always a good idea to have a tent company access the level of the property. What might seem level to you and me it not always the case. The tent company can often fix this with leveling out the area with additional built in flooring.
Does the flow work?
Will the guest flow work from ceremony to cocktail hour and dinner and to dancing? Have you thought about where the bar would be positioned? Ideally, you will have the bar positioned so that it can be accessed during cocktail hour and dinner.
This is often a forgotten part of the planning or everyone assumes that they have enough power but not always the case. The vendors that will use the power the most, the band, caterers, and executive restrooms (the ones that have a/c and feel like you are not in an outside bathroom) and lighting. It is easy to rent extra power with portable generators.
I always recommend depending on the size of the event to hire a housekeeper to clean up the kitchen or for larger events additional wait staff to bus the tables and keep everything cleaned up during the evening. Depending on the caterers, caterers typically leave an hour or so after dinner. There is always a need for extra staff until the end of the evening to clean up and take care of the trash during the evening.
Logisitics of tent weddings
For any outside wedding or an event where there are so many logistics behind the scenes, I would always recommend an experienced wedding planner that understands all the details of outdoor tent weddings.
If you are considering an outdoor wedding, please reach out to Nicola, I am always happy to talk through your different options.