There are a few things that make my heart skip-a-beat quite like a Southern wedding venue paired with an oh-so lovely tent. Now add our friends at Sperry Tents to that mix and you’ve got a little slice of Lowcountry wedding heaven. Sperry Tents is the end all, be all when it comes to breathtaking Southern tents and, lucky for us, they’ve stopped by today to share a few tips to assist in planning your outdoor reception…
Considering an outdoor reception under the classic, Lowcountry backdrop of Spanish moss-covered live oaks? Here is our quick guide to what you need to know as you begin to plan your outdoor wedding reception.
Using a tent isn’t just about keeping your family and friends out of the elements (they can be heated and cooled!), but also about creating your own unique venue, customized for your celebration. The exact same tent can lend itself to a modern-style aesthetic featuring clean lines and crisp colors or be transformed into a romantic haven with draped fabrics and crystal chandeliers.
Our Sperry Sailcloth tents are undeniably special. Any bride-to-be who has spent time clicking around on wedding blogs or Pinterest has surely come across these tents. The tents are round or oval-shaped, installed on custom milled wooden poles and topped with pennant flags on each peak. They’re reminiscent of a great old teak sailboat you might see gliding through Charleston Harbor.
Okay, you’re sold on hosting a tented reception. Now what?
While I always recommend hiring a wedding planner, if your reception venue is outdoors, your first call should be to the tent company. What you may not realize is that the tent provider usually offers a range of services including flooring (dancefloor and stage or even custom-built decking), lighting, custom draping, and furniture rental. In fact, our company also provides power distribution equipment, restroom trailers, and onsite event service. We also create scaled layout drawings for every event—from a 50 person cocktail reception to a 5,000 person seated dinner. We will become fast friends as we help you navigate through some fun decisions (Customized pennant flags! Bistro lights! Hanging lanterns!) and some not-so-glamorous ones (fire permits and restroom trailers, anyone?).
Before picking up the phone, pull together a few details to have on hand during our conversation. Here’s a quick list of questions to help you prepare:
- When is your wedding?
- What is the reception location and how many guests will you have?
- Do you plan on hiring a DJ or a band?
- Have you picked a service style for the reception (seated dinner, standing reception, etc.)?
- What is the terrain surface and topography of the site?
- Is there any power available to the area or will you need to have this provided?
- Where will the guests use the restroom?
- Should any specific décor / style details be included in the proposal?
- What is your budget range?
Don’t stress if some of these details are still up in the air—we’ll help you work through your numbers and prioritizing equipment based on your location and budget. A site visit will also ensure all of the planning comes together seamlessly.
What else should you expect before saying “yes!” to the Sperry Tent?
Many clients mistakenly assume that a home wedding will be more cost effective than a traditional wedding venue. While the word “savings” and “wedding” should never coexist in the same sentence, consider the extra money you’re spending to host the wedding at your home as an investment in the venue that holds the most meaning for you. Parts of the ‘outdoor equipment package’ are not always the most exciting, but are necessary to make everything function. Generators are not as beautiful as hand-engraved invitations; however, walking down the aisle in your grandmother’s garden might land higher on the priority list.
Finally, make sure to bury the bourbon. We can’t control the weather, but we can control how to manage it on your wedding day. Hire a company you trust, one that provides emergency numbers and holds weekend hours. Weddings are truly a team sport— leave covering home plate to us.
In need of one of these beauties?
Contact Tim Woodland at Sperry Tents Southeast