At Total Events we help to plan dozens of tent weddings every year. No two are the same and that’s the way we like it. Every wedding, bride, property and vision is different and we enjoy making each tent custom to you. That being said, there are our commandments of Tent Weddings.
#1. Thou shalt not expect a package.
We hear it time and time again, a bride will call and ask us what our tent packages cost. While it would be lovely to be able to compline all of our basic needs into one simple collection of items, it’s nearly impossible. Each bride wants something different, and that is what we like to give them. We can certainly present you with your standard options, but there are so many to choose from and we never like to limit anyone in their vision.
#2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s yard.
Let’s start at the beginning or as every real estate person likes to put it, location, location, location! First things first, let’s make sure this tent is going to fit in your yard! This is a process called “Site Inspection” and it’s invaluable to your planning process. We would love the opportunity to walk the space with you, measure and lay out the tents location. This way we can trouble shoot any potential problems or hazards well before set up begins to ensure a seamless installation. While we can get “creative” with solutions, the best case scenario is that there is plenty of workable land for your tent to sit securely, your caterer to move about freely and your guests to be contented. Also take into consideration things like zoning, underground facilities, property lines and permitting needs. We are glad to help you navigate through these questions with the help of one of our experienced tent installers.
#3. Thou shalt determine a budget.
We all have budgets, even the ones that seem sky high. With this in mind, we like to work with what you are comfortable with. Knowing ahead of time how much money you are happy spending on your wedding will assist us in properly guiding you towards the rentals that will satisfy your needs and your wallet. Of course it is easy to fall in love with the tent weddings that you see on Pinterest or on TV, but our job is to lead you into making the best decisions you can. The paramount place to start is with the proper information.
#4. Thou shalt always have a plan B.
Mother Nature is many things, but first and foremost she is unpredictable. Especially in Upstate New York we often see temperatures fluctuate 20 degrees in a matter of hours. We have seen our share of drought, hurricanes, flooding, cold spells and heat waves. While we can combat a significant amount of what nature throws at us, everything has its limits. It is our job to try and give you everything that you can dream of on your special day, but we need to do it in the safest and most responsible way possible. Our advice is to always have a plan B. Sure, outdoor wedding ceremonies and al fresco dining are without question beautiful, but only if you have weather that is 100% cooperative. The best way for everyone to feel relaxed and ready for the big day is to know that all of the bases are covered and no matter what happens there is a plan in place for success.
#5. Thou shalt rely on experienced professionals.
One thing that you can’t put a price tag on is experience. Knowing that you have put into place a team of professionals that has gone up to bat against an off premise wedding and won is worth its weight in gold. Make sure that your caterer is seasoned (excuse the pun) in cooking off site. A little known trick is that the more questions these professionals ask you, the better your event will turn out. Having seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst prepares us to properly analyze your situation and work around any obstacles that might hold you back.
#6. Thou shalt accept advice.
When we make a suggestion to you regarding your wedding, it is always to give you the best possible results. Sometimes while you envision a pole tent for your big day, a frame tent is going to work better for your property or circumstances. You may think that a restroom trailer is overkill, but backing up your septic when you have 200 people trying to use the bathroom isn’t the best idea either. A lot (and I mean A LOT) of details go into hosting an off premise wedding, and we are here to help you. Many times our clients like to take on tasks themselves, but in many circumstances it is best to have your rental company be responsible for all of the equipment coming in and out of the space. Unless you are a licensed electrician, we don’t recommend that you run your own power for example.
#7. Thou shalt understand that you are indeed, outside.
This goes back to and elaborates onto Commandment #4. Even though you are in a tent, you are still outside. If it rains, the ground will be wet. If it is wet outside, condensation will build inside of the tent. If it is windy, the side walls will sway. If the temperature drops and you didn’t reserve heaters/propane you will be cold. There are no ways around these facts. We work tirelessly around the clock to remedy any last minute problems when the weather takes a turn, but with a finite amount of equipment and a calendar full of clients all needing it at once, we can only do so much. The best thing that you can do is prepare for anything, which sometimes means you will have side walls on your tent on a perfectly sunny day – but the benefit to that is that you also have shade and a comfy place for your guests.
#8. Thou shalt understand Rome wasn’t built in a day.
….and either is your wedding reception. Typically it takes 2-3 days for a complete tent set-up depending on the quantity of rentals and the scope of the job. Rentals need to be set up in stages and often require different crews to satisfy different aspects of the job. While we would especially love it if your wedding could go up and down in one day, that is almost never the case. Please be aware that breakdown will also take more than one day usually, though it does goes faster than installation.
#9. Thou shalt have a completely custom experience.
With that tent wedding you booked, you also booked a completely unique event. No one else will have a wedding on your family property that you grew up on. No one else will have cocktail hour in the barn that your grandfather built with his own two hands. These are memories and meanings that simply cannot be replicated anywhere else. All of your hard word and planning will be worth it for the one of a kind results you get.
#10. Thou shalt reserve in advance.
While we try and accommodate everyone, there are limits to what we can do in a week. We recommend booking your rentals as far in advance as possible to ensure you have your desired date and equipment. We understand that as the date draws closer your quantities will change and things will need to be altered but we are prepared for that. The biggest obstacle is making sure that your main elements like tents, tables, chairs, décor etc. are spoken for.