Before anything, find your local tent rental source. You can search for tent vendors in the area on
and some of my favorite tent companies are:
MidState Tent Rentals
Music City Tents
Once you’ve found your local vendors, the most important thing to consider when choosing your tent for your wedding reception is the size of the location. If your outdoor location has limited space, you might have to look elsewhere. Keep in mind when measuring the area that large outdoor tents require space on all sides of the tent for poles, etc. Make sure to ask your tent vendor how much total square feet of space they need for each tent they have. Most outdoor venues know what size tents can and cannot fit into their space.
The guest list is the next thing to consider. Simply put, the size of your guest list determines the size of your tent. If you are having an intimate wedding reception, a smaller, less-expensive tent will be perfect. But what do you do when you’re having a much larger party? Your vendor can determine the tent size you need for the amount of guests you have, while also taking into account the dance floor, DJ booth, food table, etc.
What’s Your Style?
While coming up with the above calculation, you have to consider what type of reception you are having. Will it be a sit-down dinner with round tables, a sit-down dinner with banquet tables, or a cocktail party with some tables and chairs? Consider your budget when deciding, as of course sit-down dinners will be more pricy and also require a larger tent than a cocktail party. If you are having a dance floor, that also takes up some coveted space.
Time of day and Time of Year
The time of day of your reception is important in determining both the above-mentioned space for tables and chairs and the lighting needed. If you are having an afternoon reception in the summertime with a cocktail party set-up, you can get away with a smaller tent and no additional lighting. However, if you are having a late-afternoon reception in the winter, you will have to consider lighting options such as paper lanterns, as well as renting outdoor tent heaters.