Wedding Tents 201: How to Accessorize Your Wedding Tent

Now that you are familiar with the various types of tents from our previous post, Wedding Tents 101, let’s accessorize! There are plenty of additions that you can make to your event tent to change its look and feel, but today we will focus on two types: Draping and Lighting.

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In the context of event tents, draping is typically broken into two categories, ceiling draping and side pole draping. Both styles serve similar purposes, hiding the structural components of the tents (think big aluminum support poles and guide wires) and creating a particular style and atmosphere. Draping the ceiling of the tent is a great way to cozy up the atmosphere, providing a more elegant and tailored style. This style provides distinct softness to the lighting and the additional benefit of warmer acoustics inside the tent. The style of side pole draping is a great technique for disguising the harsh looking side poles in a sophisticated and beautiful way and smoothing out the roughness of the tent’s outer perimeter. In both cases, ceiling and side pole draping can be customized in a variety of ways ranging from color and material choice to full or partial draping.

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When it comes to lighting, your options are nearly endless, bounded only by budget, available power, and imagination. A good place to start though is with a favorite throughout the times: chandeliers. Chandeliers can range in style from antique, to crystal, to an ultra-modern look and vary equally in price. Elegant yet functional, they provide both excellent lighting and beautiful decoration. Opposing the solitary light sources of chandeliers, many people are using LED rope lights or fairy lights for more distributed lighting that invokes a whimsical storybook feel. This style is perfect for less formal events that want to incorporate a “natural” feel. For customers that value practicality and versatility, floor or pole mounted spotlights are a great alternative because they throw off plenty of light, are directional, and can have their color variation selected to best match the style of the event. A more recent trend in tent lighting has been hanging lanterns from the ceiling of the tent as various heights. The natural candle light (or fake electric candles depending on local fire code) not only provides a warm, romantic, glimmering light to your event, but they create an interesting visual aspect too.

Sperry tent lighting

Wedding Tents 101: Everything you need to know about Tented Weddings

So you’ve found the perfect location for your wedding… but it is outdoors. Planning a tented wedding can be a daunting task. Thankfully we have produced many gorgeous tented events and can help you navigate through the process. The first part is determining the best type of tent for not only the look you want to achieve, but for the functionality of it.

There are primarily four different tent types~

Sperry Tents:

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Sperry Tents are constructed out of sailcloth canopies that have geometric support patches and sweeping seams.  These handmade tents have support poles within the tent that are built out of solid wood. The peaks of a Sperry Tent can also be topped with pennant flags. When you light the ceiling of a Sperry they have an amazing glow.  They are the most popular for beach and nautical theme events.

Century Tents

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Century tents offer a very high ceiling with sweeping curves, a sophisticated look.  This is also a pole and stake supported tent which minimized the amount of interior and perimeter poles.  This allows for greater flexibility for seating. The difference between the Century tent and the Sperry tent (aside from the material of the ceiling) is that the poles in the century tent are metal.  Therefore most clients want them to be draped or covered in some way.

Navi-Trac or Clearspan Tents –

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Navi-Trac Tents are similar to a conventional frame tent and does not have interior poles.  It is sturdier in construction than a frame tent and can withstand up to 60 mph winds.  These can be installed with a white vinyl top and optional ceiling liner or with a clear vinyl top.  The clear top is very visually appealing but not ideal in hot sunny weather.

 

Frame Tents:  A frame tent is a versatile and free standing structure that can be installed on about any surface. These tents are constructed with a heavy aluminum framework and are anchored down with weights. Frame tents do not have center poles which allows for a clear interior space. They are not very beautiful as the ceilings are quite low. If you can afford to do some draping to disguise the poles and beams that is ideal.  These are the most affordable tents. However, if the tent will be placed in an area with potentially strong winds, especially near the beach, we do not recommend them. They cannot withstand strong gusts of wind.

6 Degrees of Celebration Real Wedding Published in The Knot

The Knot Red Bank WeddingWe are thrilled to have one of our real weddings featured in a recent issue of The Knot NJ. Our happy couple, Liz and Adam, chose the oh so talented Allan Zepeda to capture the beauty of their wedding and amazing 80 acre property.  The quaint town of Red Bank, NJ is where Liz and Adam call home and have designed the most stunning landscape.  Initially they were unsure that a wedding of 180 guests could be planned and executed with paying particular attention and care to their home and grounds.  Kate Duffy partnered with Joan to design an event that was rustic, romantic and lush, all without using one cut flower.  It was of utmost importance to Liz and Adam that the everything surrounding the plans be sustainable.  Kate also designed and built the natural wood chandeliers used in the dining tent.  Several guests have asked where they could purchase these!

Liz and Adam brought us onboard for our full-service wedding and design planning package, which, as part of, we also provided oversight into the many food and beverage details.  Adam is a co-owner of the popular Triumph Brewery in Princeton, NJ and we made sure to incorporate a few of their craft beers into specialty cocktails as well as menu items.  The chickens they raise did their job by providing all of the eggs the caterer required.  We hand-plucked leaves from their majestic magnolia trees to hand write the guest seating arrangements.

One of the main reasons I love to plan tented weddings at private estates is that we have the luxury of truly having a customizable palette.  And what a tent it was, thank you to Sperry Tents.

Many thanks again to all of our vendors who assisted in making this day exactly what Liz and Adam had dream about.  And thank you as always to The Knot for choosing this gorgeous tented wedding to be highlighted!

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Fireworks at wedding at Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner in Summit, New Jersey helps a bride out of a car.I read a lot of articles about the pros of hiring a professional wedding planner. I do not believe I have seen any that mention the ‘cons’ about hiring a wedding planner! If you ask any of my former clients they would all agree that working with a top wedding planning firm was one of the best wedding related decisions they made.

A professional wedding planner has extensive knowledge of the vendors and venues in the area you are searching. I have saved clients countless hours in researching wedding venues and vendors. So many retain me after they had disappointing visits to a venue they researched online, only to arrive for a site inspection and to think that they photos they saw online must have been taken decades ago. A top wedding planner will ask the right questions to gain a full understanding of what is most important to a bride and groom. Questions beyond whether or not you want a luxury ballroom wedding, a modern art gallery wedding, a rustic barn, etc. I ask where you love to shop for your clothing and home décor. What is your favorite restaurant? What is your favorite neighborhood in NYC? What is your favorite vacation spot? How would you describe the style you would like your wedding to be? Classic, funky, chic, urban, vintage, sassy. Another very important question is budget. Based upon your answers I present a refined list of recommended venues that are vetted for date availability and budget. So rather than wasting time doing online searches and then in person site inspections, trust an event planner to do the leg work for you. You never know, in the time it took you to do the research, another couple may have booked the date you wanted!