Creating Extra Space for Your Party


Having people over for a party or holiday dinner is so much fun. Sometimes, though, your family and party outgrow your space. A great way to overcome this is to add extra space by tenting your deck or patio.

A deck or patio usually has door access that can help the flow of people. The door can stay opened even in the dead of winter by heating the tent. Even in bad weather a tent can provide extra party space with minimal exposure to the elements.


What Your Rental Company Needs From You

Making your event go smoothly is a top priority for your rental company. The more information you can give them up front the better. This will help get you the most accurate quote possible and make the event set up and break down go off without a hitch.

Event Questions

If you are just getting started in the planning process you might not know all the answers to the questions on the below questionnaire and that’s ok. These questions will help you get a clear picture of what you will need and what you need to think about.

Event Information

Some important things to think about are how many people will be invited, venue rules about deliveries/pickups, lighting available and noise policies.

Set-up Questions

It may seem like there are a lot of questions about set-up, but they can be broken down into a few categories of items that need to be discussed.

  • Time frame
    • Is there flexibility with set up or does it have to occur on a certain day or within a certain time frame?
    • When does your event set up start and when does the event actually start?
  • Space
    • What kind of access will be available?
    • What size is the space?
    • Are there any aspects of the space that may need to be addressed (trees, uneven ground, low ceilings, etc.)?
  • Equipment to be set up
    • Some items require special knowledge to set up and will be installed by your rental company. Things such as tables and chairs may be dropped off for you to set up. If you want certain things set up, make sure you communicate that with your rental company early. Also, be aware that some set ups may come with fees. Make sure to ask about any additional costs.
    • Where in your space are things to be installed?

Take Down Questions

There are a few really important pieces of information to coordinate and questions to ask about take down. They are

  • How should the equipment be left for pick up (i.e. dishes scraped, chairs stacked, etc.)
  • Who is responsible for the take down of the equipment?
  • Make sure if there are specific parameters for take down that you communicate them early.
  • When does your event end.

You may not have all the answers when you first contact a rental company but make sure you get as much information together as soon after contacting companies so that you are looking at accurate quotes and can be comfortable with the company you hire.

Lighting Considerations for Your Outdoor Event

Lighting is a really important component of your event but often overlooked. Things that you should consider for lighting are

  • time of day of your event,
  • time of year of your event,
  • the look/feel going for,
  • the parking area,
  • if you are having a separate party area, and
  • existing lighting in the area the event is taking place.

Time of Day

If you are having a daytime event you may not need lighting even if your event is under a tent. However, if you are having a night time party you will need to make sure that people can see to party, go to the bathroom and get to their car at the end of the night.

Time of Year

When you do a site visit in the summer at your wedding time keep in mind the sun will go down earlier in the fall/winter. Another thing to keep in mind is daylight savings time. Daylight savings time will change the time the sun goes down so make sure to account for the time change when you are planning your event.

Look/ Feel You Are Going For

The type of atmosphere you are trying to create is going to play a role in the type of lighting you choose.

Bright lights will take away from a romantic setting while low lights may set the wrong tone if you are looking to get a party going on the dance floor.

Parking Area

Will people be able to find cars at the end of the night? Even if there are lights on the outside of the building, going to see how far the lights will illuminate at night is a good idea. This way you can make sure that if you have guests parking far out from the venue lights on the building you can insure they will be able to safely find their car.

Party Area

Will you want a different mood set for the dancing than for dinner and the ceremony? Maybe you will need uplighting that will be turned on later in the event to transform a romantic wedding ceremony and dinner into a dance party. Or maybe you are looking to take a daytime family affair into a nighttime evening of romance.

Existing Lighting in The Area

What type of lighting exists may determine what you can do lighting wise and what you need to worry about. If you are competing with flood lights you may need to decide on using all white lights instead of color that will get washed out.

Whatever the type of event you are creating, make sure to spend some time thinking through the lighting.

What Goes Into Your Tent Quote?

Renting a tent for your wedding, party or corporate event allows you to enjoy the meghan-boyer-photography-02-elite-tents-and-eventsoutdoors while also making sure you are protected from inclement weather.

So what goes into the price of a tent rental? The answer may surprise you.

  • Labor to install tent – depending on the type and size of tent this can vary from half an hour to half a day and from 2 people to 8 people.
  • Labor to clean and maintain tent
  • Storage for the tent
  • Software to track orders
  • Payroll for customer service – if you are having a large event, the initial conversation can take about an hour plus all of the follow up conversations.
  • Trucks
  • Training to properly install tent
  • Cost of the tent

It takes a lot to get a tent set up.Many companies do not allow you to cancel a tent once you book it because of the staffing requirements that need to be planned for, trucks that need to be made ready and the limited number of tents.

Calculating the Size of Your Tent

Are you looking to have your wedding, party or event under a tent? If so, you may be wondering how to figure out what size you need and what type of tent you need.

To help with these decisions, we have made a helpful hits page that you can use. The page goes over the difference between frame tents and pole tents as well as how to determine the size tent you need.

Below is a brief overview of how to determine what size tent you need.

  • If you are having a cocktail party: # of guests x 6
  • If you are having a sit down dinner: # of guest x 12
  • If you are having a Dance Floor: add the square footage of the floor (length x width)
  • If you are having buffet, bar, food tables, cake table, etc: add 100 square feet for each table
  • If you are having a band: See how much space they need

Now that you have all the pieces, add up all the numbers to get the total square footage you need. To convert this to a tent size, divide the total by 30 to see how long your 30 foot wide tent would need to be or by 40 to see how long your 40 wide tent would need to be.

While every party is different and the size you will actually need will vary, this will give you an idea of the size tent you need for planning purposes. Once you know the tent fits in your space and budget, a tent rental professional will be able to determine the exact tent to meet your needs.





Planning an Outdoor Wedding

When you are planning an outdoor wedding, you have to think about different things than an indoor wedding. You need to consider:

  • Food
  • Power
  • Lights
  • Decorations
  • Tent
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Linens
  • Place Settings
  • Drinks
  • Music
  • Dance Floor
  • Bugs
  • Back-up plan for weather
  • Shoes that will not sink into mud
  • Consider a dress without a train

A lot of these things are not necessary to think about with an indoor wedding. This makes things tough when you are planning as most planners that you can buy are not specific to outdoor weddings. Outdoor weddings require a little more planning, but are worth the effort.

When you are considering options for food and drinks, make sure the caterers know that the wedding will be outdoors so they can be prepared to have everything in advance. They will also be able to tell you if they need things like power hook-ups or a prep tent.

Speaking of power, find out early if your site has power and how much it can handle so you know if you will need to rent a generator for the caterer, lighting, DJ, etc.

If your wedding will go into the night, proper lighting will be required. Some sites have flood lights, but that can take away from the ambiance. Twinkle lights or chandeliers can be strung around to add lighting for the evening as well as add to the ambiance. Just make sure you have enough power for all of the lights in advance.

Decorations can be as simple as the lighting and center pieces or much more elaborate. If you are attaching decorations to anything, make sure you get your ideas approved to avoid any potential safety issues or added fees for accidental damage.

The pre-approval of decorations is especially important if you are renting a tent as certain ways of hanging decorations can cause damage that is not covered by protection plans. However, tents provide a blank canvas to create your vision on as well as shield you from the elements and create great lighting for photos.

Unlike having your wedding indoors, you will need to make sure you have tables, chairs, linens and place settings. These things will have to be brought to your site. If you are renting a tent, talk to the same company. Often they rent these items as well or can tell you where to obtain them. It makes things easier if you are dealing with as few vendors as possible.

Bugs can be an uninvited guest at an outdoor wedding. If you are in an area that has a lot of stinging bugs consider incorporating citronella candles into your center pieces and having the area sprayed a few days in advance.

Lastly, having a backup plan for weather is a must. Tents can provide cover against rain, but if the wind picks up, the tents may have to be evacuated. Purchasing insurance to help you recover your costs in case of severe weather is a wise thing to consider as well.

Once you have put the effort into planning your special day, don’t forget to enjoy it!

A Unique Take on Tented Events

Getting a tent in case of rain is a great back up plan, but what if it doesn’t rain? You don’t DSC_0058don’t want to spoil the scenery if it is a nice day. A great way to address this issue is to secure a frame tent and leave the tent top off if it will be a nice day! This way you can use the tent you booked and get the view you want.

What if it does not rain?

You book a tent in case of rain and now 3 days out they are calling for sun. Unfortunately, once you book a tent, it is yours. Now what? You can make the call to leave the top off of the tent before it is installed but still use the frame for decor and lighting.

When this idea works

This option is great if there is a low chance of rain for the day of your event at the time the tent is being installed. You still run the risk of it raining and not having cover, but if the rain chance is 0% at 3 days out then you are probably safe.

The pictured event was a wedding, but this could work for any tented event.

Pole Tent vs Frame Tent in Winter Weather

Now that we are in the depths of winter with its unpredictable snow and winds, knowing the limits of the tents that you rent is important.

WindWind is a common issue in the winter, even if there is not precipitation. Below are some guidelines for tents in wind.

Frame Tents

Frame tents that are 10x, 20x and 30x can stand up to wind gusts up to 25 mph for short durations while 40x frame tents are secure in gusts up to 70 mph. Over this, the tents should be evacuated to ensure everyone’s safety. Work with your tent rental company ahead of time so that you know what the limits to the tent you rented are and have an evacuation plan in place just in case it is needed.


Pole Tents

Pole tents should be evacuated if wind will gust over 10 mph. Due to the structure of pole tents, they are not as sturdy in wind as frame tents are. If you are concerned about the possibility of wind, switching to a frame tent may be a good idea. Talk to your tent rental company ahead of time so you can have the proper tent and precautions in place just in case they are needed.
Plan early to have a safe and fun event no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.


Snow and Ice can be problematic in a tent, but they don’t have to be. If you heat the tent throughout the whole storm and keep moving the snow away from the tent then there will be no issues. If you cannot heat the tent then snow and ice can make the tent too heavy just like the roof of any other structure. The advantage of a tent is the steep peaks. The peaks allow snow to slide off of the tent, especially if it is heated so the vynl is warm.

When winter weather is coming, make sure to talk to your rental company about the tent and any adjustments that need to be made.

Picking the Right Tent

Types of Tents

The two most popular options for tents are pole tents and frame tents.

Pole Tents

  • Must be staked into a flat, grassy surface
  • Have center poles and guy lines
  • For a visual: think circus tent
  • For a visual: think circus tent
  • They have blank ceiling to light and decorate
  • Cheaper than frame tents
Frame Tents

  • Can secure multiple ways on different types of surfaces, not just grass
  • Can see the frame when you look up
  • For a visual: Think larger version of pop-up tent used for tail gating
  • More expensive than pole tents
  • More structurally sound than pole tents



Things to Consider

When you are trying to decide what style tent to go with, consider the following:

  • What surface/terrain will the tent be going on?
  • How do you plan to decorate?
  • Will poles get in the way of your layout?
  • What is your budget>
  • Do you mind seeing the frame work?
  • Will you be able to stake to secure the tent?

Size of the Tent

To help you determine the size of the tent you will need, we created a Helpful Information. If you need help, feel free to call us and we will be happy to assist you.