When hosting a party at your house or planning an outdoor wedding reception, your tent is the most vital consideration that you should undertake. This article will walk you through the 7 most important things you need to assess when contacting party rental companies.
In This Article:
❇️ Why use a tent at all?
For an outdoor wedding or a party, you should have a ‘backup plan’ in case the weather gets bad unpredictably. A tent ensures that immoderate heat, wind, or rainfall does not destroy your event. Rather than waiting months to secure a reservation in a decent (yet costly) banquet, it is more convenient to host a party or a wedding in a garden.
❇️ Deciding the size of the tent
To utilize your outdoor space well, you will need to count the number of guests you plan to serve, and then size your tent accordingly. The size of your tent also depends upon whether or not you require the seating, a dance floor, or a buffet all under the tent. Here are five things you need to assess when deciding the size of the tent required.
? ‘What comes under the tent?’
Before you do anything, decide what you need under the tent. Will it only have the seating arrangement? Will it also have a photo booth, a DJ booth, and a dance floor? Will the buffet be inside the tent? Once you answer these questions, you are more likely to get a rough idea in your mind regarding the size of tent you would require.
? The number of guests
Note down the number of guests you plan to accommodate. Usually, you will need to give 10 square feet per person.
? Buffet tables
How many tables do you want your guests to be seated in? How much area would it require to serve those tables? Are your tables round, square, or long (rectangle)? The party rentals company you will contact will provide you with details on how many buffet tables you require for the number of guests you intend to serve. To avoid congestion, ensure that there is enough space around the buffet tables for a line to form.
? Dance floor and DJ booth
A dance floor and a DJ booth truly add life to a party. When organizing a dance floor, there should be enough space around so the guests can entertain themselves comfortably and without congestion. The size of your dance floor will then affect the size of the tent you choose. Usually, it will cost $2 per square foot.
❇️ Choosing the right tent
There are two frequently used tents for outdoor parties and weddings: frame tent and pole tent. Deciding the type of tent you will choose really depends on a number of factors; such as your aesthetic preference, budget, and size of the event. To help you select the perfect tent for your special event, Meadowvale Party Rentals will be your personal guide.
Enlisted below are some pros and cons of choosing either one of the two options.
Frame tents – Pros
? Frame tents, also called clear span tents, are more durable as compared to pole tents. For week-long events (bachelor party, wedding reception, post-wedding lunch), it will be convenient and practical to go with frame tents. With little maintenance, frame tents can stay up for several months,
? These tents allow greater flexibility. Since no ‘center poles’ are needed to set it up, it gives you greater freedom to decide the interior design of the tent (without being interrupted by poles),
? You can choose to ‘attach’ multiple frame tents together. If you desire to have an aesthetic and covered walkway to your main tent, you can use a long, narrow frame tent for that. This cannot be done if you were to use a pole tent,
? They can be set up on any surface, and not just the ground. Although it is safer to set it up on the ground, it is not the sole option when you go for frame tents.
Frame tents – Cons
? Frame tents are not as budget-friendly as pole tents are,
? Setting up one is significantly more time-consuming,
? It is even more expensive to use a liner on the inside to make the tent more aesthetic.
Pole tent – Pros
? Pole tents are a lot more beautiful and classier that frame tents,
? Pole tents, also called tension tents, are budget-friendly,
? The ‘swoop’ effect it has is seen as simple and aesthetic,
? It is relatively easier to set up,
? Since it can only be set up on the ground, it is safer and securer than a frame tent is.
Pole tent – Cons
? It cannot be set up on anywhere else other than the ground,
Once you have considered which type of tent would be suitable for you, the next step is to select the shape of the tent.
❇️ Choosing between a square and rectangle shaped tent
The shape of tent you choose will be determined by the size of your available space, your guest count, and the add-ons you may or may not require. The two frequently used shapes of tents are square and rectangle. Here are some pros of each tent that you can go over to make a final conclusion for yourself.
✅ Square tent – Pros
? All of your guests will feel equally included during the special moments of the party, such as cake cutting, special dances, and accessing the buffet tables.
? Easier for guests to mingle with each other,
✅ Rectangle tent – Pros
? Longer tents allow you to utilize even narrow spaces or gardens. Especially if your space has trees parallel to it, you may want to choose rectangular tents instead of square.
After selecting the shape of the tent, the next step is to decide the configuration. Visualizing where your guests will sit, where the dance floor will be, and where the buffet tables will be will help you plan your layout.
❇️ The layout of your tent
A graph paper will come in handy if you wish to sketch the layout of your tent. However, sketching the layout is not limited to a graph paper. There are many online programs that will guide you in doing so. Ask yourself where you will put:
?The buffet tables,
?The guests and their seating arrangement,
The rental company you contact will walk you through the possibilities of the configuration you can choose. It would help get the work done quicker if you have a rough idea in mind beforehand. Here are some add-ons that you may want to consider getting (or not).
Clear top tents
Especially for a wedding reception, most people want to reserve a white colored tent and interior layout. For this reason, finding tents in different colors is not only difficult, but also more expensive. To get innovative with your wedding tent, you can opt for a clear top tent to make your wedding stand out of the ordinary!
Deciding whether or not you desire to have walls in your reception tent depends entirely upon one thing: what time of the year is it? If the season is winter, you may want to consider getting walls and a heater to keep the guests comfortable. If the season is summer, you can cross out the walls and add fans instead. Remember: your priority is the comfort of your guests and the aesthetic of your wedding overall.
Start out with a flat piece of land in order to set up a nice floor. You cannot just put your desired carpet on the ground and expect it to stay intact throughout the event. Your hired tent-rental company will also advise you against it as it will not only look bad after half an hour, but will also cause people to trip. The best solution is to ensure that the land underneath the floor is either a hard floor or artificial flooring rented from Meadowvale Party Rentals. Renting flooring will help you set up a firmer floor that is safe for walking around in heels.
If you desire to have a dance floor in your party, you can designate a 20’ x 20’ area to the dance floor. That would cost around $800, if it costs $2 per square foot. This is way cheaper than flooring the whole tent. Moreover, if you wish to call a band to play live music instead of a DJ, you will need to calculate an estimated cost of the floor that you decide to allot to them.
Flooring is, like you can see, pretty expensive. It is definitely a luxury that you would want, but you may not even need it. However, if your budget allows that, by all means, go for it!
The party rentals that you contact can be in charge of the lighting if you ask them to. Most companies offer a variety of styles of lights that you can choose from. For instance, Christmas style lights, chandeliers, lanterns, and spotlights. It is your pick to have full, soft, or natural lighting.
If you wish to bring the lighting yourself, bear in mind that your hired company professionals would not set the lights up or take them down for you. It would be one more task added to your list of responsibilities on the date of the event. A more convenient way to set up lighting yourself would be to buy curtain-style lights to put up in the background of the main stage or cake table. It will look ethereal, and be easy to take off when the party ends.
Tent liners can be very expensive, and can go up to four times the cost of the tent itself. If you desire to get one in a unique color, the cost of that would be uniquely high too. Liners can be skipped if one decides to go for a pole tent instead of a frame tent. However, if you do decide to get a liner, you can cut your cost down by getting a regular one instead of a customized one. But of course, that depends solely on you and your budget.
❇️ How to find a reputable tent-rental company
“You get what you pay for.”
Keep this quote in mind when you are hiring a tent rental company. A party rental company that is charging you thousands of dollars less than all others is either a new company that does not know better or the quality of their products is lousy, or they do not carry proper insurance cover for their employees and their liability. Would you really consider being a new or obscure company’s test client? Or would you spend those extra dollars on a company would live up to your expectations? My view is that you are better off in trained and professional hands. Hope you agree.
Here are some things you need to look for to spot a legit tent-rental company:
A legit rental company would never hesitate to give you a written price quote – free of cost. Some companies may want to visit your site before they agree to give you a price quote, and that is alright. Ensure that your price quote includes everything that you want: set up, pack up, delivery, and taxes. Put extra effort to make sure that there are no ‘hidden fees’ that the rental company may try to charge. Cross out any companies off your list that refuse to give you a written price quote.
Some party rental companies will offer you services more than just the seating arrangement. Some may provide you with the option of stage, dance floor, and even dishes. Contacting one of these companies, like Meadowvale Party Rentals, will reduce your frustration as only one company will be undertaking all responsibilities regarding the aesthetic, and not multiple companies for different tasks. Moreover, you may save some cash on delivery fee too.
Order cancellation or alteration policy
What if you need to call off the party? What if the dates are not suitable anymore and you need to reschedule? What if your guest-count has increased or decreased significantly and now you need to alter the order placed originally? To ensure that none of these unforeseeable things end up costing you all your money, you should find out the company’s cancellation and order-change policy. It is advisable to get it in writing than to accept their word only.
A vendor who does not answer calls or responds to messages timely is not trustworthy enough. You may need to cancel or alter the order, but the company would be unreachable. Such behavior is unprofessional and unreliable. Cross off any companies that are not responsive.
Some rental companies do not have ‘wedding’ quality tents, because their usual clientele asks for tents for church events, school galas, or fairs. If you desire a wedding tent for an outdoor reception, go for companies which have a typical clientele of weddings.
❇️ Important yet overlooked things when organizing an outdoor party
Here are some easily overlooked things when one is organizing an outdoor party.
When you are choosing the site for your event, make sure that there is enough area nearby where your guests can park their cars in. If you are new to the area, you may contact a neighbor and ask them if there is a field nearby. Sometimes, when the road is not busy, roadside parking becomes an available option for guest parking, too. However, if your rental space is large enough to accommodate guest parking, you should make sure to provide your guests with guidance so that they know where to park their cars.
Whether you call a DJ or a band, you should ensure that all guests can hear the music throughout the reception or party. Sure, the music may be louder on the dance floor, but you need to ensure that it can be heard in each corner of the tent at all times. To help you ensure that, ask your DJ or band to do a sound check beforehand.
If your site does not have readily available toilets, you should rent some for the duration of the event. It may be easier to rent toilets if your event takes place in a residential area, because there would be residential houses around that you may contact beforehand for toilet rental. Most rental sites do not offer the facility, and it can get easily overlooked.
Service provider access
Just to be on the safer side, consider the ease of access for the service providers, because if you overlook this step you may end up paying more for the long distance they travel. Service providers may need to carry heavy equipment for your party, like arcade games or photo booths; therefore, granting them easy access to your location may keep the extra costs low.
There is no doubt that planning an outdoor party or wedding reception can get hectic and frustrating at times. This is why you need to contact experienced, reputable, and professional people like Meadowvale Party Rentals at your earliest convenience so that you can sit back while they take care of the ‘extra’ stress.