Want a tent wedding? Read this FIRST!

July 13, 2019

What does it take to pull off a successful tented wedding in Wisconsin?

….so many decisions! Everyone loves the look of a beautiful tented wedding but they are certainly no small task. 

Wisconsin brings a number of challenges with sudden changes in the weather. Working with brides through these obstacles and planning for the best (and worst) is important.

We’ve compiled a preliminary list of everything you need to consider when planning a tented wedding!

  • Tent – Frame pole, sailcloth, or do you want to pay more to get more for structure? There are so many options when it comes to tent structures. We always advise talking with your wedding planner and the tent company to assess not only your style preference but also your sizing needs in conjunction with your budget.
  • Flooring –  Is it needed? Worth the money? Is the natural surface (ie. grass…) of your ideal location good enough without renting additional flooring? Are you ok with your guests walking on grass?
  • Tent Sidewalls – Clear sidewalls? Partial coverage? Different sidewalls have different costs and be sure you ask your tent company how those sidewalls attach to the top. Often times different methods or fastening techniques are used and you may not like the look of some methods.
  • Regulating temperature – Heaters or a/c or both? This one can be tricky, depending on the month of your wedding you may encounter a wide range of temperatures and may also have to make last minute adjustments based on the weather forecast.
  • Lighting – Chandeliers? Other interior lighting? With a tented wedding you need to make sure that you’ve accounted for all of your lighting needs. From overhead chandeliers, uplighting on tent walls, table lighting, outdoor lighting needs, etc…
  • Tables, chairs, china flatware, glassware – With a tented wedding you need to bring in everything. These rentals can add up and it’s a lot of things to coordinate. You will want to check with your caterer to see what they all provide before renting your other items. Also many times what is provided through your caterer is a basic item and so if you’re looking for something more elegant or a specific style you may need to find those items elsewhere.
  • Sound –  Outside + Inside the tent? Is there a noise ordinance that affects your location? Be sure that your DJ/Band and their sound system will work for all the areas that you need sound equipment – both inside and outside your tent.
  • Parking and lighting – Parking can be one of the more tricky aspects of a tent wedding. You will need to evaluate if there is enough parking onsite or whether any shuttles will be needed from another location. Also if you do have parking onsite it is recommend to have specific lighting for those outdoor areas to assist guests as they leave.
  • Power –  Generators?  What size? How many? Your power source is one of the most important aspects of your tented wedding. The last thing you want is to not have enough power and be scrambling! Be sure to evaluate all of the items needing power and talk with the appropriate people to ensure that your generators can handle it all.
  • Rain backups – In the event that rain is imminent you always want to have a rain back up, especially if you are having an outdoor ceremony next to your tented reception.
  • Bathrooms – Lighting? Washing stations? Flushables? Power units? Make sure that your guests have ample bathroom options with easy access.
  • Liquor – Liability? Service? Ice? Glassware? Quantities? Working with a licensed liquor/bartending service helps to answer many of these questions. Don’t forget to ask about staffing and make sure that they have plenty of staff to service your guest count.
  • Dance floor – Why rent a dance floor if I have other flooring already? Some couples still want to have a separate dance floor that is different from the other flooring that they bring in.

Tented weddings can be beautiful but they do require a lot of coordination to ensure that all of the details are accounted for. 

It’s easy for this to seem overwhelming but there are amazing vendors in this area equipped to work on each of these individual areas. We cna help you coordinate all these pieces and bring them together so you can enjoy the day in your favorite spot.

Talking with local experts is invaluable! They have the experience and resources to not only pull off your dream tented wedding but to also take the stress of your plate.

Send us a message, we’d love to chat with you more about creating the perfect outdoor wedding! 


Erin Jean Photo

Bloom Photography

Maison Meredith Photography