Rental tents come in all sizes and styles. Although rental customers can set up and tear down some small canopies, most tent setups require installation by trained rental professionals. The following details some of the tent options you can rent for your wedding event.
Frame tent. This rental tent has a metal frame and no center poles. Thus, it provides an unobstructed interior view because side poles offer support instead of a center pole. In addition, the expandable design of frame tents provides versatility in size and setup. Rental store professionals must install this type of tent.
Pole/tension tent. Known for their spectacular peaks, these tents rely on support from side and center poles, as well as tension from ropes attached to stakes. Rent this heavy-duty tent to provide shelter from most bad weather. Rental store professionals must install this tent style.
Canopy. Rent this lightweight overhead shelter to protect wedding guests from sun or light rain. Rental customers usually can erect and take down most canopies themselves. Canopy installation requires set up of one or more center poles.
Pop-up canopy. Rent this small, lightweight, collapsible-frame canopy to protect wedding guests from light rain. You can put up and take down this do-it-yourself tent rental quickly and easily. Popular pop-up canopy widths range from 10 to 20 ft.
Clearspan tent. Advantages of this rental tent choice include maximum space and visibility, innovative shapes and designs and unlimited tent lengths. The ability of clearspans to meet extreme weather conditions makes them not only good for high-end weddings, but also a perfect solution for long-term rentals. These sophisticated framed structures offer options of glass walls, glass roof panels and hard door openings. Rental professionals must assemble clearspan tents. They can install them on many surfaces.
Sidewalls. Rent sidewalls to enclose your tent. Sidewalls come in a variety of styles including solid, clear and with cathedral or French windows. Ask to rent clear sidewalls to take advantage of the outdoor view.
Doors and windows. Add these accessories to your tent rental for a more upscale look.
The type and size of tent you select will depend upon your intended use and your available space. Your cost will depend mainly upon the size and type of tent selected. Be sure to explain the factors that will affect your selection, i.e. number of guests, number of tables, height restrictions, etc. to the tent rental company so they can assist you in selecting the proper size.
When considering the placement of the tent, try to select a level area and make sure that you are not placing it in a low area where water will flow or accumulate if it should rain. If staking is required, be careful of the unseen underground factors that may affect the tent placement like sprinkler systems (checking the sprinkler timers is not a bad idea either), gas and water lines, and telephone and electrical conduit or wires. In most municipalities the local utility companies will be happy to visit the site and mark the locations of their pipes, wires, etc. TIP: Depending upon the utility company, “marking” the locations sometimes means the use of spray paint rather than removable flags. Check with the utility company to see how the locations are marked. If electrical service is required to the tent for lighting, etc. try to locate the tent in an area where power can be easily accessed and run to the tent. Electrical generators are also available for areas where electrical power is not readily available.
Keep in mind that damage that occurs to the tent during the rental period will be your responsibility. Situations that may cause damage to the tent should be avoided. For example, newly cut grass can severely stain the sidewalls of a tent – not to mention that green grass clippings may stick to the sides of the white tent. To avoid these problems be sure to cut and rake the grass well in advance of the tent placement. Another situation to avoid is the contact of electrical lights to the tent material. Since the heat that the lights generate may melt or scorch the tent material, care should be take to suspend the lights away from the tent material.
- Make sure your budget will accommodate an outdoor tent rental. Tents for special events can cost several thousand dollars, depending on the size, style and added accessory rentals such as lights, heaters or air-conditioning units.
- Write down a list of questions to ask the party rental supplier. Don’t forget to include questions about installation and tear down, tent color options and flooring selections for the dance and buffet areas.
- Measure your wedding or reception area, draw a diagram of the space, and write down the dimensions in detail before calling or visiting a rental company.
- Begin contacting rental companies 3 to 6 months before your wedding date in order to determine what size tent you will need for the guest numbers you are expecting, along with gauging the cost of the tent and accessories you’ll need.
- Decide what type of wedding tent you prefer to rent. Pole tents are the most traditional style, offering a sweeping roof design supported by poles or columns throughout. If you’re having a daytime wedding, you may decide on a canopy. A more inexpensive option than an enclosed tent, canopies are typically supported by a collapsible metal frame. The most expensive option is a clear-span frame tent, designed to provide a sturdy, weather-proof environment without the obstruction of supporting poles.
- Find out whether the tent you’re interested in comes with tie-back or removable walls or skylights. While it is nice to have the option to seal up the tent during inclement weather, you may want to give guests the option of stargazing if weather permits.
- Find out how well your rental company maintains their tents. Outdoor equipment can mildew if it isn’t properly cleaned and deodorized, and you don’t want your caterer to have to compete with the smell of a moldy, musty tent.
- Call 2 to 3 weeks prior to your wedding to confirm your rental and price quote. Make sure you understand return times and dates so you don’t end up paying late fees.
A FEW MORE SMART QUESTIONS TO ASK
When it is time to rent a tent for your wedding, following are a few examples of questions that you will probably want to ask the tent rental company…
What are the costs and what exactly is included?
Some companies include setup and tear down in their costs while others do not. Some charge an additional “drying” charge should it rain while the tent is up at your event. Some charge extra for weekend delivery.
Are the tents deodorized?
The musty smell of mildew does little to enhance the appeal of a delicious wedding reception meal.
How early will they set up?
There have been instances when the tent was still going up while the wedding guests were arriving which left no time for the caterer or band to set up the area prior to guest arrival. Not a good thing…
When will they tear down?
Be sure to allow sufficient time for your wedding guests and suppliers to leave before the tent comes down. Having a bunch of workers standing around waiting for your guests to leave is quite tacky.
Is the company insured?
Hey, mistakes do happen. Be sure there is available compensation if the tent installation damages something (or someone) at your event.
Does the company have recent references or letters of recommendation they can share with you?
It is not a bad idea to make sure they have a history of quality and reliability.
Be sure all included items and costs are clearly outlined along with deposit refund policies, etc. Delivery, set-up and teardown times should also be firmly established an in writing, as should special installation concerns or instructions.
Prior to the delivery and set-up of the tent it is not a bad idea to measure the area and create a diagram indicating the placement of the tent – including extra area for staking and walkways. It is also wise to have someone onsite when the tent arrives and during set-up to make sure the tent is set-up in the proper place.
Contact your local, Bridal Association, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your tenting needs.