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Decorated Wedding TentAn outdoor wedding reception requires a lot of essentials. But there’s one important piece you cannot neglect – the tent. Rain or shine, your tent provides comfort and protection for your guests, vendors, food, electronics, and more. With so many styles to choose from, which one is right for your event? Keep reading to learn about six common tent varieties plus some benefits to consider before booking one for your big day.

1. Pole Tents

When you think of a tent, you may picture a large expanse of fabric with a pole in the center. That, of course, is the traditional pole tent. Central interior beams extend from the pole, supported by tent ropes staked into the ground. Pole tents work best on softer terrain.

While the center pole can reduce the amount of free space inside, this tent style does offer some advantages. Martha Stewart Weddings mentions their visual appeal due to their sloped tops. There’s also the high ceiling, which can add some visual drama to consider with your décor.

2. Frame Tents

As a popular choice for outdoor events, frame tents have a lot to offer. Instead of a center pole, a large frame serves as the support for the canopy. Since frame tents don’t need to be staked into the ground, they’re ideal for use on solid surfaces. Depending on the tent’s structure, the top may resemble either a gable or hipped roof.

Intimate Weddings points out that frame tents are easier to decorate, especially on the inside. The exposed frame pieces allow you to hang anything from lighting to garlands — or drape swaths of fabric — if you’re not a fan of seeing bare metal above your head. Wedding expert Heather Lee offers several suggestions for draping décor in a September 2020 Brides article.

3. Sailcloth Tents

Although they didn’t used to be as common, sailcloth tents are becoming popular at modern weddings. A canopy made from high-quality sailcloth is held up by a series of poles down the center. Like classic pole tents, these must also be secured by stakes and ropes. Appropriately, they work best on soft ground. Sailcloth tents have multiple peaks and valleys that can create stunning visual effects.

4. Marquee Tents

Blending structural elements from both frame and pole styles, marquee tents use a modified frame to support the canopy and form a high-peaked ceiling. They don’t require a center pole, so they’ll work on a wide variety of terrains. You get the external grandeur of a pole tent with the added space of a frame tent. And as a bonus, you can also hang your decorations from the frame supports.

5. Stretch Tents

While they look a little unusual from the outside, stretch tents offer plenty of benefits. Martha Stewart Weddings describes this type as a free-form style that stretches a single piece of fabric over a custom framework of poles. With so many configuration possibilities, stretch tents are great options for rooftops, decks, or other locations where conventional tents may not fit.

6. Cabana Tents

While they resemble frame-style varieties, cabana tents drape lightweight fabrics over wooden frames. The tent fabric is tied to each pole, creating a curtain-like effect that’s both attractive and practical. You can use a single cabana tent to host a small intimate affair or line several up in a row for a larger crowd. They're mostly popular for beach weddings, but you can also use them for backyard or other outdoor events. They work best when staked into soft ground.

From classic pole varieties to freeform stretch types, outdoor tents come in many different styles. Shape and construction play a key role in choosing the best one for your reception. Consider your guest count, décor scheme, and terrain before reserving one for your big day.

Category: Wedding Materials


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