You’ve locked down the perfect wedding venue, but now you need to rent a tent. You had no idea there was such a range of options to choose from. We caught up with Jennifer Pinheiro, who works in customer service for the Newport Tent Company, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to find out the most important factors to consider when planning a wedding under a tent.
There’s a difference between renting a tent and a canopy. A tent has the ability to attach sides to it. A canopy does not.
Under a tent, you’re covered rain or shine. With the weather in New England being so unpredictable, you can never be sure if it will rain or shine–or be warm or cold. A tent is a good decision for your outdoor event as it can provide shelter from the rain and/or the sun on a hot day during your reception. For example, our tents are made from a white vinyl waterproof fabric, helping to shield guests from the rain. We can also add tent walls on to protect from the wind. Should the weather be on the chilly side, especially in the spring and fall months, heaters are available, as temperature is one thing many guests will remember.
Size matters. We can tent from 10 guests up to 5,000 and more. The tent size is determined by the guest count and area in which the tent will sit. If the location allows, we can increase any tent size, if needed. As long as the tent has not already been set up, it is typically not a complicated process.
Think of a tent as a blank canvas. People have gotten extremely creative under our tents, as it is essentially a blank canvas for a person’s imagination to come to life. There was one event where the client was having a circus theme and had trusses installed in the tent that allowed a faux trapeze artist to be hung. On occasion, people have sectioned off areas in the tent to have a designated cocktail area or a lounge area. Whether you have a small budget or an endless budget, we highly recommend contacting a reputable tent décor company as they can bring whatever vision you have to life.
It’s easy to add a dance floor. Newport Tent has our own custom hardwood flooring that we build in our warehouse. A bride would not have to worry about uneven ground, as our flooring is made to be outdoors and can be leveled to any surface.
Custom lighting is an option. Newport Tent offers basic lighting, such as pink spotlights that get attached to the center poles of the tent, and it provides a soft glow under the tent. We also offer perimeter lights, which are rope lights encased in a plastic tube and go around the interior of the tent. If a bride is interested in other specialty lights, they can be ordered through the décor company. In either case, both our lighting and the décor company’s lighting can have a dimmer attached to it to make it as dim or as bright as needed.
Don’t forget about permits. It’s always a good idea to contact the city or town in which the event will be held to see if they require a building permit and/or fire inspection. It is also very important that our clients contact Dig-Safe to mark any underground utilities as our tent stakes are driven 4 feet into the ground.