5 Expert Tips For Planning a Tent Wedding in North Carolina

Recently I wrote a blog post 4 Key Factors in Renting a Wedding Tent in North Carolina  that summarized what some nationwide experts where saying about renting tents for weddings, but I wanted to get the expert advise from someone that does it right here in North Carolina.  

So recently I had the pleasure of talking to James Porter of Capital Events / Grand Station Rentals  about the 5 tips  that every bride needs to know when renting a tent for weddings anywhere near Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill NC.

Tent Wedding


Outdoor weddings are becoming extremely popular and trendy. This is not because of economics (due to backyard weddings) but just because this is what brides want. The simple southern outdoor wedding is something that is being seen more and more these days. 
You may want to  see my recent blog post on  Can a country wedding really happen outside of Raleigh NC?

2) don't make things complicated

The biggest mistake a bride can make in deciding the specifics on a tent for their wedding is to make things TOO COMPLICATED.  We've all had parties and a wedding is just one of the biggest parties that most people usually have. 

  • Size of the tent will be based on your guest count 
  • Capital Events uses a sophisticated Computer Aided Design (CAD) program to help layout the mix of tables and size of dance floor to your requirements giving you the best information on the size of the tents you'll need. 
  • Guests counts will go up and down and then back up again 
  • Best Advice from James: pick what you think the count will be and then just adjust at the proper time 
  • Rely on expertise of vendors like James and don't make the process overly stressful

3) type of tent (pole vs. frame)

Pole Tent - It's what most Brides Want! 
James confirmed that pole tents are popular because of their look. They truly are beautiful tents but lack functionality that frame tents have. Pole tents have to be on a flat surface and need lots of stakes and more strapping.

However, because of their "pretty " look, this is pretty much what brides want, so that's what they get.  I always tell my grooms that the Bride is the "star" of the wedding, so they usually get what they want. Decision on tents is no different. 

Frame Tent - Open and Easier to Light & Decorate
James indicated that frame tents are more versatile, the legs are adjustable and provides much 
more open areas. A frame tent also allows for natural rigging for both lighting and decorations. 

4) lighting and decorating

Remember a tent is a blank white slate allowing you to light and decorate it to meet the theme, colors, and mood of your vision for your wedding. 

  • Strand Lighting is the most popular 
  • LED, Chandeliers & Can lights are other options 
  • There are a lot of lighting options to create the atmosphere that you want your guests to see

5) air conditioning or fans

Fans = Yes,  Air Conditioners = No

Yes, this IS North Carolina and one would naturally think that for those summer weddings, A/C would be a must have. However, James indicates that this is difficult to pull off because: 

  • Not economical
  • Small tent will require 3 times as much A/C as what is usually required in your home 
  • Power requirements are  steep. You need to bring in 20KW generators 
  • To properly air condition a tent you'd have to have it completely enclosed

Because of the above challenges with air conditioning, the popular alternative is fans. These work well, are economical, and help all guests enjoy this special day and wonderful party and still be comfortable during a North Carolina summer!

My special thanks to James at Capital Events / Grand Rental Station for sharing  his expertise on wedding tents.


Contact me  via the web  , via email  or by phone at 919-523-2018 for a very casual, no pressure, conversation on how I can capture your special day and give you memories for years to come! 

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