Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Pros and Cons of a Tented Wedding

I'm so happy to be getting married outdoors.  Nature is what inspires me and where I feel the most at peace.  It was a natural and easy decision that we made very early in the planning process and one that I have never doubted.

The decision to have a tented wedding, however, hovers above my head as thick as the rain clouds on our wedding day I fear and worry about.  The possibilities of things that could go wrong are endless.  Not to mention the stress of dealing with and coordinating multiple vendors along with attempting some serious DIY decor.

As with any type of reception, there are pros and cons to a tented wedding.  Let's break them down and discuss...


- A tent is a blank canvas, allowing you to instill whatever decor and theme you want, as opposed to having to work around the decor of a ballroom or reception hall.  This is both a blessing and a curse, because it be really hard to make a final decision on anything when there are so many beautiful inspiring weddings out there to model yours after!

- A tented wedding usually lends an outdoor setting to all your photos, including beautiful sunsets, flower gardens and twinkling lights.

-Since a caterer is usually brought in, you have the freedom to choose whichever one appeals to you, not one required by the venue (who may not be able to meet all your needs or expectations.)

Sounds all roses, right? You knew the other shoe had to drop.  Here's a few cons to consider before diving into this decision...

- For the majority of tented weddings, you have to rent every. single. item.  Forks, cups, plates, serving ware, tables, chairs, linens, etc...That adds up quick! So while you might be able to get an initial catering per-head cost that is cheaper for a tented wedding, once you add in the cost of the rentals, it can rival any reception hall per-head.

- You cannot control the weather.  But the the weather can control your wedding.  Unfortunately, going with a tent for the reception can mean that you're at the mercy of the weather gods (who can be a fickle bunch.) Needless to say, it's my greatest worry.  I have visions of our soaking-wet guests cleaning the mud off of their shoes and shivering...It could easily happen, last June it rained (and I mean rained) 3 out of the 4 weekends.

- Having x many vendors means having that many more emails, phone calls, contracts and follow-ups to deal with.  It also leaves more room for error.  Right now, I've been extremely happy with all of my vendors and have no reason to believe anything negative will happen but you just can't predict the future, ya know?

Alright, now that I have you running screaming away from a tented wedding towards the nearest rustic barn, elegant ballroom or modern loft, can I show you a few pictures first?

(Personal Photo)

This one's from a WB reader, thanks!

Pictures like these are why I made the decision to have my wedding in a tent.  Although it's caused me a good deal of anxiety, I'm banking that the payoff will be worth it.  And if it rains, I will wear cute yellow rainboots and carry a big umbrella and it will somehow be fine anyways!

Who else shares my love of tented weddings? Are you as nervous for the weather as I am??

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