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Six tips to make your tented event this summer a smashing success

Courtesy of Sperry Tents

Be it a beach wedding, BBQ, birthday celebration or graduation, tents are fantastic for events of all kinds. Whether considering a sleek spinner tent made of real sailcloth, a basic frame tent or several colorful pergola tents, here are a few tips to consider and an inspiration gallery to bring your ideas to life.

1. Plan Ahead

Whether tenting at your home or beach, you will likely need a permit for the tent, venue, size and/or electricity. Make sure you understand the rules of the town you are having the event. Many suppliers can file the permits on your behalf for a small fee. Plan in advance as locations can book fast (some CT beaches a year or more ahead). Also, familiarize yourself with any ordinances & restrictions. Do not subject yourself to potential fines.

2. Size

When thinking about tent size, consider guest count, venue and event. Does your catering team need a prep tent? Will you need space for rest rooms? DJ? Bar? Do you want several smaller tents for an outdoor pool, beach or garden party? For most cocktail parties you’ll want 6-8 sq. ft. per person with seating for 50% of your guests. For a sit down dinner using round tables for ten, about 12 sq. ft pp. with seating for 100%. Dance floors usually about 3sq. ft. pp. Your tent professional & event planner can help lay out detailed floor plans.

Courtesy of Raj Tents

3. Ask Away

Be sure to find out when you can expect your tent to be installed and removed. Don’t expect a tent to go up on event day as they usually need a day or two prior for set up. Busy supplier schedules & venue restrictions are often factors.  Consider having a technician on site in case you need extra assistance. Discuss power needs for lighting, A/C & your catering team. Above all, make sure the tents are well maintained and clean.

4. Flooring

There are so many options for flooring from real decking to astroturf to wall to wall carpeting and much more. Tent companies can do sub-flooring to tent on top of pools & uneven spaces. When budgeting, consider all flooring options as they can range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Fancy flooring can cost as much as the tent but it looks amazing and weather wont be a second thought! Consider moist ground, dirt, bugs, allergies & those darn sinking heels!

tenting stamford
Courtesty of Stamford Tent

5. Rain & Tenting

Clients often ask whether they can reserve a tent for inclement weather and then cancel. The answer in short is yes but do expect to pay 50% to reserve your tent, have someone inspect your site, do an initial floor plan and file permits. If you cancel, the tenting company still keeps your deposit for all the work they’ve completed. Be prepared to make some decisions and design a space that will fit into the tent and outside of it.  A 24’ x64’ tented floor plan for 150 guests may look different without the tent to frame the space. Want the best of both worlds? Consider tenting in a ballroom or indoor space to add to your scenery.

6. Lighting & Décor

Now that you have permits, tent & flooring, lets get down to the fun stuff!  Nearly anything goes with tents & there are a multitude of lighting and décor options to help frame your space. Consider perimeter string lights to softly illuminate exterior spaces. Chandeliers & lanterns can be hung off ceiling frames. Candleabras and lighted greenery can be wrapped on poles. Flood lights, uplighting & pinspotting illuminate entire spaces or portions such as the DJ booth. Images can be projected onto surfaces- great for dance floors or walls.

For some further tenting inspiration, please enjoy this gallery of spectacular spaces!


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Michele SinacorePrior to starting michele sinacore events {mse}, Michele Solomon-Sinacore worked for over 11 years in Corporate Sponsorship Marketing & Events for some of the largest brands in Sports, Entertainment & Media. mse offers customized event services that include full planning, month-of event coordination & event consulting. Michele creates top-notch events always with an eye for fresh style and an aim for clients to enjoy (vs work) at their events.

Michele Sinacore Events
Event Planning and Coordination for Corporate and Social Events
(914) 432-5709

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